Caitlyn vs. Nestle: The irony of artificial ingredients

Caitlyn vs. Nestle: The irony of artificial ingredients June 4, 2015

Fruits and Veggies Flickr

Ever since the Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete, Bruce Jenner, revealed himself as Caitlyn on the cover of Vanity Fair June 1, I’ve been shaking my head at the irony of it all.

I remember standing in the grocery store aisle in 1977 and asking my dad to buy a box of Wheaties because Bruce Jenner was on the cover. He was cool, you know? Masculine…athletic… Geesh.

As news reports on Jenner’s anticipated transition into a woman began to surface, other kinds of news stories began to surface as well.

One by one, major food companies and restaurant chains began to report that they would be ridding their products of artificial ingredients, replacing them with natural ones. The swing is toward natural, authentic food.

Just a few examples:

Already last year, Panera Bread Company began its “Clean Ingredients” campaign, in which they vow to remove artificial additives including synthetic colors, flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives by 2016. You even can download their “No-No List” of ingredients that will be phased out of its menu. 

In March of this year, McDonalds announced that it would begin using chickens not raised with antibiotics used to treat humans, 

In April, Chipotle Mexican Grill fast food chain announced removal of all ingredients made with genetically modified organisms from its menu. 

Also in April, General Mills was pushed by consumer demand into cleaning up its ingredients lists in its products, which includes Cheerios (who knew?), Lucky Charms, Hamburger Helper, and Pillsbury (I still DO love that Dough Boy!).

In May, Yum! Brands, parent company of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, announced that all artificial colors and flavors will be removed from the pizzas by the end of July and that Taco Bell will remove all artificial colors and flavor, and also trans fats, by the end of 2015.

In June, Subway made a further move into the natural/authentic ingredients arena by announcing that it will remove artificial flavors, colors and preservatives from its menu in North America by 2017. And this from the chain that has been enticing us for years with its “Eat Fresh” slogan.

Most recently, Nestle USA announced that it will remove artificial flavors from products in the DiGiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack’s, Hot Pockets and Lean Pockets lines by the end of 2015.

That didn’t surprise me all that much, given the Natural Ingredients locomotive filled with other food companies coming down the tracks. But, they’re also removing artificial flavors and FDA-certified colors from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

This will affect more than 250 products and 10 brands including some of my favs from childhood on: Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, and Babe Ruth. The weirdest thing about it (for me) is that I’ve never expected my candy bar to be healthy for me in the first place.

And then at the same time in the news we have Bru…er…Caitlyn Jenner.

It’s not Jenner him/herself, but rather the spectacle surrounding his recent announcement and the growing number of individuals he represents that has me scratching my head.

The contrast between the rising of the gender transition movement [my term] and the natural ingredient revolution in the food industry strikes me as ironic.

We want our foods natural, with authentic ingredients, but not necessarily our bodies.

We are all moving toward what is natural, pure and healthy in our food, but when it comes to issues of sex, society is very confused. It praises naturalism in nutrition but abhors it in birth control; it lionizes what is completely false and unnatural in surgical “enhancements” while hating what is natural to aging; it very weirdly finds heroism in trans-gendering, even as it declares that gender is a social construct, so fluid as to be meaningless.

Since Adam and Eve, it’s been apparent that nearly all men have at least some female traits and nearly all women have at least some male traits. That’s a part of our natural make up.

It concerns me that, as a society, we seem quick to run for the hormones and surgeries if we sense an imbalance of opposite-gender traits. I also don’t think we’re addressing these imbalances in a Godly and proper way, and so they fester until a person is “sure” that they’re really the other gender.

We want foods that are all-natural, unmodified and authentic – the way God created them. Yet, we unnaturally modify our bodies and put into them artificial ingredients so that they are no longer authentically the way God created them.

It’s ironic.




Image: Flickr

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