Chemical Warfare with “Natural Flavor”

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I am so happy I don’t have to watch the news on TV everyday to know if something exciting is going on in the world. You see – I am a firm believer in if there is something I need to watch or know – someone will tell me. And that’s just what happened to me this week when my friend Ami posted a link to the 60 mins video featuring Givaudan – a company founded in Switzerland that is responsible for overloading the American food supply with “flavor”….


I highly recommend watching this clip from the show or reading the transcript when you have time if you haven’t already seen it – it is startling to say the least. Givaudan is the largest flavor manufacturing company in the world. They pride themselves on making flavors that are irresistible – starting from mother nature, taking something as simple as a strawberry and then destroying everything mother nature intended for it. In the clip – you will witness outrageous acts of smugness from the Givaudan scientists – a lady so happy that she can chemically reproduce hundreds of variations of raspberry flavor and smiling when she says she can make whisky taste more oaky with one of her concoctions. The whole place is “cloaked in secrecy” because they don’t want you to know what they are selling you in their “natural” flavor (the words you will see on a back of food packaging) or who they are selling to. There is nothing pure about the flavors they produce – strawberry and vanilla can come from a “beaver’s backside,” according to the Givaudan scientists.

What are companies like Givaudan doing to our food supply? It might be ingenious chemical wizardry to them. But I call it WARFARE. Is it too far to say they are using chemical warfare to slowly kill us one by one…? Let’s look at the definition of Chemical Warfare….”warfare using chemical agents to kill or injure or incapacitate the enemy.” This really could be true. The uninformed public is the enemy, getting injured and incapacitated – one tastebud at a time.

The natural and artificial chemicals that flavor manufactures engineer are contributing to what David Kessler (former head of the FDA) calls a “food carnival” in your mouth. The inability to stop eating because the flavors they have synthesized trick your mind into wanting more and more. They don’t want you to have the full essence of the strawberry – they want you to only experience the best 1 millionth part of the taste – so you get “addicted” and keep having to go back for more and more, searching continuously for gratification – eating more of that product which in turns fills Big Food Companies pockets. The Big Food Companies are “hijacking” your taste buds one by one.

Most of us know artificial flavors derived from petroleum aren’t good for us, but the with the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins. Natural flavor can legally contain natural occurring “glutamate” bi-products like MSG – which are known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Ever wonder why you can’t just eat one chip? Or one cookie? Or why you remember a taste of a product so distinctly and crave uncontrollably? Excitotoxins can be to blame. Excitotoxins overexcite your cells literally until they die or are damaged causing “injury” and “incapacitating” you with disease. When consumed over time, excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders resulting a myriad of diseases from stroke to Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. And lots of other side effects too – like obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.

I walked into a conventional grocery store today. The first product I picked up had this “natural flavor” in it – and then the next product I picked up did too – and the next one. WTF? It was pretty freaking scary. Why do Americans eat more calories than any other industrialized nation? It’s not because we have more money or are more hungry. It’s because our food supply is chemically produced and enhanced with these “natural flavors” along with extra fat, extra salt and extra sugar and it’s EVERYWHERE and we are being TARGETED. You can’t escape it – you want salad dressing on your salad? You want a little mustard or mayo on your sandwich? Would you like some salsa with your chips? Those products I found today all have “natural flavor” added to it.

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A lot of people think you shouldn’t blame these food companies, flavor chemists, or anyone else for people’s inability to stop eating and from getting obese – but when companies practice this type of trickery – you can’t help but realize we are all at a disadvantage. How much do you have to research and know about your food in order to trust it?  Can we expect all people in all income levels to have the time to find and understand this knowledge? Shouldn’t we be able to trust the mustard the grocery store down the street is selling to us? It’s amazing we can’t trust something labeled “natural flavor” – it sounds so simple, friendly and well natural… but really can be so deadly.

So you have a choice. You can let the food companies and flavor factories conduct chemical warfare on you. Or you can treat them like the enemy and stop buying their products. Don’t let them injure or incapacitate you. VOTE with your Dollars – not just once in a while but always when it comes to food. Your health is the only thing you’ve got. Next time when you see labels like the ones above and see those brands. Run as fast as you can in the other direction. Drop the bag I tell you! Just drop the bag and run! And share this information with your friends and family too.

