I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS. In January we are going to be offering some absolutely INCREDIBLE bonuses for everyone who pre-orders their copy of my new book THE FOOD BABE WAY. I can’t wait to share with you what we have in store… BUT I also couldn’t wait for you to read this one very important chapter in this book, so I convinced my publisher for you to have access to it RIGHT NOW!
As I was online holiday shopping, I came across several “edible” gifts that made my head want to explode. These are gifts that I now refuse to buy or eat for that matter. There’s no way that I’m going to send unhealthy, disease-promoting gifts to people that I care about. There’s nothing that I value more than my health and the health of my friends and family. After seeing all the advertisements and mall kiosks for this junk, I knew I had to write about these so called “gifts.”
Now, please don’t call me a scrooge or yell “ba humbug” at me for sharing this info…I’m only the messenger!
Holiday Gifts That I’m NEVER Buying (…again)
I’m embarrassed to say that several years ago I used to buy gift baskets from Mrs. Fields Cookies for some special occasions and as holiday gifts. My college girlfriends even would send me them during hard times like when I had a romantic breakup or before exams. As much as I love cookies, once I found out the truth I never spent another dime on their products. I got the complete list of ingredients in their holiday gift baskets and let me tell you, they are filled with ingredients that let’s just say, Santa would call really naughty!
Mrs. Fields Holiday Gift Baskets make the NAUGHTY LIST!
- Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Mrs. Fields uses margarine and partially hydrogenated oils as a substitute for real butter in their cookies. While their cookies contain some butter, partially hydrogenated oils take a front seat as one of their main ingredients. These oils are the primary source of artificial trans fat in our diet, which have been shown to increase “bad” cholesterol and decrease “good” cholesterol, leading to heart disease. As reported in Scientific American, “It took decades for scientists to realize how deadly trans fats could be, partly because the food industry and the cardiovascular prevention community dismissed concerns over adverse effects on health, but the evidence continued to mount”. Finally in 2013, the FDA tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) due to these health concerns, so no one should be eating these oils – even during the holidays!
- Mono & Diglycerides - This is another (somewhat sneaky) source of harmful trans fat.
- Soybean Oil – This oil is heavily processed and almost always extracted with the neurotoxin hexane, a cheap byproduct from gasoline production. It’s also high in omega-6 fatty acids (which the American diet is too full of) increasing the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – Your body doesn’t process HFCS the same as regular sugar (sucrose), and excessive high fructose corn syrup consumption has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes.
- Enriched Bleached Flour – This is the worst type of flour because it’s been stripped of fiber and nutrients, and comes from a heavily hybridized wheat crop, which may have been pre-harvested with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
- Parabens – Mrs. Fields cut-out frosted holiday cookies include methylparaben and propylparaben as ingredients. You may have heard about these ingredients in cosmetics, shampoo and lotions, but not realize they are in food too. Parabens have been found to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are linked to breast cancer (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4), and reproductive problems. This ingredient made the EWG’s top 12 dirty dozen food additives - which means it’s one of the worst food additives in existence!
- Genetically Modified Ingredients? – Several of the ingredients used by Mrs. Fields typically come from genetically modified (GMO) crops. When we called Mrs. Fields customer service and asked whether they use any GMO ingredients, the agent did not seem to understand what we were asking. They have not responded to email requests. I will update you here when (and if) they respond. These ingredients are often derived from GMOs and can be found in Mrs. Fields holiday gifts: Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Mono & Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Canola Oil, Fructose, Xanthan Gum, Cottonseed Oil, Glycerin, Food Starch.
Give the gift of health this holiday season! These are some of the products that make my life complete and my team has worked hard to develop discounts with these amazing companies so you can enjoy them too! I hope you like these healthy holiday gift ideas and it makes your shopping easier this season.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. – Mahatma Gandhi
We are close to winning.
Over the last three years, the coalition we have built, the Food Babe Army, has had an incredible amount of success and been featured in major newspapers, magazines, on radio stations, and TV shows across the globe. Together, since we as customers control the income for corporate agribusinesses, they are starting to pay attention.
- We’ve highlighted ingredients that are banned in other countries due to health concerns, and forced companies like Kraft, Subway, and Starbucks to show Americans the same respect they show other countries by committing to remove these ingredients in the US. We also inspired one of the largest fast food companies, Chick-fil-A, to commit to stop using antibiotics in the production of their chicken, and to remove controversial chemicals and other artificial ingredients.
- We’ve demanded transparency. We convince some multi-billion dollar corporations from Chipotle to Anheuser-Busch, (and MillerCoors and Starbucks who are dragging their feet) to finally release their ingredients for the first time in history. Scientists may all not agree about how dangerous these ingredients are, but we have the right to know what’s in our food and why it’s there. Because of our efforts these companies can no longer hide behind antiquated regulations that keep Americans in the dark.
- We’ve educated the public about the food system which in turn inspired more companies to change their ingredients for the better like Chipotle, General Mills, WhiteWave (Silk & Horizon) and Panera Bread. And people now are getting the information they deserve to make educated decisions about what they eat. As human beings, we do not have the option to not eat food, so at the very minimum we should have the right to know what is in our food and the right to choose whether we ingest chemical additives or adulterated food.
And while enticing big companies to change is important, I’m even more excited to learn that smart organic companies are now on the general public’s radar and the organic food movement is continuing to grow. They do the right thing and they deserve our business.
But we still have work to do–and, as our consumer coalition gains power, fueled by the influence of social media, resistance is starting to dig in against change.
With this much game-changing activism and success in a short period of time, it comes as no surprise that some powerful corporate executives and some “independent” voices they help to finance, disagree with our work. An intelligent debate is welcomed, but not all the discussion has been civil.
There’s a group of aggressive scientists, biased doctors, skeptics, agribusiness publicists, lobbyists (and their anonymous webpages and social media sites), along with in some cases, well intended but misinformed people (influenced by propaganda) attacking our work, other consumer advocacy groups, my partners, my friends and me, personally.
Did you think the powerful chemical companies and food giants of the world were going to let us waltz right into their world and turn it upside down?
No – they won’t and, as I expected, the people who wish to keep the status quo are attacking me personally while simultaneously trying to discredit the entire Good Food Movement.