Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

    The Whole Foods on 7th Ave. and 24th St. in Chelsea is a nightmare in many ways—please, don’t get me started!—but if you get there right when the doors open at 8AM it’s bearable.

    They have good coffee at their coffee bar in back of the store, and a wide variety of hot teas. They have a good selection of muffins and scones in their bakery department, including, most importantly from my perspective, sugar-free ones. Since the closing of the much-missed Taylor Bakery on 18th a few years back, Whole Foods has been the only place in the neighborhood to find such items.

    So you can imagine my consternation when, for two weeks running, the store didn’t have any sugar-free offerings. I finally complained to the bakery manager, a woman, that they seemed to have stopped carrying their sugar-free muffins and scones. I pointed out that they used to have a sugar-free cranberry muffin, but now they had something that looked just like it, but was labeled “Vegan Cranberry” and had maple syrup in it. She told me that that was the same muffin they had always carried, and that they had never carried a sugar-free cranberry muffin.

    This wasn’t the first time they’d tried to discontinue the sugar-free products, so I had complained before. I knew that you had to keep after these people, because they’re always trying to put sugar into everything because it’s so cheap. In a sugar-free muffin they have to use costlier ingredients such as eggs and butter and cream—and fruit juice as a sweetener--in order to make it taste decent.

    My girlfriend Debbie also called and spoke to the bakery. After being repeatedly put on hold, she finally got through to a man who identified himself as a bakery employee. He said that sometimes they ran out of ingredients—though it’s funny they never run out of sugar--and that he’d call her back once he found out what had happened.

    Though he never did call Debbie back, a woman named Femima (possibly the same woman I spoke to) did call the next day. Femima explained that the muffins had been mislabeled all along, that in fact they had never been sugar-free, but had always contained maple syrup. That’s why the sugar-free cranberry muffin looked exactly the same as the vegan cranberry muffin: they were the same!

    It’s the same with the “sugar-free” currant scones: never actually sugar-free, they are now labeled “No-sugar Added Currant Scones” and contain Agave Syrup (though that still sounds like they are adding sugar).

    What’s more, it seems that in past instances when I complained that they had appeared to be discontinuing sugar-free products, it had been the same thing: they had just changed the labels to reflect the true ingredients. And when I raised a stink they just changed the labels back! How’s that for customer service?

    Thankfully, I am not a diabetic. For someone who is, this mislabeling could lead them to eat something that could induce a potentially life-threatening condition. I don’t see why everything I eat should have to contain sugar. But really, my reasons for wanting to avoid sugar are immaterial: the bottom line is, Whole Foods shouldn’t be mislabeling their products. www.hotelchelseablog.com

  • #2
    Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

    Hi AHCB,

    That is totally, absolutely outrageous. That is such a danger to diabetics. And you're right, it doesn't matter what your personal reason for not wanting sugar is, they should never say something is sugar free when it's not. People could die over something like that. I think this should be reported to the NYC health dept.
    Shirley

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

      I agree, this sounds like it warrants a call to the Health Department and/or the Public Advocate's office. Incorrectly reporting the contents of their food really could have dire consequences for many people. If they're mislabelling one item, I'd be suspicious of other WF-made products in the store, too.

      I also agree that the store is a nightmare. I don't hate Whole Foods, but you really do need nerves of steel to shop there unless you're lucky enough to find a time when it's empty (almost never). Thank Heavens for Trader Joe's. They're crowded too but they have a nicer vibe and a lot of fun products.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

        Hey gang,

        I think your better off contacting the Consumer Affairs Dept. as your complaint seems to be about misrepresentation.

        I also think that you may be barking up the wrong tree, as a label of "no-added-sugar" has quite a broad definition. There are many types of sugar, but if they do not add sucrose they may in compliance.

        Substituting sugar in baked goods is never very satisfactory on a commercial level. The finished product usually ends up gummy (Fruit juices) or to stodgy (Fruit purees).