Treadmill Tokyo Better

With the greatest possible health to you and your loved ones,
Food Babe

P.S. I would LOVE to hear what you think about Givaudan and companies like them. Open the debate here or on my Facebook Fan Page


130 Responses to “Chemical Warfare with “Natural Flavor””

  1. Amber

    How do natural flavors differ. from organic to non organic products?

    • David (to Amber)

      natural flavors can be derived from ingredients that may or may not be organic. Id assume the cheapest which is non organic would be used to extract natural flavors. But you could also use bacteria to digest an ingredient and call its poop natural flavors. So organic vs non organic natural flavors isn’t distinguishable because the term natural flavor isn’t even representative of its assumed meaning.

    • Sunrise250 (to Amber)

      Best to avoid “products” generally. A legitimate “product” should have no more than 3 ingredients besides whole foods (organic grain, nuts, fruit, veg,) no refined carbohydrates or “flavorings” and not words from chemistry. Refined anything is not good… . Eat food not marketing – not a good idea to eat anything that is in a box or package with a picture on it.
      Eat wild and organic when possible. Just go look at a salmon farm… see the “farmers” emptying the dried food into the water cages – sacks with the BP logo on there. Disgusting.

      The term natural/all-natural on food is not only meaningless but offensive.


  2. May

    Hi Food Babe! I was wondering WHY i was seeing “Natural Flavors” in more and more products and it has just been escalating more and more within the last years! Now that i have seen your article, i have to say that this is really making me ANGRY!!!! I am tired of monSATAN’s right hand man (FDA) allowing all this TRICKERY and TOXIC SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS to be put in ALL THE FOOD!!!! We can’t escape it unless we can afford to eat 100% ORGANIC and even then we have to watch out for “Natural Flavors” to be added to some of that stuff!!! I just finished a WALLABY Organic Yogurt which is USDA certified (in black and white? — not the usual green USDA Certification!) and low and behold i looked at the ingredients and this is what they are: ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Organic Cultured Pasteurized Reduced Fat Milk, Organic Raspberries, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Locust Bean Gum, Pectin, NATURAL FLAVOR, Vegetable Juice for color. Do I have to worry that they are doing the same to this and all the other non-organic products??
    Also, I am glad to see that you chose NOT to answer “bbb” because there are IDIOTS that get PAID to HARASS anybody that dares to speak the TRUTH!!! They are RUTHLESS and NASTY and they try to ASSASSINATE the character of ANY and ALL people who try to warn people of the TRUTH!!!

    • sue (to May)

      The USDA logo product allows up to 5% of the food to contain prohibited ingredients, if those ingredients are not available in organic form. For example, an ingredient containing a synthetic pesticide residue may be included in a certified organic food bearing the USDA logo, as long as that ingredient could not be obtained by the manufacturer in organic form and as long as the weight of the ingredient did not exceed 5% of the total weight of the product (by weight or fluid volume, excluding water and salt). However, there is one important caveat to this “5%” rule for certified organic foods bearing the USDA logo: even in the 5% “non-organic” portion of the food, ingredients are not allowed to be genetically engineered, fertilized with sewage sludge, or irradiated.

      • May (to sue)

        Hi Sue,
        So the NATURAL FLAVORS can be SYNTHETIC, but NOT GMO?? Welp, i guess i will have ANOTHER category of foods to ELIMINATE from my diet!!! Thanks for your reply!

      • Mike Berman (to sue)

        Hi Sue, there is a huge problem with this information because one cannot by definition call a food organic if it includes any amount of pesticides! Even if that amount is less than one percent! And believe me, there are a number of very nasty compounds that can cause death almost immediately if that amount is even less than one percent of the total weight of that food. Such components like cyanide, strychnine or plutonium fall in this category. The definition of “organic” has actually two different meanings! In the food industry, it basically is defined as any food that was not adulterated, and not contaminated with any component other than what it contained originally from harvest or birth. In the chemical industry, the term “organic” means any compound or molecule which contains carbon. Also, when flavors are synthetically produced, many flavor chemicals do have mirror images if they have what is called a chiral center. To give just a simple example of what I mean, the flavor chemical or molecule which is responsible for the flavor of spearmint is due to one of the two mirror images of that molecule. The other mirror image gives the flavor of caraway! Now if that particular flavor molecule is synthetically produced, both mirror images are produced so a mixed flavor is generated. But if that molecule was produced from a living plant which contains a set of enzyme systems, then only one of the mirror images will be produced giving only one of those flavors. That is because all biological systems contain enzymes that have also one mirror image. Likewise, for example all of our amino acids that make up our proteins are left handed except for glycine! Our DNA is right handed! So when many flavor molecules are produced synthetically, many of these flavor molecules will include all of their isomers or different structural forms which again cannot be literally controlled! So the term “organic” means one thing and the term “synthetic” means something different however again, just from the definition of “organic”, anything non-adulterated cannot contain anything synthetic or anything else that is not indigenous to this food when it was harvested or born.

