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General Mills or Generally Toxic? After you see this product, I know which one you’ll choose.

Updated 8/25/2015 (see news below).

Recently, I had a conversation with the regional head of a major grocery chain. As we entered the fruit snacks section, oddly and strategically located in the cereal aisle, he said to me “Vani, how does General Mills get away with this product? The label says “Strawberry Fruit By The Foot” but it doesn’t have any strawberries?!” 

FruitByTheFoodIngredients

Yeah, where is the fruit?

If you look at the ingredients in General Mills product Fruit By The Foot, the first ingredient on the label is “Pears from Concentrate”. The FDA allows companies to say that these are made from real fruit, even if it is from a fruit byproduct like concentrate. It would be one thing if it was simply dried fruit, which is full of fiber and nutrients. However, to make a concentrate the fruit is boiled down to a syrup. This heating process destroys beneficial nutrients. The concentration process involves both adding in and subtracting chemicals and natural plant by-products in order to condense the juice. During the concentration process, fruits lose flavor and this is one of the reasons why companies have to re-add “flavoring” to make the concentrate taste like real fruit. When my team reached out to General Mills, they provided very little information on this ingredient. In a follow-up email they said, “We do not provide details about specific raw materials. However, we can disclose that the product is heated during manufacturing”. One things for sure – it’s not what I’d call “real fruit.”

Let’s get real and call it what it really is: “Fraud by the Foot.”

The first four ingredients in Fruit by the Foot are forms of sugar with little to no nutritional value. One roll contains 2 teaspoons of sugar, which is over half of what the American Heart Association recommends that children eat per day. Sugar is “as addictive as cocaine” according to Dr. Robert Lustig who has reviewed brain scans of his patients. Lustig says his research proves that the sweet stuff causes heart disease and cancer, as well as Type 2 diabetes and obesity. One of the worst repercussions of feeding your kids sugary snacks is that their taste buds become addicted to the sweet taste and they won’t develop the ability to appreciate the taste of bitter foods such as healthy green veggies. This was me when I was little. I didn’t eat anything green, because I wanted anything and everything that was sweet! I remember this diet all too vividly and also reminded of the medical ailments I had as a child as a result. I wouldn’t trade that life for the one I have now for anything!

Contains Eleven Ingredients Derived from GMOs

Yes, count ‘em, Fruit by the Foot has 11 possible GMO ingredients! No wonder they are spending millions of dollars in states across the country to prevent GMO labeling. When we called General Mills, they confirmed that because Fruit by the Foot is made from sugar and corn ingredients, it likely contains GMOs. They also told us that if we wanted to avoid GMOs we should only choose certified organic fruit snacks instead of their products. Yes – they actually recommended that I buy another brand. General Mills should take note that consumers overwhelmingly support GMO labels and the majority don’t believe they have been proven safe to eat. It would be in their best interest to stop funding anti-labeling campaigns, especially if they don’t want to lose customers. These Fruit by the Foot ingredients are typically derived from GMOs:

    1. Sugar
    2. Corn Syrup
    3. Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil
    4. Maltodextrin
    5. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
    6. Citric Acid
    7. Sodium Citrate
    8. Malic Acid
    9. Xanthan Gum
    10. Potassium Citrate
    11. Acetylated Monoglycerides

General Mills or Generally Toxic? What other potentially harmful ingredients are in Fruit by the Foot?

  • Carrageenan – As reported by the Cornucopia Institute, carrageenan is linked to intestinal inflammation and can be contaminated with degraded (non-food grade) carrageenan. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Research Council of the United States have both determined that degraded carrageenan may cause cancer.
  • Natural Flavors – Isn’t it odd that the ingredients for every flavor of Fruit by the Foot are nearly identical? There are absolutely no strawberries in the strawberry flavor, and no berries in the berry flavor – so you can only imagine how much natural flavors they are using to make these taste like real fruit. Natural flavors make processed products that lose real flavor during manufacturing taste better than they should.
  • Artificial Colors – If real fruit was used, added colors would be unnecessary. A recent Purdue University study found 8.3 mg. of artificial colors in one Fruit by the Foot roll. When this product is combined with other foods that contain artificial food dyes, it can easily add up to the 30 mg. needed to cause adverse reactions. All of these colors come with risks to our health:
    • Blue No. 1:  Can cross the blood brain barrier, and killed some patients who were being fed colored enteral feeding solutions in 2003.  In vitro tests show that it’s potentially a neurotoxin.
    • Yellow No. 5:  Known to cause allergic reactions, hives, eczema, angioedema, asthma and hyperactive behavior. 
    • Red No. 40:  A U.K. Food Standards Agency study showed this dye could increase hyperactive behavior in children.

On August 25, 2015, Food Navigator reported that General Mills will be removing artificial colors from all fruit snacks, fruit rollups, and fruit by the foot by end of 2017. Congratulations #FoodBabeArmy! 

