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Read This Before You Ever Stand In Line At The Deli Counter Again.

Whenever I enter a conventional grocery store, I get heart palpitations. You might think I am kidding about this, but I am not. My body gets heated, my face starts to scowl and I end up saying “WTF” about 18 times before I leave the store. You’d think by now, I would have my emotions under control – but I don’t and I think that’s why I am so passionate about fixing this food system. And I know you are too because you keep emailing, commenting and alerting me of all the messed up things you are seeing out there and I can’t thank you enough!

This investigation is one that you have been asking for, so here it is… And if you are new to Food Babe, you definitely want to read this before you ever go to the deli counter again. 

boars_head TITLE

You asked:  Is Boar’s Head deli meat better than the other brands?

I’ve received emails and comments on social media expressing that you’ve been led to believe that Boar’s Head deli meat is healthier than other brands – but you wanted to know if it really is better or if they’ve just got really good marketing. 

Their slogan – “Compromise Elsewhere” – sure makes it sound like they don’t add cheap additives to their deli meats, but is that really true? One of your emails said:

“I would love to eat Boar’s Head deli meats and cheeses as they are gluten-free and I have Celiac Disease and they seemed to be the leading company in the gluten-free deli meats. I called the company directly for ingredient lists on some of my favorite deli meats and discovered there is caramel coloring (which I know is not good) in a lot of their offerings. Could Food Babe investigate further and start a campaign to get them to take out the offending ingredients?”

Another reader sent me this photo of a big sign they saw at Publix grocery store: 

Boars-head trust

Reading between the lines, this is what this sign says to me…

  • “No Fillers”: This means their meats don’t contain carrageenan, soy concentrate, cellulose, starches, and other cheap substances that can hold processed meat together and reduce costs for food manufacturers.
  • “No By-Products”: These are parts of the animal that we don’t typically eat, like lips, tripe, pork stomachs, and heartsEven mainstream deli meat brands like Oscar Mayer (confirmed on the phone) and Sara Lee (via their website) claim to have deli meats that are free of by-products, so this doesn’t really set Boar’s Head apart as superior to those brands.
  • “No Artificial Colors”: Here they are only referring to FD&C certified colors, as these are the only ones considered “artificial” by the FDA:  Blue #1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #3, Red #40, Yellow #5, and Yellow #6. I haven’t been able to find a single deli meat that contains any certified artificial colors, so this claim really doesn’t mean anything and is misleading because caramel color is still used.
  • “No Artificial Flavors”: Another trick to make you believe their meat only contains quality ingredients, when in reality “natural” flavors can still be used. Natural flavors are not much different than the artificial variety and are made in a lab.
  • “No Trans Fat”: Their meats don’t contain partially hydrogenated oils. Again, this isn’t a normal ingredient in deli meat… I’ve never seen it!

As you can see, marketing messages like these on signs, ads, and on the front of a package tell you very little about a product. This is why I say to stop paying attention to these tactics and to always read the ingredients instead!

The biggest red flag that something was up at Boar’s Head was when I tried to find their ingredients on their website and they weren’t listed.

If Boar’s Head is so proud of the quality of their products, why don’t they publish what’s in them? How are we supposed to “trust” them if they aren’t being transparent? Even their fiercest deli meat competitor, Dietz & Watson, lists their ingredients online. Besides bugging the busy deli counter worker, there really should be an easier way to get their ingredients, and publishing them online is the best way to make them accessible to consumers.

My team called Boar’s Head to see if they would email over a list of their deli meat ingredients – and had no luck. The customer service rep told us that she wasn’t able to email us a list. She was only able to read off the ingredients over the phone for specific products, but wouldn’t send them to me via email (even for just one product). They won’t send them to us in writing? Again… red flag! I really began to wonder what Boar’s Head is trying to hide.

Given our experience with customer service, I reached out directly to the President of Boar’s Head – Mike Martella to discuss this as well, but have not heard back yet. But, after obtaining some ingredients directly from Boar’s Head over the phone and from Publix grocery stores (one of their biggest retailers), it turns out that Boar’s Head is adding some pretty controversial additives to their deli meats.

Boars Head Ingredients

This is what I think the Boar’s Head sign should really say…

“Don’t Trust Boar’s Head!” 

“Artificially Browned with Carcinogenic Caramel Color!”

Boar’s Head artificially browns some varieties of deli meat with class III and class IV caramel coloring, which is linked to cancer (this is the same color that we successfully campaigned to get removed from Starbucks drinks!Caramel coloring is in a dozen of their meats, including the Rotisserie Seasoned Roasted Chicken Breast, EverRoast Turkey, Seasoned Filet Roast Beef, and Maple Honey Ham.

“Made With GMOs?!?!?!”

Update 1/11: Called Boar’s Head again, and they said their meat is not non-GMO.

We asked Boar’s Head if any of their deli meats contain GMOs and they didn’t respond. Yet, they use many ingredients that are usually derived from GMO crops like sugar (sugar beets). Added sugar and/or dextrose (typically made from GMO corn) is found in a lot of their meats, even in ones that seem healthier like their “No Salt Added Turkey Breast”. Other meats that are “maple glazed” and “honey coat” contain more sugar and dextrose than real honey or maple syrup. They also told us that their caramel coloring is derived from corn and some of them are browned in cottonseed oil (the worst GMO oil on the planet and is regulated like a textile crop (more toxic pesticides!) – cottonseed oil is not food!). Boar’s Head claims that many of their meats are “Vegetarian Grain-Fed”, yet this is often code for “GMO-fed” animals when not organic.

Boars head GMO

“Raised with Antibiotics!”

To be fair, they do have a “Natural” line that is antibiotic-free, but they told us the others are given antibiotics for disease prevention. Now that Subway has made the commitment to stop using antibiotics to raise their deli meats, hopefully Boar’s Head will follow suit. Boar’s Head also told us that they have no organic deli meat. Organic meats are prohibited from using antibiotics and growth-promoting drugs and hormones in their animals. Organic animals also can’t be fed GMOs or given drugs like ractopamine

“Flavored with Secret and Proprietary Ingredients!”

Several of Boar’s Head meats contain “natural flavors” or “Natural Hickory Smoke Flavoring”. Just because it doesn’t contain artificial flavors, that doesn’t mean the taste isn’t fake or engineered in a lab. The chemicals that are used to make “natural flavors” are kept secret from consumers and their “safety is sometimes declared based on scientific data that isn’t publicly available”

What about their Preservative-free claims?

Boar’s Head sent me a list of their deli meats with “No Preservatives and Without Added Nitrates”, yet I found that some of these meats – like the Cajun Style Smoked Turkey, Lemon Pepper Chicken and All American BBQ Chicken – still contained sodium phosphate. This additive is on EWG’s Dirty Dozen list of ingredients to avoid because it can increase the risk of heart disease. 

Maltodextrin has no place in deli meat that takes “No Compromises”.

I found the additive maltodextrin in some of their meats: Everroast Roasted Chicken, All American BBQ Chicken, London Broil Roast Beef, Virginia Ham, and Lemon Pepper Chicken, and most of these also contain dextrose and other added sugars. These ingredients are carbohydrates and commonly used as “fillers” in cheap processed food, like the taco “meat” at Taco Bell. Maltodextrin is also often a hidden form of MSG

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 or growth hormones, weren’t fed GMOs, and none of the ingredients are derived from GMOs.
  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 nitrate.
  4. No fillers or additives like carrageenan or maltodextrin.
  5. Brands that list their ingredients online (if not already pre-packaged with ingredients).

Some brands to try: Organic Prairie, Kol Foods Oven Roasted Turkey, Nuna Naturals, Applegate Farms (some contain carrageenan and fillers – so always read the ingredients!) 

If you know someone who is blindly trusting Boar’s Head meat, please share this post with them. Be part of the change, take a moment and comment on Boar’s Head Facebook page here or tweet them here – tell them we deserve better.



Update 1/12/2016 – See new revealing ingredient pictures here.

Update 1/8/2016 – Reader obtained additional ingredient lists from Publix and it looks like Boar’s Head Virginia Baked Ham has MSG. 

MSG in BoarsHead

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236 responses to “Read This Before You Ever Stand In Line At The Deli Counter Again.

  1. You definitely have to ignore the health claims on the front of the package and go straight for the ingredient list.
    Thanks Van I, for keeping us aware and for the informative post!

      1. Where us your share button Vani!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Others need to know about your research and pass it on……..!!!

