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Archive for January 8th, 2012

Create Now, Imperfectly

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I enjoy reading Michael Nobbs’ blog, Sustainably Creative. Michael is in Wales. We both love tea and both call ourselves artists. We both share the opinion that there is more art and creativity in many people than they are able to acknowledge.

His fabulous low-key drawings of ordinary objects like teapots cheer me.  He also does mini-podcasts (just a few minutes) on weekdays, which I enjoy.

Michael posted a link today to an archived blog post which I love. It’s called Don’t wait for permission to create.

He writes:

Don’t wait for someone to tell you you’re creative so that you have permission to explore your creative side. Just do something creative.

Creativity, of course, does not merely include putting marks on paper or canvas. Creativity can be so many things… including singing aloud, poorly, in a car (his example, my words). Or try putting a new herb or spice in your food… dill on eggs, basil in potatoes, ginger in oatmeal. A change like that is definitely a small but creative act.

I highly recommend the column. Go ahead, click and read. I think you’ll be inspired.

(No, Michael had no idea I would write this post. I get no benefit from it other than the joy of sharing what a like-minded soul has written.)

Deceived!

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I found a new product at a grocery one day in the produce section. It sounded promising, a lemonade which said no high-fructose corn syrup. Here is the marketing blurb I read on the back label:

“…Classic Lemonade is made the traditional way with pure lemon juice, water and sugar. Our delicious and refreshing lemonade is all-natural and does not contain any high fructose corn syrup or preservatives…”

Now, read the ingredient list:

“INGREDIENTS: Filtered Water, Sugar Clarified Lemon Juice Concentrate, Gum Arabic, Natural Flavors and Citric Acid.”

I was so disappointed! This is not the “Traditional Way,” do you agree? I would propose that Lemon Juice already contains natural flavors and citric acid.

Gum Arabic comes from the sap of an African tree. It makes the drink thicker and keeps the sugar from settling out.

For those of us who have food restrictions, “Natural Flavors” can be a real problem. Manufacturers don’t have to say what specific flavor it is. Some are derived from corn, yeast and other natural but trouble-causing natural ingredients.

Tricky Wording: Buyer Beware
It’s common these days to label foods “pure” or “natural.” These words do not really mean quality.

Pure olive oil is a specific classification several steps below extra virgin, and it’s not desirable when one wants more flavor. As for natural, arsenic and cyanide are natural and not healthy at all!

I’m sad that whoever wrote that marketing blurb found it acceptable. I’m sad that most people would not read the ingredient list after being told it was made “the traditional way with pure lemon juice, water and sugar.”

I remember when Mott’s Natural Applesauce added Vitamin C. It seemed rather unnatural to find Vitamin C in an apple product, to me.

This is another example of using “natural” as a random marketing word. They might better have said “unsweetened.”

  • Have you found this sort of conflict on any food package?
  • Do you regularly read labels?
  • If so, when did you start? (My Mom taught me in elementary school.)