National Post editorial board: The ethics of ‘sometimes’ foods

Originally posted on National Post | Full Comment:

In 2011, a San Diego mother filed a class-action lawsuit against Ferrero USA Inc., the company that makes Nutella hazelnut spread. The woman declared herself “shocked to learn … that Nutella was in fact not a ‘healthy,’ ‘nutritious’ food,” as she said its advertisements misleadingly implied. Similar suits followed, leading Ferrero USA to agree to a $3-million settlement, which will compensate the mother and other shocked and appalled (and nutritionally oblivious) U.S. consumers who bought Nutella in the last several years.

On the one hand, our sympathy is limited for anyone who thinks feeding their kids spreadable nut-flavoured chocolate is healthy just because said choco-spread appears on commercials juxtaposed with wholesome foods such as whole-wheat bread and skim milk. Consumers have to take some responsibility for reading between the lines. Nutella is made up of mostly sugar and modified palm oil. Anyone who truly cared to test the product’s “healthy”…

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