Is It Time for Organic, All-Natural, Artificial Blueberries?

jm3/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Have you ever bought a blueberry product, only to read the label at home and learn that you were tricked? You bought those pancakes, or muffins, or a similar goody, lured by the wholesome nutrients and antioxidants of blueberries. Did you stop buying it when you learned the marketers sold you blue cubes of partially hydrogenated oil and dextrose?

If you did, you are in the minority, because these products continue to fly off the shelf. Few seem to care that instead of healthy blueberries, they are being sold fats -- maybe still trans-fats -- mixed with glucose (dextrose is the marketer's fancy name for this simple sugar).

Are artificial blueberries a good thing? Do they help to preserve natural areas that would otherwise be overrun by blueberry cultivation? Well, not really. This delicious fruit can be grown lots of places, even in rooftop blueberry gardens.

So the standby excuse for industrial farming, that we cannot feed 7 billion people otherwise, does not work for trans-fat-sugar "blueberries".

It can only be a matter of time before the public realizes they do not want to eat trans-fats, supplying defective building blocks for their body to use. But will the convenience-addicted consumer be willing to go to the trouble to buy blueberries and throw a handful in with their pancake mix (or even homemade pancake batter)?

No, there can be only one solution. Food chemists need to go back to the drawing boards. They will extract the essence of real organic blueberries -- the colors, the flavors. They need to source organic oils and sugars to mix and press into tiny blue cubes. They will mix these with the natural colors and flavors they have gotten from the blueberries, and add yet more flavors, perhaps more colors. They will perfect a super fake blueberry: the organic, all-natural, artificial blueberry.

Then marketers will get to work, equipped with the ultimate tool: the goodness of "blueberries" and the trendiness of "natural, organic" all wrapped up in tiny blue cubes of convenience. It will be the greatest achievement of culinary science. It will be a sad day for real food.

Excuse us, we need to go eat some blueberries. Hopefully that will be the antidote to this nightmare.

Tags: Cooking | Diet | Food Safety | Fruits & Vegetables

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