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The Ingredients In This Popular Snack Might Surprise You

I was shopping the other day minding my own business and I saw a product that I had to share with you right away. When I shop I like to look at ingredient lists, especially on old products I used to eat and buy. When I saw the ingredients for “Made with real fruit, 100% whole grain Fig Newtons” my jaw dropped open. These little suckers were a staple in my household growing up and made countless appearances in my lunch box as a child. I couldn’t believe how many toxic processed chemicals they contained!

What’s exactly in a Fig Newton?

Fig Newton

  • Whole Grain Wheat Flour – Don’t let the words “whole grain” fool you into believing it’s healthy. A serving of 2 bars only contains 3 grams of fiber, and much of that probably comes from the figs, not the whole grain.
  • Sugar – You’ll eat 13 grams of sugar (more than 3 teaspoons) in just 2 small fig newtons.  How many of us stop at just 2 cookies? 
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup – This chemically refined sugar has been shown to cause more weight gain than regular sugar.  Even when eaten in moderation, it’s said to be a major cause of heart disease, cancer, dementia and liver failure. Some high fructose corn syrup is even contaminated with mercury.
  • Soybean Oil – This cheap oil is high in omega 6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation raises your blood pressure, and can promote the growth of cancer cells.
  • Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil –  Cottonseed oil is to be avoided at all costs. Conventional cotton is loaded with deadly pesticides that don’t belong in our food because the cotton crop is regulated by the EPA as a textile crop – not food! This means they have a totally different set of toxic chemicals they can use on it. This oil also contains harmful trans fat because it is “partially hydrogenated”, even if the package says it doesn’t contain trans fat. This is because the FDA allows a “No Trans Fat” label when there is less than 1/2 gram per serving.  Since most of us don’t stop at just 2 cookies, we could easily eat several grams of trans fat in one small snack. Trans fats are not safe to eat at any level and the FDA is considering a ban.  
  • Sodium Benzoate – This preservative is only found in heavily processed foods. The Mayo Clinic found it may cause hyperactivity in kids and it’s dangerous when combined with vitamin C.  So, never give your child the toxic combination of Fig Newtons served with a side of orange juice.
  • Artificial VanillinThis flavoring is the fake version of vanilla extract – not to be confused with extract from the vanilla bean. This artificial flavor is made from the petrochemical precursor guaiacol, extracted from wood creosote, a greasy wood byproduct.
  • Genetically Modified Ingredients – These cookies are packed with ingredients that are known to be genetically modified (GMO). Their parent company, Mondelez International, contributed nearly $400K to block GMO labels in California and Washington state. The consumption of GMOs has been linked to health disorders, such as kidney and liver disorders and allergies. Even if you grew up eating Fig Newtons, GMOs were introduced to our food supply only 20 years ago and their use has skyrocketed in recent years. Mondelez admits they use GMOs in the United States, but not in other countries – how is that fair? These are the possible genetically modified ingredients:
      • Sugar
      • Corn Syrup
      • High Fructose Corn Syrup
      • Soybean Oil
      • Soluble Corn Fiber
      • Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil
      • Resistant Corn Maltodextrin
      • Soy Lecithin

What to eat instead of Fig Newtons?

Thankfully, there are several alternatives to Fig Newtons that are not only healthier but much tastier:

I just want to note, unfortunately, I can’t recommend “Newman’s Own Fig Newman’s” because they contain non-organic corn syrup and natural flavors. They do have a much better ingredient list than traditional Fig Newton’s – but I don’t want to eat or buy them because of this reason. I am pretty sure any version of fig newtons don’t have to contain corn syrup to be delicious!

If you know someone still buying and eating Fig Newtons, please share this post with them! Knowledge is power and when we share the truth, these product toxic ingredients will either change or be discontinued! 🙂 Let’s change the world!




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179 responses to “The Ingredients In This Popular Snack Might Surprise You

  1. Vani – trying to find the best cereal bar for my daughter, shes 5. Trader joes store brand (supposedly GMO Free) is 13g sugar! Nutrigrain is 9g of sugar, and Kashi ones are 11g sugar! She has tried organic ones and really doesn’t like them – what to do??? I give me son (hes 2) the plum tot organic ones because they are really small and a good size for him, buy my daughter would 3 of those size! help!

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Not sure how your little ones feel about baby carrots, but have you considered using those in place of a cereal bar, or raisins and apple slices? Much healthier and you know exactly what you are feeding your kids. 🙂

      Just a thought!

      1. do you have children? LOL
        i wish he would eat babycarrots (hes 2 – he wont eat anything)… he will eat yogurt covered raisins or sometimes apples, yes. But we still need the cereal bar backup for trips or school snacks.
        My daughter eats all those things but still loves cereal bars. shes 5.

      2. Baby carrots are manufactured. I would buy the real thing and cut them up.

      3. To FLGrown:

        I beg to differ on where “baby carrots” come from. My garden produces them just wonderfully, fully organic and delicious. They are indeed very small, and totally “manufactured” by nature and the God who created it.

