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Are we ever going to be able to eat anything???????


Friday, April 19, 2013

As conscious health advocates, we know that staying away from artificial flavoring is an important step in leading a healthy lifestyle. But, what about natural flavoring? Natural flavor is found in everything from sauces, drinks to soups, salad dressings, unsalted butter and even organic yogurt. It appears to carry with it an almost healthy tone, but is it really healthy, and what exactly is it?

Definition of Natural Flavoring

Under the Code of Federal Regulations, natural flavor is ” “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.” OK, so what does that really mean?

How Something Natural Can be so Gross

Natural Flavoring Made From the Anal Secretions of Beavers?It is important to understand that just because natural flavors come from something natural, does not necessarily make them healthy. For instance, strawberry flavor does not always come from strawberries or blueberry flavor from blueberries. Cystine is a natural conditioner used in dough that is made from duck feathers and human hair. Maltodextrin, made from genetically-modified corn and the main ingredient in some “all-natural” sweeteners like stevia , is also considered natural.

What about natural flavoring that is made from the anal secretions of beavers? Castoreum is a substance found in the castor sacs of both male and female beavers. This aromatic liquid is mixed with urine and used for territorial marking. It is also used by the food flavoring industry with regularity. In fact, an overwhelming majority of raspberry flavored foods are made from these secretions. Foods such as ice cream, fruity drinks, yogurt, candy and tea may contain these secretions which the FDA claim are completely safe. What about the glaze used on donuts and hard candy? This is made from the feces of the female lac bug – for real.

Mad Science

Both artificial and natural flavorings are concocted in a labratory by blending a variety of ingredients together. According to Gary Reineccius, a food and science nutrition professor at the University of Minnesota, artificial flavorings are simpler, cheaper and easier to produce than natural flavorings, so foods that contain natural flavors are often more expensive. However, more expensive does not mean healthy or safe. Although they may make up less than 5% of the food ingredients, both artificial and natural flavorings are created to hijack the brain – to encourage us to want more and more and to become food “junkies”.

What About Organic?

So, you think you are safe if you buy all organic right? Think again….. the regulation for organic foods is that they have to be at least 95% organic. This leaves plenty of room for flavors of all kinds to sneak in, enter Mr. Beaver.The good news is that the Organic Trade Association has been investigating the possibility of producing organic flavors.

How to Avoid Flavorings

The only way to avoid flavorings all together is to stop eating boxed, packaged or canned foods. Think about ways to naturally flavor foods yourself such as by using real strawberries or real lemons. A diet rich in whole foods is the way to go if duck feathers and human hair are not on your top ten list of favorite foods. In addition, staying clear of packaged foods will keep the addiction monkeys off of your back and may save you a few pounds.

-The Alternative Daily
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
WORKNPROGRESS49 4/20/2013 9:11PM

    emoticon

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MCJULIEO 4/20/2013 6:56PM

    Oh dear..... ignorance was bliss, I'm afraid...

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LISBETHSALANDER 4/20/2013 4:56PM

    Thanks for reinforcing me resolve to eat only healthy foods. I cannot argue with facts! Also, love your wallpaper! It so captures how I feel in the grocery store if I have to pick-up anything from the aisles.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 4/20/2013 4:39PM

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CAMAEL100 4/20/2013 2:21PM

    Anything that has had any processing done to it and comes packaged is not going to be guaranteed free from anything artificial. I do buy them sometimes but only knowing this. The only way to be sure is to buy farm fresh!

Thanks for the info!

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STEVIEFAN1 4/20/2013 12:46AM

    Oh my God. Guess I'll just eat dirt. emoticon

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FLAMENM 4/20/2013 12:05AM

    Processed is processed, whether it's conventional or organic.

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4EVERNESS 4/19/2013 11:11PM

    You definitely helped reduce the rest of my day's calorie count. Thank you, kinda sorta maybe, yah.....

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DS9KIE 4/19/2013 8:35PM

    what I would like to know is how did they figured out how to even use beaver...cause I doubt the beaver was very cooperative.

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DOVESEYES 4/19/2013 8:00PM

    Eeewwww...! I always say bought food taste like plastic but now I'll think again. Thanks so much for the heads up .

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CATHYGETSFIT 4/19/2013 7:12PM

    Great information! I always try to stay away from anything that is pre-packaged. About the Stevia though, I think if you get "Stevia" from the health food store and not Truvia which is processed you'll get the real thing. The color is definitely different I know that. I've never tried Truvia but I do know that it is processed. I've tasted Stevia, many years ago before Truvia came out. It has a slight black licorice aftertaste to me. Something I couldn't handle in my tea! I think I'd like to try it again though if I'm making a dessert otherwise I'll stick to all natural honey from the health food store. emoticon emoticon emoticon This isn't a beaver but as close to one as I could get from the emoticon's. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/19/2013 7:13:36 PM

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RORYLYONS 4/19/2013 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NANCYPAT1 4/19/2013 6:35PM

    Thanks for sharing that.

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ERIN1957 4/19/2013 6:14PM

    I grow my own stevia plant, it is sweeter than anything you can buy.

Make it yourself and eat all in their natural state, they are beautiful naked and whole.
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I know I am so much healthier and yes even happier eating green and clean.
Thanks for a great blog share!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 4/19/2013 6:06PM

    Eew. The only way to find out which "natural flavors" is to call the manufacturer, and that isn't always reliable either.

I'd love to see transparency in labeling!

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MJLUVSANIMALS 4/19/2013 4:25PM

    I will definitely be looking for all those names in my organic ingredients! Stevia? that hurts, thought I finally found a good healthy sweetener, guess that will be going away.

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DRAGON-CHICK 4/19/2013 4:22PM

    I'm gonna be ill....
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LIVELAUFLUV 4/19/2013 4:17PM

    YUCK! I'm glad we don't eat many packaged or processed foods. I'll be thinking about those Beavers the next time I go to eat something packaged or raspberry flavored, and have something else!

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ANASARI 4/19/2013 4:13PM

    Well I guess you could do worse than staying away from processed foods! It certainly sounds hilarious to say "Sometimes I sure miss those beaver anal secretions" lol. :)
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