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Curious Why I'm Paying For Water In Canned Foods

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The Boston Red Sox take on the New York Yankees at Fenway Park, October 3, 2010, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Curious Why I'm Paying For Water In Canned Foods

With the price of groceries what they are today, all of us want to make sure we are getting what we pay for.

John from Lincoln Declared His Curiosity:

“Who is in charge of policing how much product is in canned or packaged foods? It seems these days, there is a lot more water than there used to be, and a lot less product.”

Loretta from South Boston also Declared Her Curiosity:

“After opening a 5 ounce can of tuna, I weighed it for fun, and it weighed about 3 ounces. What’s up with that? Are we paying for the water it’s packed in?”

Edgar Dworsky from ConsumerWorld.org told us the federal government lets manufacturers put tuna and water in the can and you pay for both.

Dworsky said consumers need to look closely at the labels to know exactly what they are buying. “The can says net weight, not drained weight. Net weight means you pay for all the contents in there.”

This applies to all the canned goods in your cupboard. “You have a can of corn, for example,” said Dworsky. “You’re paying for both the corn and the water that’s in there, and it’s perfectly legal.”

Packages can also be deceptive for dry goods. But again, deceptive or confusing isn’t necessarily illegal. “You may get ripped off in a scenario called ‘slack fill,’” according to Dworsky.

“That’s where a product is over packaged. You think you are getting a big box, but you are only getting half a box, but you are still getting 8 ounces, just like it is marked on the package.”

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