The Guy From CSPI is going to tie up the courts with yet another lawsuit.  This time he’s suing the Coca-Cola company over misleading consumers by making health claims for their vitaminwater drinks.  A judge who denied Coca-Cola’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit seems to agree with The Guy From CSPI:

Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York found that the company’s use of the word “healthy” violates the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations on vitamin-fortified foods.

The judge also took note of the fact that the FDA frowns upon names of products that mention some ingredients to the exclusion of more prominent ingredients such as, in the case of vitaminwater, added sugar. The names of the drinks, along with other statements on the label, “have the potential to reinforce a consumer’s mistaken belief that the product is comprised of only vitamins and water,” Gleeson wrote.

So basically, the judge agrees with The Guy From CSPI that consumers are idiots.  We’ll see the name vitaminwater and, after sucking down a mouthful of the stuff, assume the sugary taste comes from one of the vitamins.  It would never occur to us to, say, read the nutrition label.

But wait … wasn’t the push for nutrition labels one of CSPI’s proudest and most successful battles?  I thought whole idea was that if we put all that information on food packages, consumers will make smarter choices.  If the Coca-Cola company discloses the sugar content right there on the label, shouldn’t that be enough to inform consumers that what they’re drinking isn’t just water and vitamins?  Apparently not:

The judge also rejected Coke’s argument that disclosing sugar content on Nutrition Facts labels eliminates the possibility that consumers may be misled into thinking the product has only water and vitamins, and little or no sugar.

Okay, I get it now.  We need all those nutrition labels so consumers will make smarter choices, but by gosh, we can’t actually expect them to read the darned things!  If the product is named vitaminwater instead of vitaminsugarwater, people might be fooled.

In that case, I want to sue the makers of Grape Nuts.  I used to eat that stuff for breakfast, and it turns out there aren’t grapes or any nuts in it.  Rice Chex aren’t named Rice And Sugar Chex, Froot Loops aren’t named Sugar And Corn Flour Loops That Contain Almost No “Froot” Whatsoever, and Lucky Charms never brought me any luck that I remember. 

If the name of a product has to disclose every ingredient, then prepare yourself to go shopping for a box of MILLED CORN, SUGAR, MALT FLAVORING, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, IRON, NIACINAMIDE, SODIUM ASCORBATE AND ASCORBIC ACID, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID, VITAMIN B12 AND VITAMIN D flakes … otherwise known as Corn Flakes.

Or perhaps instead of recommending that parents give their kids Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Oats ‘n Honey as a snack, CSPI would prefer to recommend WHOLE GRAIN OATS, SUGAR, CANOLA OIL, YELLOW CORN FLOUR, HONEY, SOY FLOUR, BROWN SUGAR SYRUP, SOY LECITHIN, BAKING SODA.  Heeeey, wait a minute, Guy From CSPI!   You never told me I’d be giving my kid sugar and brown sugar syrup!  I thought it was just Oats ‘n Honey!  And by the way, you just recommended I give her 29 grams of carbohydrates, including 12 grams of sugar.  I can see why the sugar in vitaminwater has you so upset.

Consumers are not stupid, and putting the sugar content on the label ought to be enough.  Anyone who’s interested in avoiding sugar will take an extra two or three seconds and read it.  I do it all the time.  Now that I’ve kicked my diet soda habit, I drink fizzy, flavored waters.  I always check the labels before buying them.  I don’t buy them if they contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.  It’s really not that difficult.

By the same token, people who aren’t interested in avoiding sugar don’t give a hoot, label or no label.  You can shove all the data in their faces you want, and won’t make any difference.  Even The Guy From CSPI had to more or less admit as much when one of those calorie-count menu laws failed to shame people into eating less in fast-food restaurants:

Nutrition is not the top concern of low-income people, who are probably the least amenable to calorie labeling,” said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health advocacy group in Washington.

Follow that logic?  Let’s break it down:

1. We need more labels and menu laws because too many people are obese.
2. A disproportionate share of the obese population is poor.
3. Poor people aren’t “amenable” to labeling.
4. Conclusion:  we need more labels and menu laws.