        There are some unscrupulous companies out there that sell carrot pieces labeled as “baby Carrots,” but if you look at what is in the bag, it’s quite obvious that these are just broken pieces of large carrots that have been cut and sanded to look like small carrots. They also soak them in a chlorine based solution that preserves them, and you can smell it as well.I will not buy these, as the chlorine alone is poison! The actual small varieties of carrots hold their crispness and shape quite nicely for quite a while, provided that they are kept moist with a little water. There are a lot of great varieties of carrots that are sweet and delicious, such as “Little Fingers,” that if picked when young, are the real “baby carrots.” I have an entire row of them out back right now, and my how delicious they are! Another small variety is “Paris Market,” that grow in little round shapes, rather than the typical long, cylindrical shape. These are not as sweet, but a great shape and size for small kids.

        Also, to Michelle, I am a mom, although my son is all grown up, but when he was little he very much enjoyed his carrot sticks, raisins and other natural treats, as did I, Even more than candy and other sweets and processed stuff. Guess growing up back in the 60s for me, 80’s for my son, had some perks, eh? 😉

        Yours in good health!

      4. To Michelle and other moms out there,

        My daughter is 13 years old. She eats everything I make, everything our friends make.
        Why isn’t she picky?

        Because I fed her all different kinds of fruit, veggies and food.

        When I introduced a “new” veggie, fruit, etc., it was done with lots of smiles, and lots of positive reinforcement.
        I prohibited other people from influencing her eating habits. I did not let anyone say anything negative, such as “I can’t stand (fill in the blank)” or allow allow people to make sick faces…

        It’s all about what they perceive. They watch YOU and those around them. If your little one is watching you when they are eating something and you make a face of disgust or those around them make faces of disgust, then they will relate your look to their food.

        It’s up to you and those around you… And start now, because you do not want your kid to be the one no one wants over to their home, because they are “too special” for regular food and only eats (name the food)
        My daughter is always complimented for being gracious and eating whatever someone makes.

        However, one friend is very picky and it is annoying… and not that she is older, her parents get embarrassed by her immature eating habits.

        So, it is up to the parents and whomever feeds the baby or the toddler…

    2. Hi Michelle,
      I’m not the food babe, but I am a mom of twin two year olds. Mine love Lara bars. Have you tried those? They aren’t organic, but very limited ingredients, fruit and nuts. The best bet is to make your own, but I know as a busy mom that is not always an option, but if you find some time that is always a healthy option. I buy the Lara bars by the case.

      1. Lara Bars are owned by General Mills and therefore a strong proponent for GMO crops. They helped to defeat prop 37 by contributing the money you spend on their genetically modified food to this demented campaign of deception.
        In the old days….the days before processed foods….we mothers gave our children real food. Food that was nutrient dense…and did not pander to their “cravings” or whims. My sons ate every vegetable and fruit I put before them when they were young. When they were older I allowed processed food into my home and that is when our health began to decline dramatically. So I do have experience in being a parent.

      2. I will try those! thanks

        i really wish kashi bars/cereal would go GMO free.

        unfortunately i work 5 days a week – so my kids spend time at their grandmothers during the week with 7 other grandkids – we do the best we can~

    3. I would like to mention that Kaschi and Larabar are both considered Traitor brands. Kaschi is owned by Kelloggs and Larabar is owned by General Mills. Both companies payed $million$ to defeat the GMO labeling propositions in California and Oregon and are part of the lawsuit against the state of Vermont to dismantle their recently-passed GMO labeling law. So, don’t support either of those companies by purchasing any of their products or their traitor organic/natural product brands.

      FYI: you can download a free app called Buycott which will tell you which brands to boycott using the UPC code.

    4. Consider Kit’s Organic bars. They do not contain any added sugar but they have a lot of sugar from dates. They are all organic and no funny ingredients. Only real organic ingredients.

    5. Our friend Linda Everett created a bar called the Jete bar. It is gluten dairy, soy and egg free (but does contain peanuts from peanut butter). She is making them by hand in Boise, Idaho but they tastes great and kids do enjoy them. Her youngest grandchild’s first group of words contained “bar”. She does ship them from an online store at The bars use non-gmo ingredients which can also be found on the web site. Sorry for the product plug but it does meet a need.

    6. I suggest baking from scratch mini muffins. You control all ingredients and kids love them. Can add nuts, fruit, make apple muffins, cinnamon muffins, pumpkin muffins, zucchini muffins, even chocolate muffins for a treat.

      It does not take a lot of time and can be done once a week and you have enough for snacks/breakfast for the week. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it becomes part of the routine.

    7. Try baking mini muffins. You can do berries, apples, nuts, zucchini, carrot, pumpkin (never met a kid that didn’t LOVE pumpkin muffins). Kids love love love mini muffins.

