Friday, March 21, 2008

Dear Kraft Canada

You are evil. EEEEEEEEVIL. You are the WORST company for blatantly LYING on your packages. Now, I don't actually buy your products - I just perused my pantry and there are no Kraft products in there, so I don't count as a customer - but I am thoroughly pissed that you are misleading a whole bunch of my friends who keep buying your products that are labeled "0 Trans Fat!" when the ingredients list clearly shows they contain hydrogenated oils. Your tricky small serving sizes in which yes, there is probably less than 0.5 g trans fats per serving, might let you get away with this, legally, but it is SO clearly a case of clinging to the letter of the law and completely ignoring the spirit, it makes me want to eat some of your nasty peanut butter on your pernicious little stoned wheat thins just so I can vomit into a box and ship it to your headquarters. Just STOP IT already, ok? Why would you keep doing that??? People with children don't have time to read every single ingredient on every single label, they're busy making sure the kids don't do a header out of the grocery cart. They want to trust you when you say there's no trans fat, and you lie to them. LIES!!! LIES!!!! Bad Kraft!

Oh, and government dudes? Maybe that legislation was just a wee bit lax. Next time, give the industry lobbyists some peanut butter on crackers and boot them out the door, don't let them water it down like that. Millions of moms and dads count on you to help make the food safe for their kids, and you're failing them. You suck too.

And mamas and daddies? Once in a while, leave the kid somewhere else (I mean like at home with grandma or the other parent or something, not in a planter in the parking lot) while you shop, and read the labels on the stuff you usually buy. Because you don't want MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, food dye and other nastiness in your food, right? Here's a quick checklist for ya:

high fructose corn syrup = glucose-fructose (this is how it usually appears on labels in Canada)
hydrolyzed yeast = MSG
hydrolyzed soy protein = MSG
hydrolyzed vegetable protein/vegetable starch = MSG
hydrogenated anything oil = trans fat
partially hydrogenated anything oil = trans fats
spices = usually MSG

"Natural flavourings" can refer to any compound that started life as an animal or vegetable, no matter how heavily it was processed or how many straight-up chemical thingies were added.

Anyway, Kraft Canada, back to you... yes, of course consumers have some responsibility to read labels and make informed choices. BUT don't kid yourself. Your horrid little lobbyists - for whom I sincerely hope there IS an afterlife - made damn sure that consumers would have to REALLY know what they were doing, and we all know that YOU know how most parents shop - 90% of their attention on their kids, with the amazingly adapted peripheral grocery-store vision employed to grab familiar - theoretically safe - brands from the shelves as they whip past, desperate to forestall a meltdown or catch a runaway child before the display of Toblerone collapses and buries some poor old lady with a walker. They don't have TIME to read anything more than the cheery "0 Trans Fats!" logo splashed on the front of the peanut butter, and you KNOW that you evil, evil nasty bad corporation!!! You don't give a crap about the long-term health of kids, you just want them hooked on your products and it's in your best interests, even, to stunt their brain development by pumping them full of your insidious slimy trans fats so they are less able to make decent decisions about what to feed THEIR kids when they have them.

Well. I hope you feel VERY VERY bad about what you've done, Kraft Canada. I hope you and all your shareholders sleep very badly at night. I hope you think twice the next time you design a product, but I'm not holding my breath. I am going to turn down my dearest husband's request for more Kraft Dinner in the pantry, and he will have to make do with Annie's - which is no better, nutritionally, but at least their misleading labelling is slightly more benign in nature.