We have known for years now that we should read the ingredients list on our packaged food. But, do you really do that? If not, you should. The food industry appears to have a silent motto that goes something like "why include 2 or 3 ingredients when we can add many more?" Why indeed?
These ingredients like MSG (monsodium glutamate) or artificial food dyes, or autolyzed yeast extract are used to enhance the color and taste of our food or to promote longer shelf life. They have nothing to do with nutrition, quite the opposite. These additives are harmful to our health. So, why are they used?
Canned Soup… All that MSG!
Next time you shop, take a look at the canned soup labels. You will find MSG listed on nearly every one. There is one exception we found: Amy's Organic Soups. Of course, you can always make your own soup. It really isn't difficult and can’t we all agree that homemade is better than store bought?
Pickles… All that Dye!
Autolyzed yeast, or food dyes, are another unwanted additive. Artificial food dyes are linked to health issues and have been banned or require warning labels in several other countries. Take pickles as an example. Yellow food dye #5 or #6 are found in our pickle jars. Some studies suggests that these dyes contribute to childhood behavior problems. Real Pickles brand pickles do not contain artificial dyes. Neither does Woodstock Organic Pickles found on the Amazon site.
Salad Dressing… The Place for GMOs
According to the GMO Awareness site, GMO's "or 'genetically modified organisms', are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. There are human and environmental risks involved.
GMO's are found in our salad dressings (but not at all limited to only salad dressing). Even if a listed ingredient is olive oil, soybean oil can be a main ingredient. Again, we suggest you make your own dressings, but if that just isn't possible, try Hilary's Chia Ranch dressing.
Bread… Why So Many Ingredients?
The basic ingredients in bread are flour, milk, yeast. Sometimes bread has eggs or a bit of sugar. So, why are the ingredients lists so very long on our store bought bread? Why does our store bought bread need dough conditioners? If you take the time to read up on the ingredients in our bread, you may want to keep an anti-nausea tablet handy. No kidding. Instead, try Food For Life Ezekiel Bread. You can pronounce every ingredient listed and it's all edible food.
Coffee Creamer & Trans Fat
Trans fats, we have all been warned about trans fats. They have the dubious credit of causing thousands of deaths and heart attacks, according to the CDC. How many of us must have our morning cup of coffee? Many of us consume several mugs of coffee every day. If you add those yummy coffee creamers to your cup of java, by the time your creamer bottle is empty, you've probably consumed a whole glass full of trans fats. Yuck! But you say that your creamer doesn't list trans fat as an ingredient? Thanks to a FDA loophole, manufacturers do not have to list the trans fat as an ingredient. If a serving size (1 tablespoon) contains less than 0.5 grams, then it is not required to list the trans fat. But we highly suspect that no one stops at using just one tablespoon of creamer in their coffee. So, beware. Try Natural Value or Native Forest coconut milk. You can also make your own creamer.
Baby Formula… Why Do They Need That?
There isn't anything or anyone more innocent and dependent than a baby. They come to us all fresh and new and they depend on us to nourish them properly. Well, check the ingredients on your baby's formula recently? It probably contains high fructose corn syrup and more. Most formulas contain GMO's and milk from cows that have been treated with antibiotics and artificial growth hormones. Alternatives include mother's milk. If you cannot breastfeed your baby, there are others who can be trusted who will supply their mother's milk. You may also try Baby's Only Organic Formula (Amazon).
What Would You Add?
Have those ingredient lists caught your eye lately, enough to make you stop purchasing something at the grocery store to find an alternative or make it yourself? If you had to choose just one item today to stop buying at the grocery and start purchasing an alternative or begin making yourself… what would it be? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and let’s see how this list really turns out!