    • Paul (to May)

      Great points May, MonSATAN and corrupt man (FDA) are really screwing the human race. The Truth of Hosea’s words ring true, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.


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  5. Cindy

    I have been wondering about “natural flavors” that are used in certified organic and gmo free products. What are they and should we be avoiding them as well???

  6. Amy

    I have always thought that if a product has natural flavors it is probably good because it came from nature. WRONG! I’m glad I read this.

  7. Renee Mueller

    As a person with Celiac disease I do not appreciate “Natural Flavors” because that is where they can hide gluten and it means I have to call the company or look it up. Mostly….I just skip it. If they can’t be honest they don’t deserve my money!!!!

  8. Robin Curtin

    Tonight for dinner I had grilled chicken & figs, broccoli with garlic & oil, and cauliflower “rice” (put in a food processor until fine like rice, delicious!). No package, no process. No hijacking my taste buds. It can be done! Two words: FRESH FOOD.
    We all need to take back our bodies & not eat their crap.

    • Enrick (to Robin Curtin)

      Marry me? I mean,. No, yeah it can be done for sure… its best to flee the country though. Tierd of our ownerd feeding us, showing us, calling us crap. No more! Im out, love, peace, balance, and knowledge to all!

  9. Nirav

    There should be prohibition for everything non-organics just like they had back in the days for moonshiners.

  10. Allyssa

    So this is really scary to me as I am severally allergic to artifical flavorings and colours, so much so I carry an epipen. And now after leaning this when I thought I was safe with natural flavouring it could still kill me!!! How do I know what is safe anymore?

    • food industry guy (to Allyssa)

      While I have heard of sensitivities and some allergies associated with Colors, I have never heard about allergic reactions to Artificial flavors persay. Allergens associated with Milk, Egg, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat can be used in artificial flavors, however labeling laws around the world are consistent that these materials have to be broken out and labelled. If the artificial flavor contains these basic food ingredients, then yes you have an issue, however again, it has to be labelled as such. I would not drop allergen and artificial flavors in the same bucket as they are not one in the same.

      • Allyssa (to food industry guy)

        I am allergic to blue purple black dyes and grape flavouring. Which is in a lot of things.

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  12. James

    You’re right, we are at war. But it’s a knowledge war, and one we aren’t going to win unless we get out there and look for answers. Fortunately, those that are awake have someone like yourself (plus more than a few others) whom we can go to for answers, or recipes or just to vent about the way we are being taken advantage of just to line someones pocket with more money. What it comes down to is this, do you really want to give your hard earned dollars to someone that is knowingly making you sick, slowly, over time? As for me, I find it hard to eat out anymore …

  13. deb

    What are your thoughts on the “natural flavor” in Lacroix water? The website says it is the “essence oil” and I am not sure what that means…good or bad? I appreciate any feedback…

    • anna s. (to deb)

      I recently tried these with my family. We are all sensitive to artificials in varying degrees. They made me feel awful, my breastfed baby was very cranky the next day and my older daughters all became crazy and hyper. I do not know what is in them, per se, but it can’t be good.

  14. Christine Austvold

    I was completed addicted to that flavored coffee creamer they sell in super markets all across the nation and was SO excited when I saw Nestles come out with Vanilla Natural Bliss Creamer. It has four ingredients – Non Fat Milk, Heavy Cream, Sugar and “natural flavor “. Of course I thought that last ingredient was vanilla flavoring- WRONG! Recently now that I have been subscribing to Food Babe and opening my eyes to what exactly is in our food I wrote to Nestles to ask the exactly what the “natural flavor” was….here is a copy of the so called answer. Back to the drawing board with my flavored creamer – Food Babe any suggestions?

