10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again (Plus the good alternative swaps!)

Earlier this month on my Facebook page, I asked you to share your biggest “ah-ha” moment when you started to read ingredient lists. I asked this question because I’m curious about what opened your eyes to the processed chemicals the food industry is dumping in our food.

There were over 1,500 responses on Facebook to my question, and I tried to read every single one of them. I found your comments insightful, really encouraging, and some were really funny! I’m glad to see that so many of you are changing your eating habits and reading ingredient lists! I saw several recurring ah-ha moments (the same ones I had when I started my journey), so I am summarizing the top 10 most popular ones here for you to share with your friends and family, just in case they haven’t had these “ah-ha” moments yet. You might even see your own ah-ha moment quoted below! If you didn’t already know about any of these major offenses at the grocery store, this will also give you tips for what to look out for next time you’re shopping.

10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again:

1.  Pickles & Relish That Contain Artificial Food Dye

  • “WHY do they need to add artificial chemical coloring? Same with everything that adds chemical for coloring. It’s just WRONG” ~ Sara
  • “Pickles started a food change in my house when I realized my children couldn’t even eat a pickle without eating yellow #4 & #5. Totally changed how we eat!” ~ Tracy
  • “Yellow #5 in my Pickles…huh?? Why on God’s green earth is that in there?!!” ~ Carrin
  • “There’s Yellow-5 in Mt Olive dill pickles!!” ~ Josh and Erika
  • “Food dyes. It’s even in pickles! Really?!?! Couldn’t understand that one. Grandmas pickles were always green and she never used yellow #6” ~ Becky
  • “This week it was Vlasic dill pickles, which we usually keep a giant jar of. Why do pickles need food coloring?” ~ Julie
  • “Dyes. Especially items like food coloring in pickles. Um, WHY?” ~ Heather
  • “Pickles have yellow #6! WTH?? Why??” ~ Amber
  • “Why do we insist on putting artificial colors in everything?!! Pickles aren’t supposed to be fluorescent!!! Nature colors things beautifully on its own!” ~ ChelsLyn
  • “Food dye in pickles..idk why but it pissed me off” ~ Tina
  • “Relish…would never have thought there would be food coloring in relish. Blech!!!” ~ Kim
  • “Omg pickles?” ~ Vanessa

Recently I looked at every single jar of pickles in a conventional grocery store, and only found one brand that didn’t contain artificial yellow food dye. Of course, there is no real reason to add dye to pickles, as it’s just used to make them look prettier and gives us no other benefits. Artificial colors are linked to health issues and have been banned or require a warning labels in several other countries – so food manufacturers often take them out of their products in other countries. Most pickles contain Yellow #5 or #6, which have been shown to contribute to childhood behavioral problems.  Better Store-Bought Alternative:  Real Pickles (brand) organic pickles, Woodstock organic pickles.

Pickle Ingredients

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CONFIRMED! Lab tests show over 30+ popular food products contain GMOs. Are you eating them?

This week headlines about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) splashed all over major media outlets across the country. This media firestorm was in response to a new report released by Consumer Reports regarding GMOs in American food products. This report finally shared what I have thought all along: Non-labeled food products most likely contain GMOs if the ingredients include a corn or soy byproduct. 

Before I get into the shocking results of the report, I want to share with you why I personally try to avoid GMOs in my diet:

  1. There are no mandatory safety assessments required before GMOs are introduced into our food system. 
  2. GMOs have contributed to more toxic pesticide usage since their inception. I want the pollution of our earth to stop. The types of environmental chemicals we are being exposed to are what the President’s Cancer Panel says will destine 41% of us to get cancer in our lifetime.
  3. There are no long term human studies to prove GMOs are safe. 
  4. GMOs are responsible for killing bee colonies. Without bees, we are in big trouble.
  5. I could go on with more reasons, but one in particular is very personal. I used to suffer from some of the worst allergies. I have been hospitalized multiple times because of them. I used to be on several prescription drugs to control them too. When I removed GMOs from my diet, eating a majority of organic whole, unprocessed foods, my allergies vanished and was able to stop taking all my prescription medications. I feel like I have ten times more energy now and feel incredible. For this reason alone, I take avoiding GMOs very seriously.