  • Acetylated Monoglycerides – This emulsifier is also used as a plasticizer in plastic food containers, medical devices and toys. It’s sprayed onto food as a coating to keep it from sticking and to preserve its shelf life – as it helps to hold in water, just like plastic. We asked General Mills what its purpose was in Fruit by the Foot and they said it was used to keep the oil and water from separating so the rolls don’t fall apart. According to Mira Calton, C.N., author of Rich Food Poor Food, monoglycerides “are no different from the hydrogenated fats associated with heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes”. They are a hidden source of deadly trans fat. 

A recent lawsuit against General Mills summed up what’s really in Fruit by the Foot: “a mash-up of artificial, unhealthy substances such as artificial partially hydrogenated oil; corn syrup; added sugars; and artificial dyes”. After knowing what you know now, do you really think this product is a “good source of Vitamin C” like it says on the a label? 

And don’t think Fruit Roll Ups or Fruit Gushers are any better. They made up of the same toxic mixups of questionable ingredients:

FruitGushersIngredients

FruitRollUpIngredients

What Are The Alternatives?

  • Real Fruit – There’s nothing more beautiful than fresh ripe seasonal fruit. There’s so many to choose from just like nature intended as long as you go organic. 
  • Dried Fruit – Dried apples, apricots, and prunes all have a low glycemic index – so they are less likely to spike blood sugar levels because they also contain beneficial fiber. My favorite brand is Made In Nature, they are organic, non-sulfured and taste delicious. You can get them here on Amazon, in major natural grocery stores and even at Costco!
  • Make Your Own – Homemade Fruit Rolls Recipes by Green Kitchen Stories, Homemade Pantry and Aganist All GrainI realize that these alternatives also contain sugar, but these are much better choices because they actually contain real fruit and don’t contain GMOs, fake colors and flavors, added sweeteners, trans fats and the other unhealthy ingredients found in General Mills snacks.
  • Store Bought Better-For-You Organic Brands; Thankfully there are some brands out there trying to make better fruit snacks without so many questionable additives. Check out Organic Veggie-Go’s Chewy Fruit & Veggie Snacks which are half fruit and half veggies and Matt’s Munchies (The only flavors I recommend are Mango and Ginger  – they are both organic and have minimal ingredients.) For a limited time you can get these two flavors at Matt’s Munchies for 10% off with the code: “FOODBABE” on their website.

If you know someone still buying General Mills toxic fruit snacks, please share this post with them! The more we educate the people around us the better world we build! 

You might be wondering why I investigate obvious junk food like this…it’s because companies are still getting away with telling us one thing and selling another. The fact that General Mills makes millions of dollars on these products, means there are plenty of people that still don’t know the truth. In order to change the food system, we are going to have to slowly knock each one of these toxic products off the shelves and into the garbage can where they belong!

Thank you for doing your part to create a safer food system for all. 

Xo,
Vani 

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170 responses to “General Mills or Generally Toxic? After you see this product, I know which one you’ll choose.

  1. Whatever happened to false advertising??? Oh yeah, I remember, our checks & balances/government is now owned by BIG corporations. When are we going to revolt????!!!!!

    1. We start by not buying these products-the most effective form of revolt. Telling anyone who will listen about these hideous facts is next. Education of the masses is what’s missing.

      1. I don’t buy their faulty products. Most all my food comes from my own Certified Organic farm. I also manage a community garden where we teach local children & families how they too, can raise & prepare healthy food. I talk about healthy lifestyle choices with others daily. I sign petitions, write gov. officials, vote, etc. However, I still believe these actions are NOT enough to stop the spread of GMO’s & change the way America feeds the bulk of it’s people, clearly.

    2. I work in organic food grab n go lunches as a graphic designer so i know all the laws and regulations for organic certification when it comes to labeling. They ‘get away’ with it because it isn’t false advertising, right there on the front of the box the label clearly says “fruit FLAVORED snacks” in plain black text. The product name is Fruit by the Foot so that has less impact than the other parts off the label. For example, the bottom left corners say “real fruit” meaning that the one ingredient is derived from fruit gives them legal standing to say fruit anything on the box. They aren’t false advertising, its just that’s how the fda works. Never buy a food product without reading the ingredients label and nutrition facts first, regardless of the front display or commercial. And yes, companies will recommend that you choose a product thats organic if you really are concerned about what goes on your food, they aren’t denying their food is junk food lol. Its really not a big deal just don’t buy it for yourself or your kids if you don’t want them eating junk food.

      1. Grab & go lunches, how much wasteful packaging does that entail? You are speaking to the choir, I read labels & ignore commercials. I know how the FDA & big business slides by in their advertising, I don’t approve O.K. Examples: The product shouldn’t be called fruit rolls if the majority of the ingredients aren’t fruit. Plain & simple. Cage free doesn’t exactly mean the chickens have excess to the outdoors. etc etc I disagree with you, it IS a big deal & I seek to change the way Americans do business. Starting with being a REAL organic farmer/supplier. I pride myself in being very well educated in healthy food options. However, most of the general public are currently not. They need not just an education in the matter, they need a more reliable & trustworthy, ethical industry to purchase from. Fresh, LOCAL, reasonably prices, toxin free food should be the norm not a “specialy” item.

