Grocery - Things We Won’t Carry and Why

We’ve been making healthy food affordable since 1955.

Our shelves are stocked with your health, the health of your family, and the health of the planet in mind and priced so your pocketbook can afford them. Our team of food quality experts reads every label, weeds through the minutiae of labeling regulations, and keeps the concerning stuff, the not-so-good-for-my-family stuff, the fake stuff, the what-in-the-world is that stuff, off our shelves so that you can get your shopping done in a snap, and provide yourself and your family with simply the best. (Now, the only thing you have to do is figure out what to do with all that extra time you’ve saved not having to scourer every label.) 

 

We read the labels, so you don’t have to.

Food quality is not only about what is in the product but about what isn’t. That’s why we have an extensive list of the things that we won’t allow in the foods we sell but are found at other grocery retailers and online. See the list below for the foods and food ingredients we won’t carry because after all, your health is our number one priority.

 

Grandmothered & Limited Ingredients 

As new research becomes available, an ingredient that might not have been considered problematic may now be an ingredient of concern or unacceptable. Read more about grandmothered and limited ingredients.

 

Our GMO Policy

Our underlying philosophy is that food should come from real sources and undergo as few modifications as possible. We work rigorously to keep our food as clean and as simple as we can.  New items with ingredients that are high-risk of coming from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be organic or must be verified as non-GMO. If a company cannot provide confirmation, we will not carry the product.  

Food Ingredients We Won’t Carry

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

(aka Sweet One® or Sunette®): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information.
Please see artificial sweeteners for more information.

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

aka mono- and diglycerides, or ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides

Please see "Chemically modified fats" for more information.

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

  • Chlorofluorocarbons, also known as CFCs, destroy the ozone layer that protects the earth from harmful UV radiation.[i]
  • Federal regulations, including the Clean Air Act and EPA regulations, have restricted the use of all consumer and most other CFC aerosol products made or sold in the US.[ii]
  • To protect our ozone layer, we only carry aerosol products that use safer, non-CFC propellants.[iii]

 


[i] Elkins, J.W. (1999). Chloropflurocarbons (CFCs). In Alexander, D.E., Fairbridge, R.W. (Eds) The Chapman & Hall Encyclopedia of Environmental Science (pp 78-80). Retrieved from https://gml.noaa.gov/hats/publictn/elkins/cfcs.html 

[ii] (2008, Sept 4). Bad hair day: are aerosols still bad for the ozone layer? Scientific American EarthTalk. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-aerosols-still-bad/ 

[iii] (2008, Sept 4). Bad hair day: are aerosols still bad for the ozone layer? Scientific American EarthTalk. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-aerosols-still-bad/ 

  • The sweetener agave is composed of 75% to 85% free fructose.[i] This is higher than the amount of fructose found in high fructose corn syrup which comes in at around 55% fructose. 
  • When fructose is absorbed, it goes directly to the liver where it is converted into fat (aka triglycerides).[ii] This translates into elevated blood triglycerides (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease), increased visceral fat, and, over time, increases the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).[iii] [iv] 
  • Unlike other carbohydrates, fructose does not suppress the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin but still stimulates reward in the brain which leads to excessive consumption.[v]
  • Agave syrup (aka nectar) is extracted, heat treated, enzyme treated, refined, clarified, demineralized, deodorized and concentrated.[vi] It is highly processed in a manner similar to the processes used for high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar.

 


[i] Willems J, Low N. Major carbohydrate, polyol, and oligosaccharide profiles of agave syrup. Application of this data to authenticity analysis. J Agric Food Chem. 2012; 3(60): 8745-8754

[ii] Bray GA. Fructose: Pure, White, and Deadly? Fructose, by Any Other Name, Is a Health Hazard. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2010; 4(4): 1003-1007

[iii] Teff, K. L., Elliott, S. S., Tschöp, M., Kieffer, T. J., Rader, D., Heiman, M., Townsend, R. R., Keim, N. L., D'Alessio, D., & Havel, P. J. (2004). Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism89(6), 2963–2972. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-031855

[iv] Jegatheesan, P. De Bandt, J-P. (2017). Fructose and NAFLD: the multifaceted aspects of fructose metabolism. Nutrients, 9(3), 230. doi: 10.3390/nu9030230

[v] Teff, K. L., Elliott, S. S., Tschöp, M., Kieffer, T. J., Rader, D., Heiman, M., Townsend, R. R., Keim, N. L., D'Alessio, D., & Havel, P. J. (2004). Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism89(6), 2963–2972. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-031855

[vi] Maldonado-Guevara, B.I., Mart ń del Campo, S.T., Cardador-Mart ńez, A. (2018). Production process effect on Mexican agave syrups quality: a preliminary study. J Food Res, 7(3), 50-57.  doi:10.5539/jfr.v7n3p50

  • Allulose is a rare sugar that only naturally occurs in a few foods in very small amounts. We do not know the impacts the commercially available, manmade version will have on human health and, in particular, the human microbiome, in larger amounts.
  • Commercially produced allulose is made through an enzymatic process with the starting materials of corn and sugar beets, both of which are commonly genetically modified. The enzymes used may also be produced from genetically modified microbes.[i] [ii]
  • Allulose is known to cause bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, and with increasing doses may also cause more extreme symptoms such as nausea, headache, and loss of appetite.[iii]

 


[i] Jiang, S., Xiao, W., Zhu, X., Yang, P., Zheng, Z., Lu, S., …Liu, J. (2020). Review on D-allulose: In vivo metabolism, catalytic mechanism, engineering strain construction, bio-production technology. Front Bioeng Biotechnol, 8, 26. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.00026

[ii] Watson, E. (2009, May 13). Tate & Lyle: ‘The first two things consumers look for on the Nutrition Facts Panel now are calories and sugar’. Food Navigator USA website. Retrieved November 24, 2020 from https://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2019/05/13/Tate-Lyle-talks-allulose-The-first-two-things-consumers-look-for-on-the-Nutrition-Facts-panel-now-are-calories-and-sugar#

[iii] Han, Y., Choi, B.R., Kim, S.Y., Bim, S-B., Kim, Y.H, Kwon, E-Y., Choi. M-S. (2018). Gastrointestinal tolerance of D-allulose in healthy young adults. A non-randomized controlled trial. Nutrients, 10(12), 2010. doi: 10.3390/nu10122010

See aluminum-containing additives.

See aluminum-containing additives.

  • Although aluminum is naturally occurring, it has no known physiological role in the human body and is known to be toxic at high levels.[i]
  • Aluminum can accumulate in all body tissues, including the brain, and in high concentrations is neurotoxic.[ii]
  • Aluminum may cause reproductive issues in males and neurological problems in the offspring of females exposed during pregnancy. 
  • For most people, the major route of exposure to aluminum is through aluminum-based food additives used in processed foods. Luckily, there are multiple, less problematic alternatives to aluminum-based additives.

 


[i] Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). 2008. Toxicological profile for Aluminum. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. Available at: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp22-c6.pdf

[ii] Aguilar F, Autrup H, Barlow S, et al. Scientific opinion of the panel on food additives, flavourings, processing aids and food contact material (AFC): Safety of aluminum from dietary intake. The EFSA Journal. 2008;754:1-34. https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2008.754

See aluminum-containing additives.

See aluminum-containing additives.

See aluminum-containing additives.

See aluminum-containing additives.

See aluminum-containing additives.

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon. 

