The Shocking Difference Between Organic & Non-GMO Labels – It’s Huge!

One of the things I love to do every year is visit The Natural Products Expo, I go to both shows every year (west coast and east coast) to see the types of natural products food companies are creating and meet the founders behind them. Every year I see more and more Non-GMO products being created which is a great sign of the times, but there’s something really tricky and important you need to know about these products. 

Shocking Difference

There’s a lot of confusion and debate about what non-GMO and organic labels really mean.

The labels are very different! It’s crucial to understand the difference if you want to pick out the healthiest and safest food for you and your family. Every time we decide to buy a product, we are supporting so much more than our bodies. We are shaping the landscape of the entire food system – everything from the environment, land, air, water to the farmers themselves. And this is why I want you to know the truth about the “Non-GMO” label and what it really means. 

What exactly does the “Non-GMO Project” label mean?

The “Non-GMO Project” label only verifies that a product doesn’t contain genetically modified (GMO) ingredients (or technically less than 0.9% GMOs). While that is good, it’s not the whole story about what the product contains, how it was produced, and where it came from.

But when I have a choice, I always choose organic food because of these reasons… 

10 reasons why “Organic” beats “Non-GMO” every time:

Continue Reading →

Beware Of This Head Fake: Healthy Cereal That Isn’t.

I’ve always loved cereal and as a child I downed bowls of Golden Grahams for breakfast and sometimes dinner too. When I grew up, I ate Fiber One on top of my yogurt while sitting in my cubicle at work. I thought it was very healthy for my body (because of all that fiber and would help me lose weight), and just didn’t understand why I didn’t look and feel my best after eating it. Thankfully I found much healthier cereal later in life but before I tell you about my favorite kinds, we must discuss what is really going on in the “healthy cereal” industry. 

It’s estimated 94% of us have cereal in the cabinet – but a century ago hardly anyone did. Cereal was the first processed food, making life easier for Americans (and now for people all over the world). Cereal requires no cooking, no skills, and it’s just about as easy as you can get. We want everything to be quick and easy, and this has become an epidemic in this country. This is why cereal has been called the biggest success story of the modern food industry, and as put by author Michael Pollan, “Breakfast cereals in many ways are the archetypal processed food product of modern capitalist food economics”.

Slide1

Millions of dollars are spent on advertising cereal every year, and while most of it aggressively targets children, they heavily advertise to adults as well – from Trix “Silly Rabbit” commercials, free prizes, online games (advergames), celebrity endorsements, product placements, and the marketing messages on the box – we are inundated with their marketing messages every day. It’s all done to make us believe that we don’t have time prepare real food for our families and that their vitamin-fortified creations will give us (and our kids) the energy we need to get through a hard day.

But, when you take a hard look at cereal, what is it really?

In reality, the cereal industry is making billions selling us cheap commodities like corn and sugar, mixed with cheap additives like artificial colors, dumped into a colorful box with cartoon characters. Mainstream cereals are so heavily processed that they do not have natural nutrients, that’s why most of them are sprayed with vitamins, minerals, and sometimes fortified with protein. It’s the ultimate fake food.

The marketing messages on the cereal boxes sure sound healthy: “High Fiber”, “Protein”, “Gluten-Free”, “Low Fat”, “All Natural”, “Essential Vitamins” and “Good Source Of (insert vitamin here)”. But, is cereal really good for us or is it just processed junk food? Several “healthy” cereals contain questionable additives that should never be in a healthy breakfast.

Some of the WORST ingredients you’ll find even in “Healthy” cereal:

Continue Reading →

The Food Babe Way is a New York Times Best Seller! Let’s Share Our Stories!

We did it! Congratulations Food Babe Army! The Food Babe Way is officially a New York Times Best Seller! 

I am astonished by all your support and generous love. I am humbled and forever grateful for every single person that is reading this book, leaving their reviews, spreading the word and getting this message out. 

This is a big deal and I can’t thank you enough for all your support. 