      2. Only as wasteful as the person who doesn’t recycle! At least there are some of us companies producing accessible meals for vegans and vegetarians who are looking for organic natural products. Don’t blame the companies for your decisions its plain and simple, your making a big deal over something you should have already known. And while i can agree with your principals, its still not the companies fault for people making uneducated decisions. The real need to make a change you want to see is by educating and information sharing, not scape goating and finger pointing.

  2. Hi Food Babe! I heard a show today on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show and there was someone from FDA, GMA and also a food advocate and the show was about food additives and what the FDA’s role is and why they don’t do more and how the GMA influences it all. VERY informative. They brought up your “yoga mat” blog and Subway and I was wishing you were there on the show. Please listen to it when you get a chance!

  3. Vani – Keep. Up the good work. My wife indirectly owns shares of GIS and so we could sign a petition to General Mills protesting their support of opposition to GMO labelling as we supported in CA, OR and VT and their sale of GMO “fruit rollups” . David and Luciana White, Boston.

  4. Thank you, Vani, for all the work you do! Honestly, I am amazed by some of the critiques you get for the investigations and information you provide to the masses. Of course, there are people here who ask “why would you bother investigating something like Fruit by the Foot, which is obviously bad for you?” but I think these people miss the point of your work. First of all, the claims on these items are deceptive. See: “Good source of Vitamin C.”

    Second, lots of people argue, “well, who would actually believe these claims and think these products are good, nutritious snacks!?” That’s the problem, though! So many people do, because they continue to buy them and fall for these false claims. Unfortunately, we live in a world with food that is very different than it was in the past and many have adopted the practice of buying what their parents and grandparents traditionally bought. These are the same people who don’t bother to read or google the ingredients,and thus, these are the people who are believing these false claims. Most importantly, these are the people who are finding your work through social media such as Facebook and LEARNING from your investigations that even small steps away from processed foods like these can have a great impact on their own lives and the current state of our food industry!

    I can’t tell you how many times I saw your Starbucks pumpkin spice latte investigation pop up in my news feed on Facebook, because a majority of people don’t know or care to investigate these things – but they are so happy when they read the truth and they are changed, as a result.

  5. I would like to see a reference study that would detail why GMO foods are harmful. I have not seen any data. Hybrid seed corn has been around for many, many decades. I realize genetic modification is apparently one step farther but there has been no data generated that I have seen that says this in any way is harmful to the human body.

    1. You don’t need to read a study, just ask someone who cannot eat in a restaurant anymore because most of the food is derived from a GMO crop. The historical hybrid seed was hand pollinated to get a cross that was desired or selected for a trait. Example: a small tree with lots of fruit so you don’t have to use a ladder. GMO is mixing another species with the seed such as the Bt with the corn. Eating a little worm on the sweet corn is a whole lot different than eating the bacillus engineered in a lab to be in the corn. The Bt can now affect your intestines.

    2. Even if GMOs are not bad for the human body, there is VERY good reason to be completely against them. The majority of GMOs are produced to make the crop resistant to chemical herbicides like round up. This allows farmers to dump increasingly large amounts of this poison on their crops, destroying the soil ecology (more essential than we realize) and if GMOs are not bad for people, these herbicides certainly are. As the weeds evolve to become resistant to the herbicide, great amounts have to be used until the herbicide is obsolete (about 30 years). This has happened to round up which is why they developed the GMO/herbicide combo using one of the two chemicals from Agent Orange. DOW and Monsanto already know this will create more super resistant weeds so they are already working on the next poison/GMO combo. This is a toxic arms race that has one purpose: profits for the corporations who are killing our farmland, ecology, and people. And this is only one reason to oppose GMOs, but it should be enough!

      1. Well done. Genetic modification can be as simple as cross breeding plants, which has happened naturally. There are also seeds created that are only good for one crop, meaning the seeds their fruit bares won’t germinate. Big farming companies own these seeds and sell them to farmers, forcing them to buy new seeds for each crop. What we need to do is change our farming methods to permaculture. It’s best for the land, crop, and all the creatures who live in it near a farm.

      2. In response to Foodie,
        I gave one example why GMOs are bad, I do not understand how the GMO movement is selfish or how we are hurting humanity. GMOs do not help humanity. There are many other problems with them, Lilhippieface in her comment mentioned the suicide gene that is placed in many GMOs, preventing farmers from saving seeds. This prevents local varieties from being developed, forces farmers to buy new seeds every year, and destroys diversity which is what makes life on this planet resilient to things like changes in climate. Genetic drift has been found to occur from GMO crops to wild plants. This means things like the suicide gene can actually end up in wild populations of plants. So many of the consequences of GMOs are completely unkown and yet to be discovered. Why experiment with something that does harm but does not provide benefits we cannot get from permaculture and other sustainable farming techniques?
        And as far as your comment that I should be against Round up. In general I am against the use of herbicides and pesticides, I choose to use none on my garden and I buy food grown without their use. But I heard a farmer interviewed who uses round up and is against GMOs and his logic was very sound. He uses very little round up when he really needs it and it had been effective, however the round up ready GMO crops allow farmers to drench their crops with the poison, and this over use not only increases the harmful effects but allows the weeds to become resistant to the round up. Just as the over use of anti-biotics can lead to anti-biotic resistant strains of diseases. So you can be against the over use of antibiotics (say in factory farming or by our medical industry) but not be against antibiotics.
        Ironically the companies that push GMOs are the ones who are selfishly motivated by greed and profits and people fighting against GMOs are fighting for the benefit of humanity (and the rest of the living world).