  2. Hi Vani. Thankyou. This is so disgusting.I’m sure you hear this all the time, but I can t really afford to buy organic. I moved to a city where I can barely find organic. From this time last year I’ve gained back 40 lbs. I had lost 70 with the help of following your advice. I’ve compromised a lot of ingredients and have found myself deliberately not reading ingredients. I was looking and feeling so good. Im trying to get back to the way i was eating. When i read roast up a breast of organic meat, that sounds like a great idea, but it is not possible. My kids get hungry and sometumes i give in because i dont feel well. I do what i can. We dont drink soda or eat fast food. I only buy organic eggs and milk and at least try to make sure its gmo verified. Im not coming close to my ideal? Where would u cut corners if u had to? Do u have any job opportunities in NJ? HELP!!!!

      1. Thank you Vani! I had read that a couple years ago, but definitely needed to refresh. It made me happy to see I actually do quite a few of them. 😉 I had also seen once, if u have veggies about to go bad or u won’t use them in time, just keep throwing them all into a freezer bag and eventually u will have veggie stock. Thanks for everything. I will start to read your book again too. Maybe that will help me to get through this time of giving up all of the crap I had been eating again. <3

  3. Thank you for all the hard work you do. I will continue to share your work with my Facebook, friends & family. Many blessings to you for standing up for the TRUTH.

  4. Love this! We’re very picky about this as well in our family.

    It’s surely an eye opener for many people who assume that companies must be ‘truthful’ in their labeling. Unfortunately – it’s often a way for them to market to those who simply don’t know what to watch out for on the REAL labels (the list of ingredients)!

    Love that you continue to take action against the companies themselves when your investigations reveal these realities – and how dishonest they are actually being. Who wants to support that? Definitely not this girl!

    I personally love being a part of making this kind of change- through informing people and helping them learn ways around the lies & deception!

    Kudos & happy new year 🙂

  5. Thank you for bringing this to light. Now let’s see how long it takes for the bashing to begin. How long until the hating begins? How long until those who wish to justify the use of these substances and blame your “faulty science”? Or questions your qualifications or your motives… Stay strong Vani and thank you for all you do!

  6. No to GMO….glad someone is speaking up on the truth about these foods. Thank you so much…I’m sharing this.

  7. I’ve said it before but worth a repeat in the New Year…Food Babe, your investigations and information-sharing has saved my family and changed our lives forever. Thank you so much for all you do!
    Andi B.
    Charlotte, NC

  8. Hi Vani!

    This is such a let down to hear! Our family sometimes purchases Boar’s Head deli meat & was under the impression that it was a good buy. Thanks for keeping me informed! I know that American cheese gets a bad rep & I do buy the Boar’s Head brand of it because my son loves it. I thought it was better than say Kraft brand. Now I’m rethinking it. What is your take on their American cheese? Worth it or ditch it??

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Melissa and Vani,

      I have been shouting from the roof tops for years that Boars Head is a product of slick and constant marketing but few people listen. They have people and retailers brainwashed into believing they are the Mercedes Benz of cold cuts…….they are not. A few years ago many of their products had MSG, some still do but Vani did not spot light them. I believe their heart shaped deli ham, their bologna and their liverwurst still contain MSG. Boars Head products are very high priced also compared to many “as good as” and better meat companies regionally across the country. Shop around. Remember when you buy their $10.00+/lb deli meat a good chuck of that goes to their slick advertising.

      In regards to their cheese, you need to know that Boars Head does not manufacture their own cheese, it is a private-labeled product from a cheese company with their name on it. No cold cut companies make cheese. It could be any of dozens of cheese companies in Wisconsin or elsewhere.

      1. I do believe the whole msg thing has been blown out of proportion. It’s just a flavor enhancer. Deli meats aren’t health food, however I never heard of anyone dying from msg. As with everything else in this world, your mileage may vary.

  9. I just read on Dr. Marcola’s site that Applegate now is owned (or bought out) by Hormel. Should I be concerned about this? I buy their bacon once in awhile.

  10. I’ve been getting my holiday meats from Organic Prairie for a few years now. Their products and customer service are fantastic.

  11. Even my children go straight to the ingredient list. I tell them they are food snobs because in our family we try to eat clean. BUT, in the small mountain area we now live, there are not quality choices. I have to drive almost an hour and a half to find a Whole Foods. What do I do? We only have Walmart and Giant Eagle.

