Natural Foods Exposed

Apr 19, 2011 by

Natural Foods Exposed, truth about processed foods

 

The other day I was in the supermarket standing in line, and what caught my eye was a can of Natural Peanut Butter. I already learned to never trust the labels in the supermarket because they are always misleading. When I looked at the ingredients of the Natural Peanut Butter, I saw more then peanuts. One of the ingredients was – Palm Oil ( but what they don’t tell you, is the that specific palm oil is heavily processed ). Why in the world would you buy peanut butter with processed palm oil as an ingredient?

What I noticed many people don’t know, is what “Natural” actually means. Consumers buy natural products thinking it is better for their health, when in fact it’s toxic. Behind the big word “Natural” there is an even bigger marketing machine.
Turns out FDA allows food manufacturers to bend the truth on the front of the labels and make unverified health related claims, as long as they list the ingredients on the back. But many people don’t even look at the ingredients, they see “All Natural” and to them it’s good enough.

This is not a big secret to some people, who look at their labels and question what each ingredient is. But to others who choose to trust the manufacturing food companies this might come in a form of an illness later on in life.

Today I did a little experiment, I went to my local supermarket with my camera :). It was a bit embarrassing actually cause everyone was staring at me while I was taking the pictures. I took pictures of many different foods with the labels “Natural”, and some nice friendly pictures of their ingredients.
What I saw on the back of those packages labeled “All Natural” was added flavoring, high fructose corn syrup, processed sugar and msg (they don’t tell you it’s MSG, they use much more clever words )

I have been seeing this commercial on TV about High Fructose Corn Syrup, a very nice friendly advertisement. Learn the truth about the Corn Syrup they say, it’s made from corn, it’s natural and it’s fine in moderation. Hmm, I did some digging :).

As stated by wikipedia this is how high fructose corn syrup is made: High-fructose corn syrup is produced by milling corn to produce corn starch, then processing that starch to yield corn syrup, which is almost entirely glucose, and then adding enzymes that change some of the glucose into fructose. The resulting syrup (after enzyme conversion) contains approximately 42% fructose and is HFCS 42. Some of the 42% fructose is then purified to 90% fructose, HFCS 90. To make HFCS 55, the HFCS 90 is mixed with HFCS 42 in the appropriate ratios to form the desired HFCS 55.

After all this process do you think there is nutrients left in that corn? Am I missing something here, please enlighten me, but to me there is nothing natural about the process of processing.

The same goes for so called natural flavors ingredients, what they don’t tell you is what kind of flavor it is, and what it’s made from.
Shouldn’t we question what we’re eating?

Yesterday I made a comment on Huffington Post about making your own bread at home ( on the article “The best store brand hamburger buns”, meaning the healthiest, but of course heavily processed ). One of the people replied to me ( a real smarty pants ) – “Yeah, like I got nothing better to do”. I know it’s a bit random, but it does have to do with food. I think if you care about your health, yes you can find something better to to – learn to read your food labels!

What I am trying to do here is help people who don’t read labels to understand why they should, to question what they are eating and to realize how big of an impact it makes on their health and their well being.

Next time you are buying natural foods don’t be afraid to look at the ingredients. There is good food out there, you just have to look for it, isn’t your health worth that time?

Here are some pictures that I took of so called “Natural Foods”

Natural Food exposed, truth about processed food

100% Natural Bread

Now let’s take a look at the ingredients list:

Natural Food exposed, truth about processed food

Until you look at the back to find processed "Cultured Corn Solids"

 

Here is a popular brand of cheese

Natural Foods exposed

Natural Cheddar Cheese

The lovely ingredients:

Natural Foods Exposed, truth about natural food

What do we have here, let's take a look :)

Vegetable color?  In cheese?  Since when cheese needs extra color? And Natamycin ( a natural mold inhibitor )?

 

Deli Ham seems like a great deal, no preservatives, a natural choice :)

natural foods exposed, truth about processed food

Deli Ham - Natural

natural foods exposed, truth about processed foods

Hmm, take a look for your self

Wait a minute  turbinado sugar, natural flavoring – what kind?  Lactic acid starter culture, why are all these things inside a simple ham?

 

Healthy Cottage Cheese

Natural Foods Exposed, truth about processed food

The healthy fast food

Now how about the ingredients:

natural foods exposed, truth about processed foods

Wow, now there is some ingredients that don't look so healthy

modified food starch, xanthan gum (another form of corn syrup ), mono and diglycerides, guar gum, what is this stuff – processed additives.

 

Skippy the Peanut Butter

Natural Foods exposed, truth about processed food

Kids favorite now comes in Natural!

