GMA Gets Its Fill of Food Police

Much like tasty snacks, the networks can never stop their addiction to “food police” groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest.Yesterday morning it was Good Morning America that was shilling for them, saying, “Did you realize you were paying more for less food?”

What was the target this time? The 100 calorie “snack packs,” that CSPI themselves have fought for. CSPI is upset about the cost, even though companies have gone out of their way to create less fattening snacks, (in smaller portions, and with some new recipes).

GMA reporter Elisabeth Leamy starts off the segment like this:

“The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which some people call the food police, is at it again. Only this time they’re not really criticizing the nutrition of a food category, they’re criticizing the price.”

What’s not surprising about any of this though, is that GMA is bestowing credence to what this anti-corporation, far left think tank, reports about a change they helped bring on. This is something that the Business and Media Institute has taken notice of before, finding that:

“In the past six months, from January 10 to July 10 (of 2006), CSPI netted more stories on network news than the nation’s official nutrition watchdog, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) when it came to regular food issues such as obesity, nutrition and organic products (not counting bird flu and mad cow disease). CSPI appeared 14 times on ABC, CBS and NBC news shows. USDA appeared only 10 times.”

These finding shouldn’t be at all surprising, but this time I thought GMA run a piece showing the true insanity of CSPI, but alas, my wishful thinking got the best of me. Even after Leamy referred to them as the food police, she went on citing the CSPI report and not bringing on a single person to defend the food companies. Even when she did attempt to give the other side a say, she began it this way:

“Snack makers say they’re not trying to pull a fast one by charging more for less.”

No, Elizabeth, they’re not trying to pull a fast one; they’re trying to sell a product. The bottom line is that smaller portions require more manufacturing and more packaging. More packaging and manufacturing makes things more expensive. CSPI needs to figure out what is more important, cheaper food, or lower calories.

Further into the segment GMA brought on Lisa Drayer a contributing editor at Women’s Health Magazine, who gave us this pearl of wisdom:

“You have to be careful if you tend to not be able to stop at one package you can run into trouble.”

What Drayer fails to point out if that there is no reason to buy these items if you have trouble with portion control. It doesn’t matter if you eat four packages of a hundred calorie item or one four hundred calorie item…its still four hundred calories. Not to mention that it’s not the companies’ fault you can’t control how much you eat of something.

At the end of the segment GMA shows a clip of CSPI’s executive director, Michael Jacobson giving us the real reason he has a problem with these products:

“I think it’s important to note, that none of these foods are really health foods, we’re talking cookies and crackers, foods that we really shouldn’t be eating much of anyhow.”

So when it’s all said and done the companies shouldn’t even have wasted their time trying to keep calories down. CSPI doesn’t think we should eat these snacks anyway. Always remember that CSPI knows best.

- Stuart James is a Research Analyst at the Business and Media Institute