Opinion

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

Reporters

Faizah Shareef


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami fans no doubt are loving the Hurricanes’ two newest tight ends. What they’re pro ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ Though UM wasn’t called for a single penalty against ...

Two of the best athletes and a freshman quarterback on the No. 21 University of Miami football team ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ The Miami Hurricanes are honoring their 1983 nation ...

With Jaquan Johnson still sidelined with a hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday against Toledo, ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

NASPA names UM as a Lead Advisory Institution for the seventh year in a row. ...

The trailer for a documentary exploring the relationships between UM students and Holocaust survivor ...

New technology could help workplaces and schools identify violent intruders before they enter the do ...

The 1983 national champions will be back on campus to celebrate the 35thanniversary of Miami's ...

Junior Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team opened the 2018 fall campaign fo ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team will return to the courts Friday morning, opening up ...

The University of Miami soccer team fell to 12th-ranked Duke, 2-0, Thursday night in front a packed ...

The University of Miami volleyball program begins ACC play on Friday night against Wake Forest at 7 ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.