University, Mississippi

The Truth Behind Wheat Flour"Going Green," is one of the latest trends in today’s society. Everywhere we turn people are trying to make the environment a healthier place. New studies have been shown that there are harmful substances in our foods, and everyday products that we must stay away from. This leads to people watching what types of products they buy, and trying to live healthier lives. So many of our everyday products are toxic to our bodies, but how can we know what products are actually healthy for our bodies and for our environment? Today, many Americans face the greenwashing effect that has become popular with many companies. Greenwashing is when companies try to look like they are eco-friendly, or are healthy to your body, but in reality they are not. Competition in the market is so high that producers put false claims on their products, so they can attract more consumers ("About Greenwashing"). They want to look like the top of the line product, so they advertisement false information. For example, Ritz Crackers, have recently come out with Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers. Of course, someone would think whole wheat sounds like a healthier option, especially because it seems like everyone wants more nutrients and fiber that whole grains offers to their bodies ("Hoax"). However, how do consumer’s know if the product is actually true to it’s claim to be made with pure whole wheat grains? By reading the ingredients and taking a deeper look past what is on the cover of the box, Consumers can validate that these crackers are defiantly a greenwashing product. From the outside of the Whole Wheat Ritz Cracker’s box, the crackers look very enticing to the consumer. The brown border and the large "Whole Wheat" heading catches the consumer’s attention, and reminds them that they should choose whole wheat grains so they can eat healthier (Ritz Crackers). Not only that, but the crackers are a darker brown color that resemble wheat grains. The coloring of the crackers also makes the consumer think that these crackers are a healthier option. To add to the attraction of this product, Ritz Crackers also put information that nutritionists suggest the daily portion of whole wheat grains that people need to consume (Ritz Crackers). This makes someone think that if they should eat these crackers so they will be closer to getting their daily goal of whole wheat grains. If someone chooses whole wheat over the regular crackers then the consumer will have more fiber and nutrients added to their diet ("Hoax"). So why would they not chose this supposedly, healthier product? What the consumer does not know is that this product is in fact greenwashing. Many consumers are mislead by products everyday because they do not take the time to read the nutritious facts ("About Greenwashing"). Instead, they just base the facts off the enticing advertisement on the front of the box. One of the first ways a consumer can validate that these crackers are not what they say to be, is by looking at the nutrition value. This makes it clear to the consumer whether or not the item is legitimate to it’s claim. What should first strike the consumer’s attention is why only 5 grams of whole wheat contains less than 1 gram of fiber. This does not add up, especially because whole wheat is supposed to be full of fiber, but the box contains the same amount as a regular box of Ritz Crackers ("Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers").The consumer can go farther to validate that this box is greenwashing when they read the list of main ingredients. The main component is unbleached enriched wheat flour, which proves that these crackers are not made with actual whole wheat grains ("Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers"). This is a major red flag because when something is "enriched" it loses many of its nutritious content, such as the fiber and minerals that our body needs. This explains to the consumer why there is only 1 gram of fiber for every 5 grams of whole wheat. Not only is it enriched flour, but it also contains wheat flour, which is one of the most trending greenwashing terms. This is because the term "wheat" makes the company seem as if they are changing their ingredients to whole wheat grains, but really they made their products with refined wheat grains. Many people do not know what wheat actually means when it is listed as an ingredient. Wheat is another term used to for refined whole wheat grains, but it allows the company of the product to advertise that they contain whole wheat. If a product actually contained whole wheat grains, then it would have at least 2 or more grams of fiber. People do not realize that when this flour is digested, it will turn straight into sugar. For example, an older women who is trying to add more fiber to her diet decided to pick these crackers as a healthier option. However, she is only harming her body by adding more sugar, and zero grams of fiber to her body("Hoax"). Since many consumers are trying to eat healthier, and stay away from white flour, they may be tempted by many of the everyday greenwashing terms ("About Greenwashing"). Whole Wheat may sound like the healthier choice, but people need to know their facts when it comes to ingredients. Overall, if consumers want whole wheat grains in their diet, then they need to read the ingredients to make sure it validates the product’s claim. Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers is just one of the many examples of a company that is currently tricking their consumers by using the term "Whole Wheat" on the cover of the box. Good sources of whole wheat can be products such as, low-fat popcorn, or anything FDA approved ("Hoax"). If people actually want to watch what they are putting in their body, then they need to be aware that greenwashing occurs all around our society. Next time your at the grocery, take a second to read the ingredients to make sure the product can validate their claim to be healthier.

Works Cited Ritz Crackers. Advertisement. "Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers Commercial." YouTube. YouTube, 14 Jun. 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015. "Whole Wheat Ritz Crackers." Snack Girl. Snack 9 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 Oct. 2015."About Greenwashing: Greenwashing Index." Greenwashing Index. EnviroMedia Social Marketing, 2015. Web. 15 Oct. 2015."Hoax of ‘Enriched Wheat Flour.’" The Institute for Natural Healing. The Institute for Natural Healing, 24 Aug. 2007. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

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