Five Meaningless Food Terms We're Ready To Start Chucking Off the Grocery Shelves
Going through the grocery aisle, it's easy to get serious tired-head from the various terms used on food packaging. Lots of food and drink producers figure that the more confusing catchphrases they can sling at you, the more apt you are to give up on brain activity and just shovel them into your cart (or, in the event that you don't have a cart, your face). Here are five we're especially tired of.
"Triple Hops Brewed" Among all the ridiculous claims made by the big beer companies, Miller Lite's "triple hops brewed" is one of the most laughable. Does this mean the brewers use triple the amount of hops? Three types of hops? Three separate hop additions? According to Miller Lite's website, the term means that Miller uses three phases to "create flavor, develop balance and lock-in taste." Put in simpler terms: "You're drinking Miller Lite, how smart can you be?"
One of the terms that's highly attractive on shelves is "all natural." But health advocates are consistently debunking claims by food companies that their products are all natural. Including, yes, Ben & Jerry's.
Remember trick-or-treating and returning home with a pillow case stuffed with hobbit-sized candy? Instead of just calling it like it is and printing "Tiny Ass Candy Bar" on the package, candy companies got wise and decided to spin the miniature confections as "Fun Size." I don't know who thumb-sized candy is fun for, but it always seemed like the kids devouring the "King Size" bars were having a pretty great time.
One of the most powerful buzzword ingredients of the past several years has been "antioxidants." By preventing the damage of certain cells in the body, it has been proposed that antioxidants can help fight disease. That's led companies like 7-Up to make extra sure you're aware of the fact that their soda contains the purported miracle molecules, and given people everywhere an excuse to shovel down as many fun-size dark chocolate bars as they please. If this infusion of pointless ingredients keeps up, pretty soon you'll be seeing wine with "extra calcium!" or donuts with "5 grams of Omega 3's!"
Used to describe eggs, this term elicits the image of a flock of chickens running free across a green pasture, laying eggs here and there in plush nests. While the term does mean that the chickens have slightly more room to roam than a tiny wire prison, it doesn't guarantee that the chickens are in a spawn-spewing paradise. Cage-free farms are still able to do things like burn the birds' beaks off, preventing them from hurting each other. Even though this practice has better intentions, don't think that the hen house is giving you a standing ovation for preferring your scramble sans cage.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Dallas dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.