Nothing says it’s the 4th of July like some good old ketchup & mustard! So, why ruin your perfectly grilled grassfed burger and deliciously seasoned fries with a low-quality ketchup?
And I know what you’re thinking… “but how different can ketchup really be”?
Typically, you’d expect the ingredients in ketchup to be tomatoes, some spices and a little bit of sugar to sweeten things up. But if you take a moment to check out the reality of the ingredients loaded in the ketchup you are consuming, you may be just as surprised as I was to see what was on the label.
High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup & Natural Flavors…
As an individual who avoids consuming foods that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), I was shocked to see it hiding in my ketchup.
Even more so, the fact that corn syrup was listed twice on the ingredients list, was a major red flag.
This is when I thought to myself, what are they hiding?
The problem with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests.” “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.” – Professor Bart Hoebel, Princeton University
Research has shown that the consumption of HFCS has even played a role in the development of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (CAFLD), cognitive decline and cancer. Long term consumption of HFCS has been linked to the development of obesity, diabetes and dyslipidemia.
Worst of all, HFCS also contains high levels of Mercury, which has been consistently shown to cause neurological damage and dysfunction within the central nervous system.
So why is this toxic ingredient hiding in nearly all packaged foods at the grocery store?
Corn Syrup is commonly found in beverages, salad dressings, soups, cereals, jellies, yogurt, dairy, meats, frozen foods, “maple” syrups, “honey”, cookies, bread etc.
Why isn’t good ‘ole sugar enough?
The harsh reality is conventional companies don’t think you are good enough. Their bottom line is worth far more than your health. So if cutting costs means substituting sugar for a cheaper, less nutritious alternative (like High Fructose Corn Syrup) at the expense of your health, so be it. They assume you probably wouldn’t notice the taste, analyze the label, or care to do your own research anyway.
And now, with the ever increasing negative information we have on high fructose corn syrup, companies are now starting to rename this ingredient because of it’s bad reputation.
To ensure that you continue to buy into their brand, companies now masquerade this cheap ingredient under new names like; “fructose”, “fructose syrup”, “maize syrup”, “glucose syrup”, “fruit fructose”, “tapioca syrup”, “dahlia syrup” and “crystalline fructose”.
And yes, they can legally reclassify the name at any time. And no, they do not have to notify you.
The real definition of “Natural Flavors”
Looking down at my ketchup label, I also found other unnecessary ingredients, and this included “Natural Flavors” – a staple ingredient used in most processed foods.
But, what exactly is a natural flavor? Aren’t salt, sugar and spices already enough of a “natural flavor”?
So yes, technically the FDA has defined natural flavors as anything that isn’t “artificial”, but this can be tricky. The term natural flavor is an umbrella term that can actually refer to a combination of thousands of random ingredients. It can actually be used to describe synthetic chemicals such as propylene glycol and the preservative BHA and worst of all, the flavor may not even originate from where you think it does.
Givaudan, described by CBS as is “the largest multinational company you’ve never heard of” creates flavors to be put into recipes to mimic the flavors found in real food. These flavors save companies major dollars, allowing them to skimp on the more expensive alternative – real ingredients.
The scientists behind these experiments blatantly admit through a CBS interview that their main goal is to create an addiction through taste and to keep you coming back for more. Their secret formulas are never to be disclosed to the public but can contain hundreds of ingredients.
It was even revealed that “natural” strawberry and vanilla flavor frequently used in ice cream, cereals, beverages and candy, aren’t actually derived from real strawberries or vanilla beans.
This particular flavor actually derives from a gland in a beaver’s rectum used to make “castoreum” which is a common ingredient frequently labeled under “natural flavors”.
Yes, you have read correctly, strawberry and vanilla “natural flavors” are created using a beaver’s backside.
Don’t believe me? Check out the CBS Interview here.
With the ever-increasing deception going on regarding the transparency of our food, I choose to support companies who are ethical in practice. Their products may cost a bit more in comparison to mainstream brands, but you always get what you pay for.
You can choose to consume real tomatoes and spices in your ketchup or you can choose the imitation created in a lab by scientists. Its your choice.
I have decided I am worth much more than cheap HFCS and whatever it is in “natural flavors” that seeks to mess with my taste buds. So, I opted out for a nutritional upgrade.
Organic Opulence’s Pick
Organicville’s Ketchup and Mustard is a great way to upgrade your pantry just in time for the 4th of July.
The taste is far superior to any mainstream brands that we are used to and this is because they use real, high quality ingredients.
Organicville Ketchup contains only 6 simple ingredients:
- Organic Tomato Puree
- Organic Agave Nectar (a far more nutritious alternative to sugar)
- Organic White Vinegar
- Organic Onion Powder
- Organic Spices
… That’s it.
Their Dijon mustard also contains 6 simple ingredients:
- Organic Vinegar
- Organic Mustard Seed
- Organic Turmeric
- Organic Paprika
… That’s it!
And while you’re upgrading your Ketchup & Mustard, don’t stop there!
Organicville has a delicious selection of products ranging from condiments, BBQ sauces and salad dressings to pasta sauces and carbonated beverages.
You can find Organicville at your natural food grocer and you can order directly through their website at: http://organicvillefoods.com/
For more information regarding the topics discussed in this article feel free to refer to these resources:
A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain