Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Et tu, Byerly's?

Byerly's has started to have store brand candy bars at the checkstands, and I looked, and one of them was "dark chocolate with berries." Hurrah! I said on impulse, and I threw one into my cart and home it came.

I decided just at random, before opening the thing, to check what berries were in it.

Friends, there are no berries in it. There are beet flakes dyed with natural raspberry flavoring. There is natural blueberry flavoring. There is natural blackberry flavoring. And do you know what the FDA requires of "natural [fruit] flavoring"? Absolutely nothing. No berries were harmed in the making of this candy bar. It is perfectly legal to write, "dark chocolate with berries," as the label on something that is only mildly dark chocolate with no berries whatsoever.

This came up before when markgritter and I went to Vancouver, and I got granola bars for travel breakfasts, and I found out that "blueberry almond flax seed granola bars" contained no blueberries whatsoever. They had put in dried cranberries that had been dyed and flavored with blueberry juice. Guess how much that tastes like a blueberry? Hint: not very. (It may taste enough like a dried blueberry that people who don't eat many dried blueberries could mistake them, in the way that someone who has been a vegan for four years will tell you that that cut of seitan totally tastes like beef, while someone who had a steak for dinner last night will say, really, not so much. I, however, have a bowl of barley porridge with dried blueberries, dried apricots, and pecans for my breakfast the vast majority of mornings. I am significantly composed of recycled dried blueberry parts at this point.)

I'm just not okay with this. I'm really not. I feel like if it says "berry-flavored chocolate," you cannot expect there to be berries, because "flavored" is a weasel word. But when it says, "WITH BERRIES," really, the expectation of berries has been produced. If you came to dinner and I said, "I have made chicken with dill and almonds," and then I produced chicken with oregano and tomatoes, I think you could justly claim that I had not only misled you but flat-out lied. I bought this chocolate bar on the understanding that while I might prefer that it was filled with the pick of the Oregon marionberry crop, or tiny little dried cloudberries--ooh, now I want that--or something of the sort, I would be willing to take really whatever cut-rate berries they were willing to shove in the thing. But actual berries. That part is key. Shavings of third-best cranberries: fine. Beet flakes--beet flakes! Why do I even need to say that this is not fine?
Tags: so juicy sweeeeet, social fail, what five

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