  12. What is a better deli alternative? Wasn’t Applegate farms recently bought by Hormel??? I would love to see you do a piece on alternative suggestions!!! PLEASE!!!!!

  13. I am a colorectal cancer survivor. After fighting for my life for 3 years at Johns Hopkins hospital the ONLY thing they asked me not to eat was processed meats now 4 years later its on WHO list of known carcinogens with cigarettes. In fact I don’t eat any meat. I am still eating fish/seafood but not feeling great about that either. I was only 40 when I was diagnosed and it was only found by accident after I had my 2nd child. I have not forced my family to stop eating meat but I am VERY careful about the meat I do buy. I don’t buy ANY deli meat. I try to buy applegate cheese and I only cook sausages from WFs on holidays like xmas morning. If I do buy red meat or chicken I only buy it from WF and they are so expensive so we definitely have a lot of meatless meals. I am not a stickler with my family. If we go out to eat they can get whatever they want. I am trying to teach them to chose the healthy food not forcing them to which can often cause blow back. I am a clinical psychologist and I try to encourage parents to manage their own anxiety about food and remember the big picture. A soda at a birthday party 5x a year will not be the death of them. Soda ever day that you keep in your house- not a good choice. I appreciate the work you do. It helps people like me feel more knowledgable about the choice I give my family.

    1. Judy,
      Congrats on beating cancer. I too am a survivor….15 years(bladder/prostrate), stage 3. God Bless you, keep fighting and always try to eat “clean food”.

  14. Nice work Vani !! I have been subscribed to your mailing list for about 2 years, and I have acquired so much of information since then. I have been recommending my friends and family to subscribe to your mailings.

  15. Aren’t all deli meats carcinogenic anyway because they’re made with nitrates? I heard that even naturally occurring nitrates like celery powder still greatly increase the risk of colon cancer when eaten on a regular basis.

  16. This has nothing to do with deli meats but I thought many would like to know what I noticed when I bought a twenty-eight oz. can of Tuttorosso crushed tomatoes. They have let us know on the label that they have a Non-BPA liner and are NON GMO Project verified. I guess some food manufacturers are listening to their customers.

    1. Yes that’s true; Applegate was bought-out by Hormel. Although I’m not a meat eater, I do keep up with these companies that continually get “bought-out”. It’s a damn shame that money means more than integrity …

  17. Check Aldi.. they have organic cheese at our stores here ( and for less $ than other stores) . I tried their organic beef once and it was horrid. I stick with Costco for most organic. Way cheaper! I cook a whole chicken in crockpot. Then make broth.. etc. been doing this for years.. only way to feed family of 6 organic food on budget. Keep in mind you can freeze the cooked chicken until needed if you are always running behind. Use cooked chicken to make BBQ, cheese and chicken sandwiches, etc. on a whim. Taco bean soup is healthy and nice change in crockpot as well. Think crockpot with basic organic ingredients and add spices.. you will save a lot of money this way. We haven’t started juicing yet.. no money for high end juicer right now. Change is hard. I admit it’s not something I look forward to doing but hopefully soon. HTH

  18. Hey, Food Babe. I was in a long conversation with someone recently about “natural flavors” in food, and so I sent a request to a company I THOROUGHLY trust to ask about the reason “Natural Flavors” was used in the ingredients list vs simply listing the fruit in the product. Here is an excerpt from the response, and I believe it is 100% true, so I am concerned about the constant bashing of “natural flavors” because NOT ALL NATURAL FLAVORS ARE BAD. Many are derived from sources we wouldn’t want to be eating, but NOT ALL ARE BAD. Could you please help educate people on the accuracy of the Natural Flavors statement – that it bears further investigation for each individual product and that not everything can be lumped into the “evil” category?

    Here is the response:

    The FDA’s definition of “natural flavors” (from FDA’S Code of Federal Regulations)

    The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

    It all has to be something considered food, that is, something edible. For example, if you like to cook, you likely use onions and garlic. These two are typically used for flavoring, but very few times are they used raw, as is. If you used them raw, then you could put in your label “onion” or “garlic”. But most often you “process” them some way, for example, onion gets caramelized in olive oil. Now it fits the definition of a natural flavor: any product of roasting, heating ……, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a vegetable …….whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

    So if you caramelized the onion, you cannot call it onion in your ingredient declaration, it would be a natural flavor.

