Guys, I get it. Ever since health researchers declared that a complete grain was way better for you than the ultra-processed powdery stuff that's somehow still considered food, marketers have been hopping all over the whole grain bandwagon. And yes, it's generally true that the closer your food is to a whole, untouched plant, the better for you it'll be. But just because you're making something out of brown flour doesn't mean that it's automatically a Godsend for your body.
I mean, marketers are really stretching the limits of this trend. The other day at Target, I saw that they had slapped the "whole grain" label across their house brand of microwave popcorn. Yep--Target popcorn's proudly a whole grain. As opposed to all those other partial grain popcorns out there on the market. How exactly would those work? How are you supposed to pop a refined kernel? What is going on with America?
While microwave popcorn comes out on top in the totally ridiculous while technically true claims to whole grain status, here are the next most absurd products to be branded as healthful, wholesome foods--just because the flour they're made from hasn't been stripped away to pure sugar.
Whole Grain Cheez-Its/Goldfish
These are essentially the same snack in different shapes, so they share an entry. And yes, both came out with a whole grain version in an attempt to reach out to health-conscious parents trying to feed their kids less poison. Too bad these crackers are still a hyper-salty, ultra-starchy mess riddled with powdered cheese and orange dye. Not exactly the epitome of wholesomeness.
Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Beefaroni
How do you make canned pasta in meat sauce a healthful option for the whole family? You open the can, empty the contents into a plot of soil, and grow a vegetable garden on top of it. Then you feed the vegetables to your children, ensuring they're getting all the vitamins and minerals they need from a fresh, wholesome dinner. Or...or you could swap out white flour for wheat in your pre-cooked, rubbery noodles. Or that.
Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles
These are made with whole wheat, but they're still mostly just white flour. And pro-tip: anything you slather with butter and corn syrup automatically becomes the opposite of a health food.
Lucky Charms/Cocoa Puffs/any other General Mills sugar-cluster
Speaking of healthy breakfast options...yeah, Lucky Charms didn't really come to mind for me at first, either. These wheat-embellished, rainbow-colored sugar crystals might technically have eight grams of whole grains per serving, but come on now. They're still giving your kids diabetes.
Kellogg's Cinnabon Crunchy Cinnamon Multigrain Cereal.
Oh my God. They had the gall to put "multigrain" on a Cinnabon breakfast cereal just because it's got corn, rice and wheat flours all rolled in together. Somewhere, some marketing executive thought he could hatch a plan to get people to think of the gooey, glistening Cinnabon as a healthy breakfast option--even if just in cereal form. I think I need to go throw up somewhere. Preferably on America's face.