The Guy From CSPI isn’t actually interested in using label laws to inform us.  His real goal is to use label laws to harass us into eating the way he thinks we should.  Nothing else explains this statement, from another article about CSPI’s nutrition-label campaign:

The Center says companies shouldn’t be able to brag about having “0 grams trans fat!” if the item contains significant amounts of saturated fat.

So … you’re selling a food product that doesn’t contain trans fat, but The Guy From CSPI doesn’t want you to make that claim on the label if the product contains saturated fat — a completely different substance with completely different biochemical effects.  Sure, I get it.  We also shouldn’t allow companies to claim “No Salt!” if a no-salt product contains paprika.  That would make just as much sense.

Part of CSPI’s lawsuit is based on vitaminwater making health claims that aren’t known to be true, such as “may reduce the risk of age-related eye disease” because of the vitamin content.  I agree that drinking sugar water to get some vitamins into your system is useless.  But so is eating Cocoa Puffs to improve the health of your heart, and I don’t see CSPI suing the American Heart Association for putting their stamp of approval on the box.  (If anyone has proof that Cocoa Puffs reduce heart disease, please share.)

When I read about these lawsuits, I’m convinced we need to amend the civil code to include a legal defense titled Go Pound Sand In Your @##.  No lawyers, no legal bills, nothing.  You should be able to walk into court, point to The Guy From CSPI or whichever of his litigation scumbugs is present and say, “Your honor, if it please the court, I’d like to invite the plaintiff to go pound sand in his @##.”

And the court should second the invitation.

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38 Responses to “The Guy From CSPI: We Need Labels! … Uh, But They Don’t Work”
  1. Jonathan says:

    I think you summed it up perfectly by saying, the information is there, if you care about your health and want to read it you can, if not, you can simply hold your hand over it as you guzzle it down. What more really needs to be done?

    Im waiting for the day when the nutritional information is the largest part of the food label and then in tiny print somewhere it states what the product actually is.

    By the way, while im here can I also sue Coca-cola, cause um, ive drunk Powerade in the past and im yet to become a pro athlete.

    CSPI actually wants big nutrition labels on the front of the box now.

  2. Here’s the thing. I don’t think that Coca Cola should be allowed to marked something as “healthy” when it obviously is not. People ARE drinking this stuff in droves because of a misguided thought that it is somehow “better” than just water. (Which, Coca cola will ALSO sell to you for MORE than a bottle of Coca-cola)

    No, the best way to deal with all above parties are to just eat and drink REAL. Read labels. If there is ANY glucose-fructose, avoid it like the plague. Count how many sugar items are there. Think on how many carbohydrates are in a serving, then compare it to how much is ACTUALLY in the bottle. In the vitamin water’s case, we are looking at 2.5 servings per bottle, so – 125 calories, 32.5 grams of SUGAR carbs. Looking further, we see that that is where the calories come from. Now, they are EMPTY calories, and an insulin spike waiting to happen.

    Worse, they also fuel a dependancy for the sugars. I don’t think Coca-Cola is diabolical, well, no more than the neighborhood drug dealer. They are JUST supplying a demand, right?

    Here is what you do. Buy the bottle, empty it out (don’t drink it!,) then fill it with cold water from the tap or a fountain. If you wish, you could even toss in a little bit of kosher salt, a lime, and some mint. Shake it up, and you will get all the vitamins that you need, and be refreshed at the same time.

    The only good selling point about vitamin water is that the bottles are actually pretty nice.

    As for CSPI – well, they are just plain too stupid to be any real impact. One second they are avocating this thing, next thing they are railing against it. Who can keep up?

    I like that lime-mint idea.

  3. What? You mean VitaminWater has sugar in it??! And only trace amounts of vitamins that probably aren’t very digestible anyway??! Those bastards had me fooled this whole time.

    Just kidding.

    Yup, we should put a BAD FOR YOU label on it.

  4. What I hate about this lawsuit is that there are two somewhat-reasonable claims wrapped up in all the crap.

    First, they are making health claims, and they’re pretty clearly bogus.