    A few weeks ago I was reading a cooking magazine and came upon “black garlic” ; this is garlic that is roasted at a very low temperature (150F) for three or four weeks! If you used this in a food product, you could not call it garlic or black garlic, it would be a natural flavor.

    We use all natural flavors in our natural flavors, and we call it that because that is what the regulations say.

    1. Julie – But that doesn’t make it right, it is a regulation in which the FDA and the USDA and hide many, many things while manipulating and changing them to meet THEIR standards and definitions. Sorry to say this but unless I am the one who is extracting the natural juices out of the apple or piece of meat while knowing how that apple or piece of meat was raised/grown I can not or will not trust what processed foods claim to be natural flavors. The FDA has no idea what “natural” actually means as natural flavors can be extracted from Frankenfoods = GMO’s, which is not a natural source of food. MSG is a natural flavor the same as aspartame but we both know that they are poisons to our minds and bodies. The definition of “natural” by Webster Dictionary – Existing in or derived from nature; not made or caused by humankind: carrots contain a natural antiseptic natural disasters such as earthquakes. The FDA would not be able to use 3/4 of the chemicals and poisons that they do if they truly followed the true sense of the word “natural.” I have provided two links you might be interested in. One is an article in regards to “natural” and the other is a request by the FDA for the public to provide comments on use of the term “natural” on food labeling. Some of the comments are very interesting. Bottom line, enjoy what ever it is that you decide is tasty and yummy for you!! Happy New Year!

  19. I am seriously addicted to reading your emails each time! Thank you for all that you do to keep us informed about making the better choices when it comes to food. I wish you a fabulous day!

      1. ttrt – Not really, I think you need to read the entire article as it says a lot more than just that – the very last paragraph said: ” Bottom line – Citric acid USED to be made from fruit. Now it’s more commonly made from feeding sugars to black mold and processed using sulfuric acid. Citric acid is in just about all processed foods. It’s also often found in kitchen cleaners, and does a great job removing mineral deposits from chrome.

  20. As usual, this is amazing and you are amazing. Thank you thank you thank you for all you do.

    My favorite line here is “As you can see, marketing messages like these on signs, ads, and on the front of a package tell you very little about a product. This is why I say to stop paying attention to these tactics and to always read the ingredients instead!” — I never read ingredients until I became sick, and educated on how to heal my body. I was brainwashed by advertising, and only ever read the fronts of packages and if it was fat free, and low calorie. Ugh – how my life has changed and on that front for the BETTER!

    Have you ever thought of creating a smartphone app? It’d be so cool. I’d love to scan an item and see if it is “Food Babe approved”. That’d be so convenient and helpful. I’d buy it! 🙂

  21. As former Pathmark/A&P worker, I had the “pleasure” of working in both the deli and seafood departments. We carried at the stores I worked in Dietz & Watson and Thumanns brand meats and Land O Lakes cheese. Believe when I say this,we had to read the outside of every item to the customers to insure that there wasn’t additives they didn’t want. That rare looking roast beef is color added to fully cooked beef. Never get the special cut of roast beef,there is always something added to get the flavor. People tend to think that the deli meat is prepared on site but it comes from a factory where it is prepared. The brands we did carry, we knew which ones had any additives as we were given a hotline to connect to factory where we ordered directly (this is before the age of company deciding what to sell and would send us what to sell).I know there was one turkey extremely low in sodium with no preservative that was a very popular seller which made of just turkey breast Boar’s Brand is a very popular brand in the Northeast especially New York. Thumanns brand was part of Boar’s Head until there was an argument within ( because of the preservatives) There roast beef and ham were better than Boar’s Head. But any deli clerk can help a customer find the total ingredients of the products avalable for slicing as each unopened piece in case has the listed ingredients on it. Sometimes the print is hard to see but it can be read. I tend to not eat cold cuts often but when I do I prefer the lowest sodium content and not processed.

    1. Maria Rose,

      You are wrong, Thumann’s from its founding was never a part of Boars Head. This is misinformation. Please go to their website and read their company history. I do agree though that their products without a doubt are better than Boars Head.

