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Ritz Crackerfuls: Full Of… The Same Old

Posted Sep 08 2010 5:28pm

RitzCrackerfuls-296x300You can spray as much Febreze as you want on a bag of trash.  Sure, it may smell flowery for a few minutes, but the aroma or appearance of the contents inside won’t change.

Alas, something very similar happens with food particularly the processed snack kind.  The usual ingredients get repackaged into different shapes and neatly placed inside a nicer box with fancier font, bolder colors, and a few rather meaningless claims stamped on.  And, voila, a “new” product is out on the market.

Consider Ritz Crackerfuls.  The packaging informs us that they are:

“Made with real cheese and 6 grams of whole grain per serving.”

Keep in mind, by the way, that 6 grams of whole grains is equivalent to less than half a slice of whole grain bread.

Anyhow, behold the ingredient list for the Cheddar Cheese variety:

Unbleached enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate {vitamin b1}, riboflavin {vitamin b2}, folic acid), whole grain wheat flour, palm and/or soybean and/or canola oil, resistant corn maltodextrin, sugar, corn syrup solids, partially hydrogenated cottonseed and/or partially hydrogenated soybean oil, maltodextrin, semisoft cheeses (pasteurized cultured milk, salt, enzymes), cheddar cheese powder (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), cheddar cheese powder (pasteurized milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), whey (from milk), salt, leavening (calcium phosphate and/or baking soda), high fructose corn syrup, cellulose gum, whey protein concentrate, lactose, disodium phosphate, lactic and citric acids, soy lecithin, dry cream (from milk), monosodium phosphate, natural flavor, calcium phosphate, artificial color (yellow 5, yellow 6), cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes, annatto extract color), annatto extract (vegetable color), sodium caseinate. Contains: wheat, milk, soy.

And, so, we have the usual laundry list:

  • More white flour than whole wheat flour
  • The ever-enigmatic “and/or” option when it comes to oils
  • Partially hydrogenated oils
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial dyes

Per the Nutrition Facts label, one serving offers

  • 130 calories
  • 7 grams fat
  • 230 milligrams sodium

These are, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to potato chips (with a few less grams of fat and extra sodium).  Why, emperor, where are your clothes?

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