• Posted by Califia Suntree on March 29th, 2011, 10:04 AM

    As any thrifty shopper knows, miniature food always costs more. Those tiny packs of chips or yogurt or mini candy bars are invariably a bad deal, and  “lower calorie” versions of packaged foods cost more than their straight-up kin. I could never understand that one, but thanks to a must-read article in today’s New York Times I now have an explanation: We are being hoodwinked.

    The article reveals that however savvy a shopper you may be, those food companies are always one step ahead. Those “lower calorie” snack packs are just regular snacks in smaller packages (so, yes, technically “lower calorie” than, uh, more food)—but they can charge the same or more due per ounce to the “healthier” claims and cute new design. Similarly, those “greener” packages (which I admit to occasionally falling prey to) use “less energy and packaging” because there is simply less.

    We are facing a global rise in food prices, and companies want to cover their (low calorie! greener! snack-size!) nut by tricking us into pay more for less. All I can hope is that this helps to get people off the packaged goods and back to “perimeter” shopping. After all, a pound of potatoes can’t lie.

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