    Second, the nutrition information label says the bottle contains 2.5 servings. That’s total crap. You can point out that Coke used to come in 6.5-ounce bottles, and that’s absolutely true. But 20 ounces is considered a single serving for these types of drinks today.

    I seem to remember the makers of Mini Shredded Wheat getting in trouble for listing serving sizes that worked out to about four of the small biscuits. I can’t think of a reasonable way to regulate serving size claims, but two-and-a-half is pretty obviously intended to deceive even the people who do read the labels.

    I think the reasonable way to stop regulating serving size claims is to stop regulating them. Go back 50 years, when it was rare to see a fat person on the street, and nobody had calorie information listed on anything. The labels haven’t made a difference.

  5. LeonRover says:

    I guess we shall shortly see the Warnings:

    SUGAR (or Fructose or Sat Fat or . . . ? ) MAY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH

    When that does not work it will change to

    SUGAR (or Fructose or Sat Fat or . . . ) KILLS

    It will have just as much effect as as similar warnings on on cigarette packs.

    So finally a New York Mayor will Ban on Eating in Public.

    What can I say?

    The trouble with exaggerating the actions of the health nannies to make a point is that soon they catch up with you.

  6. RobR says:

    Hey Tom,

    I’d love to hear what you know about diet soda. Or just how your experience of cutting out diet drinks has gone. Are you still taking in any caffeine?

    I’ve currently cut out aspartame and was wondering if you have the scoop or more info on Splenda.

    I had a friend give me a heads up on sugar alcohols recently. Atkins bars and shakes are loaded to the brim with Maltitol which while having 0 calories has a glycemic index near table sugar. Completely ridiculous that they would be putting this in food recommended for diabetics. They stick 19 grams of this in a candy bar, and claim it doesn’t count as a net carb. http://www.mendosa.com/netcarbs.htm

    Oh. Other “Tom might find this cool” news. :
    Hunting ancient scavengers – some anthropologists say early humans were scavengers, not hunters
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1200/is_v127/ai_3677563/

    Good article I stumbled across trying to learn more about marrow. Apparently humans do very well on a diet of marrow and brains that other predators couldn’t access.

    I still drink caffeine, but not as much since I’ve dropped the diet sodas. If I’m dying for a fix in the afternoon, I drink iced tea. A naturopathic doctor in California told me diet sodas slow down your digestion because once the stuff hits your digestive system, your body says (and I’m quoting), “What the @#$% is this?!” and has to work overtime to process it. By contrast, your body recognizes coffee and tea as natural substances. But in addition to that, I wanted to give up aspartame. I’ve just heard too many bad things about it.

    I’d read before that we probably started eating animals as scavengers, although we clearly became quite proficient hunters eventually.

  7. anand srivastava says:

    Instead of serving size there should be just 100gms or some such standard measure. No serving size crap.
    I do like that there is all the ingredient information. If they did put, the amount per 100gm for each ingredient, it would be better.

    I read labels. I’m not lobbying for label-less food. But the idea that we can use them to convince people to make healthier choices clearly hasn’t worked. Nobody could reasonably say we eat healthier diets now than we did 30 years ago.

  8. Merope says:

    This product reminds me of the *brilliant* flavoured water product launched here (in Norway) a couple of years ago.

    The business model is really something. Since people aren’t drinking “enough” juice and are drinking too much (definitely) sugared sodas, let’s play on their sense of a guilty conscience a bit and sell them something healthier. Water flavoured with natural fruit juices.

    Except if you really think about it, what they are doing is *watering down* their fructose-laden juice to a point where it tasted mostly like water, and then selling it at a marked-up price! Cheap juice turns into pure gold!

    Come on, that deserves the label “brilliant” just for the audacity of it.

    Agreed. And we deserve the label “suckers” for buying it.

