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Jan 17

Misleading Food Labels

Companies love to ride trends if they can charge more for them. They use popular terms that appeal to people looking to eat healthier–without relying on facts or science. Save yourself money and misinformation, and read up on these common misleading food labels.

Superfoods

Technically, all whole plants are full of nutrients and fiber. While each has different benefits, there is no one veggie or fruit that’s completely better than all the others. Keep your fruits and veggies well-balanced, and don’t worry if you’re not eating kale and acai every day.

Organic

The big one on this list for sure! Consumers buy “organic” because they believe it’s more “natural” or free from pesticides. Actually, organic crops do use pesticides. And don’t believe the claim about “natural” pesticides. Many naturally-occurring plants or chemicals are still highly toxic.

No hormones added

If you see this on poultry or pork, it’s fake. By federal law, you cannot use hormones in poultry or pork. This label only counts as “true” if you see it on beef. Even if you don’t see this label on beef, you can go ahead and cook that steak or burger. It will be safe. Hormones occur naturally as animals grow, so you can’t get anything naturally “hormone-free” anyway. Beef that foregoes any extra administered hormones will be more expensive. So if you want to go without those, expect to pay more for your beef.

Vegetarian-fed livestock

Chickens and pigs are omnivorous. While they may be fed grains, chances are that chickens and pigs will also eat worms, insects, and even larger creatures like snakes and mice. And they need those extra nutrients, so they’re going to go searching for them. They’re industrious hunters! Don’t trust labels that promise that your livestock only eats grain. If the chicken or pig truly only eats a vegetarian diet, chances are it’s in a cage with no access to dirt and grass–and that it’s unhealthy already.

Since all cattle are herbivorous, if you see this on a beef label, recognize this as a scam to squeeze a little more cash out of you.

Chemical free

Everything on our planet is made of chemicals. Water, for example, is a chemical. Producers rely on fear and their consumer base forgetting the details of high school science. If you’re worried about pesticides and toxins on your food, just wash your produce.

 

Don’t believe every label you see! When you’re trying to eat healthier, do your research before buying into expensive food trends. If it sounds like pseudoscience, it probably is.