Today’s question is: Why don’t more people read food labels?
Background: Almost 4 years ago my girls and I stopped eating wheat for health reasons. Prior to that life change, I had already been checking labels on processed foods for things like red dye #40 (had been linked to hyperactivity in children and God knows I didn’t need any more of that in my house) and an abundance of ingredients. If a label had too many questionable things I just didn’t buy it. All of this started when my husband got sick and I was forced to take a look at what I was putting into everyones bodies in our home. I made a choice back then that I would buy things that were closest to a whole food source.
I wasn’t perfect, and I’ve improved a lot since then. Now that we don’t eat wheat we just have a lot less processed foods in the house. Everyone is just used to eating whole foods rather than packaged processed foods.
Knowing that I’m a label reader, it will come as no surprise that I know which brands of some items have less ingredients. Take my favorite cereal growing up, Quaker Oats Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, for instance, against the more natural Mother’s brand Bumpers.
Quaker Oats Peanut Butter Captain Crunch:
Ingredients: CORN FLOUR, SUGAR, PEANUT BUTTER (PEANUTS, DEXTROSE, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL [COTTONSEED AND RAPESEED OIL]**, SALT), OAT FLOUR, RICE FLOUR, COCONUT OIL, SALT, CARAMEL COLOR, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, ZINC OXIDE, BHT (A PRESERVATIVE), THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, FOLIC ACID*.
*ONE OF THE B VITAMINS.
**ADDS A DIETARILY INSIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TRANS FAT
Mother’s Peanut Butter Bumpers:
Ingredients: Corn flour, unsulphured molasses, natural peanut butter (ground peanuts, salt), oat flour, rice flour, salt, honey, and natural mixed tocopherols (vitamin E).
Kind of a big difference for essentially the same flavor, huh? Knowing they taste the same why would you buy the Quaker product? It’s just adding extra stuff into your body that, my opinion, it doesn’t need.
So on that note, I have to bring up an article I read today. It’s about baby formula, which I can say I used but only in extremely limited quantities. I never once looked at a label on a can of baby formula, never, ever once. I knew, as most moms do, that it must be chalk full of good ingredients because why else would we be feeding it to our babies instead of the milk we produce?
Apparently, I should have been paying attention but that was long before Paul got sick and before I realized all food isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. So I’m going to show you this article that was linked to me via a friend on Twitter (@healthyjasmine
). The website is a health site called Natural News
. This article
talks about the recall on Similac formulas because they found traces of beetles and beetle larvae in them (and believe me I know how disgusting that is because of the time I found a worm in my dried dill spice
). The author, Mike Adams
, makes some pretty valid observations that spoke to me so much I had to tell you about it. Here is an excerpt from his article, be sure to click the link
and read it in it’s entirety.
I purchased a 24-oz container of Similac Go & Grow soy-based formula, emblazoned with a cute teddy bear on the front label and positioned towards “9 to 24 months.” It comes with the claim “balanced nutrition for older babies.” But is it really balanced nutrition?
The very first ingredient, shown right on the label, is 42.6% CORN SYRUP SOLIDS.
I took a picture of the ingredients label so you can see it for yourself. Click here to see the pic: http://naturalnews.com/images/Simil…
Stop right there. Are they saying that Similac infant formula is 42.6% corn syrup solids? That’s a form of highly processed sugar. Is this really what infants need — nearly half their formula to be made of corn syrup sugars? Nutritionists would strongly disagree.
It gets worse, there is actually more sugar in there than just the corn syrup. He even goes on to question the price. And it’s true, why are they charging so much?
Read your labels, read your labels, read your labels. This stuff is really important.