    April 15, 2014
    Dear Ms. Austvold,
    Thank you for taking the time to contact Nestlé® Coffee-mate® Natural Bliss regarding the ingredients of the product. We welcome questions and comments from loyal consumers such as yourself and appreciate this opportunity to assist you.
    We cannot confirm nor deny the traces of specific artificial or natural ingredients in our products. Our suppliers are not required to list them, unless it is one of the 8 major allergens.
    At Nestlé, we are dedicated to you and your family throughout every phase of your lives. Your feedback is valuable to us, as it helps us to improve our products and services.
    We appreciate your interest in our products and hope you will visit our website often

    • Contrast Level (to Christine Austvold)

      What goes around comes around. In the end this thought calmes me. For now, i make planes to leave this country, i love the people, but i despise its rulers. Im off to dangerous mexico! Where they’re atleast open about the violence :]

    • Robin (to Christine Austvold)


      Also keep in mind that Nestle is infamous for ‘natural products’ as well as being a major force behind ‘privatizing’ water resources. And remember that they are also in the forefront of the Anti-Breastfeeding Campaign (because of their Baby Formula). Avoid (boycott) these bastards at all costs.

    • AmyKay (to Christine Austvold)

      To Christine:
      Posting your reply from Nestle is much appreciated! It confirms my suspicions about the true contents of a “natural flavors” as well.
      I was once hooked on creamer. I have no alternative. Just run for the hills!!

      • asmafcl (to AmyKay)

        Use half and half. I have been calling coffee creamer “Chemical” for 15 years due to suspicion or imagined conspiracy theory. I realized a while that it is actually true.

  15. Erica

    Ok, so you haven’t answered any of the questions I’ve seen so far asking about organic natural flavors. Do you have detail on what those could contain? Am I eating organic beavers’ butt? Can beavers be organic??? ;) Any help, even an ‘I don’t know yet’ would be helpful. Thanks!

    • Danielle (to Erica)

      Yes, I would love an answer to this question too!!! :)

  16. Alexis C.

    Hey Food Babe! I try to eat organic as much as possible and I see that “natural flavors” are listed on some these products. Are these concerns relevant to organic products as well?

  17. Reigstered Dietitian

    Use this resource to help you understand the food flavoring laws for organic foods as of 2005:

  18. tmaddin

    I just called Ocean Spray and inquired on their 100% Apple Juice bought at a gas station. Since I was allergic to all sugars and certain other foods, I noticed it tasted a little sweeter. Then I saw it had on the bottle “with other natural flavors and ingredients.” I could not get an answer from customer service as to what the natural flavors were. She just kept saying that it was the apple juice. WTH…..they “don’t want you to know and don’t care about your health”. I am sticking to MOTT’s. It is apples and ascorbic acid. Okay!….Always read the ingredients, not just the labels “they are false”. :(

  19. Toyin

    Thank you for these information. This past Memorial weekend, I bought a pack of Emerald Diamond Jumbo Cashew nuts and had eaten only about five pieces when I started having reaction similar to the one that I had when I had eaten MSG.
    Luckily I had not consumed too many. Later sent an e-mail to the company’s consumer site, letting them know that I do not want anything but for them to properly label products or have none flavored / unsalted.
    The reply came today from “Cathy Stagg” Consumer affairs Representative, who should be fired because she was defensive and flat out rude.
    I am planning on submitting my reaction to the FDA or equivalent in my state for investigation. Wondering how many people have had similar experience from eating this product.

  20. dana

    I was wondering what you thought of “natural flavors” in Nature Path Cereals? I have switched to this cereal for many great reasons – I know it is organic and GMO free but this in the ingredient list. I know it is probably not good…..ugh! I swear it is difficult even with these companies who appear to be conscious of eating pesticide free etc.


  21. Nick

    Stepping back, I see nothing fundamentally wrong with adding natural (and even, if not preferentially, artificial flavors) to food, assuming all else is equal. A chemical is a chemical is a chemical. Our bodies are chemical machines. Their source is not really an issue. And it’s not like nature only gives us good things. The essential macro and micro-nutrients we need, when packaged in nature, often have plenty of additional harmful elements (ex. tag-along pathogenic bacteria). Advancement in food/nourishment technology is a good thing for the world.

    Now, the issue as I see it is more about the incentive structure that drives the producers of these flavors. They have a profit incentive to hide what they are putting in food. I think 95% of this is due to the “ick” factor (telling people a tasty flavor is actually boiled down animal bits tends to reduce appetites in most folks). Also, they are trying to get people to eat as much of their products as possible, which based on what kinds of products usually get these flavors, is generally bad for health. And on the margin I am sure incidences occur where a not-yet-adequately-tested chemical is used. Thus, the lack of transparency is indeed an issue.

