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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Chick-fil-A Headquarters Visit Update

Let me first start by saying this – Thank you for all your words of encouragement last week before my visit to consult with Chick-fil-A at its headquarters.

The visit did not result in everything I had hoped, but did exceed my expectations in terms of the overall experience and hospitality extended to me.

CFA Visit
I met with 7 key members of their corporate team (as well as others) throughout the visit:

  • V.P. of Innovation and Service
  • V.P. of Brand and Strategy
  • Lead Dietitian
  • Senior Director of Menu Innovation & Design
  • Corporate Public Relations
  • Food and Product Safety
  • Lead Food Technologist

During the 4 hour meeting, we covered:

  • The history of Chick-fil-A and its menu progression
  • New product creation
  • Quality and source of their chicken
  • Use of antibiotics in their chicken
  • Removal of high fructose corn syrup from their products
  • The packaging and cooking method of their new oatmeal
  • Reduction in sodium
  • MSG
  • Anti-foaming agent preservative TBHQ
  • Artificial coloring
  • Labeling of GMOs (Prop 37)

I have several follow up items from my visit that I would like to get more information on before giving my full and detailed report.

Stay tuned for that in the next few weeks!

Your support means the world to me – Thank you again.

Food Babe

There’s Proof: Processed Foods are Harder to Digest

I recently came across a video released earlier this year, that shows what happens in your digestive system when you eat processed foods vs. homemade foods.  I found this film simply fascinating to say the least.

The video shows two similar meals eaten by 2 subjects  -

Meal #1 (Processed) –  blue gatorade, Top ramen noodles, and gummi bears

Meal #2 (Homemade) – hibiscus drink, homemade broth with noodles and gummi bears made of juice

Here’s the video – I don’t recommend watching it while eating


Two points in the film really jumped out at me.

#1 – Blue gatorade – Watching the inside of your digestive system turn blue and not dissolve immediately even with all that stomach acid was really alarming, just as alarming as the other the secrets I recently found out about gatorade. Now I fully understand why the human body doesn’t enjoy products made out of petroleum. Sheesh.

#2 – The ingredient list of the Top ramen noodles includes TBHQ and MSG, which are also 2 ingredients found in Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Since it’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation day…I thought it would only be appropriate to highlight this point. Politics and human rights issues aside, if you haven’t considered what ingredients Chick-fil-A uses in their products, maybe it’s time.

(And if you are just catching up – You can read Chick-Fil-A or Chemical-Fil-A? and Food Babe Investigates: Why Chick-Fil-A? to find out more.)

Not only is processed food making people fat, it’s causing disease. Energy is lost when your body cannot extract the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat in an efficient manner, when it becomes weighed down by preservatives and chemicals it must cipher through, and digest substances that provide zero nutrition to the body. This energy is critical for our vital functions, organs and hormones to work at their optimal level. Without this energy people will feel sick, tired and unhappy and continue to be prescribed drugs to make them feel better instead of addressing the root cause – what they put in their mouth.

Thank goodness for Stephani Bardin and Harvard for producing this film. Hopefully it will open the eyes of people who still consume food like Chick-fil-A that is meant to survive Armageddon.


Food Babe