It’s no secret that eco-friendliness and health consciousness are big business right now.
That doesn’t mean that those 2 things are necessarily good…but they still might be better.
I recently received an email from one of the good folks at GMO-Free Portland who was responding to an article I wrote about Synder’s of Hanover’s blatant and unbelievable greenwash.
I don’t make a habit of slapping people or companies with the “greenwasher” label (or of naming names when I do), but Synder’s deserved this one. Read more about why on the link above.
In this email, the person from GMO-Free Portland told me about Natural Cheetos.
Lots of junk-food makers are coming out with “natural” versions of their popular crowd favorites, so this move by Frito-Lay isn’t anything new.
As far as the USDA or FDA are concerned, “natural” has no official meaning…which makes it incredibly attractive to marketing people looking to target the green or health-conscious crowd.
This is both a blessing and a curse.
Fortunately, these healthy healthier junk foods are actually better than their original counterparts. That means if you’re standing in the store staring at a bag of Natural Cheetos or original Cheetos, and you know you’re going to buy one of them, buy the Natural Cheetos.
Contrast that to the ingredients in original Cheetos Cheese Snacks:
Enriched Corn Meal (Corn Meal, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Thiamin Monoitrate, Riboflavin, and Frolic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains one or more of the following: corn, soybean, or sunflower oil), Whey, Salt, Cheddar Cheese, (Cultured Milk, Salt, Enzymes). Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Maltodextrin, Disodium Phosphate, Sour Cream (Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk), Artificial Flavor, Monosodium Glutmate, Lactic Acid, Artificial Colors (Including Yellow 6), and Citric Acid. Contains Milk Ingredients.
Given that comparison, Frito-Lay has cleaned up the Natural Cheetos recipe considerably from its original Cheetos recipe, wouldn’t you say?
Again, I’m not saying that you should run out and buy 40 bags of Natural Cheetos as a part of your well-balanced diet, but if you’re going to have a snack of no nutritional value, you could a whole lot worse that Natural Cheetos.
Frito-Lay is also has some pretty cool environmental initiatives too. We can’t all be perfect, but every step matters…even steps made by junk food manufacturers.
What’s your favorite “healthy” junk food?