I was in GNC in Boston this afternoon, seeking nuts.
At the counter was a bowl of chews, obviously available as samples. The lady in front of me was offered one.
They're good for you - they contain omega 3, stated the GNC employee with confidence.
The bags of 'Omega 3 Soft Chews' were on sale in a bucket nearby, so I had a look at the ingredients. Main ingredient - sugar, second largest ingredient, corn syrup (see image below.)
Holy crap. I mean holy crap.
It's been a while since I moaned about the various double standards practised by so-called health food stores, with their aspartame-packed muscle formulas and 'yogurt'-coated raisins - so perhaps I have just lost my ability to shrug off this kind of cynical product development and marketing.
In case you are interested, in 2008, on The Great Cake Porn Tour, I identified GNC in New York as a peddler of nonsense health food. I also wrote in this post to the CEO of a UK health food store, Holland and Barrett, who I discovered owned GNC, raising my concerns.
So today, standing in line, I was getting ready to quiz the GNC guy when he offered me a chew.
What are the ingredients? I was going to ask.
Since sugar is bad for you and omega 3 is good, but there's more sugar than omega 3 in the chews, doesn't that mean they are NOT good for you?
...was going to be my slightly flawed, but in his world, probably watertight reply.
Alas, he never offered me a chew. He must have sensed the latent awkwardness in my face.