A San Diego mother is suing Ferrero, the maker of chocolate-hazelnut spread Nutella, for claiming the product is a "nutritious" part of a healthy breakfast. Athena Hohenberg claims she was "shocked" to learn that Nutella was actually "the next best thing to a candy bar." The plaintiff hopes the claim will become a class action lawsuit, so that other mothers can share in any monetary judgement. Is her anger justified?
Yes. Nutella is junk food: Nutella's main ingredients are sugar and palm oil, says Travis Saunders at Obesity Panacea. "Roughly half the calories in Nutella are from sugar, and the other half are from fat." A single serving contains precisely no Vitamin A or C, and "just 10 percent of [your] recommended intake of Vitamin E." So in what way, exactly, is this "nutritious"?
"Nutella — delicious? Yes! Nutritious? Probably not"
No way. This lawsuit is ridiculous: Here's some advice for Hohenberg, says Amy Scattergood at L.A. Weekly. "If you normally feed [your kids] good food, a jar of Nutella now and then isn't going to kill anyone." Sure, it isn't any better than the "Froot Loops and Egg McMuffin and supersized Coke" you might buy your kid from time to time. But you don't need a lawsuit to keep your children safe. "A little responsible parenting" will do just fine.
"California mother sues Nutella: OMG it's not health food"
If Nutella was healthy, it would be awful: Whole Foods made its own chocolate hazelnut spread a few years ago, says Richard Gorelick in The Baltimore Sun, and it was a "much better-made product." It had none of the "hydrogenated oils" prevalent in European foods, and "nothing artificial." But the result was "completely without appeal." Put simply, "Nutella is so good because it's bad."
"Morning reading — wine smuggling, Nutella and Let's Move"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Scottish independence is another financial crisis waiting to happen
- Fall movie guide: All the films you should see in September
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
Subscribe to the Week