I thought Peanut Butter should only contain peanuts – Call me crazy

natural foods exposed, truth about processed food

Palm Oil - when processed such is here - toxic to your liver

 

Natural Pop Corn

natural foods exposed, truth about processed food

This one seems to be everyone's favorite

natural foods exposed, truth about processed food

Again palm oil and a preservative tocopherol ( for freshness ;)

Palm oil again and tocopherol – what?!

 

All Natural Bean Dip

Natural Food Exposed, truth about processed food

Natural Bean Dip

Wow these ingredients are just a slap on my face – corn maltodextrin, dehydrated onion, sugar, in a bean dip?  I always make bean dip at home, but I never remember adding those things to it.

Natural Foods exposed, truth about processed food

Not so natural ingredients

 

This is just a tiny fraction of natural claiming foods that are on our shelves, but there are thousands more.

Do you look at labels when you purchase your food?

 




  • Mike Block

    Wow! nice undercover investigating! I always look at labels. I tend to ignore the front of the packaging. If I believed the front, I’d be sure that my milk comes from a farm that has green grass all around it with a kindly farmer in overalls going out in the wee hours of the morning to milk his cow (whose name is probably Bessie), instead of the reality of a herd of “product” being loaded into a processing container to be vacuumed dry at some dairy plant.

    Popcorn should have “popcorn” as the ingredient – the only ingredient. I may have mentioned that Smuckers is the only mass produced peanut butter I’ve found whose ingredients label is: Peanuts. That’s it.

    Re: Palm oil – my daughter is a girl scout, but when she found out that palm oil is a main ingredient in girl scout cookies, she’s planning on boycotting the cookie sales next year. Palm oil is the single largest cause of the destruction of rain forests worldwide. Google it, it’s scary.

    For the record: nothing that has Frito-Lay on the label could ever, possibly, in my wildest imagination, ever be considered natural in any way.

    Thanks for the investigation.
    M

    • Tatianna

      Hi Mike :) It’s great you look at your labels, cause so many people don’t.
      You did mention about Smuckers peanut butter, that is the only one I ever buy. It is so sad to see all that junk they put in our food. The other day I saw these 2 documentaries one is called “Food Matters” and the other “Food Inc”, I was repulsed by what I saw, and all those things are hidden from people.
      Good thing is that there are also a lot of people who are aware of this problem and make films about it, to educate others.

  • Khalifa jubril

    This is absolutely the best nutrition article have read so far. Very candid, straight to the point and extremely helpfull. I will start following your blog. I will share this article and your blog with my clients and also my followers on twitter. Follow me my twitter handle is jkhaliph.
    Keep up the good work.

    • Tatianna

      Thank you so much Khalifa :), It means a lot to me, I will find you on Twitter.

  • Greg

    Yeah, the whole subject of “natural” is interesting. One of the reasons people don’t like “natural” peanut butter is the separation of oil from peanuts. They can’t put in hydrogenated oils, which prevent that separation. However, palm oil is a solid at room temperature, so it serves the same function. It’s hydrogenated in its natural form, so that thickens the mixture, preventing separation.

    Lots of games labeling games.

    • Tatianna

      Hi Greg
      I actually love that real peanut butter has the oil separation, I like to mix it my self. You only have to do it once and then it’s nice and creamy, I enjoy only one ingredient in my peanut butter :). I wish all the food that was sold in supermarkets was actually natural, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

      • Meister

        I would like to do (or see) some research on Trader Joes numerous varieties of peanut, almond and other butters. Their’s appear to be “largely” natural depending on which one(s) you pick. I am curious as to where they are having it made and packaged as well. I am confident it is better than JIF, Skippy, Peter Pan, and the large chain private label peanut butters, of which were found to have e. coli in them about 2 years ago.

        • Tatianna

          That’s why I am only sticking to Smuckers The Organic Kind for now :), it is definitely better than JIF, Skippy and Peter Pan and only has one ingredient – Peanuts. I don’t think I ever tried Peter Pan or JIF ether, but I did see the ingredients list and ohh my they were full of chemicals!

      • Karen Eliot

        Another great attribute of the separation is that you can pour off the oil if you want! I do, and it still spreads even out of the fridge, as long as I’m spreading it on toast. That reduces the fat by quite a bit and the taste is just as good and peanutty.

        • Tatianna

          Hello Karen
          I tried separating the oil in the beginning, but the peanut butter would dry up a bit quicker. So I just started mixing it in, I know it’s a bit fattening and addicting :), but I just love the taste!

