What do executives at Kraft and Frito Lay have in common with many other heads of American Big Food companies?
Many of them choose organic foods for themselves and their families, despite their stringent marketing and support of processed foods and GMOs for the general public.
Michael Moss, an investigative reporter for the New York Times, interviewed a number of processed food officials. He writes, “it was everything from a former top scientist at Kraft saying he used to maintain his weight by jogging, and then he blew out his knee and couldn’t exercise, his solution was to avoid sugar and all caloric drinks, including the Kool-Aid and sugary drinks that Kraft makes.”
Moss goes to on describe his experience with a former top scientist at Frito Lay: “I spent days at his house going over documents relating to his efforts at Frito Lay to push the company to cut back on salt. He served me plain, cooked oatmeal and raw asparagus for lunch… he did not have one single processed food product in his cupboards or refrigerator… one reason they don’t eat their own products, is that they know better.”
They do indeed know better. However, it is in these executives’ best interest for consumers to remain ignorant of the dangers of processed foods, so that they can continue to make huge profits on chemical-filled products, while eating whole, organic foods themselves.
A new trick that is being used by processed food conglomerates to make their products appear healthier to an increasingly-knowledgeable consumer base is the addition of ‘flavor enhancers.’ Instead of listing salt, sugar and trans fats on ingredient labels, companies can just hide these under the category of ‘artificial and natural flavors.’
Manufacturers of flavor enhancers, such as the biotech company Senomyx, do not have to reveal the ingredients used in their ‘patented processes’ on ingredient labels. This means that virtually any substance can be included, and there is almost no way to discover what these substances really consist of.
Companies such as Kraft and Frito Lay also greatly benefit drug companies by pushing their processed offerings. According to the American Diabetes Association, just over 22 million people in the United States had type 1 or type 2 diabetes in 2012.
The total cost of treating diabetes in this country last year was 245 billion dollars. Much of this money went into the pockets of drug company executives who manufacture diabetes medication to treat this disease, which has strong links with processed food consumption.
Aside from diabetes, two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. The relationship between the alarming rate of obesity and the fact that Americans spend about 90 percent of their food budgets on processed foods is no coincidence.
Obesity is largely responsible for spikes in heart disease, gout, blindness and kidney failure, the pharmaceutical treatment of which provides even more income to drug companies. Both processed food giants and pharmaceutical corporations are making big money on the eating habits of the uninformed.
Moss says, regarding processed food executives and why they continue to use dangerous chemicals in their products, “ultimately, they ran into the problem that the whole industry faces, which is the huge pressure from Wall Street and the investment community to increase profits.”
Don’t let their profits come at the cost of you and your family’s health and well-being.
-The Alternative Daily