      Healthier, cheaper, you control all ingredients (use as much or as little organic ingredients you want, swap out ingredients you don’t like) takes about 45 min a WEEK. Make it part of your weekly routine.

  2. *GREAT* article, Vani!!! Thank you for “dissecting” this Fig Newton.

    The other “hidden” element of this snack is probably the “serving size.”

    Honestly, who eats just the serving size? LOL

    It’s no wonder Americans, in general, have become so much fatter and sicker.

    Unfortunately, so many people are also so stressed at their jobs they have no time to think about food and exercise … so they end up at the snack aisle ready for a food bath at 9PM.

    We must all share these concepts with our circles of influence!!!

      1. Yes, Karen, you’re correct. My wife and kids had food allergy tests administered last year and it was recommended they stop wheat.

        In other words, become gluten-free.

        Since then, all have had clearer skin, less mucus, and overall better energy.

        There’s a book my wife swears by called “Wheat Belly” by William Davis MD.

        Powerful powerful information about what’s happened to wheat especially over the last 20 years, which makes it unhealthy here in the USA compared to many “moons” ago …

        Kevin Knecht

  3. Fig Newtons are the favorite go-to food of many professional Bike riders, probably because Lance loved them so much; they are great little snacks to handle while on the bike, and they help a ton for long rides, in my experience.

    1. We shouldn’t eat something just because a celebrity (Lance) does- and after all didn’t he get cancer? Its a mistake to think that just because someone is really good at something, – such as riding a bike, that they are an expert in everything.

      1. Yeah, but its rare for cancer in biking and Hincapie still uses this as regularly. Where Lance got cancer, in his testes is something that would be more likely from continual irritation from a poor fitted bike seat, not the fig newtons. I was raised on them, and the bike community has found, they are the perfect ride snack, for an extra boost in energy. Cancer, can be caused be tons of things, and there isn’t anything in Fig Newtons that would cause cancer, and high fructose is perrfect for bike rides. Just don’t be lazy and eat too much of it, it packed with carbs that can trigger too much insulin that will turn to fat. Love Fig Newtons!

      2. I believe Lance had cancer before he got heavily into biking.

        As for nothing cancerous in Fig Newtons, someone hasn’t been paying attention to recent research which shows pesticides especially glyphosates, hormones especially BGH, synthetic hormones as released by the plastic packaging around our foods, various chemicals as found in the fracking concoction used to elicit natural gas from the earth, GMOs, and so on.

        Yeah, there are cancerous toxins in fig newtons now. Some people think fig newtons haven’t changed since they were a kid. That’s incorrect thinking. Fig Newtons today with all the pesticides, herbicides, hormones, synthetic hormones, and GMOs are vastly different from what they were even 5-10 years ago. Chemical and GMO use has exploded in that short timeframe to where today’s Fig Newtons aren’t even recognizable as what they were just a decade ago. They look the same. And that’s as far as the similarity goes.

        Stay away from them.

  4. I cannot believe you posted this today! I ate one of these this very morning before perusing the ingredients list (I have been having fig jonses, and there are none to be had) — when I flipped the bag over, I was similarly shocked! Thanks for all your great work!

    1. Thanks for sharing Anne – we are all learning about the nasty tricks of the food industry together 🙂

  5. Hi Vani, here is a recipe for really good homemade fig newtons. I’ve made these a lot, and my grandson loves them.
    Fig Newtons

    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup brown sugar, packed
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups flour*
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    Fig filling:
    1 package (12 ounce) moist dried figs**
    1/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1. Finely chop 1 package moist dried figs. Mix in saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place over medium
    heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until thick and jammy. Remove from heat, cool and cover and chill.
    2. With mixer, beat together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Mix flour, salt and baking soda and stir into first mixture (dough will be
    stiff). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
    3. When ready to bake, turn dough out on lightly floured surface. Roll into a 14 x 12 inch rectangle. Cut into 4 strips 3 1/2 x 12 inches long. Spoon
    filling evenly down center of strips and using a spatula, turn in sides of strips. Press edges together to seal then cut each strip into 10 pieces.***
    4. Arrange seam side down on baking sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Remove to racks to
    cool. Store in an airtight container.

    *substitute whole grain flours for part or all of white flour

    **substitute chopped dried apricots for figs

    *** can be granola bar size or fig newton size

      1. But there is lots of sugar in you’re fig newton’s Tenney….unfortunately as they look delish!
        I’d substitute coconut palm sugar , organic and almond flour for regular flour…

    1. Tenney,
      you’d be better off just eating fresh or dried figs.
      1/2 cup of butter; 1 cup of brown sugar; and then more sugar for the filling, plus all this flour…..this is not healthy.

    2. Thanks Tenny, this is a great recipe. Though some may complain about this or that, it’s a great treat to have occasionally. Especially as an alternative to store bought. Thanks so much for your input 🙂

      1. Kelly — yes, with some substitutions, such as a different flour, less sugar, a little less butter, this is better than store-bought. And as you write, have it only as an occasional snack.

