Some Unknown Facts About Common Products

I got this in my email from a friend. I, of course, had to fact-check it. Four of the items in the email didn’t pass muster, but those that did I thought some of you might, just might be interested to know.

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Author: G.D.

I'm from Pensyltucky. Can trace my ancestry directly to whom the present day national anthem of Poland is written about. Presently repair slot machines at a casino.

14 thoughts on “Some Unknown Facts About Common Products”

  1. The bit about Ford and charcoal leaves out some interesting stuff. Not only did Ford make charcoal briquettes, they also had a portable, stamped metal charcoal grill kit (complete with the Ford logo stamped on it) to go with it.  The goal was to generate more demand for Ford cars, by encouraging picnicking – somewhere out in the country taking your Model T (or other Ford car).

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  2. Gerry D:

    This one doesn’t pass the sniff test. For one thing, a tomato is pictured. Allowing that the tomato can be considered a fruit, tomato juice is made from tomato concentrate. Grapefruit juice is also clearly from grapefruits not apples, which is why people are cautioned to avoid it when taking certain drugs. Pomegranate juice comes from… wait for it… pomegranates. Dole sells pineapple juice that is 100% from pineapples. I suppose they might be just plain lying.

    I have to wonder which juices are made by flavoring apple juice and calling it something else. Can’t think of any offhand.

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  3. I always thought that one of the great things about Play-Doh was that if kids eat it (as they are prone to do), the worst that would happen is that they’d gain some weight.

    Now I learn it contains “water, a starch-based binder, a retrogradation inhibitor, salt, lubricant, surfactant, preservative, hardener, humectant, fragrance, and color.  A petroleum additive gives the compound a smooth feel, and borax prevents mold from developing.  Play-Doh contains some wheat and may cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to wheat gluten. It is not intended to be eaten.”

    Ick.  But it tasted so good!

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  4. drlorentz:
    This one doesn’t pass the sniff test. For one thing, a tomato is pictured. Allowing that the tomato can be considered a fruit, tomato juice is made from tomato concentrate.

    Agreed.  At least in Europe, when you buy fruit juice, the contents are explicitly declared on the package.  The assertion doesn’t even pass the taste test: there’s nothing you can do to apple juice to make it taste like tomato juice.  When you buy mixed juices (for example, “red berries” juices), you’ll often discover that there’s a substantial component of apple juice in them, but I’ve never seen a pure juice which was anything other than as advertised.  (I’m doing this by taste, of course, not GCMS.)

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  5. John Walker:
    Agreed.  At least in Europe, when you buy fruit juice, the contents are explicitly declared on the package.

     

    “How about truth in advertising?”

    “Of course, there is some truth in advertising. There’s yeast in bread, but you can’t make bread with yeast alone. Truth in advertising,” announced Lord Peter sententiously, “is like leaven, which a woman hid in three measures of meal. It provides a suitable quantity of gas, with which to blow out a mass of crude misrepresentation into a form that the public can swallow. Which incidentally brings me to the delicate and important distinction between the words ‘with’ and ‘from.’ Suppose you are advertising lemonade, or, not to be invidious, we will say perry. If you say ‘Our perry is made from fresh-plucked pears only,’ then it’s got to be made from pears only, or the statement is actionable; if you just say it is made ‘from pears,’ without the ‘only,’ the betting is that it is probably made chiefly of pears; but if you say, ‘made with pears,’ you generally mean that you use a peck of pears to a ton of turnips, and the law cannot touch you–such are the niceties of our English tongue.”

    (From Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy Sayers)

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  6. drlorentz:

    Gerry D:

    This one doesn’t pass the sniff test. For one thing, a tomato is pictured. Allowing that the tomato can be considered a fruit, tomato juice is made from tomato concentrate. Grapefruit juice is also clearly from grapefruits not apples, which is why people are cautioned to avoid it when taking certain drugs. Pomegranate juice comes from… wait for it… pomegranates. Dole sells pineapple juice that is 100% from pineapples. I suppose they might be just plain lying.

    I have to wonder which juices are made by flavoring apple juice and calling it something else. Can’t think of any offhand.

    Granted, some few juices are not on the list, pineapple juice is pineapple juice. And the graphic was ill chosen for this idea or claim.

    https://www.thecut.com/2016/10/naked-juice-lawsuit-claims-drinks-are-mostly-apple-juice.html

    https://www.philforhumanity.com/Most_Juices_are_Apple_Juice.html

    https://www.chowhound.com/post/apple-juice-smoothie-mixed-juice-930898

    Next time you see a juice at the grocery store, read the label. You will be surprised. (of course there are exceptions, but apple juice is used in a very large percentage of “other” juices.)

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  7. In Switzerland, I discovered Migros’ and Coop’s excellent fruit syrups, which are made up of around 35% the fruit flavor advertised. I particularly like raspberry. I searched for a similar product on online retailers back home in the US. There was not a single brand of “raspberry” syrup which actually contained any raspberries.

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  8. civil westman:
    In Switzerland, I discovered Migros’ and Coop’s excellent fruit syrups, which are made up of around 35% the fruit flavor advertised. I particularly like raspberry. I searched for a similar product on online retailers back home in the US. There was not a single brand of “raspberry” syrup which actually contained any raspberries.

