Frito-Lay’s All-Natural Chips And Chemical Stereotypes

Et tu, Frito-Lay? (Shutterstock)

The Wall Street Journal had a piece yesterday on companies' moves to create all-natural junk foods that still have that special junk food taste. Newscripts readers will probably guess how the story goes- take out 'chemicals' and replace them with 'natural' ingredients. Well, that's not exactly how it plays out. The story acknowledges that some junk food ingredients that sound 'unnatural' are quite the opposite. It also notes that the Food and Drug Administration hasn't come up with a formal definition for 'natural', and that many natural foods are processed. I won't bother discussing why an all-natural diet that consists of potato chips and soda is not the healthiest. But I will throw a choice section of the article your way- about ingredients Frito-Lay has chosen to replace in its potato chips. Some ingredients—like ascorbic acid, a color stabilizer—sound artificial but are not. Frito-Lay is eliminating those from some of its snacks, too. Ascorbic acid has been replaced with rosemary, another natural antioxidant. Frito-Lay is slapping "all natural" stamps on its packaging as it rolls out the reformulated snacks—part of the company's largest-ever marketing campaign to drive home that many of its products are made from regular ingredients. Why the change, Frito-Lay? More reading: Well-written guidance on navigating words like "chemical", "natural", and "organic", by Sharon at I Can Has Science.

Author: Carmen Drahl

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