Marketing Word Games

so delicious PAINT sugar free cocunut milk

Have you seen this?  

It’s just a little tricky thing some of the alternative milk companies are doing.

The label on the front says “No Sugar Added.” You might think you’re getting something without sweetener.

No. You’re not. You’re getting something that doesn’t have sugar but does have some kind of other sweetener added that you may or may not want.

They used to just say “unsweetened” and that was that. But now there is “unsweetened” and this other, “No sugar” label.  They are definitely not the same.

To be fair, there is nothing on this label that tries overtly to make you think there is no sweetener at all in this product. But I know food shoppers and I know that many of us don’t actually read every label and if we do, we might not get all the ingredients that we aren’t familiar with defined for us before we buy and consume them.

I just bought a box of So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. That was after first picking up and reading the one that said “Sugar Free.” The sweeteners were “Reb A,” which is a stevia extract and “Monk fruit” which is a small, exotic Asian fruit that one writer called the “latest darling of the alternative sweetener world.”

Monk fruit sweetener, however is usually mixed with other things such as erythritol, a sweet substance extracted from certain lichens and algae, along with molasses and sugar. Another monk fruit sweetener recently marketed also contains corn-derived dextrose.

Right off the bat when I see one of those words ending in “ose” I know that it is a simple sugar that can wreak havoc with our bodies just like any refined sugar does. I personally stay away from foods with any “-ose” ingredients and that has been a very workable way to avoid unhealthy sweeteners.

Then there’s the matter of “corn-derived,” which should raise another red flag if you’re interested in avoiding genetically modified foods. Corn, unless it specifically says “organic,” is most likely GMO. The exception is when you buy corn at a farmers market, can talk to the farmer himself and he says he doesn’t grow GMO crops and you trust his integrity. But then you aren’t buying a corn-derived extract from him, so he can’t help you with the monk fruit sweetener problem.

I don’t know which type of monk fruit sweetener the folks at Turtle Mountain (who manufacture the So Delicious line) used. But I know that I’ll avoid it altogether and stick with the “So Delicious Unsweetened” which I like very much.

The moral of the story is 1) Read your labels thoroughly, and 2) Understand what the ingredients actually are before trusting you should consume them.

Like Fine Wine

What is your favorite staple ingredient?

NAMA SHOYU BOTTLE

This could be difficult for you to choose but for me, the answer is my Nama® Shoyu! I use shoyu in nearly every meal I make. I strive to get full and satisfying flavors out of my meals without using too much salt and Nama® Shoyu is the best by far. “Nama” means “raw” and “Shoyu” means “soy sauce.”

You will know this is great stuff the moment you break open the seal on the bottle. Remove the lid and savor the deep and complex aroma wafting from the bottle! Opening a new bottle of Nama® Shoyu is one of my favorite pleasure moments in the kitchen! It is like opening a bottle of fine wine.

There are many brands of naturally-brewed soy sauce available in most health food stores but I find none of them come anywhere close to the deep, rich flavors and aroma of Nama® Shoyu. This is hands down the absolute best! With other soy sauces, I find you cannot get all the flavor without using too much of the soy sauce and that makes the food too salty. Not so with Nama® Shoyu—just add a little and you get all the great flavor and your food will not be too salty.

NAMA SHOYU INGREDIENTS

Nama® Shoyu is made by Ohsawa®—an organic food company well-known for providing the highest possible quality of traditional Japanese condiments.  It is 100% organic, unpasturized soy sauce that is traditionally aged in barrels for two years and retains its live enzymes and friendly bacteria.  This is a truly fermented food that benefits the body and the digestive system in many ways that other more processed soy sauces do not.  In fact, many raw food enthusiasts use this particular soy sauce because of its “aliveness.”

Nama® Shoyu is higher-priced than other brands but you will use less of it and get much greater flavor and health benefits. If you do not see Nama® Shoyu in your natural foods store, you can order it from Gold Mine, the exclusive importer of Ohsawa® products.