  9. Cynthia says:

    I understand your sentiments about CSPI considering their past misadventures. I don’t know that what they are doing now is a great contribution either, but I don’t hate it as much as you do. I’m really irritated at all the advertising for various food like substances that loudly proclaim their health benefits. If I see another “fiber focused!” commercial I might scream! People are not stupid if they have clear and accurate information and if they stop to think, but that’s the problem, they can’t and don’t always stop and think, and insidious false messages from advertisers eventually infiltrate the cranium (Lipitor anyone?) The purpose of advertising is to implant messages and images favoring the purchase of that product. The advertisers and product manufacturers don’t really care if their messages are not supported by factual evidence or if they’re lying about supposed benefits, as long as they can sell more. Maybe CSPI can do a little good here if they can discourage advertising based on bogus health claims.

    I agree the thousand-and-one health claims have done nothing but confuse people, but I don’t believe suing Coca-Cola for putting sugar in a drink that has sugar listed on the nutrition label is the answer. CSPI pushes a low-fat, grain-based diet (and you know how we all feel about that) and wants those foods labeled as healthy choices. So I don’t really like the whole idea of trying to use labels to tell people what’s healthy or isn’t, because then it will come down to who defines “healthy.”

  10. Rahul says:

    Hey Tom,
    Hope your doing well, I’ve been enjoying your weekly blogs. This one is pretty funny though. I think at this point the CSPI group are totally confused on what their mission or objective is because their lawsuit doesn’t even make sense like how can the vitaminwater bottle be misleading if they provide u with their ingredient list….gosh!! Anyway, i was reading this blog and i noticed u mentioned that u have stopped having drinks with both sugar and artificial sweeteners…um any strong reason why u stopped having artificial sweetners? I’m just curious about what magnitude of negative impact artificial sweetners have on us like compared to sugar? Please let me know incase u know thanks.

    I gave up diet sodas because they slowed down my digestion and a naturopathic doctor convinced me they’re bad news. He gave me several bits of advice during that appointment, then added, “If you only do one thing I’ve told you today, make sure it’s giving up the diet sodas.”

    Aspartame seems to be the worst of the bunch. It’s an excitotoxin and, from what I’ve read, can permeate the blood-brain barrier. My mom won’t touch the stuff because if she does, she gets headaches and numb fingers.

    I’m not quite a purist, though. I still use a little Truvia now and then.

  11. May says:

    The silliest thing about this – except CSPI itself of course – is that the little bottle is supposed to contain two and a half servings. I live in Norway and am used to nutrition labels that states protein, carbs and fat per 100g – so you immediately see the percentage of each. US labels make me groan. I suppose the servings concept is also the reason why producers can claim trans-fat free foods, even when the ingredient list has suspicious processed oils listed.

    Is there a story behind this “servings” stuff? CSPI again? I can not imagine anyone ever stopping at one of those suggested servings. Possibly a smurf after bariatric weight loss surgery.

    I believe the serving sizes were negotiated between the FDA and the manufacturers. I remember seeing little bags of chips that contained 1 1/2 servings. I don’t know anyone who saved that last 1/2 for later.

  12. Bruce says:

    I ate Cocoa Puffs as a kid, and SUGAR Frosted Flakes, and Cap’n Crunch, and all of the other stuff, and never got heart disease. I did get fat however, but no heart disease. Now at 56, still fat, but heart disease free.

    One of the big jobs with food companies is making sure that the nutritional and ingredient label is correct. After 30 years in the business, I can read the ingredient label and know whether or not the product is, at the very least, made the way I am expecting it to be made, or the way I would make it at home.

    Also, ALWAYS look at the ingredient label. Companies will change the ingredients (cheapen) on your favorite food and not tell you about it. (if they add a teaspoon of fiber to it, they will headline it on the package as NEW AND IMPROVED!!!!!) I recently purchased a jar of strawberry rhubarb jam from a “small” maker of preserves and sauces. Yes, I know it has sugar, and it’s not good for you, but sometimes I like an English muffin with jam to go with my coffee. Anyway, I noticed that the product didn’t have the same amount of flavor to it that it had in the years gone by. I looked at the ingredients, and there was the answer. Sugar was now the first ingredient, an then strawberry and rhubarb. Well, it ain’t worth the calories for sugar jell with little flavor, so I will write them a letter, and then throw the jar away.

