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“Superfood” Muppets Misinform Kids About Healthy Eating

“Superfood” Muppets Misinform Kids About Healthy Eating

A popular educational program for children is launching a new group of muppets to help educate kids about superfoods, but some are questioning the ulterior motives of the new segment’s Big Pharma sponsors.

For a few years now, the natural foods industry has been going berserk for superfoods.

This catchy moniker is given to certain fruits, vegetables and some fishes that contain a double dose of disease fighting nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Even conventional doctors agree that these superfoods can help keep you healthy when eaten on a regular basis.

Now is seems that the iconic children’s television program Sesame Street is jumping on the superfood bandwagon as well.

A recent press release states:

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, with funding and partnership support of UnitedHealthcare and The Merck Company Foundation, today rolled out Food for Thought: Eating Well on a Budget, a bilingual (English-Spanish) multimedia outreach initiative designed to help support families who have children between the ages of two and eight, cope with uncertain or limited access to affordable and nutritious food.

The Food for Thought program will provide families with an educational outreach kit, which includes an original video featuring the debut of four new Sesame Street Muppets, the “Superfoods.” The video also features Elmo and friends, along with real families as they try new foods, learn about the importance of healthy snacks, and discover that sharing a meal together is a perfect opportunity to connect as a family.

This sounds like a great plan, but there’s one important caveat: the “Superfoods” (like most superheroes) aren’t what they seem to be.

The new muppets are a banana, a block of cheese, a whole wheat hamburger bun and a stalk of broccoli. As Natural News reports, with the exeption of the broccoli, these foods don’t fit the superfood criteria at all.

In fact, the muppets more are reminiscent of the infamous USDA “Food Pyramid” that’s been shown to be heavily influenced by food industry.

Who’s Pulling The Muppet Strings?

The Merck Company, a massive pharmaceutical corporation, has no interest in people getting healthy in a natural, affordable manner. Their financial and editorial involvement in the “Food for Thought” project should be a huge red flag to parents.

And the fact that only one out of 4 of the foods embodied by the new muppets actually lives up to its identity is another.

Partnering to launch a mis-information campaign such as this allows Merck to appear like it’s actually concerned about the health and well-being of children, while behind the scenes they’re working to keep families “trapped in a system of sick care that generates profits for the pharmaceutical industry” (Natural News).

Eating processed cheese (do you think the muppets specify that cheese contains highly addictive substances) and wheat buns that contain high fructose corn syrup does not a healthy child make. 

The last thing we need is another generation of adults that assumes most food is good for them just because the government or a television show says so.

If Sesame Street really wants to educate a new crop of healthy kids, they should be getting their information from farmers, nutritionists and holistic practitioners, not a vaccine manufacturer that propagates the idea that health requires a prescription.

 

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Image Credit: seasameworkshop.com

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110 comments

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12:15PM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

This is why it's up to the consumer to read up on nutrition. A great resource is The Food Revolution by John Robbins. The legislators are hired hands owned by special interest groups that generate the biggest paychecks.

12:15PM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

This is why it's up to the consumer to read up on nutrition. A great resource is The Food Revolution by John Robbins. The legislators are hired hands owned by special interest groups that generate the biggest paychecks.

12:14PM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

This is why it's up to the consumer to read up on nutrition. A great resource is The Food Revolution by John Robbins. The legislators are hired hands owned by special interest groups that generate the biggest paychecks.

12:14PM PDT on Sep 15, 2012

This is why it's up to the consumer to read up on nutrition. A great resource is The Food Revolution by John Robbins. The legislators are hired hands owned by special interest groups that generate the biggest paychecks.

6:21AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

I'm allergic to sesame. :-)

2:08PM PST on Nov 8, 2011

Stick to the facts - don't give in to the corporate arm!

4:42PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Leaning no because I have none but I think they would if I did. I appreciate that Sesame Street is trying to jump on the healthy food wagon, but they've got to stick with facts instead of money. They are playing with the wrong kind of green.

9:44AM PST on Jan 8, 2011

Leaned no on poll; on few ocassions it's necessary to investigate our children shows. As for companies like McDonald's, it is quintessential to inform them our choice is ultimate dictator of what we buy. LET MCDONONALS TAKE A "HEALTHLY" BEATING: IT IS NOT LIKE THEY WERE TAKEN BY SURPRISE. Consumers unites - dictate your right.
THE PREFERRED SESAME IDEAL I OWN AT THIS TIME IS BENTON CRACKERS.

2:52PM PST on Dec 30, 2010

It's unfortunate the kids are being misinformed. In my opinion they should be learning this from their parents and not from dancing food on TV.

7:55AM PST on Dec 18, 2010

I am more disturbed by the singing and dancing foods who must surely know they are going to be eaten. "Hi, I'm Betty the Banana! I have a short shelf life, so eat me quickly in a banana-cream pie!" Reminds me of a nearby barbecue place where they have a sign featuring a happy pig in a chef's hat. Would a pig really want to advertise the fact that his fellow pigs are being butchered and eaten? How about poor Mr. Broccoli up there, about to be the main attraction in my cream-of-broccoli soup?

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