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Monday, May 2, 2016

Knowledge is our best defense

Friday, March 19, 2010

In the past I only had to worry about "shade-tree" mechanics taking advantage of me, but this self-serving approach to doing business seems to be spreading like wildfire these days.

I first noticed it when I was in Seattle and found myself having to stand my ground with my dentist, whose suggestions for an unnecessary monthly teeth-cleaning and replacement of fillings for "cosmetic" purposes eventually brought me to the realization that he wasn't offering me what I needed, but what my insurance would pay for.

Recently I found myself in a conversation with my 13 year old daughter regarding the energy drinks she had begun purchasing. She asked how they could be so bad for her, as I was warning her against drinking them regularly, when they contained so many vitamins. I responded that it was like taking a poisonous mushroom and covering it with caramel. It may taste good, heck it may even have a couple of vitamins or nutrients your body needs, but in the end it is still poisonous. While this was an exaggerated example, she got my point. She turned to the ingredients of her energy drink and quickly noticed the serving size was two per container. She found that quite amusing as she could never recall seeing a half of an energy drink left in the fridge. It was an obvious deception and certainly helped to make my point, but sadly, not one exclusive to the beverage industry. You see this all the time on ingredient labels and for me, from an industry that I feel like I have not had to play "consumer defense" against in the past.

This week's menu page includes a couple of articles that I felt were both interesting and educational. As consumers, and especially as parents, we need to be aware of what we are putting in our bodies. The days of trusting the food industry to be concerned with anything more than their bottom-line, at least for now, appear to be over.

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Bruce Baker
Dinner with Declan