When Mayo is not Mayo


Apparently, we all think that when you say mayo, you mean mayonnaise. So the product beneath the label containing the shorthand name for the egg-based condiment, therefore, must contain eggs, or it can’t be called mayo. Calling it mayo if it contains no egg will mislead the consumer into thinking that they are eating a product containing eggs, oil and a vinegar-like acid.

I can actually see that a person who were to buy a product that was labelled ‘Just Mayo’ and couldn’t tell the difference between it and the product from Kraft labeled ‘Mayo’ has been deceived. Just like a person who were to purchase a ‘steak’ that is actually a reconstituted mish-mash of meat cuts formed into a ‘strip steak’ and labeled as a ‘strip steak’ has been deceived.

The FDA has informed the ‘mayo’ maker Hampton Creek that their label is deceptive. The product is Just Mayo and it contains no eggs. Who knew that there was a federal regulation for what you could call mayonnaise? Well there is. Who knew that calling something mayo was effectively the same as calling it mayonnaise? All Hampton has to do to fall in line with these infractions is to put the word ‘Like’ in between Just and Mayo. They could also put an apostrophe in-between the y and the o–Just May’o.  For some, the fact that it contains no eggs is a plus. Those people have not yet heard that the cholesterol in eggs is no longer a dietary ingredient of concern. Eating cholesterol is not bad for your heart.

The FDA also let them know that they cannot claim that their product is ‘heart healthy’, apparently still adhering to the out-dated dogma that eating fats is bad for your heart. That warning is over-broad. Eating trans-fats is bad for your heart. Eating natural fats, like olive oil, lard, butter are actually not bad for you.

I would be interested in seeing how well some of the other ‘artificial mayo’ products out there fare in the newly discovered definition of mayonnaise. A low-fat mayo must contain something that is like fat, since mayonnaise is more than 90% oil, so what they are using instead would be very interesting to see. The mayonnaise standard requires that there be at least 65% oil. From the Washington Post:

“It’s one thing to enjoy some of the halo for mayonnaise, but it’s another to dupe consumers,” said Parke Wilde, who is an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. “I think they’re probably a little over that line with ‘Just Mayo.’ I can definitely see how it’s a bit misleading.”

WAY back in the day, any food that was not the actual thing had to bear the name ‘artificial’ or ‘imitation’.  Now they sell all kinds of foods that are depicting ingredients on the label that are not in the food. No product that has ‘blueberries’ in it actually contains blueberries. There is a convincing artificial substitute that is in your pancakes, muffins and breakfast foods. The only thing blue is the food coloring. Bac’n Bits have no meat in them, but by leaving out the ‘O’ in bacon, you would be a fool to think that it means bacon. Just like leaving out the ‘ayonnaise’ means you are a fool to think that that is what your ‘mayo’ is…unless you are a little company that is hurting egg sales…then that is exactly what it means.

I always go back to the same message. Eating processed foods is going to give you a healthy dose of deception. Most of the ingredients are products of the laboratory. Many, many of them are tested for safety by the maker, who informs the FDA that they are safe. The actual safety testing is done in your family’s body, where food allergies are rampant, where kids are having reactions that we then medicate with ritalin.

Eat single ingredient foods. Real foods don’t need labels, you can tell what they are by looking. Get caught up on the new dietary recommendations. You can eat butter now. You can eat bacon now, you can eat eggs. The toast is a question mark. Its going to contain dough conditioners, artificial ingredients, laboratory products.

If it is in a box, bag or bottle and it is a processed food, you are better off avoiding it. Other foods may be more expensive, but they have the benefit of being exactly what you think they are.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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3 Responses to When Mayo is not Mayo

  1. Maril Crabtree says:

    well written, as always. I still draw the line at beef, pork, veal or chicken in any form unless it’s been certified to be not only “free range” but produced on a “family farm” and not by a giant megafarm system. Beef consumption in this country has done more to ruin our water supply than anything else, thanks to our taste for grain-fed (not free-range) beef that requires lots of irrigation to produce. In effect, most of the meat in this country is the equivalent of “processed” by the time it gets to a grocery store.


    • dcarmack says:

      Fully agree. I have friends that produce pork and beef. Getting my friends off of processed food is the baby step. The site is called “One Small Change At A Time”


  2. Pingback: One Small Change at a Time

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