      3. Foodie,
        None of the GMO crops we use in this country are designed for any such humanitarian purposes. If it was true that a particular GMO crop was the only hope for starving people, I would not be against that particular crop. However this is simply not the case. The Hopi have been farming extremely drought tolerant varieties of corn for thousands of years. I have some of their seeds in fact. This corn can grow in extremely impoverished soil as well. If you are truly interested in this topic I suggest you educate yourself about the history of our agricultural degradation of such places as Africa, the Middle East, and Asia over the past 10,000 years and the power of permaculture to restore the soil, bring back biodiversity, and even increase rainfall in the regions. It is possible to return deserts to food producing ecosystems if done properly and the benefit of this strategy far outweighs the benefit from a GMO monoculture, which is what you are talking about. PLEASE WATCH this incredible documentary about restoring deserts to functional ecosystems using permaculture. Yes, I am against monocultures and GMOs and for permaculture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBLZmwlPa8A

      4. Happyvegangirl, you are welcome and thanks for the nice comment. I was spurred on a bit by someone named Foodie but her/his comments dissappeared form the thread. Odd, I hope she watches the video I recommended, it is a great one for those concerned about people feeding themselves. And of course being vegan is a huge help, although I am more of an omnivore myself. peace

      5. Foodie2,
        Making money does not make one a fraud, everyone has to make a living, but I am not here to defend her or her business.
        The point about permaculture is that it is a wholistic approach that will improve the soil health, health of the ecosystem, and of the people. Diversity makes both natural ecosystems strong as well as agricultural systems. The GMO crops you are talking about are a single monoculture – one weakness of this is a disease that wipes out that particular crop the local people are screwed. Also diverse plants, bacteria, fungi, and animals in the soil and on the farm provide more nutrition and health for everyone. Also healthy soil stores tons of carbon. It is estimated that if we restore just 11% of our farmland to healthy soil ecologies that we would capture as much CO2 as we emit with all our cars and factories. But the bottom line is the permaculture model is VASTLY superior to anything GMOs can do, plus we honestly do not know the effects of GMOs, it is a big exeriment and we are the lab rats. And as I said, the VAST majority of GMOs are actually very harmful because they allow tons of poison to be used, they have suicide genes, and their use is truly intended not to help humanity but to give control of the food system to giant corporations like Monsanto and DOW chemical. If you think they have betting humanity in mind then you should do more research.
        but at this point it seems like we will mostly likely have to agree to disagree, take care.

    3. Without scientific back up, here’s a thought… We now make corn that can withstand being sprayed with very large quantities of Round-up, which is poison. Then inside the corn it has its own insecticide Bt Toxin. The Bt toxin dissolve in the high pH insect gut and become active. The toxins then attack the gut cells of the insect, punching holes in the lining to kill the insects. Without scientific testing and years of proof we are now using this in our food. I can’t imagine that we’re going to look back and find out, this is not harmful.

  6. Dear General Mills,
    A word of advice, start cutting your production and manpower because we the people aren’t buying your GMO garbage anymore. I haven’t purchased your products for many years now since learning what’s in them through people like the Food Babe. But please don’t feel like we’re picking on you because you’re not alone.

    Thanks Vani for the info.

    1. You should have read the nutrition. facts and ingredients label first, don’t blame the world because you didn’t care enough about what was in it before someone had to tell you what you should have already known. The fact that you ate something without knowing what was in it first is rather appalling, and even scarier if you gave that to your kids.

      1. And how to we find out if “..nutrition. facts and ingredients” are actually bad for you? By going on the Internet you schmuck. According to the Internet these companies have also poured in millions of dollars to keep from labeling their products that contain any GMO’s. I find it rather amusing sheeple like you are probably feeding themselves with these poisons and don’t even know it because it’s not on the label. And that’s pretty scary.

      2. Yes because you know everything about my diet and life choices, lol what a moron. Get off the trendy bandwagon trendy, and go read your labels and do your own research. You really are quite behind in this political battle, and the nonsense made up by republicans like you is appalling, you people act like you’ve known this your whole life when you’re barely learning about it because someone had to tell you you’re eating junk food. you should know better, or maybe its that fluoride getting to your braing

  7. Are most people to0 lazy to stop and read the ingredients list; or are they just in too much of a hurry to get into an early grave.

