By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Dec 1, 2006 6:45PM
Chicagoist's grandfather loves telling this joke: When is a door not a door? When it's ajar!
That joke doesn't really have anything to do with anything, except that when we heard about this story, we wondered "when is guacamole not guacamole?"
A Los Angeles woman is suing Northfield-based Kraft Foods Inc. alleging it committed fraud by selling "guacamole" dip that contains as little as 2% avocado. The main ingredients in the contested party dip include modified food starch, coconut and soybean oils, and yellow and blue food coloring. Fresh-mex it is not.
The plaintiff in the case, Brenda Lifsey, has a history of suing large corporations for fraud, including Sears and Carfax, so we think she might be a bit litigation-happy. Still, she has a point; unlike peanut butter, for example, which by law has to be at least 90% peanuts to be labeled as such, there are no regulations on what can be labeled as guacamole.
Of course, Kraft denies any wrongdoing. "We think customers understand that it isn't made from avocado," said Claire Regan, Kraft Foods' vice president of corporate affairs. "All of the ingredients are listed on the label for consumers to reference." Yes, and no. Yes, the ingredients are listed. But who checks? We would be super pissed off if we went to buy some ice cream and then discovered that it was made out of soy instead of cream. Some ingredients are a given.
We've never purchased the disputed guacamole, as we like to make our own. Have you tried Kraft's guacamole-inspired party dip?