Dear "Health" Food Companies: "Evaporated Cane Juice" Ain't Fooling Me

If guarana is used, it must be listed as an ingredient. Guarananine is the caffeine chemical in the berry but is the same chemically as the caffeine in coffee and other sources.

They are – obviously and transparently – trying to conceal from me the fact that they are adding a sugar to my soup. Okay, caveat emptor and all that – but if you are adding sugar (turbinado, or no) – just say so. Evaporated f’ing cane juice – how is that the simplest way of saying things?

Yes, but the point I’m trying to make is that the company deliberately opts to use guarana specifically because it allows them to dodge the caffeine label, same as the “evaporated cane juice” in the OP’s case allows them to dodge the sugar label.

I find this is a case with a lot of organic or healthy food brands, since they know that their customer base wants to avoid things like sugar, MSG and caffeine in their diets but will happily consume them so long as they’re called something else (namely “evaporated cane juice”, “autolyzed yeast extract” and “guarana”)

That’s because the people who work at Whole Foods tend to be some rather “baked goods” themselves and most likely carry on conversations with all manner of objects. :smiley:

Oh, dear Lord. I am so sick of having to explain to people that I do not want my child drinking anything with guarana in it. The sprog is hyper enough as it is, and I really will not be happy with you if you send him home tanked up on God knows what.

Arsenic is natural, too, but that doesn’t mean I want to sprinkle it on my cereal.


Or chalk pills, but yes, you can get liquid tinctures. Supposedly the [del]magic shaking[/del] sucussation is an important part of the preparation - it’s all to do with “water memory” AIUI.

A friend (but one I’ve always considered odd, especially since she wouldn’t sleep with me back in the day) is doing a four-year homeopathy course. I expressed polite surprise that it would take that long to learn how to prepare a solution of arnica that contained, statistically speaking, less arnica than environmental water generally would (or, in the case of the “20th centessimal” preparation, less arnica than the entire volume of the Solar System excluding Earth. :smack: ).

I have actually taken homeopathic arnica pills. My stomach was a little acidic, I thought, and it was the most convenient source of food-grade calcium carbonate.

I think a lot of you in this thread would enjoy Marion Nestle’s What To Eat. She takes on a lot of these label claims and ingredients and points out how absurd they can be. Really interesting reading.

Eh? Nothing is added to evaporated cane juice. White sugar has things taken away that would otherwise be there naturally.

The stuff sold as raw sugar or “Sugar in the Raw™” is turbinado sugar. It has larger crystals than evaporated cane juice, though beyond that I’m not sure there’s any difference. ECJ has crystals pretty much the same size as refined white sugar (which makes it nicer for baked goods, the sugar dissolves more completely into the butter/eggs/whatever).

It’s also cheaper than turbinado sugar, in my experience.

Brown sugar (both light and dark) still has a substantial amount of molasses in it. ECJ is “steam cleaned” (per the notes on the back of my big bag o’ sugar) to remove most of the molasses.

I’m not sure how they’re trying to conceal it when pretty much everyone knows what evaporated cane juice is. They’re making a distinction between the type of sugar used, for the same reason labels distinguish between added “sugar” and added “fructose.” “Sugar” is not the same thing as “evaporated cane juice” on a label – as I said, if it just says sugar odds are that it was filtered through bone char. There are also, as noted above, the small number of vitamins, plus the natural flavor, that are missing if filtered out from white sugar.

When talking about a natural or health foods store, the distinction is important, given that a high percentage of your customer base is likely to be vegetarian. I for one avoid white sugar as much as humanly possible.

See also “yerba mate” and “kola nut.”

I just wish people would pronounce guaraná correctly, but I fear that’s already a lost cause. We English-speakers are congenitally uncomfortable with the “stress on the final vowel” thing.

(Bolding mine) I’m not so sure that “ironic” would be the word I would use here. “Ironic” is not a synonym of “criminal”.

Would you buy the shampoo if it contained dihydrogen oxide?:smiley:

Her last name is hysterical if you look at the Nestle’s coporations record over the past few decades. But her book sounds informative and interesting.

I know she probably is not part of the Nestle family, just strikes me as funny.

But if they add honey or high fructose corn syrup or maple syrup or molasses or grape juice concentrate, they’re adding sugar. But they’re called different things. . . because they are different things. Are you equally upset that they call it high fructose corn syrup when they mean that it adds sugar?

Granted, evaporated cane juice has the same molecular structure as refined sugar, but if you’re trying to eliminate sugar from your diet, all those other substances would count as well. Evaporated cane juice is distinct from refined sugar in the processing, so they’re labeled differently.

I know, right? There was actually one passage from the book (maybe it was in the discussion of baby formula) where she mentions “Nestle Corporation (no relation)” just so you’re clear. :smiley:

I thought the point of the smoothies was the lack of gas, lack of phosphoric acid and presence of those weird veetahmeen things?

What’s wrong with gas?

You’re just replacing the phosphoric acid with various fruit acids (citric and what not) surely?

And as for vitamins, isn’t a deficiency actually pretty rare in the West?

The biggest problem with these drinks is that they often advertise them with phrases like “counts towards your 5 a day”, which is a problem because whilst they do indeed contain all the goodness of a piece of fruit, they also have many times the number of calories. And it can’t do the young kids any good to be associating eating healthily with sweet drinks.

I heard a term in a TV commercial last night that I haven’t heard in a while: Food Energy. Also known as “calories.”

Count me now informed :). I had always assumed Guarana was some obscure rain-forest fruit that I hadn’t yet seen on the produce shelves.

Perhaps I expressed that awkwardly, but white sugar is just sugar and nothing else, naturally or unnaturally added.

Evaporated cane juice does contain small amounts of non-sugar things. For a lot of people this either doesn’t matter or isn’t important. For some it is.

For example, I only like white sugar as a sweetener in my tea. I do NOT like sugar in the raw, honey, or any other sweetener. I feel so strongly about this that I will drink tea either with white sugar or entirely unsweetened, but not with any other sweetener. On the other hand, I know people who prefer honey and wouldn’t touch tea with white sugar. That’s fine. They like what they like, I like what I like.

I am entirely in favor with clear labeling so that, for example, if you object to white sugar you can easily avoid anything that contains it. Me, I don’t care what variety of sugar is used to sweeten food, but I do want to know how much is in it, and some foods I prefer none at all. To each their own.