    That’s giving consumers the raspberry!

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  9. civil westman:
    In Switzerland, I discovered Migros’ and Coop’s excellent fruit syrups, which are made up of around 35% the fruit flavor advertised.

    Here is the syrup page at Migros.  None of the fruit syrups contain apple juice or anything other than the juice of the fruit on the label (usually from concentrate) as a primary ingredient.  For example, here are the ingredients of the raspberry syrup.

    Sucre (Suisse), jus de framboise à partir de concentré 30%, eau, jus de fruit colorant (sureau), acidifiant : acide citrique, conservateur : E202, antioxydant : dioxyde de soufre.

    The syrup contains elderberry (sureau) juice as a colouring agent, but this is a minor ingredient after raspberry juice and water.  There is a sugar-free version of the raspberry syrup with ingredients as follows:

    Eau, fibres de maïs, jus de framboise à partir de concentré 30%, jus de fruits et extrait végétal colorants (sureau, citron, carthame), acidifiant: acide citrique, arôme, édulcorants: sucralose et acésulfame K, conservateurs: E202 et E211, antioxydant: dioxyde de soufre.

    I don’t know what the maize fibres are about: probably a thickening agent so the consistency of the syrup resembles the one with sugar.

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  10. Gerry D:
    https://www.thecut.com/2016/10/naked-juice-lawsuit-claims-drinks-are-mostly-apple-juice.html

    This link is about a lawsuit about one particular brand of vegetable juice and not about fruit juice brands at all. Recall the claim was “most fruit juice…” But let’s consider the most famous vegetable juice, albeit one that would never pass my lips: V8. The leading ingredients (after water) are juices of tomatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach. No mention of apple juice. Zero truth value to the original claim.

    Gerry D:
    https://www.philforhumanity.com/Most_Juices_are_Apple_Juice.html

    This is the blog of some guy on the interwebs making claims with no evidence.

    Gerry D:
    https://www.chowhound.com/post/apple-juice-smoothie-mixed-juice-930898

    A few examples of products by the brand (Naked Juice) subject to the lawsuit mentioned above plus smoothies (not advertised as juice) from another brand (Odwalla). Most of the latter were broken links. Weak sauce.

    None of this supports the original claim that most fruit juice is just flavored apple juice. The evidence was not all about fruit juice and it was not about most products in the category. In other words, every word was a lie, including and” and “the”. My BS meter remains pinned on the right.

    It’s disturbing to me how pure, obvious nonsense circulates so widely and is accepted so readily in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. It also has the unfortunate side effect of undermining the credibility of other, possibly correct, claims.

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  11. drlorentz:
     

    It’s disturbing to me how pure, obvious nonsense circulates so widely and is accepted so readily in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. It also has the unfortunate side effect of undermining the credibility of other, possibly correct, claims.

    Well, we will have to agree to disagree. A recent sample at a local grocery chain did in fact show apple juice in several other juice products. Next time I’m there I will attempt to take a photograph of the ingredients.

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  12. Juicy Juice is marketed to parents as a good, healthy, all fruit juice alternative to juice “drinks,” etc.  Every flavor begins with virtually the same ingredient list: apple, pear and grape juice from concentrate and they all begin with apple juice.

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  13. Gerry D:

    drlorentz:
    It’s disturbing to me how pure, obvious nonsense circulates so widely and is accepted so readily in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. It also has the unfortunate side effect of undermining the credibility of other, possibly correct, claims.

    Well, we will have to agree to disagree. A recent sample at a local grocery chain did in fact show apple juice in several other juice products. Next time I’m there I will attempt to take a photograph of the ingredients.

    Please select fruit juice products to be relevant to the original claim instead of using vegetable products or smoothies, neither of which qualify as fruit juice. Meanwhile, keep in mind that I have already provided ample evidence to the contrary. Hence, a couple of labels would not prove the point about most fruit juice. Remember the three key words: “most”, “fruit”, and “juice”.

    You can try to argue that a tomato is a fruit (the US Supreme Court disagrees) but please don’t include kale products as you did above. Kale is definitely not a fruit. I’m not even sure it’s a vegetable; it’s more of an abomination.

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  14. 9thDistrictNeighbor:
    Juicy Juice is marketed to parents as a good, healthy, all fruit juice alternative to juice “drinks,” etc.  Every flavor begins with virtually the same ingredient list: apple, pear and grape juice from concentrate and they all begin with apple juice.

    Point taken. However, even though apple juice may be the first ingredient it may not be the majority constituent. First ingredient simply means the single most abundant. For example, it might be 40% apple juice and 60% other juices.* The proportions are not listed so we can’t know what they are. However, it seem unlikely that most of these could be predominantly (>>50%) apple juice, the clear implication of the factoid quoted in the OP.

    Furthermore, the claim in the OP is that such products are apple juice plus some flavoring: “just flavored apple juice”. The Juicy Juice ingredients contain other fruit juices. For example, Kiwi Strawberry contains apple, grape, kiwi, and strawberry juices. The FTC would make a fuss if their Kiwi Strawberry product contained neither kiwi nor strawberry juice. Hence, the Juicy Juice case specifically refutes the claim made in the OP.

    *N.B.: Juicy Juice claims their products are 100% fruit juice so the percentages will total 100 aside from rounding errors.

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