Natural and organic food labels are misleading

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Organic Food News(NaturalHealth365) Natural and organic food manufacturers and their associated marketing practices can be surprisingly deceptive. In fact, it is not uncommon to find (unwanted) ingredients in food with either the words “natural” or “organic” displayed on the front of the packaging. Let the buyer beware…

It is nearly impossible to find finished natural and organic products such as baked goods, breakfast cereals, nutritional bars, nut and seed mixtures and dairy products to be free of additives. You may be surprised to learn that “certified organic” products are legally allowed to include some very questionable substances.

Are you aware of these (5) ugly food additives?

Carrageenan is a (highly-processed) food additive extracted from red seaweed and is used in thousands of food products. The reality is that scientists have raised concern about its safety for decades – based on research linking food-grade carrageenan, in the diet of laboratory animals, to gastrointestinal disease, including colon tumors.

“Carrageenan has a unique chemical structure, and research has shown that this chemical structure may trigger an innate immune response in the body,” says Dr. Pradeep Dudeja, Professor of Physiology in Medicine at the University of Illinois – Chicago, who has co-authored nine studies on carrageenan.

“The immune response leads to inflammation, which is a serious public health concern since chronic, low-grade inflammation is a well-known precursor to more serious diseases, including diabetes and cancer,” he adds.

The main target seems to be the gastrointestinal track, it has been found to cause colitis and ulcerated colitis. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States both determined that carrageenan is a carcinogen.

Carrageenan is found in many common foods, but to see it in organic products is disheartening. The list is substantial and includes Horizon Dairy, Organic Valley chocolate milk, Silk soymilk, Pacific almond milk, Rice Dream frozen desserts and Applegate Farms deli meat. Keep in mind, this list of foods may not be complete.

Synthetic DHA is a fatty acid derived from algae found in some organic dairy products and other non-dairy drinks. The problem is this DHA is made from a strain of algae with the use of radiation and/or harsh chemicals.

DHA is frequently made by using hexane a petrochemical solvent and a known neurotoxin. Dean Foods’ Horizon milk products boast DHA on the front of their cartons.

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is a mixture of phosphoric acid with sodium carbonate and is used in soy-based meat alternates. It promotes binding of soy particles together. Do you think an ingredient like this used as a water softener, metal cleaner and toothpaste additive should be used in our food supply?

Synthetic vitamins and minerals are in so many “health food” products. The Natural Organic Standards Board (NOSB) rules on what is permitted to appear in our organic food supply. Unfortunately, the rulings of this board permitted the inclusion of synthetic nutrients; vitamins and minerals and are deemed “o.k.” – in accordance with the applicable regulations established by the Food and Drug Administration. (FDA)

The board included within this a category of “accessory nutrients” which are neither vitamins nor minerals and include carrageen. Naturally, and at no surprise, the board is composed of many individuals that are vested in commercial manufacturing practices.

The rules state that only nutrients the FDA has declared essential for health can be added to organic products. Those include vitamins A, C, D, E, iron, iodine, magnesium, zinc and many others. Any nutrient that isn’t “essential” would require special approval.

Concerned citizens, like Patrick Winters, sees agency profits as the motivator and stated: “To add vitamins and minerals to fortify an organic product seems to breach the spirit of organic in favor of expanding corporate markets.”

Taking isolated nutrients is already problematic and adding the synthetic version is criminal. Creative solutions in manufactured foods facilitate proprietary formulas, processes and methodologies, and are used for those looking at profit margins rather than making a product better.

Genetically modified grains are everywhere! Breakfast cereals that are known as natural and healthy can contain more than 50 percent GMO contaminants. Kashi has contained up to 100 percent genetically modified grains and Barbara’s Bakery Puffins, and Whole Foods 365 corn flakes contain more than 50 percent GMO material. Like I said before, let the buyer beware.

To source organic and non-GMO materials is expensive and cutting corners is a short term gain for manufacturers and a long term loss for consumer confidence and health.

The consumers’ creative solution should be to look to nature for unequalled proprietary formulas, and try to completely avoid those organic products from large commercial food manufacturers. I think it’s time to grow our own food.

About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Sources:
http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/3980
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/07/five-weirdest-ingredients-allowed-organic-food
http://gimby.org/blogs/backyard-fence/20121130/should-organic-foods-have-synthetic-vitamins
http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/03/fda-puts-industry-profit-over-public-health-defends-safety-of-controversial-food-additive/
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-03-18/health/ct-met-carrageenan-0318-20130318_1_carrageenan-fda-scientists-food-additive-safety
http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/07/beware-carrageenan-a-food-additive-common-in-organic-products/
http://www.organicauthority.com/blog/organic/organic-group-requests-fda-remove-carrageenan-from-food-supply/

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  • Jan Pence

    It is a shame that the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has so many exemptions that the general public knows nothing about. For example, beef can be labeled “100% grass-fed organic” and there is an USDA NOSB exemption that allows ranchers to actually finish off these cattle on grain the last 4 months of their life. This of course, defeats the entire purpose of grass-feeding and eliminates the many health benefits found in true grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Just pure deception! That is why it is important to truly know where your meats and poultry are coming from…know your local farmer.

  • Louise Ivey

    Is there any dry breakfast cereal that is not GMO in stores?