Friday, January 2, 2009

Natural Food and Semantics

There is No Truth in Advertising

If you think that All-Natural Hot Dogs are really ‘natural’, show me the Wiener Bush, we’ll contact Dave Letterman and make millions.

It’s common knowledge that there is little truth left in the food industry. Just about any ingredients or processes can be claimed as the subjective term, “all-natural.” There is a boiling tempest of scrutiny over dubious claims made by major food conglomerates relating to such food and beverage assertions.

Recent investigations exposed that popular family restaurant chains are serving up insanely noxious foods in the name of health. This irresponsible action grandly contributes to the growing epidemics of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Where’d we go wrong? We swallowed their spurious claims. Truth is no longer the American currency.

Those All-American, All-Natural weenies are preserved with succulent sodium nitrite, a powerful carcinogen. The American Association for Cancer Research reveal there is a 67% increased risk of ‘all-natural’ pancreatic cancer in people who consume large quantities of hot dogs.

Could semantics be their stratagem? Semantics can be described as concepts subject to fuzzy interpretation; a component of the American business model since the invention of TV. Television was, after all, invented to sell Tide Laundry Soap. The slime from the video that oozes across your living room floor is often neither clear nor honest. Imagine that? The TV, print and cable news companies take the money, run the promotions regardless of their truthfulness. We could really use their help, alas money talks.

Is Tyson All Natural Chicken all natural since it contains 15% salt water and seaweed extract? That’s seven times the amount found in untouched organic and free range varieties. Is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) natural as the corn associations are screaming? The Centers for Science in the Public Interest says that ‘high fructose corn syrup just does not exist in nature”. CSPI’s director also said, “That’s no excuse for this deceptive advertising campaign.” I agree, don’t you? The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said products containing high fructose corn syrup cannot be considered 'natural' and should not be labelled as such. Snapple is being sued over labelling their own misleading, semantic claims that it is ‘all-natural., when in reality it contains HFCS and ‘natural flavors’. FDA does not define the term 'natural', and it has therefore been left open to different interpretations. Ugh-oh!

HFCS isn’t natural for one simple reality; its chemical bonds are broken, rearranged and devitalized in the manufacturing process. Every time man attempts to improve on the generosity of the universal bounty, we take a step backwards.

It’s the process that's unnatural, not the source. When wacky industrial fat cats chemically alter creation’s bounty into alien forms that don’t exist anywhere in God’s nature, it is no longer natural, dear readers; regardless of what the food manufacturers allege. Our cells do not recognize these foods as useful. Our holy temple only comprehends the language of God’s un-tainted creations.

In the past I’ve often cringed at the statement, ‘Question Authority,” however now it seems more germane than ever.

Chef Wendell

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