  6. Last time I bought a cookie like this, I didn’t like the ingredients on them. I ended up with Barbara’s but it might have been because they had raspberry filling, which I like a little better.

  7. Vani, I love your information and share your insights with my patients, directing them to your website daily. There is one area I believe you could hit harder! When a product lists ‘natural flavor(s)’ that is most likely MSG! There is an excellent article at on the difference between glutamic acid found in protein and manufactured glutamic acid in MSG. The article presents the FDA regs and how MSG can be hidden in foods and drinks. As a clinician I find these hidden MSG ingredients cause disproportionally large symptomatic reactions and removing them from patients diets pays big dividends. Thanks for your great work. Dr. Specht

  8. If you want to see something else really disturbing – take a look at what is inside girl scout cookies. What a terrible shame to dump that garbage into children’s systems using the guise of innocent kids as a sales force for the organization’s greed and/or stupidity. There ought to be a petition against them.

    1. Don, per Girl Scout cookies; not only a toxic ingredient list, but the troup selling only gets approx. .25-.50 cents per box! It is one of the worst returns on a fundraiser- all in the guise of ‘tradition’. Giving a cash donation to the girls troup is a much better way to help.

    2. The irony of Girl Scout cookies is the organization loves little ones but yet is a major donor to Planned Parenthood, the killer of little ones. I would rather support Salvation Army.

      1. My father always told me, from his days in World War II, that The Salvation Army was the best charitable organization he had experienced. Many of the others were bureaucratically heavy fundraisers with little concern for “people”. It has mushroomed today into giant industries vastly more concerned with their careers than anything else. They lack the “soul” to effectively care for and help other human beings. My beliefs are that if you give something and get something in return – then it is not charity but an economic transaction. Take away the tax deductions and let’s see who the genuine Americans are.

  9. Vani…I have a suggestion to make your life easier:

    Why don’t you tell us what we CAN eat? The list would be very short and it would be less work for you.

    Just a thought.


    1. Julie – I actually did give options at the end of the post of several suggestions that would be good alternatives. Here it is again in case you don’t want to go back and re-read the post:

      What to eat instead of Fig Newtons?

      Thankfully, there are several alternatives to Fig Newtons that are not only healthier but much tastier:

      Raw Crunch Bars – Try them for 10% off with coupon code “FOODBABE”
      Sun-dried Organic Figs – by Made in Nature (found at all major natural grocery stores & Costco) – I love stuffing one of these with a walnut for a quick, tasty and easy snack.
      Fig, Cranberry & Hazelnut Bars – by 18 Rabbits
      Homemade Fig Newtons – recipe from
      Sugar Free Raw Fig Newtons – recipe from

      1. Hi:

        I have asked this question before so I’m sorry for the repetition. Do you have a published list of products/companies you do like and recommend. I’m not talking about individual products discussed in articles like the one above. I would love to have a comprehensive list of ALL products/brands you have recommended. This would be so easy for new followers who have not read tour previous articles and a one stop shop for everyone to consult for any product they want to buy/eat. Thanks so much!

  10. So many or most people don’t have a clue . The PRESS was the great educator for the public now there just the evil twin of the corporate giants . Our government has become the Gestapo for them . We are the wee small voices in the wind . If we really knew only a very small piece What are they really hiding? We are 1 hundreth of one percent that care or care to know …. feeling very outnumbered Vani

  11. Most of the time when I go food shopping, I try to look for a healthy snack. After checking the labels, I usually end up with none. However, there is one, although not organic, is still pretty healthy, but available only at some health food stores – maybe just in Los Angeles area. It’s called a Power Pancake, comes in several varieties. Has Rye flour, oats, apples, purified water, grape concentrate, raisins, maybe dates depending on which one (same with chocolate chips), sunflower-sesame-pumpkin seeds, a fiber blend (psyllium, apple, oat bran, flax, inulin, guar gum, acidophilus, papain, bentonite), olive oil (non-hydrogenated), coconut, hempseed, leavening, spices, Vit C. Each one has 10 gms of fiber, 9 gms protein, but doesn’t say how many gms of sugars (probably varies depending on flavor). I usually have only half of one at a time as a snack.

    1. This ingredient list is suspect. “Spices” can mean anything and usually has MSG in it. This “pancake” has way too much fiber. Eat a fruit instead. “Leavening” listed this way could contain aluminum. Anyone trying to avoid gluten should not eat rye.

      1. Hi Karen – thanks for your reply. Because this product is being sold at one of the healthiest health food stores I know of (Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica, CA), I would doubt it contains MSG or Aluminum (although I can’t say that 100% it does not). I know they check what they sell very carefully. As far as the fiber and gluten – I personally have no problems with that, even if I eat a whole Power Pancake. Obviously, if someone has a gluten sensitivity, they should skip this one. As with anything, you have to do your research and make your own choices. I appreciate your input.

