Monday, April 9, 2012

Don’t be Fooled by the Labels

We go to the store to find all kinds of ‘healthy’ food and read all the fancy labels with the terms, natural, fresh and cage free that imply these foods were produced on a lovely farm with nothing but fresh air and nutrients from the soil. They want us to believe these foods are pure and natural and made with wonderfully intact organic ingredients.

Oh it is all a gimmick, it is ‘big foods’ way of trying to lure us into believing all those unhealthy, processed and packaged foods are really nutrient dense healthy foods.

Help me understand how it can be OK to put the words blueberry and pomegranate on the front of a cereal box and as well have pictures of those fresh fruits but then have nothing that even resembles either of those foods in the box of cereal.

Do you know what natural flavorings are? Really they are chemicals used to make something taste a certain way. Chemists in a lab create natural flavoring like artificial flavors and really there is nothing natural about them.  Do not be fooled by the term naturally flavored.

We get all twisted up about eating organic which can also lead us to misinformation. For instance if you are drinking organic soda, you are still drinking soda that is loaded with sugar and calories that will still spike your insulin levels and really is not any better for you than non organic soda. The other day I was buying fish and there was organic salmon in the case, which means the salmon was fed organic corn. I would prefer to eat wild caught salmon instead of farm raised or organic because it is still fed an unnatural diet of corn. Now if we are eating fruits or vegetables of course we want to eat organic but once we start processing the food eating the organic version is not that much more helpful.

Next time you are shopping for eggs, go to the Farmer’s Market and ask the farmer about his chickens.  The labels on the eggs in the grocery store says ‘cage free’ which leads me to believe these beautiful, happy chickens are communing with each other out of the cages and now have this happy little cage free life. Imagine my horror (and now yours) when we find out the term ‘cage free’ stipulates by the FDA that the chickens only be out of their cages for 5 minutes a day. They do not have to be outside and able to get fresh air either.

So you see the government and ‘big food’ want you to believe you are eating something you are not. They are trying to give us the impression that our food is all healthy and free from chemicals. Do you really thing 5 minutes a day makes a chicken cage free?

Go to your Farmer’s Markets and talk to the farmers. Ask them how they grow the food they are selling and know that you are getting what they say you are getting.  Secondly if you must buy processed foods look at the ingredients NOT the pretty pictures and descriptive words and better yet buy whole foods that do not require labels.

Thanks for letting me rant!

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