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Food Labels Are LYING To You. Spot These Lies On The Package!

Imagine the following scenario…

You’re grocery shopping and trying to find a safe cooking oil. You’ve been cleaning up your diet and want something healthy to saute all those veggies you’ve been eating. Since you’ve read my investigations, you know that canola, soybean, and other processed oils are out because they are ridiculously bad for you. You see a shelf lined with cooking sprays like PAM, and recall hearing that those aren’t healthy for you either, until you see this one…

It says simply “100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil” right there on the front of the can.

100% means 100%, right?

So you think, “Bam! This is perfect! It contains just 100% olive oil without any nasty unhealthy additives”.

Well, what if I told you this product was lying to you? That there’s not really 100% olive oil in that can?

Smucker’s (the maker of Crisco) has been sued for misleading the public into believing this cooking spray contains 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil – because it simply isn’t true (1). This cooking spray actually contains Soy Lecithin, Dimethyl Silicone, and Propellant, which could be found discreetly listed on the ingredient label on the back of the can (which the average consumer doesn’t look at):

Soy Lecithin: This emulsifying additive is “produced by degumming crude soy oil extracted from soy flakes with hexane” (2). Hexane is the neurotoxin (3) that comes from gasoline production. It’s possible that some hexane remains in the finished product (4) and almost all toxicology research on hexane focuses on the industrial use and inhalation of hexane, so no one knows exactly how dangerous eating it is – but it surely isn’t healthy.

Dimethyl Silicone: This silicone ingredient is commonly used in lubricants and hydraulic fluids (2). Again, not much research has been done on what happens when we actually eat it.

Propellant: This is used to propel the spray from the can, but it’s not simply compressed air. According to the lawsuit, the ingredient is “Propane and Isobutane, substances that are classified as ‘Hazardous Ingredients’ by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration” and Crisco is “violating state and federal law by refraining from disclosing the common or usual name” of these ingredients on the packaging (2). In other words, even the ingredient label is lying to you.

After they got sued, Crisco changed their packaging to remove the “100%” from the front of the can, but kept the ingredients the same.

This just goes to show how far they were willing to go to mislead customers and didn’t change until they were caught and sued. It’s just so outrageous because when a product says that it’s 100% of something, don’t you think it should really be 100%? 

The thing is, this isn’t an isolated event. Many products lie on the front of the packaging, for example…

  • Ocean Spray 100% Juice isn’t 100% juice. It also contains natural flavors, pectin, and synthetic vitamin C.
  • Best Foods Olive Oil Mayo is actually made with mostly soybean oil, rather than olive oil.
  • RXBar proudly lists the ingredients on the front of their package, but they suspiciously leave off the natural flavors. No B.S… right?
  • Canada Dry Ginger Ale says it’s “Made from Real Ginger” but you won’t find ginger listed anywhere on the ingredient list. This is the subject of another lawsuit that just settled for $11.2 million (5) – so they will be changing their deceptive labels soon (6). 

I could go on. I can’t count how many times I’ve been shopping and found a product with a marketing claim on the front of the package that was so misleading that it was hardly true.

This is a reminder to ALWAYS read the ingredient list on your food and not to trust what the front of the package says. Food labels are lying! 

If you know anyone who might be swindled by lies like these, please share this post with them. People need to know the truth. 



P.S. You can find my new book Feeding You Lies on Amazon at about 40% off the list price today. This price may change at any time, and I have no control over pricing, but wanted to let you know about the discount! In this book I show you the 3 simple questions I ask myself before I buy a product or sit down to eat. It all starts with knowing what is in your food, despite the lies we find on food packages. 


Feeding You Lies

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31 responses to “Food Labels Are LYING To You. Spot These Lies On The Package!

  1. Love these investigations Vani! I’ve been a hardcore label reader for well over a decade now, and these companies are very-very sneaky in the way they present them …. if we could just get everyone on board to keep these companies accountable, things would certainly change.
    Thank you 🙂

  2. I still can’t believe how many “healthy” cookbooks, cooking shows or websites still promote canola oil as a healthy oil in their recipes! Its made from rapeseed afterall, another unregulated, non-food crop like cottonseed, which are even more heavily sprayed with roundup and pesticides than food crops! And its highly allergenic too and since the source of the oil isn’t clear (I mean what is a “canola” anyway? JK, I know its Canadian Oil”) on the packaging like olive or avocado, or even corn (shivers), most average consumers have no idea what it even is!

