Times Square Besieged by Pop-Tart Sushi

In a bold and expensive branding move, Kellogg’s has leased 3000 square feet of  prime real estate in New York’s Times Square to set up a Pop Tarts store.  From the company press release:

Customers will be able to eat Pop-Tarts “sushi,” order a customized pastry or create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors. They can suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tarts T-shirt made by specialty artists or get “frosted” and “wrapped in foil” by a light show.

Brand manager Andrew Shripka says the Pop-Tarts Facebook page is one of the social network’s 20 most popular, surprising even some Kellogg employees. read more…

If you watch the embedded video above (0:37) you’ll see a girl proclaiming “Pop Tart sushi is better than real sushi because real sushi is…nasty”.

The company sells about 2 billion Pop-Tarts a year, and its clientele include many children who grow up believing this is real food. If you’re still wondering why America is so fat and sick, why 25 million are suffering from diabetes, and why children prefer to eat fake food, look no further than Pop-Tarts.

In a post from lat year, Does the World Need Pop Tarts, we explained how totally wrong this product is. It is full of chemicals while portraying itself as a healthy fruit filled breakfast choice. Three generations of Americans have been duped to believe this is a great way to start the day or to snack, when in reality this is what they get:

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid), Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Dextrose, Soybean And Palm Oil (With Tbhq For Freshness), Sugar, Cracker Meal, Contains Two Percent Or Less Of Wheat Starch, Salt, Dried Blueberries, Dried Grapes, Dried Apples, Cornstarch, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Corn Cereal, Citric Acid, Gelatin, Modified Wheat Starch, Soy Lecithin, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Cottonseed Oil?, Modified Corn Starch, Xanthan Gum, Caramel Color, Red #40, Vitamin A Palmitate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Color Added, Niacinamide, Reduced Iron, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Blue #2, Blue #1, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Thiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Turmeric Color, Folic Acid.

Here’s a brief explanation of what’s inside – (note all the variations of sugar in here)

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour…) – All flour is enriched in the US, by law. Don’t be fooled by “Wheat Flour” either, as most flour is from Wheat. If the ingredient list does not state “100% whole wheat flour”, you are missing out on the fiber your body needs.
Corn Syrup – a syrup made from cornstarch. Used as a sweetener due to its high glucose content. Prevents crystallization and can help increase shelf life in baked goods.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – corn syrup where some of the glucose has been converted to fructose.
Dextrose – a term for glucose. glucose and fructose together make sucrose, which is commonly known as table sugar.
Soybean And Palm Oil – Canola oil would have been a healthier alternative because of its high unsaturated fat content.
TBHQ (E319) – tert-Butylhydroquinone – a preservative for oils. May be carcinogenic in high doses.
Sugar – well, the product is still not sweet enough is it?
Wheat Starch – A powdery substance obtained from wheat kernels. Used as a thickener for sauces, gravies, and puddings.
Dried Blueberries, Dried Grapes, Dried Apples – there’s less than 2% of each in the product. Yet on the product image you see much much more than 2% blueberry.
Cornstarch – a powdery substance used as a thickener.
Citric Acid – a natural preservative that is used in beverages to add an acidic, sour taste. Although it is naturally found in citrus fruit (oranges, lemons), industry has a found a cheaper way to manufacture it. This is through a fermentation process in which a mold called Aspergillus Niger is used to ferment a carbohydrate such as molasses. sounds grosser than it really is.
Gelatin  (E441) – a translucent, colorless, brittle, nearly tasteless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent.
Modified Wheat Starch – same as the wheat starch above but modified not to loose its thickening properties when heated.
Soy Lecithin (E322) – an oily substance derived from soybeans. Used as an emulsifier and to keep the dough from sticking
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean And/Or Cottonseed Oil – this is the source of trans-fat, folks.
Modified Corn Starch – a common additive used as a thickener. Corn starches are modified so they won’t lose their thickening properties when heated.
Xanthan Gum (E415) – a common emulsifier and thickener made from reaction between glucose and Xanthomonas campestris bacteria.
Caramel Color (E150) – a natural food coloring.
Red #40 (Allura Red / E129) – an artificial food coloring that is being phased out in Europe due to concerns about it causing child hyperactivity.
Tricalcium Phosphate (E341) – used as a raising agent.
Color Added – on top of the artificial colors stated by name we get this mystery color.
Niacinamide – This is vitamin B3.
Natural And Artificial Flavors – with all the crap in this product, no wonder it needs to be enhanced by some proprietary and secret formulas.
Blue #2 – artificial color
Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue FCF / E133) – a synthetic dye derived from coal tar! Was previously banned in Europe but now is allowed. May cause hyperactivity in children.
Turmeric Color – a yellow/orange powder from the turmeric spice.

Conclusion: this product should not exist in Obese America 2010, let alone be allowed to open a mini mecca in Times Square. The light fortification with various vitamins and minerals cannot compensate for the sugar overdose, lack of fiber, and overwhelming use of additives, preservatives, and artificial food coloring.

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  • http://www.whosmydaddy.wordpress.com Cassie

    I love when y’all break down each ingredient. Some may think it’s beating the dead horse down, but I like it as a refresher. Not to mention, it really brings the point home.

  • Jim
  • http://www.theomep.com Wet Wolf

    Imagine a kid who eats this before school every day. It is scary.

  • Corey

    While I personally don’t think pop-tarts are all that bad (though they certainly don’t seem to taste as good now as when I was a kid). You can make your own at home… Alton Brown (awesome guy) has a recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/pocket-pies-recipe/index.html just skip down to the ‘to make toaster pastries’ part

  • Ryan

    This is one of the best blogs ever. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Editorial Staff

      @Ryan, thanks! Appreciate these kinds words coming from a nutrition professional.

  • carol

    During the mid-1940s most white/refined flour sold in the U.S. had to be enriched, but not now. However, when flour is enriched, products made with it must state “enriched” and there are criteria that must be met (amount of B vitamins and iron per pound of flour) in order to use the term “enriched.” There are plenty of un-enriched flours available — most tend to be whole grain (which still contain most of the nutrients that are lost in the refining process and then added back via “enrichment”).

    The Pop Tarts store is obviously a marketing play — look how much attention it’s getting for being so absurd. They realize there will always be people attracted to the novelty, even when (especially when) it’s a bad idea otherwise. Same as the toilet seat-sized hamburger or 5-pound logs of bacon stuffed with 8 pounds of ground meat. If people want to eat it they will eventually be removed from the gene pool (unfortunately, not until after raising everyone else’s health care costs).

  • Brian Hedgpeth

    @Carol…unfortunately, it’s worse than that!…they are not being removed from the gene pool without first passing on behaviors and creating generations who’s health, for the first time, is going backwards…rapidly!

  • http://www.mysushiset.com SushiTail

    I’m a sushi lover and I support all types of sustainable sushi. With Pop-Tart sushi, nothing is killed in the process.

  • http://www.rebeccascritchfield.wordpress.com Rebecca

    Is this food? Reminds me of my chemistry class! frown… my nephew loves sushi and veggie tempura and it’s not this kind.

  • Dakota S. R

    wow all that space in expensive new york for a full time pop tart shop I cant believe it.

  • http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com Angela

    Wow! I’m loving your site. I’ve been scrolling through all morning. I feel the same way you do about food (real vs fake, etc). I’m loving this site. :)