Making the NYT’s list means our message will finally be getting out to the masses in a big bold way! This book won’t be relegated to the back of bookstores everywhere, it will be up front and center, growing our movement faster than ever! I know we can change our health, the food system and the world together by spreading the information & research in this book.

NY Times Best Sellers List March 1

During my book tour this past week, I met so many people that just don’t read blogs. They are picking this book up curious and inspired to change their lives. And there are people that only read books that are “best sellers”, and they too will now be more likely to pick up a copy. 

I had some incredible Costco book signing events this week. For example, at one Costco, there was a huge sign explaining organic food above my head and my petition video (discussing the controversial additive BHT in Kellogg’s & General Mills cereal) was playing behind me on a big flat screen TV as I met readers and members of the Food Babe Army. Just a few rows over, they were selling the cereal I was warning people about! It was quite a sight to see. This is what spreading the message looks like and it is happening so fast. I’m so happy to have you along for the ride. 

IMG_3246

I wish I could share all the incredible personal stories I have heard this week with you – the ones from people who say they don’t eat Kraft Mac & Cheese anymore, and the ones that stopped their daily Subway sandwich habit, or gave up GMOs or processed additive-filled food, and have started to feel a level of health they never thought was possible. I wish I could video tape everything that’s happening – because hearing your stories is what this is all about! This is why I quit my corporate career to become a food activist full time and I’m so incredibly grateful to be here with you in this revolutionary time!  Continue Reading →

The Behind-The-Scenes Marketing Tricks That Make Food Irresistible (Hint: You Can’t See It!)

There’s a somewhat insidious form of marketing that you may not be aware of that’s being used everyday in restaurants, hotels and retail stores. It’s not something obvious that you’ll see on their signs or advertising. They are using a powerful technique to quietly lure you in without overtly selling you anything – and the food industry is taking full advantage of this tactic. They are pulling out all the stops to tempt us with irresistible smells that are hard to resist. Whether you’re at the mall, the airport, your office break room, or walking at an amusement park…You are being manipulated by this very subtle technique…

Slide1

We are being inundated with fake chemical scents designed to get us to buy!

The Hard Rock Café Hotel in Orlando pumps out artificial scents of sugar cookies and waffle cones that act as “aroma billboards” to draw people to their ice cream shop in the basement (increasing sales by 45%). The marketing company ScentAndrea attached chocolate artificially-scented strips to some vending machines in California, tripling Hershey’s sales. The Hershey’s store in Times Square uses artificial scent machines that blow the scent of chocolate into their store. Disney reportedly applies an artificial “grilled scent” to their frozen burgers to make them smell fresh, along with strategically placed scent machines in the bushes that disperse scents of cotton candy, popcorn, or caramel apples. According to the Scent Marketing Institute, when the smell of fresh baked bread was pumped into a grocery store, sales in the bakery department tripled. A grocery chain in New York (Net Cost) admittedly places scent machines that release scents of chocolate and baking bread to make customers hungry, and sales jumped.

Even subtle changes in operations can trick our noses and make a big impact on increasing food sales. For instance, Panera Bread recently moved its baking time to daytime hours so that customers smell the bread all day long and their New Haven, Connecticut location has a small “show oven” without a hood, so the smells vent into the restaurant. This is the same reason that Subway places their bread ovens up front in their restaurants, so that smell hits you when you walk in the door. Starbucks has an “aroma task force” to make sure their stores smell like coffee and not the cheese from their breakfast items.

Using scents to sell more products isn’t a new tactic by a long shot and is taken straight out of Monsanto’s playbook, as demonstrated by this vintage 1947 Monsanto ad: 

Monsanto Smell 1 

“The principle of chemical attraction also defines the path to hidden sales…Used for years to contribute sales appeal to foods, candies, perfumes and cosmetics… Yes – Smells Sell!  If you wish to know more about this proved sales strategy in your business, a contact with Monsanto may reward you with the right chemical answers”. 

Continue Reading →