Acceptable in beer and hard/spiked seltzer. More information coming soon. 

  • Many important human drugs are at risk of becoming obsolete due to the increasing development of resistance. Because of this, we feel strongly that antibiotics and antifungals should have no place in our food supply since regular consumption of them contributes to this resistance.
  • There is evidence to suggest that fungi and bacteria exposed to natamycin and nisin (the antifungal and antibiotic currently approved for use in the food supply) could become resistant.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v]  
  • Some antibiotic and antifungal preservatives are produced using genetically modified bacteria, but because current US regulations don’t require products produced by genetically modified bacteria to be labeled as GMO, there is no way to know the source of these preservatives.[vi] [vii] [viii] [ix]

 


[i] Mohamed MA, Ranjard L, Catroux C, Catroux G, Hartmann A. Effect of natamycin on the enumeration, genetic structure and composition of bacterial community isolated from soils and soybean rhizosphere. J Microbiol Methods. 2005 Jan;60(1):31-40. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167701204002283

[ii] Dalhoff AAH, Levy SB. Does use of the polyene natamycin as a food preservative jeopardise the clinical efficacy of amphotericin B? A word of concern. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 June;45(6):564-567. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857915001028

[iii] Mantovani HC, Russell JB. Nisin resistance of Streptococcus bovis. Appl Environ Microbial. 2001 Feb;67(2):808-813. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC92651/

[iv] Sun Z, Zhong J, Liang X et al. Novel mechanism for nisin resistance via proteolytic degradation of nisin by the nisin resistance protein NSR. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2009 May;53(5):1964-1973. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681560/  

[v] Blake KL, Randall CP, O’Neill AJ. In vitro studies indicate a high resistance potential for the lantibiotic nisin in Staphylococcus aureus and define a genetic basis for nisin resistance. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 2011 May;55(5):2362-2368. https://aac.asm.org/content/aac/55/5/2362.full.pdf

[vi] Hansen JN. Nisin as a model food preservative. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1994;34(1):69-93. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8142045

[vii] Kallscheuer N. Engineered microorganisms for the production of food additives approved by the European Union—A systematic analysis. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:1746. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6085563/

[viii] Gould G. Preservation principles and new technologies. In: Blackburn CW, McClure PJ. Foodborne Pathogens: Hazards, Risk Analysis and Control. 2nd ed. Boca Raton, FL: Woodhead Publishing, Ltd; 2009.

[ix] Aparicio JF, Barreales EG, Payero TD, et al. Biotechnological production and application of the antibiotic pimaricin: biosynthesis and its regulation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016;100:61-78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4700089/

More information coming soon.
Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.
  • Apricot kernels naturally contain the poison cyanide.
  • The amount of cyanide in apricot kernels can vary and is not tested for or disclosed. One analysis found that an 8-ounce package contained double the minimum lethal dose of cyanide for an adult human.[i]

 


[i] https://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/26/nyregion/imported-bitter-apricot-pits-recalled-as-cyanide-hazard.html?sec=health)

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

  • We define artificial colors as any food coloring derived from a non-food source, usually coal tar or petroleum. 
  • The process of making artificial colors is extremely hazardous and can result in very dangerous chemicals in the final product. Due to this fact, the FDA requires batch certification to try and ensure there are minimal levels of dangerous chemicals in the final product. However, FDA batch-certified artificial colors may still contain upwards of 10 percent impurities and some of these impurities are known carcinogens.[i]
  • The adverse health effects linked to artificial colors currently approved for use in the United States include allergies, hyperactivity, cancer, nerve-cell toxicity, genotoxicity, and immune dysfunction.[ii]
  • A 2021 report by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, in conjunction with the California Environmental Protection Agency, found that human and animal studies confirm artificial colors have a negative effect on children’s behavior (causing inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and restlessness), and that some children seem to be especially susceptible to their effects. The report also states that the FDA’s current acceptable daily intake (ADI) level for artificial colors is too high to protect children from these adverse effects.[iii]

 


[i] Food Dyes - Center for Science in the Public Interest. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf

[ii] Food Dyes - Center for Science in the Public Interest. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf

[iii] Children’s Environmental Health Center, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, California Environmental Protection Agency. (2021, Apr). Potential neurobehavior effects of synthetic food dyes in children. Retrieved from: https://oehha.ca.gov/risk-assessment/press-release/report-links-synthetic-food-dyes-hyperactivity-and-other

More information coming soon. 

  • Artificial fats do not occur naturally and are not able to be digested by the human body. They are used in highly processed junk food to give the illusion of being “healthier.” Reducing the fat and calorie content of junk food does not make it healthy.
  • Ingestion of artificial fats depletes fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein.[i]
  • These unnatural fats can cause extremely uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues.[ii]

 


[i] Schlagheck, T.G., Riccardi, K.A., Zorich, N.L., Torri, S.A., Dugan, L.D., Peters, J.C. (1997). Olestra dose response on fat-soluble and water soluble nutrients in humans. J Nutr, 127(8 Suppl), 1646S-1665S. DOI: 10.1093/jn/127.8.1646S

[ii] Jacobson, M. F. (2004, October 21). Re: Docket No 87F-0179 [Letter to Lester Crawford, U.S. Food and Drug Administration]. Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington D.C.. Retrieved from https://www.cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/9th_report_letter.pdf

  • Artificial flavors are made from synthetic man-made chemicals mostly derived from petrochemical raw materials. Artificial flavor production can also be very detrimental to the environment.[i]
  • The safety of artificial flavors is still questionable. In the 1950s, new requirements for food chemicals were imposed, but because there were so many flavors and flavor additives already in use at that time, the FDA simply exempted them from testing requirements, essentially grandfathering them in as safe. Most new flavor chemicals are approved by an expert panel assembled by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association, funded by the flavor industry.[ii]
  • Many artificial flavors are combinations of many chemicals, and many contain more adjuvants, such as emulsifiers, solvents, preservatives, and flavor modifiers, than flavoring.[iii]

 


[i] Maeda, M. Hooya, T., Yoshioka, K., Miyafuji, H. Ohno, H, Yamada, T. (2018). Vanillin production from native softwood lignin in the presence of tetrabutylammonium ion. J Wood Sci, 64, 810-815. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10086-018-1766-0

[ii] Berenstein, N. (Nov 23, 2015). The inexorable rise of synthetic flavor: a pictorial history. Popular Science website. Retrieved 11/05/20 from https://www.popsci.com/history-flavors-us-pictorial/

[iii] Hallagan, J.B., Hall, R.L. (2009). Under the conditions of intended use – new developments in the FEMA GRAS program and the safety assessment of flavor ingredients. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 47(2), 267-278. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2008.11.011

  • There are numerous artificial preservatives used in the food supply, but many have dubious safety profiles. Some are known or likely carcinogens; many are endocrine disruptors; some interfere with fetal and early childhood development or are linked to hyperactivity in children; others are toxic to the kidneys; some interfere with how important vitamins and minerals are used by the body; many are petroleum-derived and, in some cases, coal-tar derived; and some are detrimental to the environment. [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi] [xii]
  • There are numerous  safe and effective natural preservatives and new packaging technologies, which can be used to preserve our food and provide the right balance between maintaining freshness and keeping food real.

