photo: the fine product
Someone brought "Farmer's Market Two Bite Brownies" to work. (I apologize to whoever brought them in - I know it was well meant.) I've eaten other company's versions of this product before, but today I was struck by the ingredient list. I'll recreate the first half of it in text (there's a photo below):
Sugar, Palm and Canola Oil Shortening, Chocolate (Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Enriched Wheat Flour, Liquid Whole Egg, Corn Syrup, Cocoa, Water, Salt ...
Canadian law requires that ingredients are displayed by proportion. That means that the item you have the most of in your product must come first, the second largest quantity second, etc.
The first item is Sugar. The second item is Fat (not even a good fat - Palm Oil is appalling both environmentally and for your health ... but it's cheap!). The third item is Chocolate - the primary ingredient of which is Sugar. Flour only makes it onto the list as the fourth item - odd for something that is nominally a baked item. And the fifth item is Sugar. What any of this has to do with a "Farmer's Market" I don't know. The term is usually meant to imply fresh, healthy products and ingredients that come from local farms: none of that is true here. It wasn't even sold at a Farmer's Market, and is simply co-opting the term to imply wholesomeness for a sugary dessert that came out of a chemical factory.
The worst of it is that products like this make up the majority of what we eat these days: prepared and processed foods full of sugar, bad fats, and chemicals.
"So what," you ask, "are you going to do about it?" I keep contemplating removing sugar from my diet. I haven't done that, and I love chocolate enough that it's unlikely to happen. But several years ago I removed Palm Oil from my diet: I don't buy or eat anything that has Palm Oil in it, and I eat very little of any form of prepared foods, doing most of my own cooking.
photo: the appalling ingredient list and food values chart