    2. Our health food store sells something similar called a Suncake or Oatcake. I’m still trying to figure out how to make something as good at home. My husband loves them.

      1. Time to experiment. Who knows, you could end up with something even better. Good luck!

  12. I would love to see the label from 20-30 years ago to see what was in them then. I wonder if it was any better?

    1. Ingredient list from 20-30 years ago would have been quite different.
      There weren’t any GMO’s, N0b0dy was making or using HFCS, and for better or worse, no doubt the fat used was coconut, for longer shelf life, therefore negating the need for many of the ‘preservatives’ in today’s cookies.
      I’m sure the list of differences is much longer…. but I’m guessing these would be the ‘biggies’.

    2. I was wondering the same thing….25 years ago when my sons were little we went by a simple rule of 10 ingredients or less & if you can’t pronounce it don’t buy it…..picked up a kids cuisine (a once in a while acceptable option back then)out of couriousity and the list was as long as the box!! Yikes!
      It was be great to have a comparison of how these brands we trusted have slyly changed over the years…..
      Keep up the good work, Babe!

  13. Not that surprised unfortunately. It seems like every store bought processed product is full of scary stuff. Only solution is making your own food. Luckily for those who love fig newtons, I’ve seen tons of homemade healthy alternatives online.

  14. we stopped eating them many years ago. Now we eat Made in Nature products. It satisfies the sweetness we are looking for. They are just great to treat us.

  15. None of the ingredients you listed have been proven to hurt anyone by actual nutritional science. The sugar is worrisome–but taken in moderation, it shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think anyone’s going to recommend that someone eat an entire carton of fig newtons.

    PLEASE, for the love of god, stop spreading this irrational fear, based on nothing but bias and not peer-reviewed, factual, referenceable studies. It doesn’t help anyone (except you, apparently, in your sales of health food and in website hits). I know you’ll probably delete this comment on sight, but I hope that at least you’ll consider what I have to say. There is no proof that GMO’s cause cancer. None. Every single study done on this subject has either proven that they do NOT cause cancer, or the results have been inconclusive. Please do actual research in the future.

    1. Like the food industry, the tobacco industry screamed “inconclusive” to the very end. then they switched to dump their products on ill-informed third world victims. Now we see the “climate deniers” doing the same thing. I would like to see a “conclusive” article that says any GMO is actually *good* for us. More than knowing it isn’t going to kill me, I want to know that it actually has a benefit beyond lining corporate pockets.

    2. To Ying — are you a Monsanto shill? There have been studies into the ill effects on health by GMO products but the chemical companies have managed to discredit such studies.
      Why are you here on this site when you really don’t seem to be interested in discovering what exactly is in our food?
      Consumers have the right to know about every ingredient in the food. Only then can we make informed decisions on whether or not we want to buy a certain product.
      Don’t disparage this site may I suggest instead that you stop coming here?

    3. Ying have you consulted with Yang read a few of Jeffery Smiths books I read Seeds of Deceptiin and Seeds of Destructiin many of these,facts are true of the reasons and time line of GMOs As for the studues most are short term studies . We can only laugh when idenital studies are done with deadly results Monsanto cries foul . I hope your right but all my fear says were right . Many farm animals are living 1/4lives with horrable diseases . There are no studies because its all hushed up .

    4. Ying, Your comments scare me! I appreciate the work that she has done! The only scientific evidence that I need is the fact that my body feels better when I cut the crap out of my diet.

    5. I do **not** need a study to tell me that a plant that creates its own insecticide is harmful… I have the ability to judge and reason!!!!

    6. Ying:

      If you really spent time researching the GMO issue as I have this past year then you would notice that there has never been a “full length of life” study done. Yes, it appears that there are no short-term acute problems (rat studies are only held for 90 days!), but we are the real guinea pigs in the long term health study of GMOs as long as people are not allowed the information to choose what products they are eating or not. I just heard about some Egyptian study that found GMOs NOT equivalent to non-GMOs. I have yet to read that study, but have it on my radar to check out next. I hope you will too.

  16. We’ve been eating Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars lately which taste better than the Fig Newtons I remember. They are labeled Non GMO certified, cholesterol free, dairy free, 0g trans fat, and kosher. They could possibly make your list as a good alternative though there are 10g of sugars. Here’s the ingredient list for the Strawberry Fig Bar that I’m about to eat right now:

    Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
    Dried Cane Syrup
    Brown Rice Syrup
    Fig Paste
    Canola Oil
    Strawberry Paste (Naturally Milled Sugar, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Strawberry Puree, Modified Food Starch, Apple Powder, Natural Flavors, Glycerin, Citric Acid, Pectin, Locust Bean Gum, Red Cabbage Extract for color)
    Rolled Oats
    Oat Fiber
    Caramel Color (Ammonia-Free)
    Sea Salt
    Citric Acid
    Natural Flavors
    Baking Soda
    Baking Powder

    1. I was getting ready to comment on the same bars by nature’s bakery that Chris just mentioned. We love ’em. Please say they are ok…..

