Reading labels; the “Pam Scam” and the 2% milk hoax.

2% on the front; different story on the back

Failing to read read labels properly can be hazardous to your health.

In Chapter 10 of our book, we address the topic of learning how to read labels. And we provided some “expert” input from Jeff Novick, a former manager at Kraft Foods with a long list of nutritional degrees and credentials. Included below is an entertaining 9-minute video of Jeff describing the “Pam Scam” in great detail.

A few things to always remember when reading labels:

  1. Don’t believe anything on the front of the package.
  2. Rely ONLY on the Nutrition Facts panel.
  3. Always check the serving size.
  4. Check the ingredient list (beware of more than 3)

The front of the 2% milk package is shown above; the all-important Nutrition Facts panel for that product is shown below. Borrowing some text from our book, this valuable information is summarized below:

Ignore the front of the package. To start, don’t believe anything on the front of the package. It includes words and phrases to make you think that you are buying a healthy product. The front of the package has everything to do with marketing and almost nothing to do with nutrition.

Nutrition Facts panel from a 2% milk carton. 40 calories from fat; 120 total calories per serving. My 3rd grade math says 33% fat.

Finding the fat. Check the nutrition facts panel and the list of ingredients, which by law must be included on every package. Here is where you can find information to help you make the best choices about packaged food. Forget what the package says about the percentage of fat or that it says “fat free,” and do a little math on your own.

The nutrition facts panel contains total calories per serving and the number of calories from fat. Simply divide the fat calories by the total calories to get the percentage. You want to average less than 20 percent of your calories from fat.

The truth about 2% milk. An example of the tricks the food industry plays is in how 2 percent milk is labeled. When you do the math, you realize that 33 percent of the calories are from fat. The dairy folks compute the percentage of fat based on weight, leading you to believe that only 2 percent of the calories come from fat.

The “Pam Scam.” The FDA allows any food with less than half a gram of fat per serving to put a zero in the nutrition box under calories per serving. Of course, the makers of cooking spray then take the liberty of calling this product “fat free” since their recommended serving size is one-third of a second spray that delivers less than half a gram. Even though the five-ounce container delivers a total of 462 calories, amazingly, each serving contains none. 

All of this is really hard to believe that our government permits such gross misrepresentation by our food industry. Want to hear Jeff Novick talk for nine minutes about the “Pam Scam,” take a look at the video below.

When “fat-free” really means 100% fat!

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen. Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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4 Responses to Reading labels; the “Pam Scam” and the 2% milk hoax.

  1. Don’t drink/eat unpasturized dairy products either! Milk is not a healthy food for humans, period. Go to and and to

  2. huracan says:

    The fat is only one of many problems with that 2% milk. One of the biggest problems is that once it’s pasteurized, it’s really a DEAD substance, not to be confused with food in any way.

  3. MiMi McGee says:

    Love Jeff Novick! I just shared the Pam Scam with my FFL class last night! We are on the same wavelength 🙂

  4. Bill K. says:


    If you were following my diet of just raw fruits and vegetables then you would not even care if the labels were disceiving because nothing that you ate would have a label except the one that God put on it. On an orange it’s called the “peel” and you just have top read the color!!

    I am Just busting your chops a little, I say with a fruit-eating grin!


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