(NaturalHealth365) Most people think that food labels are a helpful tool when you’re trying to eat healthy or lose weight. Packaged foods appear to have easy-to-read facts such as ingredients, calorie and nutrient content. But what if the label is lying to you?
This happened recently, according to class action lawsuits in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. The lawsuits allege that the label on Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt claims that it has 2 grams of sugar – while it really has 11.2 grams.
How Whole Foods got caught, and more layers to the scandal
According to Chas Jackson, the lead plaintiff in the California lawsuit, watchdog groups took notice when they realized that even unsweetened yogurt has more sugar than the 2 grams listed on the label of Whole Foods’ yogurt. Upon testing the yogurt, they discovered that the true sugar content was nearly six times the amount listed on the label.
The scandal is more shocking because Whole Foods appears to have been aware of the yogurt’s true sugar content from the beginning. According to a statement on the company’s website, a “Private Label registered dietitian reviews each nutrition label for accuracy and completeness before the label is printed.”
Is 11.2 grams really a significant amount of sugar?
To the uneducated consumer, this amount of sugar may not sound like much, but it is if you’re watching your sugar intake. The World Health Organization (WHO) currently recommends keeping your sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of your total calories, or 50 grams per day if you eat 2,000 calories a day. Soon, the WHO may slash this limit in half, to 25 grams a day, because of its effects on weight and health.
A single yogurt from Whole Foods would provide 45 percent of your total daily limit of sugars. That’s substantial, especially considering that most people consider Greek yogurt to be a ‘health food’. By the way, in comparison, an ice cream sandwich has 13 grams of sugar.
How do consumers want to resolve this food labeling fraud?
For starters, I would think, that consumers expect to see the following basic changes:
Be honest: Whole Foods, or any other grocery store for that matter, ought to publicly recognize any errors and remove all inaccurately labeled foods items from their shelves.
100% accuracy: If a product has high sugar content – label it. Don’t fudge the numbers in an effort to deceive consumers and sell more products.
Stop overcharging for food: Especially if a product like 365 Greek yogurt has been cheapened with high sugar content and a lack of quality ingredients.
The Whole Foods yogurt scandal is NOT the end – it’s only the beginning
Unfortunately, food scandals will continue to plague large scale food suppliers as they fail to provide corporate integrity and transparency to an ever-growing conscious consumer market. So, how do we protect ourselves from fraudulent food labeling practices?
Well, obviously, growing your own food is the best option – but not everyone has the ability to do this right away. One of my favorite activities, with my wife, is traveling to the local farmers market and getting to know the local suppliers of high-quality (organic) food and personal care products. It’s simply an amazing experience – great people, the finest ingredients and a great way to support local, eco-friendly businesses.
Our promise: NaturalHealth365 will continue its educational efforts – highlighting the value of natural solutions for everyday problems. Just remember, when it comes to choosing high-quality food items, always ask questions, educate yourself and make informed decisions about every purchase.
About the author: Jonathan Landsman is the host of NaturalHealth365.com, the NaturalNews Talk Hour – a free, weekly health show and the NaturalNews Inner Circle – a monthly subscription to the brightest minds in natural health and healing.
Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, as a personal health consultant, writer and radio talk show host – Jonathan has been educating the public on the health benefits of an organic (non-GMO) diet along with high-quality supplementation and healthy lifestyle habits including exercise and meditation.