A competitive athlete and data professional takes on the industry

I am a professional intelligence data analyst. I scour thousands of pages of documents a week, reading and analyzing more than a person enrolled in two PhD programs. I take the utmost care to be completely unbiased in my data because it is used in the highest levels of government. You will see the difference between the data and opinions. Opinions are of course by nature biased and I will tell you it's because of what the data reveals.  

I'm also a national and world championship contender in triathlon, shows on Netflix, obstacle courses, Ninja Warrior, and endurance sports. How food affects the body, mind, and spirit is very evident to me and part of the third evolution of this blog.  

Our family cooks all our own food, shops locally, and we raise our kids to believe there are no limits to the human experience. Data proves this to be true.  

I also have studied law, both business and international, so I am aware of the way companies are allowed to use vague words or sentences that are crafted in a way to make you think one thing even though it really means another. they know think you know what they mean, but when challenged legally, they can point out that it means something totally different, and in many cases opposite from what you think it means. Hopefully that long sentence makes sense, if not let me know.

So I cannot help noticing the way companies attempt to fool us with their labeling and advertisements. I feel compelled to put my skills and talents for good use. Here you will see a very interesting way to look at the food you buy. I'll show you the sneaky ways that all brands, including the ones you think you trust the most, are the ones most fooling or scamming you.

Dishonesty and manipulation is everywhere. You cannot defend yourself. But you can protect yourself. And as a professional intelligence analyst, I think I'm in a particular position to do great help.

Let's do a test of your understanding. Look at this ad. Then let's talk about how you interpret labels.  

Perception is Reality

Firstly, companies know that you will be looking at their product alongside others. This is very important to know. Secondly, we, consumers believe that if it's on a label and it has _____-free such as, paraben-free, we assume, "wow ok so all the other ones have paraben and clearly since this one is free of paraben, this ingredient must harm me somehow." That is an understandable assumption, but one that the label and the company do not make. So they put this stuff on labels to make you think it is superior to the others. Take a look at this image and we'll come back to the other ones. 



I remember when my son was born we went shopping for wipes. After seeing Caboo Baby Wipes on the shelf, I instantly resented the way this product deceived consumers. 

As for my blog, this product is a bonanza. Your brain works incredibly fast and the company knows that likely you see it and think, "oh wow this is biodegradable, that means the others will sit in a landfill for 100 years, and the scent is natural aloe, wow aloe is soothing, good for sun tan burns, that means the others probably have fake scents that could cause cancer in the State of California. Oh and its hypoallergenic which, I remember looking this up before means I can't be allergic to it, nor my precious baby. Some of the others say it so I should def stick to hypoallergenic. 

Oh wow and it says sustainable bamboo, well the others aren't sustainable? Oh that means some forest in Brazil is being chopped down so I can wipe BBQ sauce off my face or clean up a baby mess on an airplane. Now wait, this doesn't have chlorine? Oh no I don't want chlorine on my baby's behind, Paraben? Hmm can't take a risk, it is literally next to the word Chlorine so it must be just as bad. And Sulfates sound really bad, they mine that stuff from the ground so, and it sounds like sulfuric acid which has the word acid in it so, there's no way I'm not buying this brand. Plus it's green and I know green packaging = good. Oh and the happy pandas. This cannot be further from the truth. I'll explain in a bit.

Go back up and see the first image. Yes that literally says, Gluten Free water and has a 27 dollar price tag, Some of you may be thinking, what the heck? Yes all water is gluten free. All of it. So why did this occur. First companies want you to buy their stuff. They will put whatever they think will catch your eye and make you want their stuff over others. High prices? Yes, high prices are a sign of quality to most consumers. Don't believe me? Look at When High Prices Attract Consumers and Low Prices Repel Them.

These two examples are a great introduction to why I'm writing this blog about them.

What do you have to look forward to?

  • Organic, healthy, all-natural products that have the same price per important ingredient as the artificial and processed conventional ones
  • Ingredient stuffing (to lower the price), with canola oil, sugar, etc
  • Mystery ingredient "natural flavoring" (is really urine or other really unbelievable stuff)

About me:

I promise to have official references and resources and as well as other reporting that show's concern, but I will not use as an official reference. I will have the official FDA website that defines these terms and then investigatory reports on why these things should concern you. I appreciate your feedback as I grow this into something quite useful.

References: Sec. 501.22 Animal foods; labeling of spices, flavorings, colorings, and chemical preservatives.

FDA. gov FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List