I have a confession to make: I love these Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry sweets. If there was any doubt about the addictive nature of sugar, fat and chocolate, you only need to eat a few of these to know the truth. They’re pretty much the essence of compulsion.
When I bought them in the shop I checked the ingredients list to make sure they were gluten-free, and to check for other nasty chemical ingredients. They looked good – no weird stuff, just the usual soy lecithin and whatnot that is in most chocolates and processed food. I started gobbling them down at night. Mama’s little treat, shall we say. And eventually I realized that they are not quite what they seem.
A Closer Look at Brookside’s Dark Chocolate Acai Ingredients List
After eating so many of them that the inside of my mouth was a little bit raw from sucking the chocolate off the gummy candy inside, (What, you thought that these were actually chocolate covered berries? Look at the packaging again.) I noticed that I felt really, really crappy. I felt like I’d just been glutened, actually. Sore, achy joints, tingling in my fingers, headaches and grouchiness.
These sweets are a classic example of the power of deceptive marketing. They look healthy, and even the ingredient list has been artfully crafted to give a healthier image than you’d actually get if they didn’t employ some clever tricks like using 4 different kinds of sugars and 8 different kinds of juices. I highly suspect there are ingredients in the sweets that are not actually on the ingredient listing, but without expensive testing there’s no way to know for sure. Anyway, if there is gluten in them, Hershey is covered by their “May Contain Wheat, Peanuts, and/or other nuts.” disclaimer. Maybe I just felt crappy because I’d overdosed on sugar. But if there are unlabelled ingredients in them, they’d be in good company: apparently 30% of foods being sold in the UK are mislabeled.
Yuck. Yet another reason to avoid processed food, no matter how healthy it appears to be.