Never Thought the Day Would Come

Not to sound overly cocky, but I really know my stuff when it comes to reading food labels. I’ve heard other people say they’d been fooled by misreading a nutrition label many times, but I always thought they just weren’t looking carefully enough or just weren’t as label savvy as I am. Modesty at its best.

Well my friends, I am sorry to say that the day has come where I got completely fooled by a food label. And the culprit?

Fresh Express Salad Kits.

Specifically, this one:

Source.

On my way home from work on Wednesday, I stopped by the grocery store quickly to grab a few things because I completely ran out of salad greens and bananas – two essentials. I tend to buy food (and everything else) based on what’s on sale, and as I was eyeing the bagged salads, I noticed that the Fresh Express Salad Kits were on sale for Buy One, Get One Free.

I’d never tried them before, but decided that could be a great option for a quick lunch since it came with everything I’d need it the bag. I flipped over several of the bags to check out the nutrition info, whipped out my iPhone, and plugged the info into the Weight Watchers app to see how many PointsPlus it was.

I figured I’d eat the entire bag for lunch, and noticed the Pear Gorgonzola Kit had 2 servings in the bag. I plugged the nutrition info in there and realized it was 7 pts+ for the whole bag – not bad at all.

Source.

I checked several other bags that had 2 servings in them, but they would have a lot of fat or a lot of carbs so I knew they’d be a bit higher in points. Then I found the Salsa! Ensalada Kit and doubled the nutrition information on the bag and realized it had just 5 pts+ for the whole bag – score! I decided to get that one plus the Pear Gorgonzola one to have for lunches and at just $2 a pop with the sale – it wasn’t too shabby.

So I decided to go with the Salsa! Ensalada for lunch yesterday, which had romaine, Mexican cheese, tortilla strips, and salad dressing. I decided to punch up the protein with ½ cup of black beans for some staying power, and that turned out to be a great idea. The salad was absolutely delicious, almost too good with the creamy dressing, cheese, and tortilla chips to be as PointPlus friendly as I thought it was.

After I got back to my desk, I decided to double check the nutrition just to be sure, and it was a good thing I took a second look. Though the bag was the EXACT SAME SIZE as all the other bags, this one had 3.5 servings as opposed to just 2 like the others. When I replugged in the information, it turns out the bag had 10 pts+ instead of 5pts+ for the entire thing.

How is it possible that two bags that are the exact same size and by the same brand have 2 versus 3.5 servings? This seems like a clear case of a food manufacturer trying to make their product seem healthier than it is by saying there are more servings in the bag, which translates to less calories, fat, and carbs per serving. It’s not the end of the world because 10 pts+ isn’t THAT bad for an entire bag of salad, especially when you compare it to nutrition information from a similar salad you might get at a restaurant. That said, it’s still pretty frustrating!

Have you ever been fooled by a food label before?

14 Comments on Never Thought the Day Would Come

  1. Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    April 20, 2012 at 9:42 am (8 years ago)

    I think the trickiest ingredient label there is belongs to bread. It’s really difficult for people to understand whole wheat vs 100% whole wheat vs wheat, etc. This is for grocery store bread of course – bakery bread typically is only yeast, water, salt, etc. It just sucks that manufacturers make it so difficult for people to actually eat all natural bread!

    Reply
  2. Tori
    April 20, 2012 at 9:48 am (8 years ago)

    Oh mannn that SUCKS!! 🙁 How frustrating!

    To me, I am SO confused by popcorn. I have been following WW on and off for like 5 years now & the only popcorn I can buy are the individual 100 calorie bags, because any other regular sized bag of popcorn or heck even air popping, confuses the heck outta me!!

    Reply
    • Amy
      April 21, 2012 at 11:35 am (8 years ago)

      I totally agree with this! The popcorn nutrition labels are RIDICULOUS!!

      Reply
  3. Megan C.
    April 20, 2012 at 10:22 am (8 years ago)

    That is so frustrating! I’ve had that happen with some of the microwave soups that one flavor will be 1.5 servings and another is 2 servings, etc. And I hate when I discover the mistake after I eat it.

    Reply
  4. Michael
    April 20, 2012 at 10:25 am (8 years ago)

    I used to buy those, just the plain salad bags, but they go bad so quickly so I stopped. Now I buy just fresh romaine and all salads are custom =]

    As for you being duped, that’s disappointing. Did the bag state that it was 3.5 servings and you happened to miss it? I have a feeling the serving was the same but the cheese, dressing and tortilla strips may not have been taken into account properly on the bag itself. At least it’s a lesson learned.

    Reply
  5. ChristinE
    April 20, 2012 at 10:41 am (8 years ago)

    I believe it! Although I dot count calories or points or anything, as a general rule I always steer clear of tortilla strips especially, cheese unless I know it’s low fat, and creamy dressings.

    Reply
  6. Lisa
    April 20, 2012 at 11:44 am (8 years ago)

    I hate when that happens! That happened to me once. Somehow I’d looked at the wrong label, or read it wrong or something, and there was a pasta mix or soup that I thought was 1 serving and it was really 2. I’d been recording it at 400 calories when it was really 800. I was SO pissed!

    Reply
  7. Hilary
    April 20, 2012 at 11:53 am (8 years ago)

    Yeah, that’s super-frustrating! Usually the times when I’ve messed up come when I’m in a rush and don’t take the time to label read like I should.

    Reply
  8. Valeriekw
    April 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm (8 years ago)

    That is a bummer. I do like that the Trader Joe salads show the nutritional info with, and without the dressing. But, you have to watch those too, as some of them are a single serving per container, and some are 2. But, you can usually tell by the size of the package. I am LOVING getting a few TJ salads for lunches – they have such interesting ingredients and I can get tired of packing my own salads. Plus, they are all around $4 which is not bad (and still cheaper than eating out!).

    Reply
  9. Kim @ Kickin' it with Kim
    April 20, 2012 at 7:20 pm (8 years ago)

    Wow, now I’m going to pay REALLy close attention to the nutrition labels. You’re right, they’re making these changes to make their product appear even “healthier.” Thanks for the heads up!

    Reply
  10. Ann
    April 20, 2012 at 8:53 pm (8 years ago)

    Popcorn confuses me, too. I just can’t figure it out!

    Reply
    • Tori
      April 20, 2012 at 9:59 pm (8 years ago)

      lol, so glad I am not alone!! ahhh!

      Reply
  11. Kate @KateMovingForward
    April 20, 2012 at 8:58 pm (8 years ago)

    Ooh those sneaky lil devils!! That would make me so mad! I’ve been fooled by frozen yogurt and sugar-free cookies, but now I check and double check!

    Reply
  12. Susan
    May 12, 2012 at 6:18 pm (8 years ago)

    I was recently very annoyed to find out the bread I was eating was a good option…turns out, though I’d read the label….I didn’t read it entirely. Weight Watchers 100% whole wheat bread is only 1 pt per slice and I’ve yet to find another like that. And the first ingredient is Whole Wheat Flour. But the 4th ingredient is HFCS 🙁 SOOOO disappointed. So I”m switching it up and if I’m going to have some carbs, I’m going to use a point or two more to get something that doesn’t have HCFS. What’s more…now that I know it’s in there…the bread tastes sweeter to me…funny how our minds work! LOVE the WW program…disappointed in their food products…

    Reply

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