First, let me start off by saying that I love Target. I get almost everything I need and I get a decent enough price that I feel good about it. But the price isn't so low that I start to worry who is getting the short end of the stick. But I have never purchased food at Target, at least anything more than Halloween candy that we would give out to OTHER kids. (We haven't bee home on Halloween to hand out candy since we had the kids, and YES, kids in Manhattan do get trick or treaters. But you have to sign up with my building's doorman to accept trick or treaters)
Anyway, recently Target sent me a mailer. They had a newly reconstructed location near me in the Bronx in Marble Hill. And it was all about FOOD! The flyer told me that I could do all my weekly shopping at Target, meat, milk, fruits and veggies...and soda and chips and prepackaged frozen dinners, and chicken nuggets, the list goes on. I looked at the flyer with a little snobbery, and then threw it out. Then Sunday we hosted our family for a dinner. We will be away for the Thanksgiving holiday so the dinner was kind of a Thanksgiving for us. I did my shopping Saturday but still needed a couple things Sunday morning. I was headed to Target and figured I would pick up the last couple things I needed.
I really was going there for things like a flyswatter, long johns for the kids and Johnson and Johnson's Baby Shampoo. But I also needed juice boxes. I will get juice when we are having company, but I have stopped buying it for every day. I figured I could get something. It was harder than I thought. They had Capri Sun and Juicy Juice. I started reading all the labels and I was leaning toward the Juicy Juice, until I saw Honest Tea Kids Organic Super Fruit Punch. Organic? I was so happy to find an organic product at Target! Then I read the ingredients: Filtered Water, Organic Grape Juice, Organic Cane Sugar....Wha? I didn't continue reading after that. Cane sugar? In a kid's juice drink? I have heard such good things about Honest Tea products. I have heard of several moms who really like them! But I just couldn't believe it! I thought maybe it was just that one. It was Fruit PUNCH after all. So I checked out the website, and no, it's not just that one. EVERY product in their kids line contains sugar, even the Apple Juice has cane sugar! But it is advertised as having half the sugar of other kid's drinks. What, soda? It has half the sugar of soda? Big Whoop. I might not love giving juice to my kids. But if they get it twice a month I do not sweat it. But a juice with sugar added? That is NOT on the menu.
This is where I get very frustrated and even depressed about the state of kid's food in the US. It is not enough to read anything on the outside of a package. Organic doesn't mean healthy, and juice apparently doesn't even mean juice anymore. There are alot of us who are reading labels and are disgusted by the added sugar in everything. But most people DON'T read labels. How do we start to reach people? How do we spread the word about the dangers of added sugars? Even if not everyone wants to jump on the real food bandwagon, spend every last dime at the farmer's market or pick their grass fed meat up in some stranger's apartment once a month, shouldn't we all have a right to know about what sugar does to us? How much longer will the powers that be allow the Sugar Association to get away all their propaganda? Personally, I feel there is too much fighting about High Fructose Corn Syrup in this country. I don't care where it comes from, corn, beet, cane, agave, hive, we are eating too much of it.