It’s the supermarket scam that could be destroying your health!
When you buy food for your family, you probably look for those reassuring labels like “natural” and “all natural.” After all, who wants to load up on preservatives, toxic dyes, or any of the other crazy chemicals the food companies can dream up?
But it turns out those “natural” foods may contain some of the most unnatural – and disgusting – ingredients you can imagine. I’m talking about everything from gasoline additives to animal droppings.
It’s a dirty secret the FDA has allowed Big Food to get away with forever. And now the agency is coming clean on something it should have admitted years ago.
It has no idea what “natural” even means any more – and the Feds are looking to you to solve the problem.
Bugs and beaver butts
Call me crazy. But I never thought deciding which foods are natural was as hard as, let’s say, splitting an atom.
An organic apple is natural. That goop they put inside Twinkies is not.
But over the years, the FDA has made such a mess of things that just about any food you see at the supermarket can be labeled as “natural” or “all natural.”
And those labels are about as reliable as a tissue paper raincoat.
You see, under current FDA rules a food can be called natural as long as it doesn’t contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances. But over the years, billion-dollar food companies have created enough loopholes to drive an all-natural Mack truck through.
Here are just some of the ingredients you’ll find in these so-called natural foods.
- Cochineal: Beetle juice anyone? Applesauce, yogurt, bakery products, spices — just about any food that needs a red color to it — could contain cochineal. That’s a scaly bug that you would probably call the exterminator for if you found one in your kitchen. It can be found listed on ingredient labels as either cochineal or carmine.
- Castoreum: Even worse than eating bugs is this flavoring ingredient. It’s in all kinds of foods and beverages as well as vanilla and raspberry flavorings. And it comes from the extracted dried glands and secretions from a beaver’s rear end. (I know — you can’t make this stuff up.)
- Confectioner’s glaze: That sounds pretty yummy, right? But this is really nothing more than another bug-derived ingredient. It’s actually the sticky secretions scraped off of insect eggs. You’ll mostly find it in candy and chewing gum.
Kellogg’s was even using ingredients processed with hexane in its “natural” Bear Naked energy foods. That’s an additive used in gasoline!
Hey, I guess crude oil is natural, too. But I sure wouldn’t want to pour it on my cereal.
Even GMO Frankenfoods and foods made with high fructose corn syrup can be called natural now. The labeling has become so worthless that last year Consumer Reports petitioned the FDA asking it to drop the term “natural” completely.
But before they give up the ghost, the FDA is asking for comments from the public on what exactly you think natural should mean. I can’t believe it’s come to this — but if you want to give these guys an earful (and do their job for them), you can click right here.
I don’t know about you, but I think a pack of chimps would have a better chance of building a space shuttle than the FDA has of getting this right.
Your best bet is to buy organic whenever you can, and stick with meat that’s grass-fed and antibiotic-free.
That way you’ll really be eating natural – at least by a definition most of us could agree on.
“What’s ‘natural’ food? The government isn’t sure and wants your input” Allison Aubrey, November 11, 2015, NPR, npr.org