    Sugar on a muffin … yeah, I’d toss that jar.

  13. I didn’t know about the “per 100g” labeling in other countries. It will never pass here, because it makes too much sense.

    In my opinion the perfect labeling tells me what’s in it, and that’s it. Nothing clearly intended to deceive, and leave off the “recommended daily allowance” and the other health claims. But if you want to add some health claims, there better be some science to back it up.

    Hmm … listing the RDA counts as a health claim, doesn’t it? I wonder if we could do a lawsuit based on the latest research on carbs, showing that the recommended amounts are harmful.

    I suppose it makes sense in countries that use the metric system, since people are used to weighing in grams. Here, it would only make sense to scientists and drug dealers.

  14. Dan says:

    Those #&@! *&#s are full of contradictions. I’ve learned by bitter experience to read labels. Those who don’t give a #$^&* won’t read them and there is nothing the CSPI or government can do to make them give a #$^&*.

    I have a problem with listing “zero trans fat” when they are allowed to have up to 0.5 g per serving, butthe label already lists saturated fat. If they want to market the fact that the product has zero saturated fat, they can say it on the front. Of course, I’d be less inclined to buy it. :)

    I recently saw “health” video clip from NBC’s Today Show featuring the “Eat This, Not That” guy. He condems one “big mass of processed dough” that “races into your bloodstream where you either have to store it or burn it off,” but says other masses of processed dough are okay. I guess as long as you keep your sat fat intake under 20g per day and watch your calories, you’re doing great. :)

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38379213/

    Yeah, that guy is really annoying, constantly pointing out the “fat equivalent” of foods. Suuuure, it’s the fat that’s making kids fat. The carbs don’t count. He also become nearly hysterical if a kids’ meal has a high calorie count. You know what happens when my girls order restaurant meals high in calories? They get full and don’t finish.

  15. gallier2 says:

    The serving size problem is best solved as it is in Europe. There must be info for a specific normed size (100g or 100ml) and if there’s still place on the label then a serving size can be given. The fixed size allows for easy comparison like to see that fruit juices have usually more sugar than sodas.

  16. May says:

    Tom wrote: “I suppose it makes sense in countries that use the metric system, since people are used to weighing in grams. Here, it would only make sense to scientists and drug dealers.”

    Nah, you would see the percentage protein/fat/carbs right away. Works even for the Metrically Challenged. ;-)

  17. Wanda says:

    Anyone else find the RDA percentage thing annoying? I don’t know anyone who can tell me what the RDA of zinc (or anything else) is off the top of their heads, so calculating what 10% is just seems like a mystery to me. Why can’t they also list the actual amount? GUH!

    The RDA figures don’t mean much. They’re based on preventing disease. So the RDA for vitamin D is 400 IU — just enough to prevent rickets. That doesn’t mean it’s the optimal amount.

  18. gallier2 says:

    Forget my comment, I should read all the comments before commenting myself.

    No problem.

  19. Swede says:

    As a law student, I can actually sympathize with the judges dismissal of the motion even though I know that CSPI is full of crap. A motion to dismiss will only be granted if there is absolutely no evidence that a claim has merit. Since the judge is not schooled in health and nutrition, he would probably rather have a jury decide the issue, since they are more representative of the community than one judge is. That being said, there is no guarantee they will come to the right conclusion, but legally the judge has to let the suit continue as long as there is even a smidgen of conflicting evidence about a certain point.

    So, the article is probably wrong. The judge never found that Vitaminwater has violated any regulations, just that CSPI does have SOME evidence that they MIGHT have, so the trial will continue (emphasis on some and might).

    Based on the fact that the labels do give all pertinent information, I am sure that this will be settled in the way we would like it to, with the CSPI off the pound sand up their @!!#$.

    I hope that’s what happens, but based on the quotes from the judge, he appears to be sympathetic to CSPI’s arguments. I see the point about how a dismissal has to reach a pretty high threshold, however.

