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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How To Buy The Healthiest Coconut Water And Avoid The Worst!

I love coconut water! When I’m traveling in the tropics, there is nothing better than drinking water straight from a coconut. Mother nature designed the perfect vessel for a drink that is so refreshing, slightly sweet, and keeps you hydrated in hot climates. You’ve probably heard that coconut water makes an excellent hydrating drink that replenishes electrolytes and can replace nasty chemical-filled Gatorade and Powerade - but there really is more to it than that. How do you buy the healthiest coconut water and avoid the worst?

The Best Coconut Water

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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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