Today I was running extremely late to an assignment in one of my poorer neighborhoods, and therefore didn't have time to pack lunch (nooooooooo!) so come mid morning when I wanted a snack, I ventured to the school vending machine. Bloomberg has ordered all schools to have "healthy options only" vending machines, so I'm all "this can't be too bad."
But actually, it can.
The most appealing of the choices was a bag of Baked Ruffles potato chips. Baked chips are "low fat" and are typically marketed as a healthy alternative to the normal chip. But I'm an ingredient checker, and as predicted the ingredients are pretty awful.
First of all, why on earth is there artificial coloring in my food?! That's just gross. They're chips, they don't need to be pretty. Then, MSG?! Oh, but it gives it so much flavor..... Betcha can't eat just on, right?
For kicks, I scanned it into fooducate to find out how harmful all of the things I'd never heard of and couldn't pronounce could be. If you don't know fooducate, familiarize yourself. It's a great app that allows you to scan products and see any hidden ingredients, analyze nutrition, etc. I often don't put too much weight in the actual "grade" it gives food because sometimes it takes into account things that are really inconsequential, BUT, when a bag of "healthy" chips gets a D, it's totally worth analyzing why.
So as predicted, the added ingredients I couldn't pronounce are pretty bad for you. Not recommended for people with athsma, children, people with kidney stones.... WHY IS THAT IN OUR FOOD?!
All this to prove the point I was making the other day. Even NYC public SCHOOLS have the term "healthy" all confused. And here I am in a neighborhood in which I'm very likely going to have to settle for processed deli meat on a roll for lunch. This is not good, this is why people get diseases even though they've been so "healthy" and lived a healthy lifestyle. This is why our kids in poor neighborhoods have higher obesity rates. Just take a ride on the bus I take to get here and see.