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Scam alert…You could be eating SPAM meat

Think back to the last time you were grocery shopping for meat. What labels did you look for? Are those 100% natural, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and nitrate-free meats really the best choice or are you being SCAMMED?

Unfortunately a lot of people are getting totally scammed…

Food companies are legally allowed to put misleading labels on their products to fool customers. To see how screwed up regulations are when it comes to meat labels, look no further than a recent lawsuit against Hormel. They got sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund who alleged the advertising for Hormel’s Natural Choice Deli Meats was misleading consumers (1). They argued that Hormel advertises this deli meat as “100% Natural” but raises the meat in factory farms with risky drugs and antibiotics. That is FAR from natural, right? Hormel shouldn’t be allowed to advertise this meat as “natural”, right?

Actually they can. Last week, the court dropped the lawsuit (Hormel won!) because they found that the claims they are making about their deli meat, such as “100% Natural” are legally approved by the USDA (in other words, our government allows it) – so Hormel is free to use these terms in both their advertising and packaging even though this meat is raised on antibiotics and growth-promoting drugs in a factory farm (2).

The “100% Natural” label means basically nothing. It’s completely legal for food companies to lie to consumers. And that is not the worst part…

A big surprise in court filings revealed that the pork used to make Hormel’s Natural Choice Ham Deli Meat is the same pork they use to make SPAM (3). This pork is raised in inhumane large-scale factory farms where the pigs dine on GMO grains laced with growth-promoting drugs to bulk them up on less food (which bulks up Hormel’s profits too).

Insane, right? How could this be?

It’s shocking because of the way Hormel advertises this deli meat. They even call it the “NATURAL CHOICE” right there in the name! Products like this disgust me because they are preying on consumers who are trying to feed their families healthy food but don’t know that food companies are allowed to use labels that are not really truthful.

To see how Hormel has been able to scam so many people into believing their Natural Choice deli meat is a healthy choice, let’s look closely at the labels on this package…

“100% Natural”: Companies can call their meat “Natural” if it has no artificial ingredients and is minimally processed. Natural meat is often raised in the same horrible factory farm conditions that conventional meat is – with antibiotics, hormones, ractopamine, GMO feed, etc. This is why it’s perfectly legal for Hormel to call their meat natural – but that doesn’t mean it’s ethical for them to do so! Remember this applies to fresh meat too (not just deli meats).

“Pork Raised Without Added Hormones”: This label infuriates me. Why? Because pork farmers are not allowed to use hormones – it is prohibited (4). This means that all pork and ham are raised without added hormones (the same goes for chicken & turkey). So, why does Hormel add this label to their pork and turkey? It is 100% pure marketing B.S. They know that the average customer sees this as a sign that their meat is somehow raised better, but it literally means NOTHING. They do use hormones to raise their beef as regulations allow this, and this is why you won’t find this label on Hormel’s Natural Choice Deli Roast Beef.

The lawsuit revealed that some of Hormel’s pigs are raised with the growth-promoting drug ractopamine (5). This drug is BANNED in Europe, Russia, and China and causes pigs to suffer from “hyperactivity, trembling, broken limbs, inability to walk and death” (6). Using ractopamine is just as bad, if not worse, than growth hormones… so don’t be fooled!

“No Nitrates or Nitrites Added”: This is misleading because technically nitrates are added. You see, Hormel doesn’t add synthetic sodium nitrate or nitrite like you’ll find in most deli meats – which is good because these additives are linked to cancer and heart disease (7). Instead they use cultured celery powder and cherry powder, which are both naturally high in nitrates (8). There is controversy surrounding whether naturally-derived nitrates are any safer for you when added processed meat, because they may still create cancerous nitrosamines (9). Some “natural” processed meat products with celery powder have been shown to contain very high levels of nitrates – even more than conventional varieties (10).

“No Preservatives”: Hormel does use cultured celery powder and cherry powder to preserve the meat, so I wouldn’t consider this preservative-free.

I don’t eat deli meats often, but when I do this is what I choose:

  1. 100% certified organic (preferably grass fed/pastured) – This ensures that the animals weren’t given antibiotics, ractopamine, or growth hormones, and weren’t fed Roundup-Ready GMOs. Organic is the most important label to look for on deli meats (not “natural”)
  2. I like to roast whole pieces of organic meat, and slice it myself. This way, I know exactly what’s in it and there’s no processing!
  3. Whole organic sliced deli meat without sodium nitrite or nitrate.
  4. No fillers or additives like carrageenan or maltodextrin.