    2. I would leave those behind, the GMOCanola oil, sprayed with Round Up is a killer, along with the Citric Acid.

    3. The Strawberry paste/puree is what threw me off…modified food starch which is MSG, natural flavors (likely MSG among bunch of other ‘no-no’ stuff, etc.

      The least amounts of ingredients I can buy a certain product that it contains, I am in a much better position with my autoimmune diseases.

  17. a shame for the people who are trying to change how they eat and be misled by false advertising

  18. I really am disturbed at the Girl Scout cookies Boy Scout what ever…how come food babe lets them slide…just because they use kids as fronts to distribute poison .I never ever buy their garbage …they are a political organization everything else they are greed….they phedophile the kids minds and who knows what else….how bout going after their cookies..scared???????

      1. I agree that they use crappy ingredients. But we have to remember that they are private organizations that have a large base of of donors/supporters who are willing to contribute. Many times, people buy the cookies just to help out the kids (even if the kids themselves get a paltry amount). Sure, we can petition them to change to healthier items, but something tells me it won’t work quite as well as it would with multibillion dollar corporations.

        Of course, you can always just not buy their stuff! Vote with your dollars…I personally don’t support GS because of their Planned Parenthood ties. But whatever floats your boat! 🙂

    1. Cora — yes, dates are almost cloyingly sweet. Eating one or two are enough to satisfy most peoples’ sugar graving.

  19. Thanks for letting us know ! . Food we take for granted as being good for us: Is NOT

  20. Oh gosh, I had the exact same reaction when I read the Fig Newtons label a few months ago. Those things you’ve always considered “healthy” cookies – such a lie. And, as with most faux food I’ve sampled recently after years away from it, they really don’t taste very good, so what’s the point? I just hate that there are so many people out there who still consider things like Fig Newtons and Snackwells to be healthy.

  21. I remember thinking whole wheat fig newtons were a healthier choice. Before I learned to read food labels, 25 years ago. I am now 49!

    If you want to eat packaged food, ingredient lists must be scrutinized.

  22. Wow, I never remember all those toxic ingredients in Fig Newtons but , then again, I was naïve back in those days anyhow. Recently, I had bought a small bag of organic Calimyrna figs because I had never tried them before and they looked so good. Well, they were so delicious and I thought back to when I ate Fig Newtons and I realized that the fig itself was what made them so delicious! Forget the no nutrient toxic cookie part! Costco’s sells a 40 oz. bag of them for around $11.00 I find myself attracted to “simple and pure” these days. Vani, you are very brave for looking at old product labels, but then again I know you are doing it to help others, so Thank You! I can’t look at those old labels, all the toxic ingredients just make me ill!

  23. It’s hard to find good alternatives to convenience foods. While they aren’t yet using organic ingredients, I am lucky to have found FRESH granola bars in the refrigerated section of the grocery store; check out One of the owners was actually in-store providing samples and he shared concerns about the nature of food.

  24. Ying, if you really wanted the love of god you wouldn’t ask Vani to stop sharing knowledge. God is very concerned about what we, his Temples, place inside our bodies. Now you can eat something that hasn’t been tested if you choose. Or, you can eat something which was tested by someone with a bias if you like. That something would still remain unsafe. A new product that might be tested this year, may indeed cause cancer in a body 15 years from now, but would anyone remember or even care to reference that product? So, Ying, the FDA doesn’t test, I’m sure you’re aware of the drug recalls? Who wants a drug agency safeguarding food? You still trust what they say, Ying? Who does the testing, anyway? Universities, perhaps? From where are they receiving their grants? Would you say the drug makers? Whose interests would be protected? Ying, science is only as good as the natural world which it seeks to explain. GMOs and the other filth you want us to eat doesn’t cut it. Pray for Vanni and let her alone to do her work. She is saving people from their ignorance, fear, laziness, and greed. Skepticism is closest to ignorance.

  25. Ying, who funded all of those studies? who paid to have them done? It did not take the Foodbabe or anyone else to prove to me that processed and fast food is not food. I gave up soda. I felt better, lost weight. I gave up processed food. My asthma almost went away. I lost weight, and slept better and swelling in fingers went away. I gave up fast food. What a huge difference in my life. My blood pressure went down, my blood sugar is now normal. No more craving sugary foods. This is all of the proof I needed. I certainly did not need to read a thousand page study when I could simply put it to a test in my own kitchen. Just saying.

  26. I used to eat Newmans fig newtons but could never stop at 2 or 3. I had to stop buying them because if so much sugar!! I now don’t eat gluten!

