Think you only eat healthy, unprocessed foods?
Have you ever taken a close look at the food you eat and what is actually in it?
There are some products that make it onto our plate that are classed as a processing aid, and not an ingredient, so there’s no need for food manufacturers to declare it on the label, no obligation to tell consumers that it has been added to their food. This leaves us wondering how many other ‘products’ we have actually consumed.
Ambassador Emma Larson raised this very issue last week when looking at flour tortillas. Half of the ingredients she couldn’t even pronounce, confirming her belief that they were full of rubbish.
She did, however, find a product that met her needs and included only natural ingredients:
But what about the rest of us? When you try to dig deeper, many manufacturers try to keep low profile when it comes to listing all their ingredients. Although they conform to quality assurance standards and EU regulations, there is a belief that there isn’t full transparency.
Anything that comes in a box, tin, bag, carton or bottle has to show a label listing its contents, and many of us have become experts in reading these labels. Over recent years the food industry has tried to ‘clean label’, removing industrial ingredients and additives but as Emma illustrated, they have been replaced with substitutes that even the most guarded shopper is unable to pronounce or understand.
Supermarkets are the convenient one stop shop for all of our modern day needs. But many people are turning to their local greengrocers or farmers markets to buy clean, organic produce. But if that’s not possible, you just need to shop around, read the labels and look for a healthier fresh produce alternatives. Or you could take a leaf out of Emma’s book...and grow your own!