  20. Sarah says:

    Hey Tom, I’m 16 and have acne so I’m trying to avoid dairy (especially in the 110+ degree summers.) I’m putting coconut oil or butter on vegetables and always use coconut oil to fry my meats and eggs in, is there anything else I can do to help increase my cholesterol intake?

    Sounds to me like you’re getting an adequate intake of saturated fat. If acne is a problem, I presume you’re also avoiding sugar and starch.

  21. Chris says:

    What I find frustrating about your American labeling system is that it is displayed only in terms of each serving. Here in NZ we have the nutrition information as per 100 grams as well. It’s just a whole lot more useful to quickly read something as 10% sugar, for example, rather than having to work it out against the serving size.

  22. Katy says:

    “So I don’t really like the whole idea of trying to use labels to tell people what’s healthy or isn’t, because then it will come down to who defines “healthy.”

    Yes. Just tell me what’s in the whole bottle, package, bag, etc. I can figure out if I want to consume it and in what quantity.

    Bingo.

  23. Tina says:

    This comment isn’t at all related to this post but just a general opinion of mine. You write about all of these health related topics like you know all the information behind it yet you are just a writer and comedian (as discovered on your personal website). You presumably didn’t enjoy organic chemistry since you decided to venture away from the pre-med path. Where then is your background in science and research to support all of these arguments?

    Yeah, I get that “just a comedian” retort all the time. I’m just a comedian who became fascinated with health and nutrition science (and how much of it sucks) while researching my film, so I’ve since read dozens of books on the topic and more research articles than I can count. I follow blogs written by people with PhDs in biochemistry, cellular biology, etc., and if I have a question about a research paper, I email them for clarification.

    Education is not limited to classrooms. I’ve learned far more by reading on my own than I ever learned in schools. That’s why I’ve been able to work as a software programmer — for major corporations including Disney studios — despite never taking a formal class in programming. There’s not a single piece of paper anywhere that says I’m qualified to write software. And yet I am.

  24. jabekk says:

    More fantastic science here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20630169?dopt=Abstract Nutrition labelling surly must be what is going to beat overweight and obesity once and for all.

    Oh, my God! So they took two groups of people, showed them a video (no doubt about the evils of over-eating), then have them eat lunch IN A SETTIN WHERE THEY’RE BEING OBSERVED, and by gosh, the people with access to nutrition labels ate less. Well, if that isn’t proof that labels make us thinner, I don’t know what is.

    And to think someone got a grant for this garbage …

  25. eddie watts says:

    well in the uk the carb levels are much less.
    4.6g sugar per 100mls of drink.
    although it comes in a 500ml bottle….

  26. labrat says:

    My package of Good and Plenty prominently proclaims it is “A FAT-FREE Candy”, my Tostido’s are now “Whole Grain”, my Oatmeal is part of a “HeartSmart Lifestyle”, there are how many junky products with an AHA Heart Check based solely on sat fat and salt content?

    Call me the guy from CSPI goes after all the other bogus marketing that’s just as bogus but doesn’t clash with his agenda. I won’t hold my breath.

    I haven’t forgiven him yet for playing a large role in putting transfats in my foods 30 years ago.

    And that trans-fat fiasco probably caused more harm than anything he can accuse Coca-Cola of doing.

  27. Ed Terry says:

    Some food-like substance manufacturers are getting very creative with the list of ingredients on the label. My favorite is “Wheaties Fuel” which must be very healthy since it has Peyton Manning’s picture on the box. I must admit, it does have some wheat. Here is the list of ingredients in descending order:

    1. Whole Grain Wheat Crisp Rice (Rice Flour)
    2. Sugar
    5. Honey
    6. Canola Oil
    7. Maltodextrin
    8. Wheat Bran
    9. Corn Starch
    10. Brown Sugar Syrup
    14. Corn Syrup Solids

    The nutrition label states there are only 14 g of sugar per 1 cup serving. However, there’s a total of 45 g carbs less 5 g for fiber. The remainder is referred to as “other carbohydrates”. Here’s a hint: what do ingredients 5, 7, 9, 10, & 14 all have in common?

    Mr. Manning has no shame.

    I’m hoping Mr. Manning doesn’t know Wheaties are garbage.