  22. Nick

    The problem is the FDA. Can you take down the FDA Vani? Why do they allow this stuff in our food and allow this deception? The corruption has to go to the very top. The answer has to be money.

    • Lynn (to Nick)

      It’s ALWAYS about money. Those people don’t give a crap about peoples health&the often downright nasty stuff IN the food…as long as it makes them,I think they’d sell us dirt&tell us it’s a ‘natural health food’. It’s no wonder there are so many health problems,hospital visits&funerals. And they do not care,not one bit.

  23. Lynn

    Did you also know that some of these ‘natural’ ingrdients that you eat,comes from th anal glands of a giant rodent,a beaver? If it says it’s a vanilla flavored product,but contains,no actual vanilla,in the ingredients&has ‘natural flavor’,instead…that’s what you are drinking&eating. No joke. BLEGH!

  24. Stormy

    Normally I’m against killing but this article slheagtured my ignorance.

  25. Rebekah

    Hi Food Babe! I’m sick of seeing natural flavor as an ingredient. It seems to be in almost everything! When are we going to demand that they stop using this term and start telling us what’s really in our food?

  26. Anna

    I just looked at the ingredients on my Nature Path, Van’s Natural Foods, and Kashi cereal boxes in my pantry and they all have natural flavor listed in the ingredients. I have seen online that a lot of the health food companies are owned by the the big industry food companies. Is this true?

  27. Cindy Freeman

    We recently found out our child has an allergy to Balsam of Peru. Apparently, any food listed as having Natural Flavors is likely to contain this natural flavoring. So far, the only snack I’ve found without it is popcorn made from Popcorn Indiana. It would really be great if a company would create snacks without natural flavors. As more people develop allergic reactions, there will definitely be a demand for it.

  28. Dee

    this is sick! i’m even seeing some organic foods labeled as organic but with natural flavors on the label. can’t even trust the word organic anymore. i do not eat much processed food anymore since gmo’s are not labeled. this is so wrong on sooo many levels!

  29. lane

    Called Kozy Shack trying to find out what is in their “natural flavor” in their rice pudding. I was told to ask if it contained certain ingredients like MSG and they would then tell me if it was in it or not. A guessing game?

  30. T.T.P.B.

    As I read through these comments I can’t help but notice how many people were asking questions of food babe. “What is safe” “Is this food ok” “What’s the difference between this and that” “What should I do”. Some even said something about her not replying as if she should be obligated to. I would like to offer a reply to those asking these questions…….READ. DO SOME RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN. FOOD BABE IS NOT THE ONLY PERSON WITH ACCESS TO INFORMATION. YOU’RE ON THE INTERNET REPLYING AREN’T YOU? YOU HAVE INTERNET=YOU HAVE ACCESS TO INFORMATION. TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES AND PUT SOME WORK INTO THIS TO LEARN FOR YOURSELF. SHARE WHAT YOU LEARN WITH OTHERS AS SHE IS DOING AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE TOGETHER WE CAN PUT A STOP TO THIS ATTACK ON OUR HEALTH. MUCH RESPECT TO THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES AND OTHERS INSTEAD OF LEAN ON THEM.

  31. Russell

    “Most of us know artificial flavors derived from petroleum aren’t good for us, but with the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins”

    By far the most vicious of the excitotoxins is air , which causes APAS.

    Acute Polyvalent Airhead Syndrome presents as an altered sensorium so exquisitly attuned to chemtrails, and second hand gluten that the victim’s knees begin to jerk at the mere mention of the word molecule.

  32. Lisa

    I have spent the past year eliminating every food that says ‘natural flavor’ on the label. I can’t believe the improvement in my health. These chemicals create an immune reaction for me, it’s swift and sharp. I have body aches, head ache, mood shift, joint swelling…. Basically I’m in pain from head to toe! But without natural flavor I’m healthy, happy and well. We need to wake up America, these people have hijacked the word natural and their industry is without conscience.

  33. Fred Pankow

    Your information, which was supplied in reply to my question about flavorings, was very helpful. I was greatly impressed with your fast reply to my first inquiry via the “reply” space.


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