 


[i] The Proposition 65 List. (n.d.). Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/proposition-65-list

[ii] National Toxicology Program. (2016). 14th report on carcinogens. US Department of Health and Human Services. https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/butylatedhydroxyanisole.pdf

[iii]Generally Recognized as Safe – But is it? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives/generally-recognized-as-safe-but-is-it

[iv] EWG's Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives. (2014, November 12). Retrieved February 01, 2021, from https://www.ewg.org/research/ewg-s-dirty-dozen-guide-food-additives

[v] n.a. Final report on the safety assessment of EDTA, calcium disodium EDTA, diammonium EDTA, dipotassium EDTA, disodium EDTA, TEA-EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, tripotassium EDTA, trisodium EDTA, HEDTA, and trisodium HEDTA. Int J Toxicol. 2002 Oct;21(2_suppl):95-142. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/10915810290096522#articleCitationDownloadContainer

[vi] McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al. Food additives and hyperactive behavior in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 2007 Nov 3; 370(9598):1560-1567. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=McCann+D+(2007).+Food+additives+and+hyperactive+behaviour+in+3-year-old+and+8%2F9-year-old+children+in+the+community%3A+a+randomised%2C+double-blinded%2C+placebo+controlled+trial.+Lancet%2C+370%2C+1560-156

[vii] Van De Sande MMH, Wirtz S, Vos E, Verhagen H. Diamine tetra acetic acid as a food additive. Eur J Nutr & Food Safety. 2014;4(4):408-423. http://www.journalrepository.org/media/journals/EJNFS_30/2014/Jul/Sande442014EJNFS10405_1.pdf

[viii](n.d.). Retrieved from https://cspinet.org/eating-healthy/chemical-cuisine#propyleneglycol

[ix] Burton GW, Traber MG, Acuff RV, et al. Human plasma and tissue alpha-tocopherol concentrations in response to supplementation with deuterated natural and synthetic vitamin E. Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Apr;67(4):669-684. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9537614

[x] Van De Sande MMH, Wirtz S, Vos E, Verhagen H. Diamine tetra acetic acid as a food additive. Eur J Nutr & Food Safety. 2014;4(4):408-423. http://www.journalrepository.org/media/journals/EJNFS_30/2014/Jul/Sande442014EJNFS10405_1.pdf

[xi] n.a. (Nov 18, 2015) Ethoxyquin: EFSA safety assessment inconclusive. European Food Safety Authority.  http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/151118

[xii] Bucheli-Witschel M, Egli T. Environmental fate and microbial degradation of aminopolycarboxylic acids. FEMS Microbio Rev. 2001 Jan;25(1):69-106. https://academic.oup.com/femsre/article/25/1/69/606255

  • As the name implies, artificial starches are not naturally occurring. They are produced in a lab, most commonly through chemical modification of naturally occurring starches.[i]
  • Artificial starches are mainly used in highly processed foods.
  • There are numerous naturally occurring starches widely available for safe and effective use in food products as alternatives to highly processed artificial starches.

 


[i] Andrews, R. (n.d.). Resistant starch: what it is? And why it is so good for you? Precision Nutrition website. Retrieved December 8, 2020 from https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-resistant-starch

  • Artificial sweeteners are chemically produced sugar substitutes that are not found in nature.
  • Heavy consumption of artificial sweeteners is associated with a greater risk of being overweight and of having metabolic syndrome, an increased risk of developing cancer (even when consumed within the FDA’s established Acceptable Daily Intake), and cognitive impairment. [i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii] [ix] [x] [xi] [xii] [xiii] Artificial sweeteners also alter the microbiota of the human gut, decreasing beneficial bacteria and increasing bacteria associated with inflammation. [xiv] [xv] [xvi]
  • Their safety is still highly questionable. Nearly all of the research that has shown them to be “safe” has been performed by the artificial sweetener industry, while independent, non-industry sponsored research has consistently found safety concerns.[xvii] [xviii]

 


[i] Fowler, S.P., Williams, K., Resendez, R.G., Hunt, K.J., Hazuda, H.P., Stern, M.P. (2012). Fueling the obesity epidemic? Artificially sweetened beverage use and long-term weight gain. Obesity, 16:1894-1900. DOI: 10.1038/oby.2008.284

[ii] Hess, E.L., Myers, E.A., Swithers, S.E., Hendrick,V.E. (2018). Associations between nonnutritive sweetener intake and metabolic syndrome in adults. J Am Coll Nutr, 37(6), 487-493.  doi: 10.1080/07315724.2018.1440658

[iii] Dhingra, R., Sullivan, L., Jacques, P.F., Wang, T.J., Fox C.S., Meigs, J.B.,…Vasan, R.S. (2007). Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community. Circulation, 116, 480-488. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.689935

[iv] Lutsey, P.L., Steffen, L.M., Stevens, J. (2008). Dietary intake and the development of the metabolic syndrome. Circulation, 117,754-761. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.716159 

[v] Schernhammer, E.S., Bertrand, K.A., Birmann, B.M., Sampson, L., Willet, W.C., Feskanich, D. 2012). Consumption of artificial sweetener- and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr, 96(6), 1419-1428.  doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.030833

[vi] Andreatta, M.M., Muñoz, S.E., Latieri, M.J., Eynard, A.R., Navarro, A. (2008). Artificial sweetener consumption and urinary tract tumors in Cordoba, Argentina. Preventative Medicine, 47(1), 136-139. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.03.015

[vii] Sturgeon, S.R., Hartge, P., Silverman, D.T., Kantor, A.F., Linehan, W.M., Lynch, C., Hoover, R.N. (1994). Associations between bladder cancer risk factors and tumor stage and grade at diagnosis. Epidemiology, 5(2), 218-225. DOI:10.1097/00001648-199403000-00012

[viii] Abd El-Samad, A.A. (2010). Light and electron microscopic study on the cerebellar cortex of male albino rat. Egyp J Histol, 33(3), 419-430. DOI: Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6465/68d84a55f1ba03530cd577fd7c82b47c1e23.pdf 

[ix] Soffritti, M., Belpoggi, F., Esposti, D.D., Lambertini, L. (2005). Aspartame induces lymphomas and leukaemias in rats. European Journal of Oncology, 10(2), 107-116. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225029050_Aspartame_induces_lymphomas_and_leukaemias_in_rats

[x] Soffritti, M., Belpoggi, F., Degli Esposti, D., Lambertinin, L., Tibaldi, E., Rigano, A. (2006). First experimental demonstration of the multipotential carcinogenic effects of aspartame administered in the feed to Sprague-Dawley rats. Environ Health Perspect, 114(3), 379-385. doi: 10.1289/ehp.8711

[xi] Romo-Romo, A., Aguilar-Salinas, C.A., Brito-Córdova, G.X., Gómez-Díaz, R.A., Almeda-Valdes, P. (2018). Sucralose decreases insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 108(3), 485-491. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy152

[xii] Abu-Taweel, G.M., Zyadah, M.A., Ajarem, J.S., Ahmad, M. (2014). Cognitive and biochemical effects of monosodium glutamate and aspartame, administered individually and in combination in male albino mice. Neurotoxicity and Teratology, 42 (2014), 60-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ntt.2014.02.001  

[xiii] Lindseth, G.N., Coolahan, S.E., Petros, T.V., Lindseth, P.D. (2014). Neurobehavioral effects of aspartame consumption. Res Nurs Health, 37(3), 185-193. doi: 10.1002/nur.21595

[xiv] Bian, X., Tu, P., Chi, L., Gao, B., Ru, H., Lu, K. (2017). Saccharin induced liver inflammation in mice by altering the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions. Food and chemical Toxicology, 107, 530-539. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.04.045

[xv] Chi, L., Bian, X., Gao, B., Tu, P., Lai, Y., Ru, H., Lu, K. (2018). Effects of the artificial sweetener neotame on the gut microbiota and fecal metabolites in mice. Molecules, 23(2), 367. doi: 10.3390/molecules23020367

[xvi] Schiffman, S.S., Nagle, H.T. (2019). Revisited: Assessing the in vivo data on low/no-calorie sweeteners and the gut microbiota. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 132, 110692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2019.110692

[xvii] Mandrioli, D., Kearns, C.E., Bero, L.A. (2016). Relationship between research outcomes and risk of bias, study sponsorship, and author financial conflicts of interest in reviews of the effects of artificially sweetened beverages on weight outcome: a systematic review. PLoS One, 11(9), e0162198. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0162198

[xviii] Walton, R.G. (1999). Survey of aspartame studies: correlation to outcome and funding sources. Retrieved from http://www.lightenyourtoxicload.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Dr-Walton-survey-of-aspartame-studies.pdf

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial colors' for more information. 