Some brands to try: Kol Foods Oven Roasted Turkey, Organic Nuna, Organic Valley Turkey or Roast Beef, and True Story Organic Turkey.

Yes, these organic deli meats may cost more than conventional deli meats raised in factory farms. But rather than judge the value of food in terms of dollars, think of its value in terms of nutrition – and your health. The only way factory farm practices will change is when enough people refuse to buy meat that was raised this way.

If you know anyone who might be buying Hormel’s Natural Choice deli meats and blindly believing the lies on the package – please share this post with them.



P.S. This just scratches the surface of the type of info you’ll learn in my new book Feeding You Lies. I’ll show you what food products have lies on the package, who is doing the lying, why they are lying, and how you can protect yourself. It’s available in bookstores everywhere!


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43 responses to “Scam alert…You could be eating SPAM meat

  1. Lady you’re so full of it. Nice way to twist facts.
    You’re another crazy soccer mom antivaxer!

    1. What I don’t get is, people like you LIVE to come on sites like this and make ignorant comments. Obviously its some substance here that you continue to stalk her just to see what she post. Go and eat your GMO’s, HFCS, instant food, preservatives, get all the vaccinations you want and live your life as you choose. Beat it clown!

      1. With serious measles outbreaks going on around the country, how can you mock vaccinations? The fact that anti vaxxers put my grandchildren at risk is incredibly selfish. Your whole post is based on “science” you read on the internet. Its bogus.

      2. Lolz. I’m a vegetarian—I avoid meat. BUT VANI IS RIGHT! If you’re going to eat meat, make it USDA certified organic – never feedlot animals or tank farmed fish or caged fowl. If you ever drive by a feedlot, you’ll know why I say that. Go drive by Jimmy Dean on Bandini Boulevard in Los Angeles. Smell what you’ve been eating.

      3. Replying to TOMMY. There is no reply button beneath his name.

        I cannot understand why you are so concerned about your grandchildren if THEY were vaccinated. If the vaccines worked, there would be no concern, but it’s been shown they are not as effective as they say.

        And regardless of what you hear on the news, deaths are not coming from measles. Those in other countries that show kids dying are due to the filthy conditions there without proper clean water / foods, and their immune systems are totally compromised.

        I grew up many yrs. ago when we all had not only measles,but several other childhood diseases and we have all been healthier due to it. We even had a scarlet fever outbreak when I was in 5th grade, and they did close the school to disinfect everything in the classroom, quarantined the child, and no one had any further problems. To force vaccinations is against our FREEDOM of choice!

      4. Mary; I agree with you. I wonder how long it will be before these loony big corporate dumbed down mouth pieces will be among us. It’s misdirected greedy clowns like old Rod there that keeps all this poison in our lives. I guess when one of his own turns up with pink puss foaming out of their eyes, ears, noses and mouth he’ll get a clue. But he probably doesn’t believe in global warming either. It’s really no hope for dim wits like him and his ilk. Good Luck Rod. You are going to need it.

      5. Well said Mary! ( To Rod Newcome’s comment) it’s so funny how people are so stupid, they eat crap food, pesticides, processed junk deli meat, the list goes on and on. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that our food system is crap! I eat healthy, non GMO. Organic, the best I can based on where I live. I have not been sick or even had a cold in over 10 years,, what’s that tell ya!! I feel fantastic everyday. Everyone is on to trolls like Rod Newcome, it’s so funny! Does he think we are all stupid?!! LOL, Bye bye Rod!!!! Good job Mary!

      6. To Ann and Mary
        Why any adult would think that exposing their kids to disease that is preventable is good for them is beyond me. I do not understand how it is that so many of you food babe fans can worry about every little thing when it comes to food but you also think getting vaccinated to prevent diseases, which work too, is something you think is only for the uneducated or ignorant.

      7. Reply to Tommy-since we can’t reply on any of his comments (wonder how he pulled that off and why) Common sense should mandate me on what to do? It really determines who decides something as common sense and if it has to be decided on a human then it comes down to questioning is it common sense or control? Naturally we are given a spirit that often tells us what is wrong for ourselves and what is right. When we collectively resonate with that inner knowing truth in ourselves that is what we know as ‘common sense’. Any person with a conscience would know that.

        You ask, “Why is it okay that the food babe takes it upon herself to change the food system to suit her own beliefs? How can you be okay with that but not okay with others saying you should get your child vaccinated?

