Matthew Fitzsimmons

The New Math

I like cranberry juice, but it's really hard to find cranberry juice that isn't mixed with other juices or corn syrup to sweeten it up. If you can find it, it's usually understandably expensive.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw some cranberry juice at Wal-Mart that said “100% Cranberry Juice” and it was one of the cheapest options on the shelf. Then I noticed the fine print under “100%” that said something about how there were added ingredients.

Now I'm not sure what you would expect when you read “100%,” but I was expecting that would mean the product contained nothing but cranberry juice.

I was willing to accept that fact that there could be something else in there, but that perhaps the juice it contained would be only cranberry juice, which would still be better than most.

I checked the ingredients, and sure enough there were items in there like “natural flavors” and preservatives. But even more to my surprise, there were other types of juice included to sweeten things up.

So out of the two possible readings for 100% that I could come up with, neither of them was accurate. What ever happened to truth in advertising?

June 29, 2008