Thursday, September 25, 2014

So much for a sweet treat....

So I don’t know about you, but when I think of baked goods from coffee shops or sweet treats from bakeries I don’t normally think of ingesting, caramel coloring, yellow 5 & 6 and red 40, additives and artificial food coloring! After weeks of being asked to join, by the smiling  face at the register each Friday morning, I decided to sign up for the rewards program offered at chain restaurant I visit for a Friday morning cup of coffee. I completed the on-line registration process and was pleasantly surprised with an offer for a free baked item as my first reward. It being a Thursday, I decided to peruse the website for…you guessed it…the nutrition information on these sweet treats. 

I began by first weeding out the items that in one sitting would crush a THIRD of my calorie needs for the day and put away at least a THIRD of my total fat intake all before 7 am! The “best option” available was a pumpkin muffin top. As far as a baked good went I wasn’t too horrified by the nutritional information, (Although I would have preferred that the total fat had been separated into saturated and unsaturated, but that’s beside the point). I then began, just out of curiosity, to read through the ingredients. Multiple undergraduate food sciences classes had made me accustomed to  the first couple of traditional ingredients on the list until I stumbled on these artificial additives and coloring! 

As a professional in the nutrition world, I assumed any food item you would find in a gas station, grocery checkout lane or junk food isle would have these man made ingredients added to them but not once did it occur to me that a restaurant I eat at, in my mind thinking of it as one of the healthier choices in town, would have these crazy things added to their “freshly baked” treats. 

It just goes to show how powerful marketing and suggestion can be. The website of this restaurant professes they “bring the tradition of freshly baked artisan bread to neighborhoods in cities throughout the country” and that they “are a symbol of warmth and welcome…a simple pleasure, honest and genuine”. I felt a little mislead. I do realize that a majority of this country could care less about caramel color and red dye #40 being in their muffin but I certainly am more aware and less likely to partake in the sweet treats for my “reward”. I prefer my “rewards” not be full of chemicals. I think I will be sticking to a cup of coffee tomorrow.

*On a more positive note: this chain restaurant announced in June they will phase out by 2016 artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from their food items.

HOORAY for small changes that make big impacts!

Click Here for Article

No comments:

Post a Comment