Monthly Archives: February 2012

Loaded Marketing Blog Posts, Just Plain Dangerous

Key Word Filler

It’s a glaring bit of reality that most – AND I DO MEAN MOST – blogs on this InterWeb Highway exist only to direct you to links intended to help their owners profit somehow. I’m not quite sure what makes the technology tick on these things, but when I am researching one topic or another for valid reasons entirely my own, I am disproportionately directed to web sites that make no sense whatsoever. These are “robo-sites” that have been culled by a computer program in order to appear original, or compiled by some worker in a far-off land who may or may not have an actual grasp of the language in which the web page is “written.”

You might even see a random list of keywords inserted for no obvious reason. Here is one such list, carefully designed for potential links. Continue reading Loaded Marketing Blog Posts, Just Plain Dangerous

Nutritional Claims: Don’t Believe the Hype

When a product claims to be “A good source of calcium!” – beware. Chances are that this is a smokescreen to get you to purchase an unhealthy product.

Seriously, suggesting that Product X is a good source of calcium is akin to stating that gin is a good source of water. Certainly, drinking 16 ounces of gin could be one way of getting a “serving” of water toward your daily quota. But is it the best way? Making gin your sole source of water would have disastrous consequences, at least for your liver. Probably also for your relationships and career, but that is another issue altogether.

A list of other candidates for a “good source” of water would necessarily include espresso, which is also a diuretic. This is the same sort of logic that many mega-brand corporate “food” packagers appear to follow Continue reading Nutritional Claims: Don’t Believe the Hype

Science-Light, or Sciency Sounding Sound Bytes – Not Only Bad, But Stupid

This article brought up some thoughts about people choosing to either be dumb or promote ignorance in the name of greed:

In Heartland Institute Leak, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching –

The part that made me angry, actually, isn’t that there are people out there actually foolish enough to believe the message this group is spreading. Nor is it the fact that certain interests might finance their mission, which is at this point something I have sadly accepted as inevitable. What makes me angry is the willful attempt to disrupt the education of our children and fill their heads with what is at best confusing claptrap, at worst outright lies. Taking hundreds of thousands of private dollars and targeting that money toward a misinformation curriculum when our nation’s schools are already struggling so much because of political maneuvering and posturing and kowtowing is an unforgivable transgression against our society and the coming generations.

Press is never entirely good for you

A long time ago, I was interviewed for the local paper in my small hometown. That paper no longer exists, at least not in the same form as it did back then, but the memory of that interview still lingers. Somewhere I am sure I have a clipping of that article. Taught me some lessons.

I knew the reporter. She was a family friend and certainly meant well. But I was just a kid and didn’t realize yet that my dry sense of humor could easily be misunderstood and would probably never translate well out of context (and possibly not even within context). So I made the mistake of consenting to an interview and rambled on for too long. It was embarrassing when Continue reading Press is never entirely good for you

Are We Being Knowingly Poisoned by the Food Industry? |

At some point, it is inevitable that any intelligent shopper who takes the time to read the ingredient list on most mass-produced pre-packaged food items that come in un-refrigerated cardboard boxes will ask the following question:

Are We Being Knowingly Poisoned by the Food Industry? |

The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Continue reading Are We Being Knowingly Poisoned by the Food Industry? |

Grammar: Really, really bad.

When I was a senior in high school, I caused a minor uproar with an essay I turned in to one of my writing classes decrying the use of proper grammar. It was intended as something of a personal joke between the teacher and myself, and the essay itself contained impeccable grammar. The truth is, the rules of grammar are very important for proper communication. I truly believe that. However, there are times that grammar gets in the way of creative expression. The rules cannot, however, be properly or effectively broken without having first been mastered. Which was kind of my point. Artistically speaking.

The teacher I wrote this for (Mr. R.) then took it to the teachers’ lounge and shared it with my journalism teacher (Ms P.) who took it quite seriously and literally and waved it like a flag of triumph in a battle for the hearts and minds of a rebellious generation. I’m still a little surprised that no one ended up bruised or bloody from the fallout Continue reading Grammar: Really, really bad.

Health Dangers of MSG and How to Look for Hidden MSG |

While I am mining the web for material I can trust (mainly because I wrote it), I thought I would continue with the subject of unnecessary food additives. The article linked here is fairly non-biased in spite of the fact that I know a reasonable number of people who have strong reactions to the substance.

Health Dangers of MSG and How to Look for Hidden MSG |

Read it and then consider whether it is worth the risk to eat prepared food that contains this stuff. I had a recent craving for a boxed pasta with sauce product that I enjoyed using to jump-start a quick meal back in my college days and didn’t even think to check the ingredients until I was already home. Needless to say, MSG wasn’t the only thing on the label I could do without. It’s still taking up cabinet space only because I figure I’ll rescue the noodles.

Crack for your taste buds, and not in a good way.

Dangers and Toxicity of Artificial Color and Food Dye |

Dangers and Toxicity of Artificial Color and Food Dye |

Common Sweets Often Contain Chemical Dye

Now, here is something that is just plain bad for you and industry wants to just sweep the evidence right under the table. I’ve seen mild reactions to dye in food many times over the years and I have corresponded with a few people who have experience with extreme behavioral or physiological reactions. Not long after writing the article linked here, a person I know had a pronounced allergic reaction to dye that sent him to the hospital. But for me, it’s all about the children. Why poison their bodies pointlessly? Why train them from a young age to believe that brightly colored foods are somehow preferable to naturally colored foods?

Hanging out in a client’s kitchen, I learned that a lot of restaurants use Yellow #5 in their eggs because they want that appealing uniform color. He kept a gallon jug of the color right above the station where they mixed the eggs in the back prep room. I mentioned the article to him (which I had just written, and so it was very much on my mind at the time) and he had no idea that Yellow #5 is one of the colors most likely to cause problems. The manufacturer does not warn of any possible side-effects on the container, after all. I guess that is what research is for.

Labels: Bad, bad, bad.

Labels Are Just Bad for You.

That’s right: labels are bad. Specifically, labels that are there to mislead or misinform their intended audience. In many cases, this is a political audience (read, “Conservative” or “Liberal”) and in many cases this is a consumer audience (“Healthy Choice” or “Laugh Out Loud Funny” or “Fun For The Whole Family”)…

The truth is, labels are not to be trusted at face value. Anyone who only pays attention to a label is likely to swallow something toxic, whether they realize it or feel the immediate results at all, the toxicity is nonetheless introduced to the system.

While I am constantly at odds with major grocery chains over the brands they carry with names like “Eating Right” (an actual brand that has Continue reading Labels: Bad, bad, bad.