Kraft cheese Singles do not help “Kids Eat Right”

Nutritional sirens flare when a food label lists sodium phosphate, sorbic acid, sodium citrate and sodium sulfate as ingredients in its product.

When the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, offered to endorse Kraft Singles (a product containing all of these synthetic preservatives), those sirens became far more disconcerting in the field of public health.

According to a March 13 story by ABC News, because of strong lobbying and the payment of an undisclosed amount to the Kids Eat Right advertisers, Kraft had been granted approval to label their Singles with the “Kids Eat Right” logo. This advertising would have created the false impression that Kraft’s product was considered a healthy food that could help fill the gap in calcium intake for children ages 4-18. Many nutritionists were skeptical due to the various ingredients in Singles that do not fit the bill for nutritional eating.

A group of these dietitians sought to repeal this blatant attack on nutrition through a Change.org petition and believed that Singles would do more harm to that population due to their highly processed nature. Furthermore, they believed that supporting Kraft through the label would disperse faulty information to families who were searching for healthy food options for their children and decrease the legitimacy of the Academy.

The nutrition activists were successful; as of March 31, Kraft and the Academy are no longer going through with applying the Kids Eat Right logo on Singles due to the negative public response.

In the history of the food industry, Kraft has been targeted for using additives such as sugar, dyes, preservatives and salt in their products. In 2003, due to FDA scrutiny, the company was also forced to change its product name to “pasteurized prepared cheese product” due to its use of milk protein concentrate, a compound banned in the definition of  “pasteurized, processed cheese food.”

Flashing forward about a decade from that incident, much of that institutional scrutiny has changed.

To clarify its stance and defuse some of the distaste from allowing for Kraft to falsely re-brand their product, the Academy stated that Kraft supports its mission, but the Academy did not support Kraft. They claimed no outright endorsement of any brand or company but asserted that Kraft acknowledged their mission to create a healthier youth.

In a day and age where policy making is controlled by hardball politics and the power of the purse string, strategic lobbying can have a large influence on public opinion, especially in the complex field of nutrition.

In the case of Kraft Singles, that financial power was utilized to impart a fabricated depiction of a product that holds little to no nutritional value in a child’s diet. Kraft was almost able to maneuver its way into a new market filled with the authentic super foods by advertising that their mission is to eliminate a disparity in calcium intake.

However, those who understood the true nature of this beast opposed the venture with force and will continue to elucidate the misinformation circulated in grocery store aisles.

Kraft, thank goodness we have “Repealed your Seal.”

Faizah Shareef is a senior majoring in exercise physiology.

Featured image courtesy Flickr user Mike Mozart

April 2, 2015


Faizah Shareef

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.