Ask anyone involved in the health industry, and they'll tell you the same thing -- you should only eat foods containing ingredients you can pronounce.
President's Choice, the food brand owned by Canada's largest food retailer, Loblaw Companies Limited, announced today they would be removing artificial colours from their products by 2012, and artificial flavours by the end of 2013.
As the company wrote on their Facebook wall:
Exciting news! As part of our commitment to our customers' health and well-being, Loblaw chairman Galen Weston announced today that by the end of 2012, no PC products will contain any artificial colours. And by the end of 2013, 100% of artificial flavours will also be removed from PC products. PC is already 93% free but we are constantly working on making PC the best it can be and that’s 100% free.
According to a story in the Globe and Mail, the change will affect the Blue Menu, Organics and Green branded products.
“We hear more and more concern from consumers about artificial flavours and colours and we just think it’s the right thing to do,” Loblaw executive chairman Galen G. Weston told the paper.
The dyes and chemicals used in common artificial ingredients have been linked to skin reactions, hyperactivity in children, nausea, high blood pressure and breathing problems, among other issues.
Nestle, the world's largest food company, dropped all artificial ingredients from the candy it sells in the U.K. in March, as well as the artificial colours from Smarties in Canada.
But it's still worthwhile to keep reading those ingredients on the back on the box, just in case. As food and wellness expert, and HuffPost blogger, Rose Reisman noted, "'Natural'" is the new buzzword. Technically "natural" means a product does not contain artificial ingredients. But deli meat today is being called "natural" with reference to hot dogs, bacon, ham and sliced meat ... Remember just because a food is natural doesn't make it healthy. And besides when have bacon, hot dogs and deli meat ever been considered healthy?"
SEE: Other ingredients you may not want in your food:
Turns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets. Try these homemade chicken tenders instead, for fuel-free fuel. Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food. Photo by Flickr user yoppy.
Regular milk is full of hormones used by the milk industry to keep the cows knocked up and lactating all year round. Sound gross? It is. So when you drink regular milk you take a shot of hormones with it. And all you wanted was a bowl of cereal. Found in: All non-organic dairy, so organic is recommended. But don't jump straight to raw milk before you know the facts. Photo by Flickr user lfl.
Think that green sheen on your veggie snacks is giving you your daily serving of vegetables? Think again. That's just powdered spinach dust, which is spinach that has been dehydrated and sucked dry of its nutritional value. So the upshot is that green sheen is about as nutritious as actual dust. Found in: "Healthier" vegetable flavored snack foods. Photo from Wegmans.com
Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer...and, in a way, food! It keeps your car from freezing over, your moisturizer moist, and your fat-free cookie dough ice cream creamy, smooth and juicy. If it's good enough for your SUV it's good enough to eat, right? Right?? Right??? Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, low-fat ice creams and dog food.
Vanillin, which is a byproduct of the pulp industry, is used as an artificial vanilla flavor. Ester of wood rosin, which comes from pine stumps, is in citrus-flavored sodas to keep the citrus flavor evenly distributed through the can (try these natural ones if you're cutting down on pine stumps). Found in: Artificially flavored yogurt, baked goods, candy and sodas
Castoreum comes out of a beaver's behind -- it's extracted from their anal glands -- and is used to make artificial raspberry flavoring. Try not to think about that next time you order the diet raspberry tea. Found in: Artificially raspberry flavored products such as cheap ice cream, Jell-O, candy, fruit-flavored drinks, teas and yogurts.