    Thank you Food Babe for educating us all!

  8. This sort of cost reducing slight of hand is business as usual.
    I worked as an R&D Chef for Campbell’s Soup, …what an eye opener!!!!..I am now a food activist and heal folks who suffer from degenerative diseases with the use of whole organic foods and lifestyle changes.
    These stories will be the norm if people care enough to do the research and discover what they are really serving up to their families. The fact is the entire food chain has become corrupted. Check out what passes for orange juice!
    http://www.westonaprice.org/book-reviews/squeezed-by-alissa- hamilton/ ….Vani please do an exposé on this issue!

  9. I worked in product control at a Pillsbury plant for many years. They held quaility stanards for our product as important. Once General Mills took over I was amazed at the change and not in a good way! Of course they still confromed to USDA stanards but I got the strong feeling that it was only because they had to. I switched to a different job at the plant because I just couldn’t stand watching our product change so much! I’m not surprised be this story at all!

    1. Yes Pamela, I agree, I too witnessed the ‘bottom line’ law of food processing at work.
      Cost reduce until the product is pure chemical and flavored gooh.
      I brought 4 products from the bench stage to pilot runs to full production and saw ‘my creations’ in the freezer section.
      As an insider I felt nothing but shame about what should have been a very rewarding achievement…..Alas the awakening had begun!

  10. all in the name of money. How many of our children have been prescribed ADD,ADHD medications unnecessarily because of the dyes, fake flavors, corn syrups, thickeners, and litany of chemicals in the food that their parents unknowingly have fed their children. SHAME on the CEO’s in big agrocompanies who are poisoning our world and its inhabitants.

  11. Thanks for this investigation. The food bank where I volunteer stocks Fruit by the Foot. I figured it wasn’t very healthy, but I had no idea is was SO unhealthy. I will work to get it removed from our food bank.

  12. I make my own fruit roll-ups using foraged fruits. The process is easy, especially using a dehydrator (although an oven will suffice). Unfortunately, it generally requires boiling down or adding extra sugar with tart fruits.

  13. Hi, I would like to know if there is anything new concerning V-8 and that special ingriendent you were not able to find out about. Thanks, Les.

  14. What about Honey Nut Cheerios? I found out they removed Modified Corn Starch with regular Cornstarch but I still think it’s genetically modified. Is it?

    If it is, is there an alternative that taste the same and is Organic/All Natural?

    Thanks!
    -DerpTheCandleGuy

    1. Unfortunately, no. The “organic” alternatives may be organic, but still contain cane juice, sugar, corn flour, salt… better to find organic steel-cut oats to cook and use real fruit in season for sweetener. Yup, I miss the convenience of ready-made cold cereal that tastes good, but sadly, there’s nothing REAL in them, only causing the reality of digestive problems and raising blood sugar and other not-so-fun stuff.

  15. Shut them down, all of them and reopen as organic. It could be done. Poisoning people without them knowing is far too profitable. Ignorance is not bliss, it’s ill health. Too many poisons put in food that the body is looking at as rubbish so nope no nutrition in their products. GMO’s are a scourge of mankind and the current corporate method of farming is destroying the soil for generations to come. Im here at this place to eat on Indian Rocks Beach. Zero healthy drinks in the cooler, a common theme. I have to settle and get Vitamin Water, still horrible – cause Im thirsty. GMO is a chelator, check it out very bad. So bad aliens wont even touch the stuff. Universe bless the Food Babe! What a babe…

  16. Thanks Vani, I love reading & sharing all the “good stuff” I learn from you. I feel if I don’t share it with others, nothing is going to change.

  17. Why won’t people just do the research on GMO’s? BigAg would crash over night! We only have to look at ourselves in the mirror because we are the blame why things are so corrupt. God have mercy on our souls!

  18. I appreciate and value all your hard work in creating more awareness to the food we eat, the education that goes along with it, and creating healthy recipes as suggestions!!
    I have been eating like this for almost 40 years and there is no other way!!!!!
    I also believe in the educational value of positive reinforcement and would love to see more of your energy going into helping educate these organizations into supplying us with healthy food than just bashing them!!
    If we can educate everyone together, we can have a powerful collective force in supplying us food the way it should be grown, distributed and eaten!!!
    Thank you Vani!!!

  19. After kids eat this stuff, lets just call it what it is — WMD’s, then they act wonky and yell and break stuff and bounce off the walls in a drug induced chemical trance, which leads uneducated uninformed parents to hit their kids just to get them to settle down/behave, then the kids are emotionally hurt and later on in life end up taking drugs to escape their internal pain, or they end up becoming a brutal thug police officer because they didn’t get enough love and are confused and brain damaged from all the bad WMD’s they’ve been eating or got vaccinated with.

  20. And now they just bought Annie’s Mac and Cheese – that was the only non-gluten Mac and cheese that I could buy!!!!!!!! No more obviously! When will this garbage ends? Oh I know when it kills us ALL!

