Thursday, May 21, 2009

Kellogg's Tri-Fun Pack & the U.S.D.A. Child Nutrition Program

(First of four parts)

As I discussed last Friday, the labeling on food packaging can be disingenuous, to say the least. One of the reasons why I phone the food companies’ toll-free numbers is to call them out on their bullshit. Usually the explanations offered by the customer service representatives are as circumspect as the nutritional claims I am inquiring about.

But is anyone overseeing quality control? Are the inmates running the asylum?

Last week I called Kellogg’s twice within five hours and received two different answers to the same question from Rick and Veronica. That same evening I called a third time and explained the situation to Janine, who was flummoxed by the inconsistency. She told me she would have a nutritional specialist get back to me with the correct information.

What, exactly, was so difficult?

At my local supermarket, I saw a colorful Kellogg’s “Tri-Fun Pack” of Froot Loops, Corn Pops and Apple Jacks adorned with a shield stating “CAN BE USED IN CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAMS” on the front of the box. The same logo can be found on the back of the box, with the additional claim that “This product qualifies for the USDA Child Nutrition Program. Grain/Bread component.”

Flabbergasted as to how Froot Loops, Corn Pops and Apple Jacks could possibly be used in any child nutrition program, I called Kellogg’s to ask how the three cereals qualified.

Sounds simple enough, no?

(Tomorrow: My first call to Kellogg's)

No comments: