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In large retail and grocery store shelves, end caps often give a great snapshot into the character of the store and the targeted audience.
The product I used as an example in this short video is, truly, widely available in many stores. But it was only when we visited a lower income grocery store that we noticed it on display and prominently featured with a promotional discount. Ironic, or appropriately, sold under the brand name “Klass,” this powered Horchata drink mix targets the budget conscious Latino family who might want to enjoy a traditional Mexican beverage — or at least the appearance of one.
Inside this product are dozens of hidden GMO ingredients, as well as disguised “natural” and “artificial” flavors with little resemblance to real food and plenty of potential health risks. While seemingly touting the Vitamin C and Skimmed Milk Powder (bolded in stand out yellow text), other ingredients read like a cocktail for ill health, if consumed too regularly. They are: Dextrose, sugar, titanium dioxide, maltodextrin, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (an unspecified blend of soy, canola or palm oil — very likely GMO ingredients), artificial flavor, guam gum, silicon dioxide, aspartame, powdered cinnamon, rice flour, acesulfame potassium, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C, likely derived GMO corn), and caramel color.
From this list, only powdered cinnamon, rice flour, milk and sugar seem to have a place here in terms of the what the drink is supposed to be. The rest are chemical additives used for flavor enhancement (i.e. imitating the real thing) and preservatives, and many make health conscious lists like this one, noting the Top 11 scary food additives, of which Klass Horchata contains the top 3, as well as number 4, glyphosate (which does not appear on the label but is used in production of corn, soy and other crops):
The CDC’s ‘Prevalence of Diabetes Among Hispanics’ is one example of the data collected to show that diabetes, obesity and unhealthy living disproportionately affect Hispanic populations (as opposed to the demographic category ‘non-Hispanic whites’) with effectively twice as many cases of diabetes, and affecting Hispanics at statistically a younger age.
One likely cause for this trend is the prevalence of cheap, unhealthy and artificial ingredients mass marketed to this demographics, and other low income sectors of the population. In a related example, a New York columnist has taken up recommending that poor people eat McDonald’s as affordable calories rather than try to navigate & adopt “leftist foodie codes” including organic and natural produce.