  • Victoria

    Annato is actually a natural food coloring (just like blueberries ;)), although it is imported. It may cause allergic reactions in people if they are allergic to tree nuts, however, otherwise it’s as harmless as any other spice. I’ve seen it used in organic cheeses and even vegan versions of mac and cheese (I don’t reccomend :D).
    Organic foods may also use natural ingredients that are not sourced from within the US, and may use natural pest control including beneficial bacterias, too.
    While certainly most of the ingredients are truly scary indicators of how our fast, boxed food is poisoning us, there is no reason to assume things suspiciously about ingredients you don’t actually know anything about.

    • Tatianna

      HI Victoria

      Thank you for the tip :) I will keep that in mind.
      It’s just so hard these days to find good food. I do know that some of the organic food has additives as well, so I read the labels all the time. Usually when there is something I love to eat I do a research on every ingredient, cause I don’t like to give up my favorite foods unless they’re really toxic. But if there is something I don’t care much about and I see some ingredients that I don’t understand, I just don’t buy it – it’s a much more simple for me. Thank you for stopping by :)

  • Karen Eliot

    These aren’t even the really scary ingredients IMO. How about azodicarbonamide, a foaming agent used in the plastics industry? It’s in quite a lot of the bread out there. It’s totally banned for use in food everywhere in the world… but not here. And of course it’s in the cheap breads, so poor people are the ones who get the brunt of it.

    I think you forgot to point out that the bread in the first shot contains MSG… in the form of “yeast extract”. Yeast food and hydrolyzed yeast extract are two of the other names I have seen it under.
    I fear it could be decided that MSG is “natural” any day now. After all, it’s a sodium salt of the neurotransmitter glutamate, all good, right? Just like aspartame is similar to phenylalanine, another neurotransmitter. Never mind that they’re both excitotoxins, particularly when delivered in a big dose all at once as happens when you get them in MSG or aspartame.

    One commenter referred to the FDA letting things be approved to begin with, but in the case of things like aspartame it was a slow process. There was so much data showing it to be unsafe that it took a lot of pressure before the FDA caved. But that was before the FDA was a captive shop….

    • Tatianna

      I agree, I think I’m gonna have to do take 2 on chemicals alone this time. You were totally funny, soon MSG is going to be considered natural, LOL

  • http://guardiancrossfit.wordpress.com/ chrisb

    Palm oil is as natural as olive, coconut and oils from animal fats. It’s not a bad fat or food, it’s the people who farm it and hurt the environment that are bad. You can get organic cold pressed palm oil. The reality is that it’s all natural unless you got it from another universe! It’s the processing that ruins it. Any food that is packaged is suspect, regardless of what it says on the container. Any package that makes a claim for any reason is automatically questionable. Organic is about the only descriptor that has credibility not because of the government (who has done a good job with the organic label), but because of the independent, private organizations that self-regulate it. The only sugars that are natural are honey, maple syrup, sorghum, stevia (not Truvia) or coconut palm sugar.

    • Tatianna

      Thank you for your insightful comment :)

      These days is so hard to find real good food, and if you find it, its very expensive.

    • Soccerbabe518

      Palm oil, coconut oil, lard or any other animal based oils are extremely bad for your health. They contain high amounts of saturated fats. Saturated fats are similar to cholesterol in that they clog your arteries. Extra virgin olive oil is the best kind of oil you can consume since it contains some nutrients our body needs. P.S. coconut oil is the worst oil. Basically if the oil is solid at room temperature, its bad for you. 

  • Anonymous

    Still trying to figure out exactly what cultured corn solids are.  I can’t buy a damn loaf of bread anymore.  Tried to get the healthiest one at the grocery store which was this nature’s pride one but it said cultured corn solids, which I believe extends the shelf life.

    • http://www.lovingfit.com Tatianna

      They add corn solids because it’s cheaper to make bread this way. I make my own bread, cause the super healthy one I like is way too expensive, so I just started to make it my self. It fast and fresh, and the best part I always know what’s in it.

  • Donna Miller

    Oh my gosh, I happened upon this site by also trying to find out what “cultured corn solids” are. Bottom line, if it has corn in it, it is not going into my mouth. We are talking corn in any form. Our bodies do not digest corn. It also has zero nutritional value.

    • http://www.lovingfit.com Tatianna

      I agree, it’s sad what the food industry has turned into.

  • http://www.lovingfit.com Tatianna

    I’ve never head of daisys brand, gonna check it out, thank you sweets :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ki77y06 Diana Kitty Slavcheva

    Most often I’m considered crazy and get a lot of jokes about being a label reader. I even read labels on foods I’d never eat. Just to see what nasties are inside. I don’t get offended when my friends are kidding me actually. It’s my choice, I prefer to know. But when I tell them what’s insid etheir food and how exactly it is harmful to them they look confused for a few seconds then start laughing and go in denial. So some people trust labels, others just don’t want to believe it’s so bad.