    1. Francine, It isn’t difficult to make your own mac and cheese. You can buy gluten-free macaroni and it will be healthier than even Annie’s. And save you money at the same time. People need to get back to the old fashioned activity called cooking. I really had a laugh when they called Hamburger Helper a home cooked meal on TV but then realized it may be the closest it comes now days. Sad.

      1. Ha ha. Love the way you put it, “old fashioned activity called cooking.” As we get the hang of cooking from raw ingredients (where possible) and reduce eating processed food, the time difference between preparing a meal (let’s say mac and cheese in this case) from scratch and a boxed meal may not be huge and daunting. With the myriad of recipes on-line and knowledge to pick the best (does not equate to the most expensive) ingredients, cooking should be making a comeback!

  21. Vani,
    Yesterday I thought a smoothie sounded good to me. I was actually at an Einstein’s bagels and saw they had two smoothies on the menu. I thought it was odd they had them, so I asked what do they put in the “very berry” smoothie, and the girl working told me they do not use any real fruit, it is a syrup that comes from somewhere in a plastic bag. Just gross. There is no “real food” anywhere these days unless you have the time to make it yourself at home… I am SO sick of these companies and their false advertising of products thinking we will blindly buy them. I don’t want to eat CRAP. I want real nutrients – which is what food should be! Keep up the good work you’re doing for all of us!

  22. I have to say, you are amazing. You are definitely doing what God/The Universe intended; to inspire, reveal, speak the truth if you will about the products we. as the consumers, are paying for. We are paying money to slowly kill ourselves and generations to come. Many of us are unaware of what is in our food and the risks we are taking eating this garbage. It is toxic for sure. It is disturbing that thee all mighty dollar takes such precedent over human life and well-being. It is truly sad to know we are not only destroying the planet for our own selfish reasons but poisoning our own species. Thank you for enlightening us with your wisdom and being so determined and passionate about bringing us the “down and dirty” on what we are contributing to. If we become conscious of what we are doing and eating, we can make better choices that will benefit ourselves and our children more.
    Love from Toronto, Canada

  23. I love what you are doing! Thank you!
    My husband and I are so tired of all the poison in our food. We actually started an amazon business selling nut milk bags because of it. We are trying to get the word out to people to make your own nut milks, cheeses, Greek yogurt etc. No more processed nut milk. If you want to check out our page and buy one, here is a direct link. Thanks again for all you do!

    http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Multipurpose-Includes-Reusable-Storage/dp/B00ME13992/ref=sr_1_35?ie=UTF8&qid=1411086615&sr=8-35&keywords=nut+milk+bag

  24. It does not have to be as complicated as it sounds: buy fresh, buy organic, buy unprocessed. Which means you’ll have to spend a little less time on facebook and a little bit more time in the kitchen. Who knows you may even love to cook?

    When we shop we can skip most of the aisles.

    Btw, even if you think you are in a store that sells nothing but healthy food, plese remember that Whole Foods sells plenty of factory meat, GMO products, etc. Always read the label. Take nothing for granted.

    As an aside, why is Vitamix refusing to offer a glass or stainless steel container instead of their BPA-free Plastic container? They maintain it’s safe and nothing needs to be done. All plastic has some kind of problems when it comes in contact with food. Vitamix heavily advertises at Whole Foods. If you like the machine but not their plastic container, please send them an email. Maybe you luck out! I sure as heck got the runaround.

  25. The principal part of literacy is acquaintance with ideas, not merely mechanics of expression. Your second comment reveals your grammar tutorial was only a veiled sneer, a “ghetto” mentality all its own. .

  26. What an incredible forum of thought! Ye gads. . .if we can create more football
    teams, baseball teams, little leagues, ad nauseam, why can we not band together
    and create a world-class “team” to unite and really hit on (together!!) these
    disgraceful “practitioners of slime” manufacturers and their greedy vendors, who
    support the sales in our Food Chain, to the mass market??? Also, what about the
    Advertising Agencies themselves, taking some responsibility for the types of
    Client products they are willing to accept and are willing to create the designs for
    the packaging and promotion????? I try to read every label when I shop. Therefore,my shopping $$$ expenses have been cut significantly! Back to the Farmers Market,hand-selected, when and wherever possible.

  27. There have been some studies done on GMO’s and their effects. Most studies to date have been done on animals but you can google studies and sometimes find those that were performed in other countries. There are now 64 countries that either ban or require labeling of GMO foods. One must question why there haven’t been studies done in the U S given we are talking about our FOOD. We can’t avoid FOOD. Yet we are poisoned daily with this processing. There is a British site called Institute for Science in Technology which is science forum where doctors, scientist and other professionals share their knowledge and actually tell it like it really is. Articles on studies are hard to find because the producers of chemicals and fake food don’t want the truth out.