Please see 'Artificial colors' for more information.

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information. 

Please see artificial preservatives for more information.
More information coming soon. 

(butylated hydroxyanisole)

More information coming soon.

(butylated hydroxytoluene)

More information coming soon.

Milling whole wheat into white flour removes approximately 83% of the nutrients. Often times white flour suffers further processing with chemicals used to whiten and preserve the product. Chlorine dioxide (similar to Clorox) is used to bleach flour, which is an irritant to both the skin and the respiratory tract. Benzoyl peroxide is another chemical used to bleach flour. The bleaching process leaves residues of toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons and dioxins, both harmful for you and the environment. Methionine, an essential amino acid found in flour, reacts with bleaching chemicals to form toxic compounds called methionine sulfoxine, which has been found to cause nervousness and seizures in animals. In addition, the bleaching process further destroys nutrients that have not already been depleted by the high heat of milling.

(azodicarbonamide, benzoyl peroxide, calcium peroxide)

(calcium bromate, potassium bromide)

See Flour Bleaching Agents & Chemical Dough Conditioners.

(calcium bromate, potassium bromide, sodium bromate)

More information coming soon.

More information coming soon.

Please see GMO hormones for more information.

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Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

Caffeine ingredients that contain naturally occurring caffeine are approved.

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Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

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Please see 'Artificial fats' for more information.
  • Caramel colors II, III, and IV are created by heat treating carbohydrates with a sulfite-containing compound, an ammonium-containing compound, or both.
  • Caramel colors III and IV may be contaminated with 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), which has been shown in numerous animal studies to cause convulsions.[i]
  • Caramel colors II, III, and IV may be contaminated with several known cancer-causing compounds such as 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), furan, and 2-methylimidazole.[ii] [iii] [iv]
  • Because manufacturers don’t have to specify on the label which class of caramel coloring they use, we ensure that any manufacturer using caramel color is using class I, the only caramel color that does not contain added sulfite or ammonia and is the only caramel color produced in normal cooking processes.[v]

 


[i] European Food Safety Authority. (2011). Scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of caramel colours (E 150 a, b, c, d) as food additives. EFSA Journal, 9(3), 2004. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2004

[ii] https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/questions-answers-about-4-mei

[iii] n.a. 4-Methylimidazole Monograph. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Retrieved January 4, 2020 from https://monographs.iarc.fr/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/mono101-015.pdf

[iv] Group, E. (n.d.). EWG's food scores just took the work out of grocery shopping for me! Retrieved March 29, 2021, from https://www.ewg.org/foodscores/ingredients/16660CARAMELCOLOR

[v] European Food Safety Authority. (2011). Scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of caramel colours (E 150 a, b, c, d) as food additives. EFSA Journal, 9(3), 2004. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2004

Carmine, a food color, is made from cochineal extract which is a color derived from insects, carmine is the ‘lake’ made from cochineal extract. Lakes for food use are made with aluminum-cation as the precipitant and aluminum hydroxide as the substratum. For more information as to why aluminum is problematic in food, please see Aluminum-containing additives.
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  • Chemically modified fats are fats that have had their chemical structure altered in the lab to produce a novel fat that is not found in nature.
  • Some chemically modified fats cause inflammation, negatively affect heart health, promote obesity and insulin resistance, and negatively affect brain function.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] Others cause cardiac lesions and heart cell degeneration, impaired fertility and behavioral impairment in offspring of rats fed high amounts, while still others have been linked to the production of carcinogenic and environmentally dangerous by-products.[vi] [vii] [viii] [ix]
  • Chemically modified fats are used by the food industry to increase the shelf life of products and to aid in the production of highly processed junk foods. They increase the manufacturer’s bottom line at the expense of consumer health.

 


[i] Shining the Spotlight on Trans Fats. (2018, July 12). Retrieved June 20, 2019, from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/transfats/

[ii] Afonso, M.S., Lavrado, M.S., Koike, M.K., Cintra, D.E., Ferreira, F.D., Nunes, V.S.,…Lottenberg, A.M. (2016). Dietary interesterified fat enriched with palmitic acid induces atherosclerosis by impairing macrophage cholesterol efflux and eliciting inflammation. J Nutr Biochem, 32, 91-100.  doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2016.01.005

[iii] Lavrado, M.S.F., Afonso, M.S., Cintra, D. E., Koike, M., Nunes, V.S., Demasi, M.,…Lottenberg, A.M. ( 2019). Interesterified fats induce deleterious effects on adipose tissue and liver in LDLr-LO mice. Nutrients, 11, 46. doi:10.3390/nu11020466

[iv] Ng, Y.T., Voon, P.T., Ng, T.K.W., Lee, V.K.M., Mat Sahri, M., Mohd Esa, N., …Ong, A.S.H. (2018). Interesterified palm olein (IEPalm) and interesterified stearic acid-rick fat blend (IEStear) have no adverse effects on insulin resistance: a randomized control trial. Nutrients, 10(8), pii. doi: 10.3390/nu10081112.

[v] D’avila L.F., Dias V.T., Vey, L.T., Milanesi, L.H., Roversi, K., Emanuelli, T., …Maurer, H.L. (2017). Toxicological aspects of interesterified fat: Brain damages in rats. Toxicology Letters, 276, 122-128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxlet.2017.05.020

[vi] Bendig, P., Maier, L., Vetter, W. (2012). Brominated vegetable oil in soft drinks – an underrated source of human organobromine intake. Food Chemistry, 133(3), 678-682. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.01.058 

[vii] Vorhees, C.V., Butcher, R.E., Wootten, V., Brunner, R.L. (1983). Behavioral and reproductive effects of chronic developmental exposure to brominated vegetable oil in rats. Teratology, 28, 309-318. https://doi.org/10.1002/tera.1420280302 

[viii] Rarokar NR, Menghani S, Kerzare D, Khedekar B. Progress in synthesis of monoglycerides for use in pharmaceuticals. J Exp Food Chem. 2017 July; 3(3). https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/progress-in-synthesis-of-monoglycerides-for-use-in-food-andpharmaceuticals-2472-0542-1000128.pdf

[ix] EFSA ANS Panel. Scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids (E471) as food additives. EFSA Journal. 2017;15(11):5045. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.5045

  • There are several moral, health, and economic concerns with cloned animals and most Americans are opposed to cloning animals.
  • We do not know the long-term effects on human health from consuming cloned animals or products from cloned animals.
  • Cloned animals give more power to large factory farm operations known to provide inhumane living conditions, which negatively impact the nutritional quality of meat and dairy products from these animals as well as negatively impact the environment.
  • Cloned animals may also reduce genetic diversity. We value genetic diversity as a means for the plants and animals that supply our food to adapt to fluctuating climates and diseases, abilities essential for species to survive in an evolving world.
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Please see 'Chemically modified fat' for more information.

