Today I posted an article my cousin sent me on my Facebook wall. She had just read my post about Cornucopia Institute’s recent investigation dubbed the “Organic Watergate” (rightly so) and the harmful ingredient carrageenan that is allowed in organic foods. The article I posted was entitled 38 Non-Organic Ingredients Found in USDA Organic Foods. Although dated 2007, I found the reasons for allowing these ingredients to be fascinating. A majority of the foods were allowed because no other substitute from an organic supplier was widely available or for economic reasons. Majority of the foods were allowed only after companies submitted specific petitions to the USDA to include them.
Because the article was outdated a bit, I thought it would be prudent to easily make available the whole list of ingredients that are currently legally allowed in organic food. While most of the agriculture and non-synthetic substances are not harmful to your body – some of them along with synthetic ingredients do alter your body’s alkalinity, making you more acidic. This matters, because an alkaline body avoids disease, repair cells, and removes free radicals/toxins more effectively.
I could spend days discussing each ingredient, but one synthetic ingredient that jumped out at me is cellulose – otherwise known as wood pulp. The amount of cellulose food companies can put in your food is not regulated by the FDA. Cellulose is used as filler to processed foods because it doesn’t contain calories or fat content and is cheap. Some common products that contain it are frozen waffles, shredded cheese, and salad dressings. Your body simply cannot use this ingredient at all nutritionally and lacks the enzymes to digest it. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to eat things that my system can’t process. I can’t believe companies are allowed to sell food we can’t even digest as humans!
This list hopefully serves as a reminder why it is so incredibly important to avoid overly processed foods even when they are certified organic and to check every single label on everything you buy. The products I share and support on my shop and the ones I use on a daily basis rarely if ever contain any of the below ingredients. And for the record I will ALWAYS choose an organic product vs. a conventional one.
I obtained this list from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations ECFR and is current as of May 22, 2012. Please feel free to share it how ever you like.
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