        She is informing us of the toxic poisens in the food we ‘think’ is healthy or safer and have a higher price tag! I’m OK with that because I don’t want to be misled or deceived and don’t believe others should be too! It’s getting expensive to stay alive don’t ya think? A belief is based on faith. She is providing facts about the food system, information with resources NOT convincing everyone on her own belief.

        I’m not OK with anyone telling me what I should do to my children! I’m especially NOT OK with anyone forcing me to do something to my children based on their beliefs!

        I know whats in a vaccine, I know how they extract fetal bovine serum, I know that the U. S. Supreme Court has deemed vaccines as “unavoidably unsafe” in 1986 so that vaccine manufacturers can no longer be sued! I know that parents have to go through the VICP to get composition for their vaccine injured child and the most they can get id 250,000$ AND I know 4 billion (4,000,000,000$) has already been paid out to vaccine injured children as reported by VAERS and THAT is only for the families that KNOW they can get compensated, that report to the doctors of the RECENT reactions reactions to a vaccine AND their doctor wrote it on record to prove to the court that it was the vaccine..
        So many families who are unaware and in ‘disbelief’ of their childs illnesses and disease when it all comes down to the very begining when they first held a perfectly healthy baby. What happened right after? What ‘commonly’ happens right after a baby is born? Where are babies ‘commonly’ born at?

      8. @ Tommy .. he didn’t report that the flight attendant with measles was vaccinated “The flight attendant had been vaccinated against measles; however, she had received only one dose of the vaccine, according to CNN.”

    2. If you even really thought that, you’d have at least pointed out what facts she was twisting….since you did not that make you the crazy here!!!

    3. Haha nice try Ron. No ones falling for this. Continue to try to twist the real facts, but Americans are learning about the ploys of the food companies & and ain’t falling for it!

    4. Rod—If you offered some factual data to refute Vani’s claims, your post might have some validity. Since you did not, and merely resorted to name calling, I have to side with Vani and conclude you don’t understand what she is saying or you are an idiot.

    5. Well said Mary! And Tommy quit blaming people for putting your kid at risk for measles! Its a 3 day rash, IF they get it then take care of your kid! Its only deadly when treated poorly so take care of them. Its not an anti-vaxers fault! Just like its your choice to choose what goes in or on your body its MY choice as well as an anti-vaxer. Get over it. I don’t agree with the same things as you so don’t mandate me to! If your choice in medicine is reliant on others taking it then you might want to question how effective it truly is and if the risks out weigh the pros, is it worth it? Your choice..

      1. I agree with you that I shouldn’t try to control what you do. Common sense should mandate to you what you do. Why is it okay that the food babe takes it upon herself to change the food system to suit her own beliefs? How can you be okay with that but not okay with others saying you should get your child vaccinated?

    6. People “called” Rod are paid by the government to sit and troll the internet to cause division and mistrust with the website that tells the truth. Usually CIA and code named CO-INTEL PRO. You can also see this misinformation which normally is a bold faced lie in the media. Or should I say fake media.

  2. Thank you Vani! You are so wonderful for fighting the good fight. I made a conscience decision to stop eating meat—with situations like these as one of my many reasons. Best decision I ever made because scams like these are one less thing I have to worry about.

  3. Are there any petitions or anything we can sign to send to Hormel or a form letter we can send them? I’m furious after reading this! What a scam! I actually thought after seeing this line of products that Hormel was trying to clean up their act but it’s the total opposite. Please help us take action aside from just boycotting and telling friends/family.

  4. Yesterday, I went to the supermarket looking for a non-chemically laden ham. Why wasn’t I surprised that there NO was so such animal on the shelves. I came home with no meat. I will be eating my organically raised turkey breast for Easter.

    I have been gardening organically and eating clean as possible for years. I am enjoying your book “Feeding you Lies” and gaining more knowledge. Thank you for the work you are doing.

    1. You need to find a local butcher who works with local farms. Unfortunately you’ll pay triple the cost, but for special occasions it’s sometimes worth it.

  5. OMG! This is the only deli meat I buy 🙁 why these companies find the way to trick us? Not buying this product again, thank you Vani for sharing this!

    1. I buy this brand of deli turkey. I can’t believe its not all natural. I also like Boar’s head, but I think Vani has a problem with that one too.

