« Food Contamination | Main | Netgear Rebate Ripoff »

No One Else Can Say That! - Comments

Comment Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4 

Earlier this year, HEINZ was giving away tomato plant seeds so we at home can grow the same tomatos HEINZ uses. I sent away for the for seeds but have not received any. Makes me a wee bit cranky!

Ever since I was in my early teens and read a book on illogic and contemporary rhetoric (I believe titled the same) I have been wary of advertising tricks. One of the most notable examples in my early memory was an old Denorex dandruff shampoo commercial which stated something to the effect that both Denorex and Selson Blue had effective dandruff fighting formulas but that only Denorex added something "extra" that tingled... so you knew it was working. I noted that the commercial made no claim to being better or even as good at "working" to fight dandruff but suggested that by tingling it was somehow better than the other leading brand. Truth was, that both shampoos (at that time) used the same active ingredient in the same concentration. I was surprised at how many people are led by advertising to believing things even when the advertisers made no actual claim.

In the case of the Heinz Ketchup bottle the claim is made, but of course, what they are actually claiming and what they lead consumers to believe they are claiming are two different things. That they trademarked the statement obviously with the express purpose of making such a misleading claim is an abuse of the trademark system. I suppose if they couldn't patent ketchup manufactured from "grown" not "made" tomatoes the next best thing was to prevent others from saying that their ketchup is basically made the same way.

A good catch Randy... I suppose if I were ever bored enough to read a Ketchup bottle in a restaurant I might have gone off on a similar rant had I caught it. My friends think I'm a bit off. :)

Another aspect to this is that I seldom by name brand anything... especially condiments but its things like this that put the cost up on even the generic brands and allow companies to make larger than warranted profits on consumables that we need. "How is that?" one might ask. If Heinz spends more money in marketing and advertising including securing such a trademark they must mark up the cost of the products passing the cost on to the consumer. Heinz might also spread the cost of advertising certain recognizable products, like their ketchup across other Heinz products to defer costs. So even the cost of mustard and relish will be affected because of the marketing expenditures of the ketchup including the costs of the dubious trademark which suggests a superior quality without making any such guarantee.

Meanwhile, other brands get to reap the benefits of charging higher prices (tho slightly cheaper than Heinz) and the consumer foots the bill. It all adds up... just like the HFCS comes to fractions of a penny per serving times billions of servings, the high cost of deceiving the public into thinking one brand is inherently superior to another. It makes one wonder.

Heinz seeds may reflect genetically modified seeds made especially for high yield, pest resistant (grows its own pesticides) seeds equipped with doctored DNA. Not sure, but could be. Depends on their relationship with Monsanto.

In addition to the HFCS, which is a terrible sweetener that wrecks havoc on our bodies and contains mercury (a neurotoxin), that "Grown not made" ketchup is probably some of the WORST stuff you could put into your body -- assuming one of your choices isn't, say, depleted uranium. Today's rule of thumb "If it is processed, it is probably bad for you". Here's hoping you didn't eat a burger cut from a 3 eyed cow while you were there!

During past employment I installed some materials handling systems in an Heinz plant which manufactured ketchup. The "tomato" raw material was the strangest pinkish greenish stuff I have ever seen. I was amazed how much ketchup was washed down the drain because the cook put too many pre-measured bags of salt into the 750 gallon cooker. That was before they started using HFCS.

I understand. These things tend to jump out and annoy me too. The one that really used to bug me was the phrase, "Two pizzas for one low price!" That's NOT two pizzas for the price of one, even though that's what they wanted you to 'hear'. It's apparently a promise to present you with one bill for $20 rather that two bills for $10 each. So THAT'S a reason to shop there.

I am astonished at the amount of hate directed toward HFCS. HFCS is an approximately 55/45 blend of fructose and glucose. It is called "high fructose" because most plant-derived sugars are closer to a 50/50 mix. HFCS therefore has a "high" amount of fructose by comparison.

Do the people who hate/fear HFCS also studiously refuse to eat fruits, to avoid all the fructose they contain? After all, fructose got it's name because it is far more prevalent in fruit than it is in grains and vegetables. Apples, for example, have a 2:1 ratio of fructose to glucose.

As for glucose, Wikipedia notes "Glucose is a ubiquitous fuel in biology. It is used as an energy source in most organisms, from bacteria to humans."