    There are also several university sites here in the US where they discuss the horrendous effects of GMO products on animals that are feed GM feed. Of course, the worst product is GMO is corn. It contains a Monsanto pesticide , glyphosate. A donor organism may be a bacterium, fungus or even another plant. In the case of Bt corn, the donor organism is a naturally occurring soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, and the gene of interest produces a protein that kills Lepidoptera larvae, in particular, European corn borer. This protein is called the Bt delta endotoxin. This built in pesticide kills the corn borer by exploding its stomach when it eats the leaf. Studies that have been done on animals have proved that they have digestive problems causing loss of weight. They also develop problems with pregnancies and with cancers. The glyphosate causes leaky gut syndrome and it also prevents absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor. As long as our FDA and our CDC are corrupt we will not get the truth or studies done that we deserve. I am very saddened that our children’s health is being destroyed this way. Think about how crazy this is that we are eating untested experimental products. I hesitate to call I food because it is not FOOD! Thanks Food BABE!

  28. Great work and thank you for shining light on what is a corrupt food industry, who no doubt works closely with the pharmaceutical industry. I’m amazed at how defensive people get (as seen in these posts). No one likes change but if it saves your life in the long run, its worth it to be a little more open. Thanks again for your work.

  29. Thanks so much for sharing information to help educate consumers and for the work you do to be of service to everyone! 🙂

    I shared this blog post on my facebook page. GM is one of the many companies that I am boycotting due to their spending millions of dollars to block state initiatives to require GMO labeling. Since they recently purchased Annie’s Homegrown, I will stop purchasing those products as well. As consumers we have so much power, when we speak with our pocketbooks!

  30. Thanks Vani for all your hard work.

    Maybe some of you just can’t understand this, but when your child becomes ill, and you can trace it back to an additive in food you will wake up! We now read labels religiously grow what I can and make from scratch. It took a while, but she is now healthy and working and going to school. I wouldn’t trust the FDA at all, with Big Ag and Big Pharma forcing their cause all for the all mighty dollar. That is what it is all about, MONEY. Why do you need to add stuff to food when it has no nutritional value? Just to make it look pretty? Sorry that doesn’t fly with me.

    Ok off my soap box. Argue amongst your selves.

  31. Garbage in garbage out. Note you have listed Ascorbic Acid as a baddy. ???? Rose hips , I agree , is a preferred source of VitC. These companies would sell anything as long as they are within the laws. They are reprehensible carpetbaggers. And need to be brought to heel. Go Get ’em Babe….
    Not to change subjects; but an ingredient in pharmaceuticals , supplements and some foods, including some prepared health foods, magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, sourced from human hair, duck feathers, hydrogenated toxic seed oils like pesticide ridden cotton seed oil, needs to be outed. Originally developed for industry , used as a lubricant in heavy industrial machinery. Makes things slide down better, a creamy feeling on the tongue. It’s responsible for ring around the tub, the sink and ring around your arteries, arterial plaques, including the brain. Clogged veins, vericose anyone ????

  32. I have a hard time believing that parents really think this is a healthy alternative to real fruit.
    They no doubt know this. I mean, how could anything like this actually be healthy.
    But that’s not the point.
    Most parents aren’t using these as fruit substitutes, they are using them as a “Candy Bar” sub.
    Which, in my opinion is ok.
    I think education on this issue is key, but the fact that this woman is trying to take down entire companies and industries will only put thousands of Americans out of a job. These are the companies whose revenue support our farmers and fresh fruit and vegetables. Get rid of them and we will have a real problem.
    Think about that.

  33. I am tired of the sugar bashing. Sugar aka carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient of the three micronutrients. All of our cells run on sugar. Our bodies run best on sugar. It is our bodies preferred fuel . Fat is only our bodies back up plan but it is not effective. There’s a reason why our bodies crave it. We are naturally
    frugivores (fruit eaters) and by nature we are meant to eat a ton of sweet fruit as our meals. Fruit for the carbs and vitamins that our bodies use and veggies have the minerals we need. Carb ok hydrates help create serotonin that makes us feel happy and regulate our sleep. When we dint fet enough sugar in our diet, that’s when people rely on caffeine, a legal drug like speed that somehow is ok to consume yet the mist important mnemonic acronutrient in our body is beingl labeled as bad. This is not right.

    The reason for the obesity problem is too much fat in our diet. Even on a so called low fat diet, there is generally too much fat in the form of animal products and one of the biggest obesity causers that no-one talks about oil. Most times when you eat out, you can take a real ‘ll y healthy dish and ruin it by cooking it in grease. Almost every chef uses oil in their cooking when we should be boiling or steaming or cooking our food in veggi e broth instead. Thr healthcare industry isn’t coming out and telling us the complete truth because they profit heavily on sick people. Then they provide drugs which mask symptoms that never get rid if disease. The side effects are simply adding on more toxicity to the body. There are doctors truly improving patients lives by advocaring a low fat whole food plant based diet void of animal products. I myself have overcome depression, fatigue, and irritable bowel syndrome this way and am the sk invest sexiest version if myself I have ever been. The des I recomnw and learning about are Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. John McDougall, Dr Caldwell Esselstein, Dr Dean Ornish, and others that have reversed many diseases. Food is medicine. Not drugs.

