I’ve had it with huge chain restaurants trying to sell the people of this great land a bill of goods that is worthless! While watching football on Sunday I could not help but be bombarded by Pizza Hut commercials touting their all-natural pizza. What the hell does all natural mean anyway? Isn’t Carbon monoxide all natural? How about tobacco? Isn’t corn syrup technically natural? Has anyone seen the high fructose corn syrup commercial? Yikes!
Pizza Hut says that its sauce is from vine-ripened tomatoes produced in the fertile fields of the San Joaquin Valley in sunny California. What does vine-ripened mean exactly? I have ordered hundreds of cases of vine-ripened tomatoes throughout my career, and much of the time there is nothing ripe about them. If I used them for a sauce, it would be an acidic, flavorless abomination. Tomatoes have to be just barely yellowish-red when they can be picked and then ripened in any number of ways, on your sunny windowsill or in a warehouse full of ethylene gas, for example.
But, conversely, the sauce has no high fructose corn syrup, which is great and probably chaps the hide of our local Cargill folks. High fructose corn syrup is in so many cheap foods at chains and fast food stops that removing it from pizza sauce seems to be a step forward. Pizza Hut also says that its crust is all natural and multigrain. This means nothing to me as many types of bread are made from more than one type of flour. Therefore, this is really nothing new, as pizza dough should be made of simply flour, water, yeast, salt and oil--all natural. I think they want us to believe that it is whole-grain crust, which would be healthier, but probably not what anyone really wants in a pizza crust. Their beef is touted as all natural and without any fillers, but shouldn’t I expect that when I order something with beef that it is, indeed, all beef? I guess not, as Pizza Hut feels it is a selling point rather than obvious.
Maybe Pizza Hut is going in the right direction, maybe not. I think it is preying on the consumer who wants to make the right decision but just doesn’t know how or is too lazy to actually do some fact checking. Remember, all natural has no mandated definition and can really be anything, good or bad. I would love to see Pizza Hut sell an all-organic pizza, or how about just using organic flour for the crusts? This would say a lot to me. Remember, if all natural sounds too good to be true, it probably is.