I feel sorry for the General Mills Sales, Inc., (Minneapolis, USA) who worked so hard trying to market their nasty “fruit fraud” product to our children. Here it is, Fruit Gushers – Mood MorphersTM (Yes… See the CSPI‘s document: Diet, ADHD and Behavior). The label screams: New! The Tongue Tells It All! FRUIT PUNCH Naturally Flavored, Vitamin C, Low Fat, Gluten Free! (Read about gluten free diet). But these claims seemed not enough to trick you into buying their stuff. They want you to see how much they do care of your children by writing this:
Keep Kids Safe! To avoid choking, give Fruit Flavored Snacks only to children who can easily swallow Chewy foods. Children should be seated and supervised while eating.
O-o-o-ops! This reminds me a manual on handling high voltage. The more I read what they put on the container the more disgust I feel, because I know what exactly is inside. Do YOU want to find out too? Here you go:
DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!
Main ingredients are:
- Pears from concentrate
- Dried corn syrup – sugars
- Corn syrup – sugars
- Modified corn starch – carbohydrates (carbs)
- Fructose – sugar. See also recent article Cancer cells slurp up fructose, US study finds.
- Grape juice from concentrate
It looks not too bad. At least you get pears and grapes from concentrate and lots of sugars.
All the rest is under “2% or less” category including added artificial colorants (red segments in the diagram).
With all this in consideration, you will take NOT too high foreign additive risk of DDFI = 45/47 ~ 0.9 and yet you will get very low nutritional value of DDNF = 47/73 ~ 0.6. Every 25 g pouch of serving will give you 20 g of carbs (80% by weight). Among other additives there is cottonseed oil you may be interesting to find out more about (quotation from the Wikipedia):
Cottonseed oil is under scrutiny by some nutritionists, who deem it too high in saturated fat and too low in monounsaturated fat. Detractors say that cottonseed oil may contain natural toxins and unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues, since “cotton is not classified as a food crop, and farmers use many agrichemicals when growing it.” The natural toxin, gossypol, is eliminated in the refining process of commercially edible cottonseed oil, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has documented the ‘lack of appreciable residues in cottonseed and cottonseed oil. Cottonseed oil has traditionally been used in foods such as potato chips and is a primary ingredient in Crisco, the shortening product. But since it is significantly less expensive than olive oil or canola oil, cottonseed has started to creep into a much wider range of processed foods, including cereals, breads and snack foods. Products that say “may contain one or more of these oils” and list cottonseed, virtually always contain it.
In the mid-1990s, the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Hebron announced plans to market a low-dose gossypol pill called Nofertil, but the pill never came to market. Its release was indefinitely postponed due to unacceptably high rates of permanent infertility. Between five and twenty-five percent of the men remained azoospermic up to a year after stopping treatment. The longer the men had taken the drug and the higher their overall dosage, the more likely the men were to have lowered fertility or to become completely infertile. Researchers have suggested that gossypol might make a good non-invasive alternative to surgical vasectomy.
In my opinion, by marketing their Fruit Gushers General Mills Sales, Inc. contributes into weakening of the future of this country by not offering high quality nutritious products to the American children (read a PDF document Food marketing to children). Are there better alternatives? Yes, luckily you can find it at your local Walmart on the same shelf right next to the Fruit Gushers.
A better alternative
Florida’s Natural Au’some Nuggets berrilicious; Naturally flavored snacks; Cherry, Blueberry, Strawberry distributed by Au’some, Inc. As you see, the risk diagram below looks much greener:
This time you got more of the real stuff like pear, strawberry, blueberry concentrates with tapioca. Even apple fiber is added to help digestion. Accordingly, you take ZERO foreign additives risk, DDFI = 0/33 = 0 and descent nutritional value of DDNF = 33/18 ~ 1.8. However carbohydrate content is still very high: 13 g out of 17 g serving pouch (76% by weight). Yes, it is sugary treat but if you eat it in moderation you are safe!
And yet, even better recommendation would be Sun-Made raisins. Let’s start to pay attention, read the labels and eat FOOD, not food additives!