Caveat Emptor

Trying to eat right and buy healthy foods is hard enough as it is. But then we have to deal with highly paid marketing departments whose sole purpose is to trick us into buying crap we don’t need. Now I can’t really fault them for that. That is, of course, their job. They get paid for it, take the money home to their families, and use it to buy crap that they don’t need either, some of which was probably made by the company you work for. It’s the Circle of Life.

So when visiting the grocery store to stock your cupboards, remember these words: caveat emptor. This is an important Latin phrase made up of three important Latin words: caveat which means “Watch your back”, emp meaning “while you’re walking through the grocery”, and tor meaning “store or you’ll buy a bunch of stuff you neither need nor want.”

Safe navigation of the grocery store requires, in the words of the immortal Mad-Eye Moody, CONSTANT VIGILANCE! You not only have to read the labels but also have to translate them into common ordinary language. And therein lies the rub.

But fear not. I have gone ahead and done all the hard work for you. That is, after all, why I’m here. Just print out this handy cheat sheet, head to the store, and you’ll be armed and ready for any marketing attack.

What It Says What It Means
Trans Fat Free Full of Good Old Fashioned Regular Fat
Sugar Free Chemist’s Delight
Fat Free We Doubled The Sugar
Low Sodium 100% Taste Free
Made with Whole Grains Two Cups of Sugar’ll Fix That
A Good Source of Vitamins Not a Good Source of Vitamins
May Reduce Cholesterol If You Eat Fourteen Bowls of it per Day
Whitewheat Bread White Bread
Ready in Ten Minutes! Your ambulance, that is.

I hope this helps you on your journey to a better self. Before signing off for the day, I leave you with this scary product:


OMG! Cholesterol!!!

11 Responses to “Caveat Emptor”

Natalia Burleson said
October 30, 2008 at 4:12 am

Good stuff. 🙂 Thanks for the laugh.

Megan said
October 30, 2008 at 4:43 am

All of it SO true. Especially the sugar-free one!!!

Cammy said
October 30, 2008 at 5:39 am

Brilliant! I think I’ll print AND laminate it for easy reference. 🙂

Holly said
October 30, 2008 at 5:50 am

hahahaha! – thanks for making this girl laugh realllly early in the morning. 🙂

Sillycakes said
October 30, 2008 at 6:06 am

I think I officially love you for quoting Mad-Eye Moody. 😀

Kath said
October 30, 2008 at 6:26 am

Great post. Love the Mad-Eye ref!

Matt said
October 30, 2008 at 7:27 am

So true on all counts! I was at the store last night and in a week moment I was looking at Oreos. But wait they were “reduced fat” so just for grins I checked. It was something like 10 calories less per serving. Just give me the full fat version. I can still only eat one or two and have to put them away. 🙂

HealthyHousewife said
October 30, 2008 at 12:29 pm

I like your chart. It’s super handy. I’m wondering if you’ve discovered the joy of talking back to the food commercials on TV. I especially like to do it when my kids are watching with me. The ad for Wendy’s baccinator will run, with their new catch phrase, “Good food, fast.” I like to add. . . “Good food that will make you gain weight fast.” That’s truth in advertising.

Madison (FollowMyWeigh) said
October 30, 2008 at 8:12 pm

haha what a great read! love the circle of life perspective 😀

Weekend Link Love | Mark's Daily Apple said
November 9, 2008 at 10:13 am

[…] Every food–even candy corn–touts some sort of health benefit on its packaging. Back to the Fridge deciphers the hidden meanings of sneaky product labeling. […]

Naomi said
November 13, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Heh, thats good. Thanks for the chuckle.