By Carole Griggs, Ph.D (c)
It is really wonderful to see an increased awarness and interest in nutrition and wellness as it relates to one's overall health well-being. Consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the ingredients in the foods they put in their bodies and the direct correlation it can have on one's overall health. With this greater awareness, many food manufacturers have found ways to conceal ingredients with deceptive labeling, so to keep your dollars coming in.
Since the Federal Government has not clearly defined regulations for the use of the word "natural," food companies are often abusing the use of this term and getting away with it. Unfortunately, consumers are the ones that pay the price for this mis-used term.
Michele Simon, an author and food policy expert, says "The word hasn't been defined well enough at all so, for years companies have been able to get away with basically defining it themselves." Despite numerous requests, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly declined defining the term "all natural," all while using ingredients such as sodium benzoate (a preservative), genetically modified plants, and organisms, and "a spectacular array of unnaturally processed and synthetic ingredients." Bottom line, the word "natural" means absolutely nothing.
Buying USDA Certified Organic is one way to ensure all ingredients in the foods you are consuming are truly real food from nature without all the bizzare additivies, colors, preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners, anti-caking or bulking agents, flavorings, or chemical names/words you can't pronounce.
So, as you make your way down the aisles, be an informed, wise shopper and be aware of the tricky ways to which manufacturers are altering your foods and trying to hide it through popular, fancy words that really don't mean a whole lot.