Please see 'Artificial flavors' for more information. 

These chemicals are often found in artificial butter flavor most commonly used in microwave popcorn, but also in products like baked goods, sauces, cooking sprays and movie theater popcorn. Long term respiratory exposure to diacetyl causes the lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans, a progressive disease in which the tiny airways of the lungs become inflamed, damaged and scarred. Workers handling these chemicals are at the greatest risk, although there have been cases of consumers developing the disease from chronic exposure via microwave popcorn. In test tubes, diacetyl has also been found to increase amyloid-β aggregation, one of the primary pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and exacerbate its toxicity. 2,3-pentanedione is structurally very similar to diacetyl and is often used as a replacement for diacetyl. It has been shown to increase inflammation in the brain of rats after inhalation, and both acute and longer-term exposure in lab animals produces changes to lung cells similar to those associated with diacetyl, suggesting it too is capable of causing lung damage.

Please see 'Chemically modified fat' for more information. 

Please see "Artificial preservative" for more information.
Please see "Artificial preservative" for more information.
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Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.

See Flour Bleaching Agents & Chemical Dough Conditioners.

Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.

If the caffeine is added to create a consistent amount in a product that is naturally caffeinated and does not raise the amount in the product beyond what naturally occurs, this is approved in limited products.

Please see "Artificial fats" for more information.

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

More information coming soon.
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Please see "Artificial fats" for more information.
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Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

(aka Reb D and Reb M) More information coming soon.
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  • Flour bleaching agents and chemical dough conditioners are industrial food production and processing ingredients that have been linked to a host of health issues, including cancer, endocrine disruption, asthma, and exacerbation of allergies.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] [vi]
  • These flour treatment agents improve the manufacturing process and profitability for manufacturers at the expense of consumers’ health.
  • Not only are these chemicals dangerous, but they are not necessary to create an excellent final product, and we are pleased to carry numerous brands turning out quality baked goods without these chemicals.

 


[i] Heikes, D.L. (1992). Mass spectral identification and gas chromatographic determination of chlorinated bleaching adducts in flour-containing food items. J Agric Food Chem, 40, 498-491. Retrieved from: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf00015a026#

[ii] Saiz, A.I., Manrique, G.D., Fritz, R. (2001). Determination of benzoyl peroxide and benzoic acid levels by HPLC during wheat flour bleaching process [abstract]. J Agric Food Chem, 49(1), 98-102. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11305258

[iii] Ye, J., Wang, X.H., Sang, Y.X., Lui, Q., (2011). Assessment of the determination of azodicarbonamide and its decomposition product semicarbazide: investigation of variation in flour and flour products. J Agric Food Chem, 59(17), 9313-9318. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf201819x

[iv] Bromate in Drinking Water[Background document for the development of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality]. (2005). https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/bromate030406.pdf

[v] Giaccone, V., Cammilleri, G., Stefano, V. D., Pitonzo, R., Vella, A., Pulvirenti, A., . . . Macaluso, A. (2017). First report on the presence of Alloxan in bleached flour by LC-MS/MS method. Journal of Cereal Science,77, 120-125. doi:10.1016/j.jcs.2017.06.015

[vi] Cary, R., Mr, Dobson, S., Dr, & Ball, E., Mrs. (1999). Concise International Chemical Assessment Document 16: Azodicarbonamide(pp. 1-23, Rep.). Geneva: World Health Organization. doi:https://www.who.int/ipcs/publications/cicad/en/cicad16.pdf 

  • Foie gras, or fatty liver, is most commonly produced by force-feeding ducks and geese a large amount of food (usually high-fat corn mash) through a tube.
  • Ducks and geese raised for foie gras experience impaired liver function, swollen abdomens that make it difficult to walk, esophagus injuries, and increased mortality.[i]
  • During force-feeding, the birds are kept in cage-like facilities that restrict movement and do not allow the birds to stand up, turn around, flap their wings or carry out other natural behaviors.[ii]
  • The production and/or sale of foie gras is banned in numerous countries, the state of California, and several US cities.[iii]

 


[i] n.a. (n.d.). Scientists and experts on force-feeding for foie gras production and duck and goose welfare. Humane Society of the United States. Retrieved November 30, 2020 from https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/hsus-expert-synopsis-force-feeding-duck-and-goose-welfare.pdf

[ii] Skippon, W. (2013). The animal health and welfare consequences of foie gras production. Can Vet J, 54(4), 403-404. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3595949/

[iii] Foie Gras Controversy. (n.d.) Wikipedia. Retrieved November 30, 2020 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras_controversy

  • Confinement dairies are dairies where the emphasis is on production. The animals’ lives are not respected in confinement dairies. They do not graze on growing pasture and they live their unnaturally short lives enclosed in a barn or dirt yard.
  • Confinement dairies are not environmentally sustainable, producing copious amounts of waste that take a significant toll on soil and air quality. Animals in confinement dairies are also fed a diet heavy in GMOs, which cause their own set of environmental problems.
  • Raising dairy-producing animals in cramped, confined spaces and feeding them an unnatural diet makes the animals sick with mastitis, acidosis, laminitis, etc. These sick animals must then be treated with a host of pharmaceutical drugs, including antibiotics. As a consequence, antibiotic resistance is increasing worldwide and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls it one of the world’s most pressing health problems.[i]
  • To offer our customers the best possible dairy and to create a market for farmers who eschew confinement dairy practices, we only sell fresh dairy products from animals that have grazed on pasture for a minimum of 120 days during the grazing season. Additionally, all-natural dairy products we offer come from animals that have not been fed GMO alfalfa and do not come from cloned animals. For more information please see our Dairy Standards webpage.

 


[i] https://www.cdc.gov/narms/faq.html

Please see GMO hormones for more information. 

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon.
  • Despite significant public opposition and uncertainty about the safety of GM animals, the FDA approved GM AquAdvantage® salmon for sale in the United States.
  • AquAdvantage salmon are genetically modified to produce growth hormone continually, causing the fish to grow much larger and faster than conventionally-raised farmed salmon.
  • These “frankenfish” pose a great risk to the environment and wild fish populations, should they escape into the wild. Although the producer of GM salmon has said they are taking steps to prevent cross-breeding with wild fish, their techniques are not 100% effective and the fish are capable of breeding in the wild with brown trout, a fish commonly found in the waters around the AquAdvantage salmon hatchery.[i]
  • Because we believe food should be as natural as possible and should have a long history of use or be proven safe, we will never carry AquAdvantage salmon or any other animal that has been genetically modified.

 


[i] Oke KB, Westley PAH, Moreau DRT, Fleming IA. Hybridization between genetically modified Atlantic salmon and wild brown trout reveals novel ecological interactions. Proc R Soc B. 2013 280 20131047.

