I saw your newly dubbed No-No list
on social media and am
disappointed to say that because of it, I will no longer be a customer of your
restaurant. Your video
and list is insulting to someone who has taken chemistry
and food processing courses, and is down right embarrassing.
Apparently your PR company and marketing team never took a media ethics class
because your No-No list isn’t a commitment to better food; it’s an attempt to
play off of people’s lack of knowledge about the American food system and basic
chemistry to make money.
Artificial additives were created for a reason and this
thought that you shouldn’t eat something because you can’t pronounce it or
haven’t heard of it before is just plain stupid. Three years ago, no one knew
what Quinoa was or how to pronounce it either but now it’s marketed as health super
food. And I’ll bet those same people you interviewed can’t pronounce Phenylalanine
either but it’s an essential amino acid for body function and if you don't eat it, you can get very, very sick.
There is no reason for many of those ingredients to be on a No-No list. If you
believe customers deserve to know what is in their food, where it
comes from and how companies are impacting the food system why don’t you
provide factual information and try to educate them, instead of just removing
the things you have already been feeding us. Honestly, if I didn’t know that
the ingredients were harmless in the first place it would look to me like you
are saying “Hey these things are bad, sorry we used them to poison you, but
look now we aren’t going to anymore! Yay for us!”
What you are doing is not transparency, it’s smoke and
For example the first molecule addressed in your video is tert-
better known as TBHQ. Here’s what the World Health Organization
has to say about
TBHQ is generally used as
an antioxidant in animal-derived food products and in fats or oils. It is often used in conjunction with butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated
hydroxytoluene, and propyl gallate to
provide a synergistic antioxidant effect.
I don’t know if you are aware but antioxidants are good,
whether they are produced synthetically or not.
Also I’m not sure if you realized this but you put Corn
Syrup and Splenda on your No-No list. They just sound a lot scarier when you
label them as Sucralose and High Fructose Corn Syrup and make you look like a
hero for removing “scary” yet harmless ingredients from your food. On top of
that you are only going to replace the several artificial sugars with cane
sugar that is not produced in the U.S. making your food reliant on a foreign
ingredient that you will need to pay more for when we can easily produce sugars
in the United States at a more economically responsible price.
Or what about the fact that several of these ingredients on
your list occur naturally? A molecule is a molecule, it doesn’t matter whether
it was made by a person or plant or any other part of nature. The fact that you
are going to remove the synthetically created version of ingredients but leave
in the exact same thing as long as it is derived from a natural source is a
huge slap in the face to your “guests."
It appears to me as if you are saying something is wrong with human made
ingredients when there is no evidence or research to support that. What’s the
difference if a human or nature makes the ingredient, if they are exactly the same.
I trust food companies, retailers and processors who rely on
peer-reviewed science for their information. Scientific research and review is
what is going to make our food system better, not muddy marketing distorting
what is really going on. The fact that you are using science to manipulate your
customers makes your food appear sickening instead of appetizing.
This No-No list makes you part of the problem, not the
solution. And personally I don’t want to purchase anything from a company that
contributes to problems in our food system and insults my intelligence.
Agricultural Communications and Journalism Student