I’m not a frequent shopper of traditional chain grocery stores. I find there is so much ingredient reading involved because I’m not getting the local or organic options. But a really busy schedule this week has kept me buzzing to the local grocer and with every visit, my eyes spied something that just didn’t make sense. I’ll save the cinnamon that contained 2 additional GMO (genetically modified) ingredients for another article, but after I recovered from that, I spotted a 4-pack of apples called Grapples. What is a Grapple? It’s an apple that’s been infused with grape flavouring so it tastes like an apple that’s been dipped in grape juice. Below is a picture of this grape flavoured apple and the shine in the picture is the heavy duty plastic packaging.
So what is my problem with a Grapple? Do I hate the packaging? Well, yes. I don’t know how a company can think that much plastic packaging is a good idea with what we know about plastic pollution – but that’s not my biggest problem with the Grapple. Is this item GMO? No the Grapple hasn’t been genetically modified and the seed isn’t of the hybrid variety either. Besides for thinking this product is silly, I think it represents a much bigger problem and one that affects our kids. Children are growing up with an altered set of taste buds because of marketing concepts like the Grapple. Making food sweeter and artificially flavored really messes with the development of a child’s relationship with food.
Does any child really like the taste of McDonald’s food the first time they try it? No. Because we force kids to grow accustomed to salt, artificial flavours, sugar, and preservatives, it’s not wonder we complain when they refuse to eat real food. By handing them an apple that tastes like grape juice we are messing with more than mother nature but also with real food. When kids bite into an apple, they need to experience the sensation and taste of an apple. The experience of having artificially flavoured grape juice should be a separate experience.
We all know that clean food is the ticket to improved health for our family but there isn’t a suburb family that doesn’t consume junk food, artificial flavours, sugar, etc. on occasion. Let’s teach our children that these treats are ‘sometimes’ food and the clean food is ‘everyday’ and necessity food. Confusing the two, in my opinion, sets back the food movement and is confusing for kids.