Monday, April 27, 2015

Natural Flavors on Project Underblog

My friends have heard my strong opinions on hidden ingredients in processed foods many times before, yet my hope is if enough people are aware of this issue and contacting food companies and the US Food and Drug Administration, then we can bring about the bans on certain ingredients that should have been in place a long time ago, and enforce full disclosure on what is actually in those "artificial flavors" or more unsuspecting, "natural flavors."

For a recent article I wrote for the online publication Project Underblog, please read it HERE.

I'd love to hear your feedback!  I personally am very disappointed when I purchase something organic and "healthy" such as Honest T brand's plain unsweetened teas, only to contact the company to find out they use corn-derived natural flavors in their "just" green tea.  While some people might find this "plant-derived natural source" simply fine, those of us with actually allergies to corn do not appreciate this sneaky tactic.  In my opinion, they should be legally obligated to write "contains traces of corn", etc.  Almost anything can be snuck into foods as long as they remain a small amount. Soy, corn or more disturbing: insect-derived colorings, MSG and even secretions from a beaver's rear end (sorry, I know.  But it is used in some "natural" raspberry flavorings, for example).  50 to 100 or more ingredients may be included in "natural flavors" and clearly they may involve ingredients you'd rather not ingest. (1)

Dishonest Tea with corn-derived ingredients

"Just" Green Tea: I contacted the company and had a representative inform me they use corn-derived "natural flavoring" to help it stay fresh, though other companies have managed to produce great organic teas without this additive.

Companies I love and trust include Red Ape Cinnamon and Wild Friends: they have simple, organic ingredients with nothing sneaky tacked onto the end of the ingredient list.  My inability to safely eat most processed foods is largely why I started making my own clean energy bars and snacks: it is rare for me to be able to eat a bar or portable snack that I didn't make myself.  Side note: packing an individual serving packet of sunflower seed butter or mushing a large dollop onto a piece of saran wrap and making your own little "energy pouch" is messy, but delicious on a long trail run.

Wild Friends Organic Seed and Nut Butters
simply sunflower seeds, sunflower oil, maple syrup and sea salt.

Red Ape Cinnamon Organic pure spices

Bonvie, Linda. Jan 12, 2012.  "Natural" Can Run the Gamut from Bugs to Beavers.  Available at: Accessed April 27, 2015.

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