  • With the highest quality standards for dairy in the industry, we never allow added hormones of any sort in any of our fresh dairy products.
  • Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which also goes by the name recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST), is a genetically modified hormone frequently given to dairy-producing animals to increase milk production. The FDA does not require a manufacturer to disclose whether they use rBGH/rBST.
  • The safety of consuming milk and dairy products from animals given GMO hormones has not been established, and questions remain about the potential to increase the risk of certain cancers.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv]
  • GMO hormones have many negative effects on the health of the cows they are given to, including increased mastitis (udder infections), decreased fertility, increased lameness, and reduced lifespan.[v]  

 


[i] Carlson, C. (2020, Feb 27). rBGH decoded: what you need to know about hormones in dairy. Organic Valley Rootstock blog. Retrieved December 1, 2020 from https://www.organicvalley.coop/blog/rBGH-decoded-what-is-bovine-growth-hormone/#:~:text=rBGH%20stands%20for%20recombinant%20bovine,naturally%20produce%20in%20their%20bodies.

[ii] Welsh, J., Braun, H., Brown, N., Um, C., Ehret, K., Figueroa, J., & Boyd Barr, D. (2019). Production-related contaminants (pesticides, antibiotics and hormones) in organic and conventionally produced milk samples sold in the USA. Public Health Nutrition, 22(16), 2972-2980. doi:10.1017/S136898001900106X

[iii] Philipps, A. F., Rao, R., Anderson, G. G., McCracken, D. M., Lake, M., & Koldovsky, O. (1995). Fate of insulin-like growth factors I and II administered orogastrically to suckling rats. Pediatric research37(5), 586–592. https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-199505000-00005

[iv] Prosser, C.G., Fleet, I.R., Corps, A.N. (1989). Increased secretion of insulin-like growth factor I into milk cows treated with recombinantly derived bovine growth hormone. J Dairy Res, 45(1), 17-26. DOI: 10.1017/s0022029900026170

[v] Dohoo, I.R., DesCôteaux, L., Leslie, K., Fredeen, A., Shewfelt; W., Preston, A., Dowling, P. (2003). A meta-analysis review of the effects of recombinant bovine somatotropin. 2. Effects on animal health, reproductive performance; and culling. Can J Vet Res, 67(4), 252-264. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC280709/

  • Most of the stevia glycosides produced as commercial sweeteners (reb M, reb D, and sometimes reb A) are made using genetically modified organisms (GMO).
  • Some stevia glycosides use enzymes harvested from genetically modified micro-organisms to extract the glycosides from the stevia leaf.[i] 
  • Some stevia glycosides don’t even use the stevia leaf for extraction and instead rely on a genetically modified yeast fed genetically modified food (usually from corn) to produce the glycosides.[ii]
  • We believe that if GMOs are used in any part of a food, including the processing, whether they remain in the final product or not, that product is genetically modified and therefore we do not carry it.[iii]

 


[i] What do we mean by Non-GMO? (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://purevia.com/Nature/Non-GMO.aspx

[ii] Questions About EverSweet™ Stevia Sweetener. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.cargill.com/food-beverage/na/eversweet-faqs

[iii] Roseboro, K. (2019, December 18). Experts: Non-GMO Certification of GMO-Derived Sweetener Sets a 'Dangerous Precedent'. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.ecowatch.com/eversweet-non-gmo-certification-2603754941.html

More information coming soon. 

  • A variety of growth promoting drugs are given to swine, beef, and turkey to increase weight before slaughter, thus increasing a manufacturer’s bottom line.
  • Ractopamine is one such drug that belongs to a class of growth promoters know as beta-andrenergic agonists (BAAs). These drugs have been shown to increase heart rate, body temperature, foot lesions, and aggression and anxiety-like behaviors in the animals they are administered to.[i] [ii] [iii]
  • Growth promotants also pose a risk to human health. There are numerous documented cases of human poisoning from consuming meat tainted with growth promotants. [iv] [v]

 


[i] Loneragan, G.H., Thomson, D.U., Scott, H.M. (2014). Increased mortality in groups of cattle administered the β-adrenergic agonists ractopamine hydrochloride and zilpaterol hydrochloride. PLoS ONE, 9(3), e91177. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0091177

[ii] Poletto, R., Cheng, H.W., Meisel, R.L., Garner, J.P., Richert, B.T., Marchant-Forde, J.N. (2010). Aggressiveness and brain aminie concentration in dominant and subordinate finishing pigs fed the β-adrenoreceptor agonist ractopamine. J Anim Sci, 88, 3107-3120. doi: 10.2527/jas.2009-1876

[iii] Poletto, R., Rostagno, M.H., Richert, B.T., Marchant-Forde, J.N. (2008). Effects of a “step-up” ractopamine feeding program, sex, and social rank on growth performance, hoof lesions, and Enterobacteriaceae shedding in finishing pigs. J Anim Sci, 87(1), 304-313. DOI: 10.2527/jas.2008-1188

[iv] Mitchell, G.A., Dunnavan, G. (1998). Illegal use of β-adrenergic agonists in the United States. J Animal Sci, 76(1), 208-211.  https://doi.org/10.2527/1998.761208x

[v] Brambilla, G., Cenci, T., Franconi, F., Galarini, R., Macrì, A., Rondoni, F., …Loizzo, A. (2000). Clinical and pharmacological profile in a clenbuterol epidemic poisoning of contaminated beef meat in Italy. Toxicol Lett, 114(1-3), 47-53. DOI: 10.1016/s0378-4274(99)00270-2

More information coming soon.

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  • See Olestra for more information

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

  • The human body metabolizes the simple sugar fructose differently than it does the simple sugar glucose. Fructose is processed mainly by the liver, where it leads to “de novo lipogenesis”, or new fat formation, and increased circulating triglycerides.[i] 
  • Fructose consumption does not suppress the hunger hormone ghrelin the way other sugars do, which can lead to increased caloric intake and ultimately weight gain and obesity.[ii]
  • High fructose corn syrup and ingredients made from high fructose corn syrup can be contaminated with mercury.[iii] [iv]
  • High fructose corn syrup is made from corn and 92% of all the corn planted in the United States is genetically modified.[v]

 


[i] Bray, G.A. (2010). Fructose: pure, white, and deadly? Fructose, by any other name, is a health hazard. J Diabetes Sci Technol, 4(4), 1003-1007. doi: 10.1177/193229681000400432

[ii] Teff, S.L., Elliott, S.S., Tschöp, M., Kieffer, T.J., Rader, D., Heiman, M., …Havel, P.J. (2004). Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates post prandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrin & Metab, 89(6), 2963-2972. https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2003-031855

[iii] Dufault, R., LeBlanc, B., Schnoll, R., Cornett, C. Schweitzer, L. Wallinga, D. …Lukiw, W.J. (2009). Mercury from chlor-alkalik plants: measured concentrations in food products sugar. Environ Health, 8, 2. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-8-2

[iv] Wallinga, D. Sorensen, J., Mottle, P., Yablon, B. (2009). Not so sweet: missing mercury and high fructose corn syrup. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Retrieved November 9, 2020 from https://www.iatp.org/sites/default/files/421_2_105026.pdf

[v] Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (n.d.). GMO crops, animal food, and beyond. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/food/agricultural-biotechnology/gmo-crops-animal-food-and-beyond.

Hydrogenation is a process that takes an unsaturated fat, such as soybean or other vegetable oil, and makes it more solid at room temperature, thus more saturated. A large percentage of the once healthy fats are converted to the trans-configuration, also known as trans-fatty acids. This process changes the molecular shape of these fatty acids, which negatively alters their biological functions. Excess trans-fatty acids can promote increased cholesterol and triglyceride counts, make blood platelets stickier which encourages blood clotting, worsen an essential fatty acid deficiency, interfere with the body’s detoxification system, interfere with insulin receptors, increase inflammation, and negatively impact the immune system.

