Jon Stewart doesn't need to be the one to say food labels promising healthy snacks are too often misleading, or even outright lies. Yet faced with newly mislabeled Kraft Singles, on Tuesday night's edition of The Daily Show, Stewart had to step in.
The labels, from the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics, say "Kids Eat Right." That might lead one to believe that something has changed about the food itself, or that there's been movement toward a healthier product. One would be wrong to think that, in fact. So, why the change?
It turns out, the food that still calls itself "pasteurized prepared cheese product" hasn't changed its ingredients. The real reason for the change is far less noble.
Instead of actually making their food healthier, Kraft is donating money to the Academy of Nutrition of Dietetics to support the Kids Eat Right program. As can be seen above the new label, in the same feint color of font used for the "pasteurized prepared cheese product" description, Kraft has written the words "Proud Supporter Of." Supporter, but not participator, in essence.
"That sounds reasonable," Stewart said with a laugh.
And to make matters worse, the Daily Show segment came just hours before Kraft Foods announced a recall of 6.5 million boxes of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese because of concerns some may contain small pieces of metal.
Stewart's point is an oft-repeated one, but the more junk food companies try to get away with misleading labels, the more they need to be called out. Health isn't something that can be substituted for by good PR. Nor is buying food with an organic label a substitute for buying actual organic food, or food with "natural flavors." Companies need to be held responsible for how they market their food, but Americans also need to take initiative in holding them accountable. That way, kids can start to actually eat right.
Watch the full clip below.