Regarding sucrose, the common table sugar to which HFCS is so unfavorably compared, it is a disaccharide. That is, a complex sugar molecule made up of two simpler sugar molecules. What two simple sugars go go into sucrose? Fructose and glucose! Furthermore, our bodies produce a digestive enzyme (sucrase) which breaks the two sugars apart. In other words, our own bodies convert table sugar into HFCS before adsorbing it!

Some basic reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucrose

---

If you read the comments a bit more carefully, you would have gotten at least one clue about why people don't like HFCS. The two clues given is that it's a political issue -- that subsidies for corn and tariffs on sugar have dictated its use, not nutrition -- and that about half of the samples of HFCS tested contain mercury (you omitted the obvious reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-fructose_corn_syrup ). Ignoring those brought-up points to make other points doesn't add to the debate, it obfuscates it. -rc

Regarding Charles in Florida's comment on HFCS. Sure the molecular structures of two compounds may be similar in vitro but may operate quite differently in vivo. Also, compounds artificially built from their natural progenitors may operate quite differently from each other and their parent source. Think of coca, cocaine and crack.

Regarding sweeteners specifically we evolved with almost no concentrated forms of sugars available for consumption. Some fruits build highly concentrated sugars under certain natural conditions e.g. grapes late on the vine or affected by botrytis. But this availability in the natural world or even early agriculture was severely limited and seasonal at that. The only other somewhat universally available source of concentrated sugars was honey. But again the supply was very small and only occasionally available until just a few thousand years ago. Peoples who early on developed crops with fairly naturally concentrated sugars seem to have developed a tolerance that others outside of their environment did/do not possess. Polynesians seem to have a resistance to the tooth decaying reactions to the sugars of sugar cane but all other peoples get lots of cavities from chewing sugar cane. The same with corn. Anthropologists can trace the spread of green/sweet corn through the up tic of cavities found in the teeth of people as corn became available.

This takes us back to HFCS and the superabundance & super-consumption of this highly refined compound which directly correlates to the up tic of all the health problems we are all familiar with. What this suggests is that it is a combination of something about the compound itself in vivo that we are not physiologically equipped to deal with and our continuous super consumption exacerbating this. Even if all the health problems associated with HFCS are a result of super consumption and not in vivo physiological incompatibilities there you have it. Fruits and vegetables with the sugars fructose and sucrose have them in much smaller concentrations than products with HFCS's and again until our modern era were largely available only on a seasonal basis. Our bodies evolved in this environment of limited seasonal availability. We have turned this on its head where sugars are available 24/7/365. So, no I'm not giving up fruits but I do avoid HFCS as much as possible and limit my intake of refined concentrated sugars. I eat fruit daily but I don't eat ice cream daily and rarely drink our slandered highly sugared soft drinks.

I was out jogging and came across a poster for Wrigley's new 5 gum called Vortex(tm). On the poster it states "Vortex(tm)...A Juicy Green Apple(tm)". So now Wrigley has trademarked "A Juicy Green Apple" so no one else can ever use it, or say it. (I know, I used it here, so Wrigley is going to sue me). How can companies get away with putting a trademark on an everyday common item?

---

That's what trademarks are -- an idea applied to a specific product or service. Again, if you actually read my essay, you'll see I don't have any dispute with trademarks as a subject or area of law. I simply think it's STUPID to trademark a phrase just so you can say "No other manufacturer can say that." Well no, they can't: that's how the trademark law works. It's like getting a patent and saying "No other manufacturer can make it the way we do." Of course not: the government made it a law. The point is, if that is the only thing you can say that's great about your product, your product sucks. -rc

Years ago, I heard of a natural foods outfit that came out with a 100% natural ketchup, and were not allowed to call it ketchup. For some strange reason, they were required to call it "artificial ketchup" because they didn't include ingredients that were (maybe still are) required to be in ketchup.

I look at "Grown not made" then look at all those artificial ingredients that are MADE, not grown.

Comment Page:  1  |  2  |  3  |  4 

(Read the article that everyone's commenting on.)

Post a comment

Read this before posting a comment! Comments are of course the opinion of the poster. All comments must be approved by the site owner before they appear. Only interesting, pertinent comments that have to do with the entry will be approved, and all comments may be edited for brevity, flow, or grammar. Read the existing comments before posting your own to ensure you're not saying something that's already been covered. See this page for more info.