Commonly listed on food labels as: hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils, vegetable oil shortening, shortening

More information coming soon.

  • Iron oxide is used as a color additive in processed foods.
  • When iron comes in contact with water and oxygen, it oxidizes. Rust is a type of iron oxide.[i]
  • Iron oxide nanoparticles have been found in significant amounts in commercial iron oxide food pigments. Iron oxide nanoparticles pose a threat to the workers who handle iron oxide and the consumers who consume it. Iron oxide nanoparticles have been shown to accumulate in the liver, kidneys, lungs, and brains of animals and nanoparticles of many varieties are known to induce inflammation.[ii] [iii] [iv] 

 


[i] Oxidation and reduction - Redox, rusting and iron - (CCEA) - GCSE Chemistry (Single Science) Revision - CCEA - BBC Bitesize. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2020, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z7rswty/revision/1

[ii] Voss, L., Hiao, I-L. Ebisch, M., Vidmar, J., Drejack, N., Böhmert, L. …Sieg, H. (2020). The presence of iron oxide nanoparticles in the food pigment E172. Food Chem, 327, 127000. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127000

[iii] Sadeghi, L., Babadi,V.Y., Espanani, H.R. (2015). Toxic effects of the Fe2O3 nanoparticles on the liver and lung tissue. Bratisl Lek Listy, 116(6), 373-378. DOI: 10.4149/bll_2015_071

[iv] Seaton, A., Tran. L., Aitken, R., Donaldson, K. (2010). Nanoparticles, human health hazard and regulation. J R Soc Interface, 7(suppl 1), s119-s129. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2009.0252.focus

  • Irradiated foods are exposed to radioactivity to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination and to prolong the shelf life.
  • The radioactive rays can cause “off” flavors and texture; reduce vitamins, minerals, and enzymes; and create chemical changes in food.
  • Although individual foods that have been irradiated are required to be labelled with the Radura symbol, products containing irradiated ingredients don’t have to be labeled, nor does food served in restaurants, hospitals, or cafeterias. You’ll never have to wonder if a food you buy in our stores has been irradiated or contains ingredients that were irradiated.

Please see 'Artificial preservatives' for more information.

More information coming soon.
More information coming soon.
More information coming soon.
  • Lead plays no role in human health, and the World Health Organization says there are no known safe blood levels.
  • In adults, lead exposure negatively affects cardiovascular health, decreases kidney function, and impairs reproduction. The effects of lead on children are even more severe, impairing development of their brains and nervous systems.[i]
  • Luckily, in 1995 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of all lead-soldered cans, including imported products, so you’ll never find lead soldered cans on our shelves, or any shelves in the United States.[ii]

 


[i] Environmental Protection Agency. (2018, August 20). Learn about Lead. Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

[ii] Lead-Soldered Food Cans. (1995, June 27). Retrieved April 15, 2019, from https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/1995/06/27/95-15593/lead-soldered-food-cans

(aka polydextrose and STA-LITE®)

More information coming soon. 

More information coming soon.

(aka dimethylpolysiloxane, polysilicon) More information coming soon.
More information coming soon.
More information coming soon.
More information coming soon.
  • Mineral oil is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource.
  • The main concerns surrounding mineral oil use with food are that certain fractions may be carcinogenic and some factions may accumulate in the tissues of the body.[i]
  • Mineral oil is not readily biodegradable and is a significant environmental toxin to plant life, animal life, and ground water when spilled or disposed of.[ii]

 


[i] Pirow, R., Blume, A., Hellwig, N., Herzler, M., Huhse, B. Hutzler, C., …Luch, A. (2019). Mineral oil in food, cosmetic products, and in producs regulated by other legislations. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 49(9), 742-789. DOI: 10.1080/10408444.2019.1694862

[ii] Aluyor, E.O., Ori-jesu, M. (2009, March). Biodegradation of mineral oils—a review. African Journal of Biotechnology, 8(6), 915-920. Retrieved November 23, 2020 from https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajb/article/view/59986

  • Modified food starches include, but are not limited to, modified corn starch, modified tapioca starch, modified potato starch, and modified wheat starch. They may be listed on ingredient panels as one of these specific starches or may be listed simply as modified food starch.
  • Modified food starches are made by physically, enzymatically, or chemically altering the starch. Each of these processing methods and treatments modifies the starch in specific ways to give it properties that food manufacturers then use to thicken, stabilize, and emulsify packaged foods.
  • Of the numerous chemicals that may be used to modify food starches, some are classified as likely human carcinogens, others are dangerous for the humans who handle them, and still others pose environmental threats.[i] [ii] [iii] [iv] [v] Unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to disclose how the modified food starch was processed.
  • Modified food starches undergo extensive processing, sometimes with toxic chemicals, and there are multiple comparable products made with unmodified food starches that taste as good and meet the needs of consumers.

 


[i] Epichlorohydrin. (2018, November 29). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epichlorohydrin

[ii] CDC - NIOSH Publications and Products - Carcinogenic Effects of Exposure to Propylene Oxide (89-111). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/89-111/default.html

[iii] Propylene oxide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Propylene_oxide#section=3D-Conformer

[iv] Acetic anhydride. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/acetic_anhydride

V “Vinyl Acetate.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/vinyl_acetate.

(aka mono- and diglycerides)

More information coming soon.

MSG is an artificial ingredient that is made up of glutamic acid and sodium. Glutamate is an excitotoxin, which stimulates your brain into thinking what you are eating tastes better than it does. This stimulation makes MSG a flavor enhancer. The National Organization Mobilized to Stop Glutamate estimates that one-quarter of the world's population reacts adversely to MSG. Some possible reactions include headaches, migraines, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, irritable bowel, asthma attacks, shortness of breath, anxiety or panic attacks, heart palpitations, partial paralysis, "heart attack-like symptoms," balance difficulties, mental confusion, mood swings, skin rashes, runny nose, bags under the eyes, flushing, and mouth lesions. There are some ingredients that may contain MSG by the fact that it can be created during the manufacturing process. Some example ingredients include hydrolyzed vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast, kombu extract, broth, bouillon, stock, flavoring, natural flavoring, natural flavors, and natural chicken flavoring. Therefore, those who are particularly sensitive to MSG may want to avoid these ingredients as well.

Brand name: TREHA®. See Trehalose for more information.

