Cookies are still cookies, no matter what you say about them

Mom instructed me that if you can’t say anything nice, to not say anything at all. But at least one corollary just doesn’t hold up, as exemplified by an ad for cookies that Dr. Yoni Freedhoff highlighted on his blog.

The ad says many nice things about the product, each one of them (possibly) true, but obscuring the basic fact that cookies are not nutritious and shouldn’t be thought of as substitutes for tomato juice, spinach, or fruit. Few would think that, of course, but ads like this give cover to those who want to feel better about eating crap.

As I’ve said before, sawdust is full of fiber and horse shit is natural, but that doesn’t mean you’d eat them.

My strong suggestion: Stop thinking of food products as high in this, or fortified with that, and follow a version of Michael Pollan’s dictum to “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

I’m not a luddite opposed to any food processing, because, for example, I don’t eat wheat off the stalk. But every complication, every manipulation away from the natural state is less advisable than the last. And every claim that compares a food-like product to something from nature, pull out your bullshit meter, even if it would be wicked cool if cookies really were as nutritionally beneficial as, say, apples.

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