        Good luck in your quest.

        CD
        Need computer assistance?
        See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

          Originally posted by AHCB View Post
          ...Femima explained that the muffins had been mislabeled all along, that in fact they had never been sugar-free, but had always contained maple syrup.
          Originally posted by seedyonenyc View Post
          I also think that you may be barking up the wrong tree, as a label of "no-added-sugar" has quite a broad definition. There are many types of sugar, but if they do not add sucrose they may in compliance.
          Then I have a couple of questions. AHCB said that the muffins had "in fact never been sugar-free, but had always contained maple syrup." I take it that means maple syrup counts as sugar.

          CD then said a label of "no-added-sugar" has a broad definition. But, if I'm following AHCB's story right, they didn't use that label until later. He didn't say specifically, but he indicated the labels originally said sugar free.
          Shirley

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

            That is outrageous -- that's like labeling a product "no peanuts" and neglecting to say that there's peanut oil in it. No difference to the guy with the peanut allergy. I used to trust WF. What else is mislabeled -- organic? fat free? Everything is about marketing. Consumers beware.

            Rose

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

              I found that maple sugar is twice as sweet as table sugar yet contains the same caloric value per volume.

              "Sugars
              Research clearly shows that sugars are an acceptable part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes, particularly sugars obtained from fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Up to 10 percent of total daily calories can come from added sugars, such as table sugar and sugar-sweetened products, without harming blood glucose control in most people with diabetes. For example, if you consume about 2,000 calories in a day, you could have up to (but no more than) 200 calories in the form of added sugar.

              Added Sugar Calories
              2 tsp table sugar: 40 calories
              2 tsp maple syrup: 40 calories
              2 hard candies: 40 calories
              2 tsp honey: 40 calories"

              Canadian Diabetes Assoc.

              This leads me to believe that is why whoever developed the Whole Foods muffins in question went that way.

              It is indeed a shame that the misleading label "sugar-free" was used, but at least WF has made an effort, a feeble one at that, but it is an effort to get back on track. IMHO a label of "low-sugar" would be more appropriate & as long as the customer realizes that the ingredients are listed in order of percentage of weight they can make an educated assessment. That's about all that one can ask for.

              In response to Rose_LA, I think if you dig deep into the "organic" claims that are being made in the marketplace today you will be pretty surprised.

              Here is the a great article that I read recently in Eating Well Magazine:

              "Caught in the middle are those of us whose only vested interest is putting a healthy meal on the table for our families?who simply want to shield our children from toxins, and do our small part to protect the environment and perhaps support a local farmer. All we?re asking, really, are a few simple questions. Is organic produce safer? Is it more nutritious? Is it friendlier to the environment than conventional agriculture? Is it worth spending more for organically grown food?"

              These questions are approached in the article that is full of surprises.

              My 2 cents: In a world where "truth in advertising" seems to be going out of fashion, "caveat emptor" seems to be replacing it.

              I find this very sad.

              CD
              Need computer assistance?
              See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

                Folks,

                Sugar-free generally means cane sugar-free, not without sugars, unless an artificial sweetener with a structure similar to sugar is used. My friends, you can't make a cake (muffin) without a sugar of some kind. Fruit juice has fructose (fruit sugar), which is a type of sugar, cane sugar is mainly sucrose. Contrary to popular belief, fructose, being a mono-saccharide is actaully worse for your metbolism as it is digested more quickly than sucrose. This is why there is so much uproar over high fructose corn syrup lately. If you're a diabetic, you really shouldn't be eating muffins anyway, stick to whole grain foods, which generally isn't muffins. Maple syrup also has sugars, 90% sucrose and 10% glucose... You can't win can you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

                  Sad, indeed, CD. Thanks for the article -- I couldn't read it all, but I come down on the side of the less exposure I give my child the better. I see it as a choice between a bottle of milk and a bottle of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. And I only buy my meat at Whole Foods, on the hope that their "naturally raised" label is not a lie, again, for my child -- mad cow disease IS IN this country, no matter what the government says.