 

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Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

(aka Newtame): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

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Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
  • Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides used to treat the soil and plants in conventional farming are known to cause human health problems and environmental issues.[i]
  • Large scale pesticide and herbicide spraying creates enormous environmental problems partly because only a small percentage of it actually hits its target (the pests, soil, and plants), while the rest ends up in groundwater, waterways, the air, and ultimately, humans and other living things.
  • In one study, 94% of children and adults had pesticide metabolites in their bodies.[ii] Pesticide exposure has been linked to cancer, asthma, compromised immunity, neurological disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease), reproductive damage and birth defects.[iii] [iv] [v] [vi]
  • Pesticide residues soak into the soil, disrupting delicate soil ecosystems. Conversely, healthy soil, supported by organic farming practices, increases crop growth, health and yield, and also sequesters carbon dioxide from the air.[vii]  
  • Food grown with synthetic chemicals is lower in nutrients than organically grown food.[viii]
  • Organic farming replenishes the soil and manages pests in ways that are good for us and for the planet. Additionally, certified organic foods cannot be genetically engineered, irradiated, or grown with synthetic materials.[ix] [x]

 


[i] Nicolopoulou-Stamati, P., Maipas, S., Kotmpasi, C., Stamatis, P., Hens, L. (2016). Chemical pesticides and human health: the urgent need for a new concept in agriculture. Front Public Health, 4, 148. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2016.00148

[ii] Barr D., et al “Concentrations of Dialkyl Phosphate Metabolites of Organophosphorus Pesticides in the U.S. Population,” Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 112, 2004

[iii] http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/167726-overview

[iv] http://www.panna.org/docsTrespass/ChemTresMain(screen).pdf

[v] Harvard School of Public Health. "Pesticides Exposure Associated With Parkinson's Disease." ScienceDaily 26 June 2006. 4 February 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2006/06/060626091842.htm>

[vi] BioMed Central/BMC Neurology. "Link Between Pesticides And Parkinson's Strengthened With Family Study." ScienceDaily 29 March 2008. 4 February 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2008/03/080328070136.htm>

[vii] Tim J. LaSalle and Paul Hepperly, “Regenerative Organic Farming: A Solution to Global Warming,” Rodale Institute, 2008

[viii] “Nutritional Quality of Organic Versus Conventional Fruits, Vegetables, and Grains,” by Virginia Worthington, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2001 (pp. 161-173)

[ix] Lipson, Elaine.. Organics: Are they Really Better? Delicious.1997.

[x] Poncavage, Joanna & Long Cheryl. What is Organic? Organic Gardening; 1998.

Please see 'Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE)' for more information.
More information coming soon.

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
Please see "Solvent extracted oils" for more information.

This synthetic fat is a combination of soybean oil and sucrose. These ingredients are manipulated into molecules too large for the colon to absorb or digest. Therefore, Olestra passes untouched through the digestive system. This product has the potential to replace fat in such foods as chips and crackers. Preliminary studies suggest that Olestra causes tumors in laboratory animals. Olestra interferes with fat-soluble vitamin absorption, which includes vitamin A, E, D, K, Co-Enzyme Q-10, carotenoids, lutein, lycopene, and beta-carotene. Clinical studies have shown that 8 grams per day (equivalent to 16 Olestra containing potato chips) caused a dramatic depletion of fat-soluble vitamins within 2 weeks. This fake fat may also cause intestinal cramping, flatulence, and loose stool.

More information coming soon.

methyl, propyl, butyl, etc. 

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(aka trans fats)

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Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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(brand names such as STA-LITE®, Litesse®) 

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More information coming soon. (aka Dimethylpolysiloxane, PDMS, DMPS, silicone oil, dimethyl polysiloxane (E900), dimethicone, dimethyl silicone fluid, dimethyl silicone oil, also found in “Phase Oil” if that is on the ingredient list)

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Please see "Aluminum-containing additive" for more information.
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Please see 'Sulfites' for more information. 

More information coming soon.
Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.

Please see 'Sulfites' for more information. 

More information coming soon.
Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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Visit our Bulk Standards page for more information.

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Please see Growth promotants for more information.
Please see GMO hormones for more information.
Please see GMO produced stevia glycosides for more information.
Please see GMO produced stevia glycosides for more information.
(aka Truvia®) More information coming soon.
Please see "Artificial colors" for more information.
Please see "Artificial starch" for more information.

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(aka Sweet ‘n Low®): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

Please see "Aluminum-containing additive" for more information.
More information coming soon.
Please see "Aluminum-containing additive" for more information.
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Please see 'Sulfites' for more information. 

Please see "Artificial preservative" for more information.
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Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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Please see 'Sulfites' for more information. 

Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
Please see "Aluminum-containing additives" for more information.
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Please see 'Sulfites' for more information. 

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More information coming soon. See also: Impossible™ Burger

(aka sucralose): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

(aka polydextrose and Litesse®)

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(aka Reb D and M or EverSweet™)

See GMO produced stevia glycosides for more information.

(aka Splenda®): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

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  • See Olestra for more information

Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

While we do not allow sulfites in any foods or supplements, they are allowed in wine labeled “made with organic grapes” and in biodynamic wines, but are limited to 100 ppm. No added sulfites are allowed in organic wine, however, they do occur as a by-product of fermentation and must be below 10 ppm.

(aka sulfur dioxide, potassium & sodium bisulfite, potassium & sodium metabisulfite, sodium sulfite)

More information coming soon.

(aka Acesulfame K or Sweet One®): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

(aka saccharin): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

(aka Acesulfame K or Sunette®): Please see artificial sweeteners for more information. 

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(tertiary butylhydroquinone)

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See Trehalose for more information. 

Brand name: TREHA® 

Trehalose is used as a sweetener and a natural flavor. It was approved by the FDA in 2000 as a food additive sweetener and in 2017 received approval as a natural flavor additive.[i] We do not allow it because it has been linked to causing the spread of a seriously dangerous superbug, Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), which is capable of causing diarrhea, colitis, organ failure, and even death.[ii]

Trehalose (aka mycose and tremalose) is a naturally occurring sugar, found in minuscule amounts in mushrooms, honey, lobster, shrimp, certain seaweeds (algae), wine, beer, bread, and other foods produced by using baker’s or brewer’s yeast. In these minuscule amounts, it is not problematic. Processed foods, however, when they contain it, contain far more than is naturally occurring. When consumed in the amounts contained in processed foods, it can fuel the growth of two hypervirulent strains of Clostridium difficile—RT027 and RT078. C. difficile is a problematic bacterium that causes colon inflammation and severe diarrhea. These two strains are worse than the regular strains and when fueled by trehalose they become virulent and deadly. Although these strains of C. difficile have been present in people for years they were never responsible for major outbreaks until after trehalose was approved as a food additive. Now, these two strains are the most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in developing countries and in 2015 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that they caused almost half a million infections and were directly responsible for 15,000 deaths.[iii]

Researchers trying to understand how and why these two C. difficile strains became so widespread and virulent seemingly out of nowhere, discovered that they both evolved to metabolize trehalose. This is a unique trait that gives them a competitive advantage. In addition to being able to metabolize trehalose, the researchers also discovered that when these two strains of C. difficile feed on trehalose they produce more toxins and are more virulent.

At Natural Grocers, we feel strongly that food should not contain problematic additives. Trehalose does not add any benefit to our food supply but instead may contribute to the proliferation of two dangerous strains of C. difficile known to cause mass infection and even death. This is why you won’t see it in any of the foods that we carry, nor do we allow it in products under the broad term “natural flavors.” We screen natural flavor ingredients to ensure they do not contain trehalose.


[i] TREHA® trehalose available as a "natural flavor" through improved production process. (n.d.). Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://nagaseamerica.com/news_release/treha-trehalose-available-as-a-natural-flavor-through-improved-production-process/

[ii] Nield, David. “A Common Sugar Additive Might Be Driving The Rise of One of The Most Aggressive Superbugs.” ScienceAlert, www.sciencealert.com/common-superbug-fuelled-by-popular-sugar-additive-trehalose.

[iii] CDC Newsroom. (2015, February 25). Retrieved April 9, 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0225-clostridium-difficile.html

Brand name: TREHA®.

See Trehalose for more information.

(aka Rebiana)

More information coming soon. 

See aluminum-containing additives.
Please see "Artificial preservatives" for more information.
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More information coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References available upon request