All natural? More like all garbage!
The stomach-churning truth about
what’s hiding in your food
I can’t think of two words more meaningless than “all natural,” especially when they’re used on food packages.
Arsenic is “all natural.” So is cyanide. Any takers?
Didn’t think so——but when consumers see “all natural” on a food label, common sense flies out the window along with their cash, as they pay premium prices for not-so-premium ingredients like beaver butts and bugs.
Think I’m making that up? I only wish. Here are some of the worst-of-the-worst “natural” ingredients——from the disgusting to the dangerous——hiding in YOUR food:
Castoreum: The phrase “natural vanilla flavor” might imply flavor that comes naturally from vanilla. It means nothing of the sort——only that it’s natural, and tastes like vanilla.
Real vanilla, of course, is expensive. Beavers are cheap (and natural)——and the sacs located behind their anal glands happen to taste like vanilla (I wonder who figured that one out).
The result is something called “castoreum,” a vanilla flavoring made from those sacs. But don’t expect the ingredients panel to say “beaver butt” or even “castoreum.” All it has to say is “natural vanilla flavor.”
Transglutaminase: This is more commonly referred to as “meat glue”——and it’s even worse than it sounds. It’s a powder made from either bacteria or animal blood that turns worthless leftover meat scraps (as well as chicken or fish bits) into a single “steak” or “roast”——not to mention the usual assortment of nuggets, fingers, sticks, and whatever other shapes people eat these days.
The problem with “meat glue,” besides the deception, is the fact that germs that live on the outside of meats are now sealed inside——making them almost impossible to kill unless you cook your meats in an incinerator.
Don’t expect to see “meat glue” or even “transglutaminase” on the label. Words like “formed” and “shaped” are big giveaways, but they won’t be of much help in a restaurant.
Bugs: Yes, there are bugs in your food——and not all of them got in there by accident. A common red dye, for example, is made from crushing little red cochineal beetles.
You’ll find it in any number of foods and drinks——even some major brands of ruby “red” grapefruit juice. Look for cochineal, cochineal extract, carmine, or carminic acid on the label.
Sad to say, those aren’t the only bugs in your food. The resin used to coat fresh fruits and vegetables and the glaze that makes candies all nice and shiny are shellac——made from the secretions of lac bugs.
Look for it on labels as “confectioners’ glaze,” “lac resin,” and “shellac.”
What’s more natural than bugs? Nothing——so you’ll find this in and on both “natural” and even “organic” foods.
MSG: The infamous “secret” ingredient monosodium glutamate is responsible for everything from the “Chinese food headache” to mental illness——and it’s in everything from soup to nuts.
Well, I don’t know about the nuts——but it is in soup, along with sausages, salad dressing, powdered cheese, packaged gravies, and about a zillion other things… including plenty of “all natural” foods.
MSG is technically banned from organic products——but this is a semantics game. “Yeast extract,” for example, contains the same active compound as MSG and can be found in organic food.
Other names for MSG include autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed proteins, and glutamic acid——but there are literally dozens of others.
Soy: Soy might be completely natural, but what it does to your body is completely UNnatural. Once you ingest soy, it acts as estrogen——giving you a hormone boost with every bite, sip, and swallow.
Soy has been linked to cancer, heart disease, reproductive disorders, thyroid problems, mental illness, and more——and it’s no surprise that all these things are on the rise as soy becomes impossible to avoid.
It’s even in pet food.
Sugar: It’s crazy, but sugar is practically marketed as health food these days. If you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you know what I’m talking about. Products——especially natural snacks——tout “MADE WITH REAL SUGAR” as if it’s some kind of badge of honor. Nonsense.
‘Real’ Fruit: If you want REAL fruit, eat a real piece of fruit. Real fruit is not a roll-up, it’s not a gummy and it’s not the gooey mess found at the bottom of a yogurt cup. I don’t care how big the phrase “REAL FRUIT” is on the label, these things are nothing more than candy.
Best way to avoid it all is to grow your own everything. Since that’s impractical for most of us, buy directly from farms or shop at farmer’s markets, and buy grass-fed organic meats from butchers who swear they don’t use tricks like meat glue (be sure to ask).