  28. Todd says:

    Tina’s comment reminded me of my fast-fading vegan friend. We really had it out after his third bout of cancer and chemo, after which he could not regain the weight loss, and continued to lose weight. His doctors pleaded with him to eat some meat, and I spent days online trying to find the most convincing information to help him. His reaction was to stop using the Internet, and cut contact for months. When I finally saw him again, he looked like a concentration camp inmate, or someone in old WWII films being liberated from POW camp. He proceeded to rant at me about how useless my bachelor’s degree in science was, and how I had no right to discuss nutrition with him unless I was on a par with Einstein mentally. I had to wonder if his oncologist was on a par with the good physicist, but let it slide. You simply cannot reason a person out of a position they haven’t been reasoned into.

    That last sentence should be made into a poster. So true.

  29. John hunter says:

    Tina,
    Tom is an autodidact. That means he educates himself. As Penn Jilette said, “Only autodidacts need to know that word, we teach it to ourselves”

    I’m writing a post about that on my other blog.

  30. k_the_c says:

    Regarding being an autodidactic, I find this blog site most useful when Tom shares good info instead of bemoaning bad info. But, that’s just me.

  31. Jo says:

    You simply cannot reason a person out of a position they haven’t been reasoned into.

    Great quote!! I agree it should be on a poster.

  32. Mike says:

    Look, it’s sugar water being sold as viaminwater. The intent is to deceive. The labeling laws mean that only people not paying attention will be deceived.

    If we decide not to prosecute frauds where the mark ought to have known better, we are going to dramatically increase the population of one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet: the bored cop.

    It has water and vitamins. The sugar is clearly listed on the label. Anyone deceived by this product will also buy any sugar-drenched cereal that doesn’t have “sugar” in the product name.

  33. Elle says:

    Waaaaaaiiiiit . . . . . are you gonna tell me my Gatorade doesn’t have any gators in it too? Because it’s right there on the label so it simply must have gators in it.

    It’s mostly ade.

  34. Alexia says:

    The crazy thing is, most people would not assume that these things are good for you if the gov’t didn’t step in, in the first place, and start telling us what they thought was good for us. It’s ridiculous.

    Agreed.

  35. Jane C. says:

    Just the other day, I went to the supermarket the other day to buy the usual.. I was extremely thirsty and I was craving something sweet so I thought I would pick up the odd vitamin water. As I picked up the vitamin water, some self-righteous hipster grabbed my hand and said to me.. “Why are you buying that? Don’t you know how much sugar is in there! Avoid processed foods at all cost!” Of course the kid was carrying a liter of “organic” soy milk that contains just as much sugar or more than a bottle of vitamin water. Sugar is sugar, doesn’t matter if it’s organic cane sugar, white or some starchy vegetable. People aren’t stupid, I’m tired of these holier-than-thou evangelists telling me what to eat. I know the risks of sugar and it’s not going to stop me or many others from using it.

    Man, you’re patient. I would’ve chewed the nosy moron out, at least.

  36. Interesting story there, Jane. “People aren’t stupid. Allow me to illustrate my point by describing a guy who believes the health claims on his soy milk.”

  37. @k_the_c says
    “I find this blog site most useful when Tom shares good info instead of bemoaning bad info.”

    I learn more when Tom shares good information, but sometimes I’m more entertained by the bad info… and it makes me laugh a lot more. Personally, I hope Tom continues to do both.

    The bad information is everywhere and accepted as nutritional wisdom, so it’s important to dispute it. But I’ll definitely share the good stuff too.

  38. Pokematic says:

    I remember in health class we had to bring in a box of cerial and read the contents while eating it. Big old laundry list of artificial crap I couldn’t even pronounce, but I kept on eating it because it was good. I remember when we watched super lye to you and everyone was all “I’ll never eat McDonalds again” except me who said, “eh it tastes good and is cheap, I don’t care.” Cigarette boxes say “this will kill you” yet people still smoke. So dumb.
    PS: Love the movie. Tell people about it all the time and let them know it’s on hulu and netflix.

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