    Food babe im with you on these low quality factory foods. They are bad news. Im having s ton of bananas for breakfast in your honor.

  34. I think the simple answer is to just eat real fruit. And aside from not actually containing any fruit, this stuff is also entombed in toxic plastic. Typically the more convenient, or “fast”, a food is, the less healthy it is. The learning curb isn’t a steep one here, people/parents just need to take a second and read the ingredients! These companies aren’t fooling anyone, we are fooling ourselves.

  35. Wars have been fought to protect societies against greedy oppressive sovereignties. The fight against Monsanto is the same principle including mindless and uncaring governments who allow destruction by the selfish corporate chemical giant of our global environment and human life everywhere on the planet.

  36. Hey everyone, I want to share a book I am just reading that is beautifully accomplishing above article. It’s called “Outside the Box- why children should eat real food. Not food produce”. Must read by all parents and people working with kids. As a mom of 4 year old I am also struggling with food choices for the little guy. I sometimes feel We live in a labyrinth of lies created by multinationals. But there us a way to work your life around it. We just need to educate ourself and focus on the good thing. And Vani! Your are doing an awesome job! Thank you.

  37. This is disgusting! I cant believe that the food coloring in this product would cause all of these horrible reactions to the body!!! Me and my friend are doing a project on Gushers and we had absolutely no clue what all of the disgusting ingredients were in this; until we read this website. This is a definite sign of how low society has sunk.

    – Gemini

  38. I used to love Gushers like seriously LOVE Gushers then i saw this website and i was like oh well im still going to eat them. now my friend and i are doing a project on Gushers and i finally realized *gasp* how bad they are. When i saw that the artificial food coloring s caused death i was like ” Causing death is like OMG that is WAY not needed dood!!!”

  39. I work in organic food grab n go lunches as a graphic designer so i know all the laws and regulations for organic certification when it comes to labeling. They ‘get away’ with it because it isn’t false advertising, right there on the front of the box the label clearly says “fruit FLAVORED snacks” in plain black text. The product name is Fruit by the Foot so that has less impact than the other parts off the label. For example, the bottom left corners say “real fruit” meaning that the one ingredient is derived from fruit gives them legal standing to say fruit anything on the box. They aren’t false advertising, its just that’s how the fda works. Never buy a food product without reading the ingredients label and nutrition facts first, regardless of the front display or commercial. And yes, companies will recommend that you choose a product thats organic if you really are concerned about what goes in your food, they aren’t denying their food is junk food lol. Its really not a big deal just don’t buy it for yourself or your kids if you don’t want them eating junk food.

  40. I work in organic food grab n go lunches as a graphic designer so i know all the laws and regulations for organic certification when it comes to labeling. They ‘get away’ with it because it isn’t false advertising, right there on the front of the box the label clearly says “fruit FLAVORED snacks” in plain black text. The product name is Fruit by the Foot so that has less impact than the other parts off the label. For example, the bottom left corners say “real fruit” meaning that the one ingredient is derived from fruit gives them legal standing to say fruit anything on the box. They aren’t false advertising, its just that’s how the fda works. Never buy a food product without reading the ingredients label and nutrition facts first, regardless of the front display or commercial. And yes, companies will recommend that you choose a product thats organic if you really are concerned about what goes on your food, they aren’t denying their food is junk food lol. Its really not a big deal just don’t buy it for yourself or your kids if you don’t want them eating junk food.

  41. It’s amazing how much junk is marketed towards the kids in grocery stores. Fruit roll ups, Little Debbie snacks, Sunny Delite (banned in several countries in Europe), etc. The list is endless. Coke even has a new campaign with kids names on the bottles to “personalize” the bottle. This has increased sales in the teenage population. There are two pieces to this puzzle…the COMPANIES that PRODUCE the junk and the PEOPLE that CONSUME the junk. While we work on changing these companies, we can IMMEDIATELY stop buying their products.

  42. What about YumEarth Fruit Snacks? Organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten free, no high fructose corn syrup etc. I have been buying them for my kids, thinking it was a much safer option. Would love to know if I am correct in that thought, or if I am falling for clever packaging. Thank you for all your awesome work Food Babe!

  43. Rule of thumb regarding food: If it’s produced or manufactured by national or multi-national food conglomerates….Don’t Buy It!
    If the company that produces it is listed on the NYSE….Don’t Buy it!

    Con-Agra, Archer Daniels Midland, General Mills, …et al …are NOT food producers! They are “wealth production” companies. Producing healthy, nutritious, and safe food is NOT their objective. Like all of Wall Street’s business models — the plan is to make as much money as possible before the public catches on and the bottom falls out of the deal. There are NO instances in the past 40 years where any of these companies has produced a better, safer, or healthier product. That’s why their biggest expense it for Public Relations and Marketing! They’d rather spend tens of millions making you THINK it’s a good product than actually PRODUCING a better product. The amount of money spent on a product’s marketing propaganda is directly proportional to the DANGERS of that product!

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