  22. great job exposing them! I had friends always tell me about how much better boars meat is… but if it’s not organic grass fed, you can forget about it. It’s sad that we have to do soo much research and mostly order online in order to avoid all these toxins…

    I can’t believe they would not release a list of ingredients for their own product.. unreal. I’ll spread the word!

  23. Thank you for making your voice heard! I just checked out Boar’s Head Facebook Page and you are really making a difference, informing others of what’s really happening and asking for change – we all deserve better, especially if you were a customer.

    Please keep commenting here –

  24. sadly, there is no meat that is wise to consume, especially deli meats. no matter what, you’re asking for health issues if you don’t basically consume a plant-based diet. boarshead, applegate, hormel, they all are processed to the point where nutritional value is pretty much nonexistent, and you’ve consumed an animal that was abused to arrive at your table.

  25. Vani, is there any truth to the rumor that Taco Bell’s “beef” is actually part horsemeat? If so, this might be how I stop my husband from eating there! TIA!

  26. Wow!!!!! I am just undone by this news. I trusted them and I even got others to switch to this brand. This is disconcerting to say the least. For years I have paid more for this meat because I thought it was better for me. Thank you Vani for all that you do. I have changed a lot of my food habits because of you and I am now a avid label reader. Keep fighting the good fight. I will no longer be buying this brand.

  27. Food babe you are the best. I love you and pray for you and your family all the time. Keep up the great work, you are making a big difference in this world. I always tell people you are a light to the world and an Angel.

    Thank you & God Bless,

  28. OK.
    To begin, I admire your moxie as well as the intuitiveness you serve well, to so many.
    Here’s the thing. Have you ever witnessed a serious, life threatening ‘palpitation’?
    I have.
    Something you don’t use as a ‘one liner’ in your post.
    Just a thought.

    A Sour Deception: Citric Acid Comes From GMO Black Mold, Not Fruit

    EXCERPT: If common ingredients like “citric acid” and “ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)” sound normal and familiar enough that you practically conjure up an image of the flourishing orchard they were grown in – then think again. … These common –nearly ubiquitous – ingredients don’t come from where you might assume (i.e. simply, citrus fruits). Instead, mass produced citric acid and ascorbic acid are hidden GMO ingredients that reportedly set off allergenic responses for some sensitive consumers. Further, both are known accomplices to the creation of benzene – a known human carcinogen – inside food and drink products alongside sodium benzoate.

      Laurie –
      A small percentage of the population is allergic to citric acid, though the allergy may actually be to trace amounts of corn or black mold that may remain after processing.

      Citric acid used to be made from fruit. Now it’s more commonly made from feeding sugars to black mold and processed using sulfuric acid. Citric acid is in just about all processed foods. It’s also often found in kitchen cleaners, and does a great job removing mineral deposits from chrome.

  30. Hi

    Can you explain to me what the problem with Flavors is.

    Also, I don’t understand the issue with caramel colouring…..


      1. Nancy

        I’ve clicked on the links and read the study on 4MEI. As with all chemicals, its the dose that dictates the toxicity. In the study the doses where an increased level of carcinogenic effect is seen, the dosage seems very high… much higher than the dosage that I’ve found 4-MEI used in food applications.

        As far as flavours (artificial or natural) is concerned, there’s nothing in these links which shows scientifically that there is anything dangerous about these materials… so just what is wrong with the use of flavors?

  31. I only purchase Boar’s Head lunch meat, naively trusting that their products are all natural. When you are paying $10.00 a pound for lunch meat you just assume that it is all natural. Thank you for disclosing the truth about the ingredients.
    I will boycott their products. THANK YOU!!!

  32. Do you have more info on Boars Head’s ALL NATURAL line? I buy the All Natural turkey breast. I also choose the Deluxe roast beef, it doesn’t seem to have added flavors, etc.

