Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is the health food store "healthy"?

There is an assumption that if an item is in the health food store, it must be healthy. It's up to the consumer to understand that this is not always true. The consumer can do this by reading the labels before buying something! For example, a new vegan cheese appeared on the shelf in one of the health food stores here. Turn it over to read the label, and guess what's in it? It consists of: organic soy base, modified food starch, soybean oil, calcium sulfate, tapioca starch, corn syrup solids, carrageenan, sea salt, tara gum, sodium phosphates, natural flavor, carotenal (color). It's just as bad as any other processed food with additives and preservatives, and it surely doesn't even taste that good to boot. High fructose corn syrup is not something we want to be consuming!! What is "modified food starch" and "natural flavors"? This is the kind of food that makes not only us, but also the environment sick, and has a high carbon footprint. We have to be discerning enough to know that the label which claims "nutritional foods" and "excellent source of calcium" is misleading. We can get gluten free and cholesterol free foods that have no transfats by eating whole and unprocessed foods. The key word is "unprocessed" whether you're buying from the health food store or not. So the answer to the question is that the health food store is healthy when you buy grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, and other raw ingredients and prepare them into healthful and tasty dishes that nourish and satisfy. Avoid the processed items for best health.

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