Don’t Get Naked? : Have We Lowered Our Standards of ‘Au-Naturel’?

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(via free people)

So the other day I bought a bag of ‘natural caramel corn.’ The label offering its’ kindest words of, “Hey! I’m sorta’ healthy, and I’ve got pretty packaging with that lucky word, ‘Natural’, on it! Buy me!” It was, indeed, only three ingredients- so I bought it without a second thought.  And, being a pretty healthy-minded young woman I felt that was about the ‘healthiest’ caramel corn I could have bought (i.e. justified, sort of). That is, until recently when I started hearing about the Naked Juice ordeal. How they have been using synthetic added ingredients (i.e. GMO soy, synthetic fiber, etc.) that they didn’t have to necessarily label on their packaging because of the lack of regulation of food here in the US. They are trying to deny all of this, of course, which is why they decided to ‘settle’ the matter, rather than tackle it. Which brings me to my point and back to my lovely caramel corn; Exactly how did we manage to get ‘Natural’ out of caramel corn (of all things) and an array of other foods parading the grocery aisles? I will kindly wait for an explanation, all while considering myself guilty as charged– I’m clearly no saint. And, for that second of justifying both the caramel corn and a product made by Pepsi Co. as being ‘au-natural’– what does that say about our society and what we consider, well, just plain healthy?

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Clearly, as the years have brought a bounty of trying to get back to ‘simple’, we’ve also allowed marketing to create a field of ignorant bliss. I will be the first to say I am horrid at saying “no” to packaging that promises what’s inside. That, of course is the wonders of great marketing, but I think Naked Juice is a lesson that needed to be learned. If we truly are moving towards more ‘home-grown health’, we have to think outside the box of consumerism. These days, marketing health is almost as necessary as actually obtaining it.  Companies will, and always will, try and take the easy way out for a buck or two (or millions, ya’ know), especially when our country makes it blatantly okay to do so.  If the FDA would let them have it, they were only bound to have their cake and eat it, too. That’s exactly what Naked Juice did.  The only ‘natural’ and ‘simple’ intention they had was to sell us $4 dollar juices, that is only worth about a couple of nickels.

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With that, I don’t think we’ve necessarily lowered our standards of what ‘natural’ constitutes (fresh, local produce, etc.), we have just lowered our standards of what that looks like. Let’s be honest, we are attracted to pretty things. If we weren’t there wouldn’t be a fashion industry, or marketing, a multi-billion dollar beauty industry, etc. There has to be more ‘conscious consumerism’ to counteract companies like Pepsi Co. who are making money off of what isn’t really there. ‘Natural’ is pretty simple, and it isn’t caramel corn (sadly) or processed juice made by a company that is known for soda. Health is natural.  Moderation, being smart about the food we choose to buy, and most certainly our own awareness of what our own standards are when it comes to these choices. Hopefully this was a thoughtful message that came across you today, we are in control of the world we live in by these simple choices we make everyday.

That’s my Friday rant, my random thought, and quick point. Cheers to Friday, loves! xoxo

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(via the local rose, lovely blog)

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