    And i havent used spray oils for 30 years, when i became vegetarian and started reading labels and learning about healthy food. I never got on the low-fat bandwagon, knowing it was just added chemicals. I’d rather have the real thing, whatever that may be, in its natural glory and just control my portions. So I just used butter or oil to grease my pans, if they even really needed it at all! Then parchment and silpats came along. But i also invested a few bucks in a “Misto” spray bottle so i could put in whatever i wanted and i know exactly what I’m spraying on my food AND I’m not helping destroy the ozone. But i really do find the pumping action kindof a pain so i just invested in a couple cheap regular old spray bottles, which i’ve heard work just as well and i can just write the type of oil on esch with a sharpie! I am on the lookout for BPA free spray bottles tho as these are just temporary to try them out.

      1. My understanding is that it’s very poor for our health. See “how canola oil is made” on YouTube. Highly processed with hexane, deoderisers de waxing etc . Is omega 6 rich

      2. No. Any oil that comes from seeds is bad for you. Oils from the fruit of the plant is “safe”, but animal based fats are a better choice in most situations. Monounsaturated and saturated fats = healthy, polyunsaturated fats = unhealthy.

  3. Even organic processed foods can have up to 5% other, even GMO ingredients. Maybe the 100% on these labels uses this government allowed loophole.
    Look at the ingredients for the Bestfoods mayonnaise: includes water as the first ingredient. Make your own mayonnaise, it contains no water. What a joke!

      1. I purchased FEEDING YOU LIES last month (February) from Barnes & Noble on-line, is there a possibility I could get a copy of the Product Lie Detector

        Thank You
        Marty Shute

      2. I purchased a copy and sent in the proof and didn’t receive anything. Vani was doing some kind of promotion stating that if you show proof of puschase, you get some kind of bonus gift. I didn’t get anything or the list ☹️

      3. Hi Pam,
        I also purchased a copy from a local bookstore (Powell’s) in Portland, OR in early March and would like to receive the bonus Product Lie Detector guide if possible, please.
        Thank you so much!

      4. Hi,
        I bought a copy of Feeding You lies on Amazon and didn’t get anything either.

  4. Hi, I purchased Vani’s book two weeks ago from Amazon, can you please tell
    me how I can get a copy of the Product Lie Detector? I’d really appreciate it 🙂

  5. Cheryl,

    I bought your book the other day ; Feeding you Lies and it is so helpful…I have been eating
    organic food for a while….and there is still so much to learn in your book…. , When I go out to eat, I always ask what kind of oil do they use…before I order anything…..Thanks for the book

  6. Hi Vani – I git your book last month and both my wife and I have been enjoying it. It is an eye opener and has been VERY helpful to us. Thanks for writing it…

    On these food labels, the part that is really scary to me is not even how much misinformation and bold faced lies are in the front labels of so many food products, This is bad enough. Many in the food industry could also be lying about the ingredient labels too., not telling us truly what’s even in the food, but KNOWING that they have used harmful ingredients nonetheless. We’re sticking to Organic Whole Foods and nothing processed whatsoever.

  7. Most people in US don’t read ingredient lists while those in Europe tend to actually read the ingredients of packaged/processed foods.

  8. Thanks for all your work! The ginger ale one is so strange, to say “from real ginger” when there is no ginger at all on the label. Is it part of the “natural flavors”? Or did they change the ingredients and then not want to spend extra money on new packaging?????!!!????

    I followed your link to the class action lawsuit for the Crisco oil and saw, below the article, links to many other food-related class action lawsuits. One was against Annie’s. It had a lawsuit about advertising products as having “no preservatives” when in fact they do. That article also mentioned another lawsuit against Annie’s for not having strawberries in their strawberry snacks. Very sad to see this of a company that used to be considered one of the good ones, before it was bought out.

    1. It’s most likely in the natural flavors.To possibly make it taste as if it has ginger when in actuality no ginger is probably added into the natural flavor(s). The label/ingredients have not changed.

  9. I wonder how many chemical additives to processed foods aren’t even listed on the label? Does anybody check this? Vani, maybe you and Mike Adams (the Health Ranger) should collaborate on a project like that.

  10. I feel silly asking this, but what is wrong with “natural flavors.” What do the food companies mean when they add this then? Such as the “blueberry natural flavor” example? Thanks!

  11. What about ‘natural flavors’ in both my fizzy water (all the la Croix and similar sparkly waters out there) and my Zevia (tasty stevia drink). gah! wonder if you know what these natural flavors are?

    1. Flavors or essences (another name for flavors) are chemically engineered in a lab to amplify desired flavor profiles. Natural or otherwise you may not want them in your pure healthy water. That is only part of the story. When adding flavors to still water or carbonic acid (carbonated) water, the water must be treated with an anti microbial, A product called Velcorin is the most common. Nope, you wont see it listed on the label as would not look healthy. The water must then be acidified to prevent bacterial or pathogen growth. Some may call it Vit C but it is still ascorbic acid. Typically it is about pH 3.5- corrosive according to the ADA.
      Your better off just drinking spring water, it has no added ingredients so need for flavor, Velcorin or acid.

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