  27. Some of these comments are a taco short of a combination plate, but as it has been quoted, “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick and twisted society.”
    If every smart consumer world start contacting these greedy corporate poison factories to let them know you will no longer be purchasing their poison until they fix it, maybe we would start seeing some changes. WE THE CONSUMER HAVE THE POWER and until we wake up to this reality, it will continue to be business as usual.

  28. What’s wrong with these? I’m a 37 year old professional athlete, roughly 4% body fat, and very low cholesterol. I marathon, exercise, you name it. I also eat about 2 bags of these a week. How are they supposed to be harming me? I actually notice an increase in performance after I eat them!

    1. Did you not READ the article? Just because you are an athlete and performing well now doesn’t mean this junk isn’t harming you long term.

  29. Hi Vani, I love what you are doing. Thank you for your wonderful efforts. I need your help. I have created a new economic system for the world that if implimented will allow everyone on the earth to be wealthy in 10 years. It needs to get into the hands of people like you to rally together those people with influence for the good of the planet. Please send me an email and I will send you a short paper I wrote on the subject. Maybe you can get it to the right people. Blessings on you my friend

  30. Vani, you are doing a HUGE favor for all those people who over the years have refused to look at ingredients labels and who have also been deceptively misled into looking at all the other “information” on the labels as more important than what is in their foods!

    Now thanks to you, people are waking up to the fact that their foods have been replaced with a poisonous chemical feast, something I have known for many many years!

    All we need now is to bring the ingredients lists into prominence on labeling and to stop hiding it with dark print on a dark background!!!

    1. Did you bother to read the article? She mentions Newman’s Own Fig Newmans as not being safe to eat at the end of the article.

  31. My children are now in their late twenties but back when I was pregnant with them, I read a maternity book that recommended Fig Newtons for your sweet cravings so I ate a lot of Fig Newtons back then 🙁 …. sigh, if I had only known then what I know now …

    1. Well, the good news is that 20 years ago GMOs and high fructose corn syrup weren’t around, so you and your kids just got a good burst of short energy from the sugar.

      1. Actually, 20 years ago this year one brand of GMO tomatoes were first approved for sale at grocery stores nationwide. They were already almost 12 years in the works of processing, testing and getting approvals from the FDA on GMO products by 1994 when the GMO tomato was approved.

        I know it was only a tomato at that point (for sale to the public) but GMOs have been around since about 1982 (that was when the testing began).

      2. I replied but not sure if I hit ‘submit’ to enter my comment – so if this gets a double post my apologies!

        In 1994 the first approved GMO product hit the shelves (20 years ago this year). It was only a tomato but the FDA had approved use/production of GMO products in 1982 so GMOs have technically been around for 32 years. 20 years for sale to the public.

        Coca Cola started using HFCS in 1984 and I have a feeling other companies did as well (haven’t looked that far into it) – so HFCS has been around for at least 30 years.

        Just some history…

      3. Thanks Tiffany: To be more correct I should have said that GMOs were not in the public food chain 20 years ago (mostly). I recently arranged for one of the researchers on that FlavrSavr tomato to speak to our county farm bureau and Belinda Martineau is a delight. You might be interested in her website She’s the first scientist I’ve talked to about GMOs who takes the public’s concerns seriously. What a breath of fresh air after I’ve spent this year researching the issue for our upcoming county vote on banning the growing of GMOs. She said way back when, the FlavrSavr had labeled everything and knew as a new technology they would have to educate and have everything above board. They are very disheartened on what’s happened to that transparency since then, and she’s pretty wary of most GMO technology in the aftermath as well.

  32. One of the ingredients in Fig Newtons that is in tons of other products that can cause cancer cells to grow and become malignant is Soy Oil and Soy lecithin, as Vani points out. I know this from experience. I was diagnosed with estrogen positive HER2 breast cancer last year. It was caught early and I survived. My breast cancer specialist told me NO SOY of any kind. She was firm about it, and so I’ve eliminated it from my diet and we make most things, like bread, homemade and with organic ingredients. Believe me, it’s not worth the risk eating something with soy in it, or chemicals, especially if you are a woman and want to avoid breast cancer. Soy boosts estrogen, and an over production of estrogen can cause breast cancer. Avoid it!

    1. I don’t really follow the no soy thinking since people all over Asia and southeast Asia have been eating tofu and drinking soy milk for generations. Are their breast cancer rates thru the roof?

      1. (@ janet, to rita)
        What you say is correct, however, it is painfully incomplete. Monsanto’s GMO soybean plant variant has not been in the Asian diet for generations. IMHO, this fundamentally changes the equation. Please consider this new genetic information as a reason to at least verify what you are accepting.

    2. Rita, never thought of this aspect of soy….possibly a cause in breast cancer…but it makes sense!

      Imagine what all the soy, being an estrogen booster that’s been an ingredient in most every product over all these years, has done to the men’s hormonal balance!

      As to the Asian peoples and the soy/cancer issue…it is my understanding that they eat only fermented soy. and Weston A Price organization talk extensively about this.

