Food Labeling Gone Wild

Food Ingredients

What’s really in your food

Food Labeling Gone Wild!

By Tom McHale
Article republished with permission from

Overheard in a Wal-Mart food processing facility just outside of Toad Suck, Arkansas
Bodean: “Clem, did all y’all finish with that batch of Grape Jelly yet?”
Clem: “Yup.”
Bodean: “You remember to add the anchovies?”
Clem: “Ummm… Dangit!”

Either Wal-Mart food suppliers use a really creative grape jelly recipe, or this is what happens when lawyers rule the earth.

You see,  I broke out a couple of slices of Udi’s White Sandwich Loaf bread this morning to make some breakfast. I was craving some good old fashioned toast with just a light touch boatload of butter and some mostly artificial grape jelly. Fortunately my fine young son stopped at Wal-Mart last night to get me some of that jelly goodness as I was clean out.

Anyway, as I started to prepare my toast, I happened to check the ingredients label on my new Great Value Squeezable Grape Jelly. I did this mostly out of habit I suppose as I’ve yet to run across any synthesized purple gelatinous food product that contains gluten.

Wal-Mart’s Special Seafood Jelly

Imagine my surprise when the ingredients label contained 6 of the 8 major allergens as defined by the FDA. All except shellfish and tree nuts. So that would include milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, eggs, and anchovies. Mmm, nothing like a little anchovy to add some zest to good old fashioned grape jelly!

I’m guessing that there’s not really much risk of my grape jelly getting contaminated with anchovies during the manufacturing process. If there is, I don’t even want to begin to imagine what kind of food processing plant that stuff is made in. The Grinch’s lair comes to mind.

More likely, Wal-Marts crack legal team simply decided to cover all the bases, thereby rendering the intent of the warning absolutely useless. “Hey, let’s just list all of the allergens. That way, no one can sue us!” Problem solved. I’m guessing that Wal-Mart legal fully intended to list all 8 allergens, but simply assumed that Fish / Shellfish and Peanuts / Tree Nuts could be combined to save ink. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Note: LunaGrown felt the necessity to request permission to republish this article to share with our customers an often overlooked reality.  All politics aside you deserve to know what is in your food products and what ramifications the ingredients may have on your body whether you suffer from allergens or not.  The idea that some Jam may contain Anchovies might be absurd to many, but here it is right on the label.

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