There is Nothing Natural about the Term “Natural” Used in Food Labeling

Hey Everyone!

As of now I think I am going to try to put one post a week out and aim for Monday’s. This blog post will discuss the importance of being able to read food labels effectively. No matter what your goal is we all need to eat, this post is aimed at making grocery shopping a bit easier in the long term (although it might be challenging right off the bat for the inexperienced, and that’s okay)! This post will cover popular phrases used on a variety of food labels today such as: “natural”. “organic”, and “non-gmo”.

I am sure at one point or another we have all seen a commercial on television or stopped and picked up a product with the claims “all natural” on it. We might associate the term “natural” with pure, healthy or wholesome therefore we might not read the nutrition label and automatically assume the product is healthy. So what does the term “natural” really mean?….

well, there really isn’t a strict definition given by the FDA. The FDA does state “it is difficult to define a food product as natural because the food product has been processed and is NO LONGER a product of the earth. The FDA does go on to suggest that “(we) do not object to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances” (FDA.gov). If the FDA isn’t clear on the term, than the manufacturers that produce our food sure will not be clear either. It honestly comes down to education of the consumer (since the United States annually ranks as the top or close to the top on major stats such as obesity and disease I suggest we can no longer rely on our food industry to inform us. The major players in the food industry have one goal TO SELL MORE FOOD!! Like any other business if there is an opportunity to cut costs and save money it will most likely be done, even if that means putting harmful ingredients in our food. Check out this link natural foods that aren’t . Someone told me years ago when I entered into the world of healthy living “if you cannot pronounce it don’t eat it” meaning if the ingredient names look odd, confusing or are just plan hard to pronounce it is probably not a good idea to put it in your body.

What about Organic food? Organic food doesn’t use any herbicide, pesticide or any other “..cide”  in the production and processing of our foods. Organic really is a consumers best bet in the quest for long term health because the production methods used to produce the food is how nature intended it to be. Organic food also will usually have all the vitamins and minerals intact….or the STUFF THAT MAKES FOOD, FOOD! Organic food is a bit more expensive but there is much more that goes into that higher markup price than just the name organic. Organic farmers/producers have loads more costs compared to their non-sustainable counterparts (farmers who using “unconventional methods”) which makes the price a bit higher. check out this link for foods that you should consider buying organic and foods that it is likely okay to not buy organic Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen

Lastly Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). I am a huge advocate for labeling of GMO’s and also would love to see them stop infiltrating our food supply. GMO’s started appearing in our food in the early 1990’s. When scientists take a gene or “part” from one organism and insert it into another organism they can create “new organisms”. GMO’s give the ability for farmers to create bacteria resistant crops thus seasonal weather effecting crops is mitigated. This sounds great but these “super genes” can and do stay inside of us and can alter our DNA. It sounds crazy but if you really sit back and think about it objectively the less crazy you might think it seems. Essentially GMO’s are too new to know the long term effects plain and simple. Since they have been introduced to our diet correlating statistics involving the rise of autism, food allergies and chronic disease have increased (check out this site for more info).Are those effects directly related? I say yes, others might say no and that’s okay. Right now there are heated debates about whether labeling GMO’s is right or wrong–most major food industry giants are against the labeling of GMO’s (if they don’t pose a risk what is the big deal if its labeled or not?–seems sketchy many companies don’t want labeling).

We are getting to a point in history where our food is no longer food on the inside, just processed junk.

the point is pay attention to what’s in your food no matter what side of the fence you are on and make your decisions accordingly. On my side of the fence there is no room for chemicals and questionable ingredients in our food.

Stop paying attention to fad diets and gimmicks and  pay more attention to what you put inside your body! Proper diet really is the best medicine

Make your own decisions, ask questions and be curious!

Until next time..

*check out Marion Nestlé’s book Food Politics (she was a former nutritionist that worked directly with the FDA and what she discusses in her text is truly mind-blowing)

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Hello World

Hello! Here’s the deal, I’m super fucking passionate about health and nutrition and trying to make a difference in peoples lives with proper health and nutrition. I decided to start a blog, it’s been something I have mulled over for months but a recent spark in motivation has led me to take dive into the blogger-sphere.  I have no clue how this blog will go, there is no agenda. I will start off saying I have no “credentials” in the health or nutrition field however I am working to change that. The only thing I have is a fucking passion and fire for this lifestyle and that to me parallels any “official” degree or certification (of course those add credibility which is ever important in the health and nutrition world).

I have been passionate about this lifestyle for almost a decade and plan on continuing that for the rest of my life. Over the past 18 months I have had major and minor injuries to what seems like every part of my body. I have had back, neck, and shoulder problems specifically and those injuries at times have taken away something I love to do which is  workout! . I recovered (and am still recovering) by putting the right things in my body, telling pharmaceutical drugs (and the doctors that prescribe them) to fuck off and still going to the gym and working out five days a week despite many moderations I have had to make to my workouts.

The point is if your injured it fucking sucks there is no other way to put it especially if it interferes with doing something you love. I am a huge believer that you can heal faster and protect yourself long term with proper nutrition. If you disagree that’s cool I’m not writing to get into pointless debates. That’s the goal of this blog (or whatever you want to call it), that’s the goal of my future posts and rants–to help people who have been through injury get back to doing what they love and to promote a healthy lifestyle . At the end of the day If these posts help one person or five million that’s fucking cool and that’s why I am doing this. Because I have “been there” figuratively, literally and everywhere in between and when I was just getting into this lifestyle I took all the advice I could get (and still do) and I feel if you don’t pass on your knowledge or insights then it’s being wasted.

“let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~ Hippocrates

(I’m big on indie and alternative music so I will probably post some of that occasionally as well)

The blog name “nutrition-er” I just made up but the idea is that people who are interested in nutrition are “nutrition-ers”, like a community–think people from Pittsburgh being called Pittsburgher’s, cool?