                  Rose

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

                    I'm finding this even more outrageous then. So, if the muffins contained maple syrup they did indeed contain sugar yet they were labeled by Whole Foods as "sugar free", because they thought sugar from maple syrup would be good for people?

                    I don't think it's just a "shame" that the misleading sugar-free label was used, I think it's an outrage. And a very dangerous misleading of the public. All so Whole Foods can benefit from more sales that would stem from calling them sugar-free. Aren't you guys outraged by that? I am. It's not just sad, it's lies motivated by greed. And I'm shocked that Whole Foods, the one store I thought we could trust is engaged in this kind of deception.

                    If they'd lie about sugar-free why wouldn't they lie about "naturally raised" cattle? I really don't know how I can trust them on any of these claims anymore.

                    It's not up to them to determine whether sugar from any particular source is good for me. If it says sugar free it shouldn't have any sugar in it. How are we supposed to know you can't make muffins without some kind of sugar? I didn't know that. If the label said "sugar-free" I would have thought that meant No Sugar!

                    I appreciate CD's information, but I'm outraged by it at the same time. Because they think sugar from maple syrup is a good sugar they feel they can then claim it doesn't have sugar? That's outrageous. I don't see how this excuses what they did. When I'm in a store reading a label that says "sugar free" I don't have the opportunity to go online and discover it does indeed contain sugar, but since it's a sugar someone has determined is good for me they feel it's ok to call it sugar-free. That should be my choice whether I want sugar from whatever source, not someone else's.
                    Shirley

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Whole Foods Muffin Scam: Muffins Labeled Sugar-Free Contain Sugar

                      Shirley,

                      Give that article in Eating Well a read.

                      It explains how even with the increasing interest & concerns about the things that we eat, there is still a lot of misinformation & conflicts of interest are not helping.

                      As for the Whole Foods issue, just as you trust them to tell you what is in the products that they sell you, they are at the mercy of how trustworthy their suppliers are. Is the salmon truly wild or was it actually farm raised?

                      They are obviously more accountable for the product that they produce & it appears that the muffins in question are baked on premises. It is possible that they are using a pre-mix batter & merely baking off the finished product.

                      All I can say is that this is the exact reason that makes me buy my meat from a butcher. He buys it, he cuts it & he makes the change for my purchase. I trust his judgment. I go to Little Italy to buy my cheese from the guy who goes to Italy to buy them. There have been occasions where he will tell me that he is selling off a shipment for a very low price because it was below the usual standard. It is usable, but he will suggest that it be used in a quiche or other baked dish as it lacks the quality to stand-alone.

                      Whenever I can I go to the Farmer's market to buy my produce from the guy who pulled it out of the ground.

                      I know it is difficult but chain stores should be avoided. If you never see the guy who's name is on the front of the store, you'll never be able to trust the product completely.

                      In all the years that I have been a patron of Murray's the only complaint I ever had was when they used a flavored coffee in the regular urn & I was unable to get just plain coffee. I have never had to get Murray's ear, but it's always reassuring to see him behind the counter getting in everyone's way. It shows me that he cares.

                      This is not to say that the people that work at places like Whole Foods don't care, after all someone did call the customer about the muffins, it's just that it was probably someone who was more familiar with dealing with complaints than about what goes into making a muffin.

                      There are a number of bakeries on 9 Ave. There is a new one on 23rd St. Tell them what you want. Tell them what happened at WF. If there is really a demand for this product one of them will come up with something to fill the need. I personally think WF is way to busy.

                      My point is that those of us that give a hoot should support every small business we can. Only go into the superstore or supermarket as a last resort.

                      I find that it makes food shopping an adventure & a most enjoyable experience.

                      CD
                      Need computer assistance?
                      See my Classified/Computer maintenance listing or send me a private message.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X