GMOs are running rampant in our food supply  

Earlier this year, the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center sent out secret shoppers to purchase more than 80 processed food products in New York and Seattle, which included a wide range of products all containing corn or soy ingredients: breakfast cereals, bars, corn chips, corn tortillas, baking mixes and flours, baby formulas, meat substitutes, soy “dairy” products, and tofu/tempeh products. Then, they tested these products to see if they contained any GMO ingredients, and if so, how much. This is important because the overwhelming majority of processed food in America contains corn or soy ingredients, which are also the most prevalent genetically modified crops, yet most major food manufacturers are strongly against labeling GMO ingredients. We are being left in the dark in this country, and virtually the only way to know whether a product contains GMOs is to have it tested – and that’s exactly what Consumer Reports did.  

What I love about their report is that Consumer Reports essentially just slapped a big fat GMO label on a few dozen everyday food products here in America, including many that are considered “Natural” and healthy. The manufacturers of these foods do not want you to know that their products contain GMOs and have collectively spent millions of dollars to fight against labeling laws, depriving us of our right to know. This is outrageous considering that 92% of American consumers want GMO labels on food and are becoming increasingly aware of how prevalent GMOs have become in our food supply. 

Brands Guilty of GMOs

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Drink Starbucks? Wake Up And Smell The Chemicals!

Last week, I posted a new investigation into the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte and exposed how Starbucks makes it difficult for its customers to know what they are drinking. This is because:

  • Starbucks doesn’t publish the ingredients online.
  • Starbucks doesn’t publish the allergen information online.
  • Starbucks is inconsistent. We were given slightly different ingredients depending on who we spoke to at Starbucks.

I also broke down the complete list of ingredients in this popular latte, including caramel coloring that contains the chemical 4-Mel, which is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and National Toxicity Program. A 2-year government funded feeding study found that 4-Mel caused lung cancer in mice. The Center of Science in Public Interest and the Consumers Union (the policy and action arm of Consumer Reports) recently petitioned the FDA to take action to limit caramel coloring in soft drinks.  

FB_SBPumpkinSpiceLatte_5-2

This post quickly went viral, with over 3 million views on FoodBabe.com and 10 million views on Facebook in just a few days. I was incredibly impressed with your activism and how you fearlessly shared this post with your friends and family. You truly got the word out within minutes, and people were listening. This news spread quickly and major news outlets began reporting our story.

This morning I had the amazing opportunity to be on a very popular national TV morning show, Fox & Friends, which gave us a huge platform to continue spreading the word. In case you missed it, the video clip is right here below: (Can you guess my favorite part?) 

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Chicken or Chickpea Salad Sandwich – The Perfect Organic To-Go Food

This new recipe is inspired by one of my favorite lunch options from last month’s Food Babe Eating Guide. When I’m home this Summer, I’m making as many meals as possible to keep in tip top healthy condition to weather me through the times when I am traveling and have limited choices.

This chicken or chickpea salad sandwich makes perfect to-go food to pack in a cooler for a day at the beach, to take for lunch at the office or school, and to wrap up and take with you on your travels. As you know, I limit my meat consumption and that’s why I like to have options for recipes, if you’ve got left over chicken that you don’t want to waste (I hate wasting food – especially meat!), it works perfectly in this sandwich. If you don’t eat meat, chickpeas make an excellent protein and fiber packed substitute. I’ve tried the wrap both ways and they are equally delicious. You can also substitute another bread option for the wrap – my favorite, is “Food for Life Ezekiel Sesame Sprouted Bread” you get in the freezer section of most natural food stores. Enjoy! 

Chicken Salad Sandwich

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