John Oliver Lashes Out Against Sugar Industry With Twitter Campaign

John Oliver Lashes Out Against Sugar Industry With Twitter Campaign image john oliver on sugar.jpg.CROP .promo mediumlarge

Trick or treat? This year you might have to opt to give a trick instead of a treat to kids. The amount of sugar that we are eating is an exorbitant amount. How much sugar are you eating? Chances are you don’t know, and as John Oliver hysterically pointed on Last Week Tonight, it is because food makers are doing their best to make sure you never find out.

For example, most cranberry products are packed with sugar, and for good reason.

“Cranberries are, I think we can all agree, nature’s most disgusting berry. Cranberries taste like cherries who hate you,” Oliver said. “Cranberries taste like what a raspberry drinks before its colonoscopy — and the industry knows it.”

That, he said, is why even cranberry companies are fighting against adding labels that would disclose added sugars.

“Which is tantamount to begging, ‘Please don’t make us tell everyone how much sugar we dump on our garbage bog-berry,’” Oliver said.

Washington Post wrote that the crux of it is that cloying amounts of sugar are hardly something Americans only find in candy corn, tootsie rolls, and lollipops today. Rather, spoonfuls of the stuff can be found in everything from fruit drinks to salad dressings, cereals, crackers, and ketchup. And, most worryingly, regulators aren’t doing enough to help everyone understand how much sugar they’re putting into their bodies, the site says.

“We have no idea how prevalent sugar is in almost everything we eat,” Oliver said.

The Washington Post wrote that the FDA has proposed a new nutrition label that will better communicate the amount of “added sugar”—how much of any given food’s sugar content wasn’t in the food before it was produced and packaged. But the proposal, which was first put on the table at the beginning of the year, has met fierce opposition from the cash-rich sugar industry.

It’s not just the cranberry industry, either. Most food and beverage makers are fighting the proposed inclusion of an added sugars label on food packages, according to the Huffington Post. And, if there is a label, they don’t want sugars listed in teaspoons. They want it in grams, which Oliver says is because no one knows what a gram is.

So he is offering a better solution for sugar abusers.

“We are proposing, in the spirit of Halloween, that product manufacturers express their sugar content in the form of candy,” Oliver said. “Specifically, circus peanuts, the most disgusting of all the candies. They taste like an elephant ejaculated into a packet of Splenda.”

Since there are more than 5 grams of sugar in each circus peanut, Oliver said food makers should put a picture of one circus peanut on the front of the package for every 5 grams of sugar in the product. “Do it, food makers. Expose your peanuts to the world. Because if you’re going to shove your peanuts in our mouths, the very least you can do is tell us what we’re swallowing.”

Oliver called on viewers to support this idea by tweeting food makers with the hashtag #ShowUsYourPeanuts. The hashtag is already trending on Twitter.

.@OceanSprayInc How many circus peanuts worth of sugar do you add to your bog berry juice? #ShowUsYourPeanuts

— John Oliver (@iamjohnoliver) October 27, 2014

Hilarious and yet impressive campaign idea #JohnOliver Food manufacturers show quantitatively how much#sugar is in foods #showusyourpeanuts

— Paul Vesely (@paulseoguru) October 27, 2014

Hey @GeneralMills please tell us your sugar content of your foods, thanks #showusyourpeanuts

— Andrea Davis (@hula_pants) October 27, 2014

.@OceanSprayInc @US_FDA @GeneralMills @CocaCola @pepsi @Nestle #showusyourpeanuts Too much #sugar, not enough information or transparency

— Eliza Bray (@eliza_bray) October 27, 2014

.@kraftfoods we are all tired of food companies such as yours, of overloading your foods with sugar #showusyourpeanuts

— Jasmin Khangura (@jasminkhangura) October 27, 2014

Hey @CocaCola I want to see your peanuts. #showusyourpeanuts You’ll show me if you really care.

— Brian O’Neill (@snowmanco) October 27, 2014

How many peanuts of sugar does @OceanSprayInc add to craisins? Thanks @iamjohnoliver for ruining my “healthy” snack. lol #showusyourpeanuts

— Rosa Zavala (@rrrosits) October 27, 2014

1 can of Pepsi contains over 8 circus peanuts ! #showusyourpeanuts

— Moe Abdallah (@mosmack) October 27, 2014

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