    3. To Darryl:

      If I remember correctly, China has refused GM crops so they don’t have Monsanto’s soy products I would think, and I only use organic soy products on occasion, so I am not consumer GM soy either. I think that was your concern. I think Rita’s point is that soy (any soy) fills estrogen receptors and studies seems to be conflicting on whether this is helpful or harmful to women’s hormonal issues. I counted on some soy products to bring relief during menopause, but again, moderation in everything…

  33. Hi Food Babe,I would realy like you to do everything you can to expose the fact that companies like pepsi and others are using aborted fetuses in the food production process.It is said that they are used in the flavors.This is absolutely disgusting and there are many companies doing this now.,a big long list of them…Please expose them to the world and the disgusting practices they are doing. THIS MUST STOP! PEOPLE MUST KNOW!

  34. The other day I finally went grocery shopping with my husband and son to Whole Foods. I have autoimmune diseases so getting out and about and spending time at a place often leaves me drained. Any way we went up and down the aisles at WF and every time I saw something that I thought I might want to try to eat, the ingredients threw me off. WF cannot do what they’re suppose to soon enough to not allow having any GMOs in the products at their stores among other things. The organics and GMO-free products are out there, but one must spend the time looking at every single ingredients before buying the groceries and leaving the store.

  35. Thanks Vani.
    I don’t eat these but thanks for the information. Keep up the great work!

  36. Vani…did you know that a very popular restaurant chain called Pappadeauxs that claims to be real Greek food uses cottonseed oil in their Greek salad dressing? NO olive oil..just cottonseed…and you might check to see if they are also using cottonseed oil to cook everything in….unbelievable…but I think they would change if you brought attention to that fact.

  37. I use to love fig newtons forever and I ate them rather frequently as I grew up…but I had stopped for along time…I’m glad I don’t eat them anymore…and I learned a lot from food babe and I’m very grateful she informs us about the greedy food industry ..and what they put into our foods…I learned to read labels ..which is something I had never done ..also I feel physically better and my stomach is very happy..that is why I get very angry with the industry’s that don’t care about people…people and kids mind you in america are fatter than I have ever seen ever…fat fat fat…
    I don’t want to be a fat blob by eating crap. …I have kept away from all sodas ..all artificial sugars ..that high fructose crap…and more: So thank you food babe for opening my eyes to a hell of a lot…I am better for it…

    These companies will one day reap what they sow…you sow reap crap…

  38. Thank you for the information, Vani. You and my fellow readers may also want to research the topic of figs and fig wasps. The biology is complicated. Apparently the wasp eats the fig, and later the fig (like the venus fly trap) “eats” the wasp, or maybe just some of the wasp or wasps.

    Maybe some readers well versed in biology, entomology or botany can shed some light on this controversy. Some Fig Newton and Fig Newton lookalikes may have one more ingredient that might surprise you! Eating wasp parts may be harmless, but the “yuck factor” is not very appetizing.

    1. You would probably be shocked at how many bug parts you eat in ANY manufactured food. I eat a lot from my garden and have no problem eating figs straight from the tree. Wasps are used to fertilize some varieties, but I’ve never sen a wasp or parts of one in any fig that I’ve eaten. I eat ant footprints all the time on everything from tomatoes to cucumbers to apples and peaches. I’ve probably eaten some aphids on strawberries and such too. I just have no fear of these things and it’s so much more peaceful being a friend of the soil, eating straight from the garden, knowing there are no pesticides used.

  39. Duh, this is junk food..processed food so it is not surprising that there are many toxins found within this cookie…

    Stop eating this junk, period.

  40. Hi Vani!
    Am a new subscriber and loving reading your articles–not new to eating consciously, however. The combination of eating healthfully & organically to achieve radiant health and the slimness we all desire is the story of my life’s journey with food! To the cyclist guy, Lance Armstrong was a big fat phony and so are Fig Newton’s–they really don’t deserve to even be called food–because they’re not. Rather, they are a part of the wide conspiracy between the snack food/fast food industry and the pharmaceutical industry to keep us all wedded to both their products as victims–while making them very rich, in the process. BTW, I knew Joan Kroc (owner of McDonald’s) and she NEVER ate her own food. We all get to make choices about how we nourish our bodies, each other and the earth. Today, my goal is to eat healthfully, organically (self care)–with a goal of being available to help others.
    Keep up the fine work you’re doing, Vani. It’s desperately needed–I’m making the good choices and you’re holding the lantern for us all–very worthwhile work and truly filling a need. Thanks for all you do, Vani!
    Karen M.

    1. Sunny Massad
      July 29, 2014
      It’s made by Nabisco … surprised you are surprised!

      Exactly. Read the labels of the foods you buy. My household cooks most meals from scratch. I went to a popular supermarket chain for the fist time in a few years last week and could not believe the amount of absolute crap that is being marketed and the contents were equally as bad.

      Read. The. Label.

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