Having worked in a FMCG companies, I know that to get the ‘privilege’ of putting this tick on a product costs thousands of a dollars a year. So if you’re a new, smaller company, even if your product is super-healthy, you probably wouldn’t be able to afford this little red and white marketing ploy.
And why would you want to?
The Tick supports foods that have less ‘unhealthy’ fats. They class Saturated fats as unhealthy. Coconut oil, one of the healthiest oils around being antifungal, antimicrobial and great for energy is almost ALL saturated fat. Hence wouldn’t make the cut for the Heart Foundation Tick. It’s not about the TYPE of fat; it’s about how it’s used. Read this post by The Paleo Mom for an in-depth explanation of which fats are best for you.
The tick supports foods that have less salt. So a canister of Himalayan Pink Salt wouldn’t get the Tick; in spite of it containing over 84 trace minerals, including Iodine and Selenium which support the healthy working of the thyroid gland. Crazy!
The tick also supports foods with more Calcium. Which means that antibiotic-ridden, pasteurised and homogenised cow’s milk would get the tick. Homogenized milk has been shown to contribute to heart disease, diabetes and other chronic disorders, as well as allergies, largely by boosting the absorbability of an enzyme in milk called xanthine oxidase (XOD). Higher blood levels of XOD increase disease-promoting inflammatory processes.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of dairy consumption in the world, and also the highest rates of allergies, obesity and asthma. And while it might not be a direct causation, there is some cause for thought over correlation.
One whole-wheat and sultana based breakfast cereal boasts the health tick. However a closer look at the nutrition panel shows that this cereal is 23% sugar, or 10.2g of sugar per 45g (¾ cup) serving! And who has ¾ cup of cereal for breakfast? (And don’t even get me started on the gluten!).
Milo also has the heart tick. What?! A food that is 51% sugar, with no redeeming natural vitamins or minerals!
While you only have to look at our appalling obesity rates in NZ (1 in 3 kiwis are obese!), to realise that as a nation we need education around healthier food choices, are expensive ticks all over our food going to really help? While I do admit that the Heart Foundation does some brilliant work for those suffering from various forms of chronic heart disease, who do you think will eventually cop the cost of putting more ticks on food packaging? It certainly won’t be the food manufacturer…
There is nothing healthier than fruits and vegetables. None of which (naturally) come with boxes, plastics or packaging, so they won’t get the Tick (or two Ticks). Does this mean they’re unhealthy? Or that they shouldn’t form the basis of a healthy diet?
What do you think? Do we need loads of ticks on our food making it look like a school test result? Is the Heart Tick useful, or is this just a money making scheme?