  33. Hi Vani, I appreciate all you do. You are still recommending avoiding meats cured in nitrates or nitrites or with no nitrites added (no one adds nitrites or nitrates anyway). My research show that when they don’t use sodium nitrate or nitrite and call it uncured, that it is actually cured in celery juice resulting higher nitrite levels in the meat! Uncured is false advertising. All these meats are cured. I believe that nitrites are not bad for you within reason of course. It takes quite a bit of time to find the truth here, but that is normal. All cured meats, including “uncured”, are soaked in salt solution to kill bacteria and preserve. I buy high quality organic grass fed cured meats when possible. If you want me to provide you with convincing articles showing that uncured meats are worse, let me know. Randal

  34. I had an MSG reaction from one of their deli meats a few years back! I asked the ladies in Publix for ingredients and they were fumbling around for what seemed forever, to no avail. They had to put a few pieces of deli meat on the scale, then package it so the machine would print out the ingredients on the label! I thought this was crazy! If I rejected the meat based on the label, they would only have to throw out a few pieces rather than say, a whole pound. I believe the “hidden” MSG was a yeast extract! Ew! This brand is one to steer clear of. Have you noticed how their advertising starts out with NO THIS AND NO THAT??? But what about the actual ingredients? I care more about what’s in my food than what is not in it!!! A typical marketing ploy. Just give up deli meat, you will survive, trust me. This information did NOT ruin my life 😉 just enhanced it! Go Vani!!!

    1. John,

      You should have just asked the deli clerk to show you the label on an unopened piece of the same product. The ingredients are on the back………in fine print. lol

  35. I don’t even deli meats in general–they’re just too salty and too cold for my liking! I definitely prefer a hot cooked type of meat over a pre-packaged one!

  36. The thing, why do we even bother with meat at all. Eat eggs instead. There are so many meatless dishes. Eat more soups. in the fiftieas and erlier, we ate meat on the weekend only. We were healthier.

  37. All those good deli brands are not available in Northern NJ except for applegate
    and their deli stuff is very salty

    1. Gloria,

      Don’t know where you live but Thumann’s Deli Meat is available all over North Jersey and it’s better than Boars Head and it’s made right in Carlstadt.

  38. If something even HAS an ingredients list, that means its processed and I usually avoid it. I do love Mark Sisson’s avocado oil mayonnaise, and some other things I get at Thrive Market and health food stores.

    A major part of the REAL problem is that BigFood companies have scared people away from doing their own cooking. We HAVE to restore that.

    Another major problem is the creeped-out belief that EVERYTHING is toxic. Yes it is–but some things are much worse than others and it pays BIG TIME to learn what you can and make an effort to choose better food.

    Couple decades ago, I surveyed a few hundred adult bodies walking out of regular grocers versus Wild Oats (now part of Whole Foods). I was interested in fatness but found a bigger difference in energy levels and zest for living. Anybody can repeat this and many of us should, especially if we can find classfuls of teenagers to help. That would do a lot to increase the determination to do what we can.

  39. I think buying all organic is the best way to go – we can’t trust anyone! I do like the idea of cooking your own meat and slicing it yourself even though that does take more time. Thanks for all you do Vani!

  40. I have been eating Boars Head all natural turkey breast. I did think I looked up the ingredients on the website and thought they were okay. Here they are:
    *No artificial ingredients, minimally processed
    • Humanely Raised†
    • No MSG Added
    • No Nitrate or Nitrite Added††
    • No Preservatives
    • Raised Without the Use of Antibiotics or Hormones†††
    • Vegetarian Grain Fed

    An all natural turkey breast that is oven roasted to perfection with sea salt and organic sugar. Gluten free and certified heart-healthy.

    I wrote to them and they claimed just a teeny bit of sugar was included. Have you check out this one?

    Thanks for the great work you are doing!!!

    1. Just wanted to know your opinion on the all natural turkey breast above, Vani. Do you think it should be avoided? I do have a health issue and trying to eat really well. I thought the all-natural was okay. Your opinion? Thanks very much!

      1. Would love to hear an opinion on the Boars Head all natural turkey breast.
        Thanks for any feedback.

  41. When I first went organic about 4 years ago, I was, like you, disgusted about grocery stores breaking the consumers’s confidence by selling poisonous food amd poisonous cleaning products etc. Our largest stores in Florida are Publix and we immediately called the local store and they offered to allow us to get our money back. We returned about six hundred dollars of GMO’s and they stood by the return. I wrote and called the Publix home office and suggested that if they couldn’t force Coca Cola or other name brands to get rid of aspartame for instance, then why not remove it from the products that have the Publix name on them. They have never replied.
    I also immediately cal;led Boars Head and they said that they do not have grass fed or organic so I stopped buying their poison as well.
    I TOTALLY understand your frustration with these large companies!!

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