by Marion Nestle
Jan 11 2013

The Leanwashing Index: Yes!

I was unfamiliar with the Leanwashing Index, but am delighted to learn about it.  EnviroMedia launched it in 2012 to discourage advertisers from using absurdities to push products.

EnviroMedia explains the inspiration for the Index: the appearance of the word “Superfood” on Lake Superior State University’s 38th annual List of Words to be Banished.

Here’s the 2013 Leanwashing list:

  • Natural
  • Made With
  • Whole Grains
  • Light
  • 100 Calorie

Away with all of them!  (I can think of plenty more.  Send your suggestions to the site.)

Here’s a prime example:

And while we are on the subject of whole grains, you might want to take a look at Colbert’s latest “Thought for Food.”

Enjoy the weekend!

  • Let’s add ‘gourmet’ and ‘new and improved’ to the list.

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  • Yeah … let’s add “good source of” and “heart healthy” to the list. Hard to believe food companies still have the leeway to blatantly lie and deceive for the sake of selling products. Your picture is a perfect example. Problem is, there are parents who don’t know any better and see a box of Lucky Charms and say, “hey, it says good source of whole grains so it must be healthy.”

    Like the Leanwashing concept though…cool stuff.

  • I wish food manufacturers would actually honor this list since these words and phrases are used only to confuse shoppers to think junk food is good for them. I always remind clients and friends that real food doesn’t need marketing.