Oh Nuts! Nutella Goes to Court
I know that you are just packing away your World Nutella Day festivities and I hate to break it to you, but Nutella is not a health food. I know that it is upsetting to learn that the processed cocoa and hazelnut spread is not as healthy as the commercials tell you. If you are so distressed by this news you may want to join a San Diego mother in her lawsuit against Nutella.
According to LA Weekly, Athena Hohenberg is suing the company over alleged false advertising.
The California mother of a Nutella-loving four-year-old claims that she was "shocked to learn that Nutella was in fact, not 'healthy, nutritious' food, but instead was the next best thing to a candy bar, and that Nutella contains dangerous level of saturated fat."
As Rosie Schwartz says in her MSN Enlightened Eater article on the lawsuit:
While I believe consumers need more transparency around the nutritional details of store-bought and restaurant products, I don't think we can cry victim any time a marketer tries to sell us a product based on claims that will make it attractive... As consumers, we need to take some responsibility for what's on our plates too.
The commercial tells viewers that Nutella is filled with skim milk, cocoa and fresh hazelnuts, and gives kids the energy they need. The nutrition label on the jar tells another story: one filled with sugar and palm oil. But it takes an active parent who is willing to take the time to read the label and educate themselves that palm oil is a dangerous trans fat and 21 grams of sugar is not healthy.
But kids love the stuff and so I understand the inclination to reach for it (or something similar) if the kids are clamouring. It isn't easy to constantly walk down the grocery aisle repeating the word no: no to the fruit roll-ups that don't contain fruit, no to the marshmallow/chocolate granola bars, no to the sugary drinks. Sometimes I feel like I am floating above myself watching as I say no, no, no. And I think: wow, she is no fun.
And I wonder when did I become this person? I know that it is okay for the kids to have sugary snacks in moderation. Our house has snacks that contain chocolate chips and white flour. I try and teach the kids that there are everyday foods, sometimes foods and treat foods and we enjoy each and every category.
But the grocery store feels like it is filled more and more with food that is masquerading as healthy snacks instead of what they are: treats. So I work hard at educating my kids so they can see beyond the commercials proclaiming healthy status. I make exceptions and compromises all the time. And, while I know it is a good education for the kids to come with me to the grocery store -- I prefer to go alone so I don't feel the junk food pressure.
In the end, when we walk down the grocery aisle I am in charge of what goes into the cart and what comes home. Which means that I also only have myself to blame. Luckily, I hate hazelnuts so Nutella is not an issue.
Are you a Nutella fan? More importantly, do you read nutrition labels? Do you choose your kids snacks, or do your kids choose their own?
Want more? Last year I was writing about the Valentine's Craftastrophes that took over.