  6. The USDA, yet another US government agency bought and paid for by the corporations with the public manipulated by the blatant use of marketing departments using “word play” to fool the public as the corporate-paid lame-stream media pushes their agendas claiming things like gmo’s are safe, wifi is safe, etc., which are total lies and have been proven many times over. Meanwhile, their clueless and shameless lobbyists push big corporate food agendas without any regard for public safety as they chase the almighty dollar at the expense of their very souls. These same paid-for lobbyists and their trolls come on sites like Vani’s and share their stupidities among Vani’s educated army. They have to. That’s what they are paid to do and paid well, unfortunately because these food corporations have deep pockets and can afford to buy the false advertising. But they are dregs of society and we need continue to support team Vani, buy her high quality products and ignore the trolls.

  7. Talk about word play and BS marketing… Using the term “same pork” is exactly what you did in this article. Talk about a hypocrite. The muscle cuts used for spam and natural choice are not the same but yes they are both pork. Kinda like saying a ribeye steak and 65% lean hamburger are the “same beef”.

    1. Xander, I think what Vani means by “same pork” is not the cut, but the way all Hormel pigs are raised. The “Natural” branded Hormel products are not differently farmed pigs than the Spam product. Therefore, same meat.

  8. What about Applegate Farms Organic? They claim to raise the animals humanely with no gmo ingredients and no antibiotics. Do you have a rating on them?

  9. Are these the only brands? What about Applegate, Greenwise organic and Plainville farms organic? Of all the brands you listed the only one I have ever seen in my area is Organic Valley and I’ve never seen their deli meats. I’ve seen their milk and cheese but never deli meats. As for the other brands I’ve never even heard of them. Thanks for all the work you do!

  10. Hi, food babe. I appreciate this investigation but it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact you still eat animals/meat knowing what they go through and it’s a life you’re consuming. With all your investigations and exposure of the food system/ Monsanto throughout the years, you seem a little hypocritical. Animals want to live like you and I. They don’t want to be slaves to the food system for selfish people to feel some sense of tasty gratification. I’m a supporter but lately things just don’t add up. I read your first book which is how I found out you eat meat and I was shocked! I brushed it off as you’ll eventually, come around. You just put out a new book, “feeding you lies” and the title alone tells me it’s more revealing than your first book. I haven’t purchased yet but I’m sure when I do and read it…I’ll be scratching my head as to why you partake in the slaughtered of animals…considering, you know what they go through. I’m sure you’ve watched earthlings ‍♀️

  11. AVOID anything certified organic by the USDA! There are other, local certification bodies that aren’t in the pockets of the likes of Hormel. You can find them with a little research. Also, don’t worry about cancer from Hormel’s products. Hormel has a cancer research facility with Mayo Clinic right across the parking lot from their corporate office! How’s that for irony!

  12. Nandi, not everybody can be vegetarians, unfortunately. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    1. Everybody CAN be vegetarians or even better vegans. They CHOOSE not to be! Beef and pork arent raised, cows and pigs are raised! Tortured their whole, often short, miserable & painful lives, then brutally slaughtered. Choosing to stop eating animals, feeling, sentient beings, is not only better for the animals, its better for people and the environment! Factory farms are causing climate change more than all the traffic in the world! The runoff, chemicals and pollution is causing cancer, you dont just have to eat animals to get sick and die from their inhumane treatment! By 2050 there is estimated to be another 1-2 billion people on this planet and it is not capable of sustaining them on a meat based lifestyle! Eating plant based whole foods will not only help stop alot of disease it is the only way to sustain this planet we call home!

  13. “I like to roast whole pieces of organic meat, and slice it myself. This way, I know exactly what’s in it and there’s no processing!”

    Yeah let me just get out my $3,500 deli slicer slicer real quick.

  14. Hi Vani. Thank you for the information . What about Whole Foods deli meats freshly sliced at their counter? They advertise no Nitrates/ Nitrites as well as no hormones. I’m wondering about what you mentioned regarding the celery powder have Nitrites in them and if you know if that is used.

  15. What I see in the food babe’s rant about “natural” meat is her opinion about how the animals are raised and treated. In her view if animals are raised in conditions that don’t meet her ideas then it isn’t “natural.” She’s using complaints in a lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund because this group is strictly concerned about the product labeling?? Yeah, right. She’s not twisting facts. She’s repeating the complaints of a group opposed to meat production. The only facts are that Hormel was following the law as written and the lawsuit had no basis. Activist groups love to file lawsuit after lawsuit.

  16. I absolutely love everything you are doing to make the world a better place, hugs.

    I unfortunately love SPAM, Sodium Nitrates don’t seem to be that bad.
    So why should NOT eat SPAM once in awhile ??

    Thank you

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