Last week, McDonalds announced that they would be removing Hi-C Lavaburst Orange from their drink menu. At first read, everyone at FoodFacts.com thought that maybe this might be an effort for McDonalds to take a step in a healthier direction. Not the case though, as it will be replaced with a new exclusive soda, Sprite TropicBerry (due to a new partnership with Coca-Cola). As we took to social media, we began to read the outrage among people (specifically the tremendous amount of enraged Twitter users) and we kept scratching our heads and wondering…WHY?
Take a look at what’s actually in Hi-C Lavaburst Orange, namely high fructose corn syrup and natural flavoring. One box of juice contains 23 grams of sugar (about 2 grams less than the recommended daily allowance for proper sugar intake). The amount of sugar combined with the ingredients in it tells us that we shouldn’t be drinking this, yet one mention from McDonalds removing it from their drink menu and people are upset. What makes us upset at FoodFacts.com is that we believe it should be just the opposite. We believe people should be outraged that a drink like this is what is consumed by the masses.
So, we have to ask…why do we continue to eat foods that are bad for us? One of the contributing factors: sugar. Many studies from the past five years have introduced that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. In a 2014 study, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that the average American consumes between 150 and 170 pounds of refined sugar in a year. With the amount of sugar being consumed each year (and added into processed foods), it’s no wonder that Americans are addicted to sugar. With these statistics, it makes sense that obesity is on the rise one minute, and down the next.
And yet sugar (and the amount of it) isn’t the only ingredient that’s being added to our foods that’s a problem. So many of the ingredients that are deemed “controversial” are consistently being added into processed foods. Take “natural flavoring” for instance…what exactly is it? Past the point of the ingredient’s natural state of origin, the FDA does not require food manufacturers to disclose what they put in it (which is why we relate every allergen to it on our site). We have to wonder, how is this even possible? We are eating an ingredient that we have no idea what it’s made from. A post we did several months ago re-examines a segment that Morley Safer did in 2011 regarding natural flavoring, which shows companies adding chemicals to processed foods to make natural flavoring aid foods in tasting better. And yet still, in 2017, the FDA does not require manufacturers to disclose all that is in natural flavoring. Something needs to be done.
Adding sugar and natural flavoring to processed foods is such a lethal combination and the food industry is well aware of it. We live in a country where processed foods with added sugars are less costly to purchase than fruits with naturally occurring sugars. Part of the reason FoodFacts.com was started was because we wanted people to really know what’s in the foods we are eating. Now that we have more knowledge, how do we get people to stop eating these foods? The good food fight continues…