Paleo and Fiber (The Moral Kind)
Paleo and Fiber (The Moral Kind)
Read your labels. I say it all of the time. But really, is that enough? Not only as a food manufacturer but also as a human being trying to do the right thing. I cannot tell you how frustrated I get when I look at labels and see how much the public (that’s you and me) is getting taken advantage of and duped.
I was at a farmer’s market (Carrollwood) last Saturday. There was a booth where a woman was selling food for children. It is targeted for “kids”, “tots”, and “babies”. It was also boasting “superfood”. How do I know that? The term superfood is in the name of the company. It’s kind of like you know my product is Paleo.
I spend a great deal of my time researching food, its affect on our bodies and of course I am a huge fan of superfood. So you could well imagine that I was at the very least intrigued and ready to be very impressed.
The food comes in one of those squeezable bottles and offers a variety of flavors from yogurts to liquid food snacks like juice drinks.
Here is the thing. When I read the ingredients on the container, there were no superfoods to be found! Hello, I have a superfood bar so I think I may know a little bit but nowhere in the ingredients was there a superfood listed???
I asked the young lady and her response was that “she is just selling them”, she doesn’t make it. So she is selling these “snacks” to mothers with young children as a healthy alternative to other snacks. In all fairness, the product actually is better than most but that is not to say you are still not getting duped.
I called the company today and asked my questions. I got very candid honest answers to their credit. “No, only one of our products contains “Salba”. This is a fancy name for chia seeds, which as you know I don’t like anyway. None of the other products do.” Well then, where does the “superfood” on your label come from? Here you go… “It is just part of our name” It doesn’t mean anything except it’s part of the name of our company. What??? Really? Huh? Come again?
So what she was telling me that like (and I am making this up) “Sunshine Foods” doesn’t really have the sun in the bag.. well this company doesn’t really have superfood in their product. Although – oh yeah.. the chia, … I mean salba.
I researched today government regulations for labeling with the terms superfood. In other countries you are not allowed to put terms like superfood on the label unless you can prove the there is a direct correlation between that food and improved health. Unfortunately, here in the US there are no such regulations.
I looked up the term superfood vs superfruit and although David Wolfe makes it very clear in his book “Superfoods” what the definition is, it is not an industry wide standard. While many foods are listed as “superfood” there are the top ten major players. They are (in random order) Goji Berries, Cacao, Maca, Bee products, spirulina, AFA blue green algae, Marine Phytoplankton, Aloe Vera, Hempseed and my favorite Coconuts.
These foods have 12 or more unique properties, not just one or two. For example, the goji berry is a source of complete protein, immune stimulating, liver cleansing, anti-aging, and antioxidants over 20 trace minerals and much more. Superfood is both a food and a “medicine” having amazing multiple health benefits to the body. They are “the most potent”, super concentrated and nutrient rich foods on the planet”. Furthermore, “superfoods not only help to nourish the brain, bones, muscles, skin, hair, nails, heart, lungs, liver ,kidneys, reproductive system, pancreas and immune system they also over the long term help to correct imbalances and guide to a more “Paleo” diet.
Whew, okay you get it. There are 24 (approximately) organic goji berries in my paleo bar along with organic spirulina, organic cacao, coconut and a little honey (chocolate only) The new bar has organic hempseed. So you can imagine how I might have felt seeing a company boast “superfood” in their name and have a drop of chia seed in one flavor!
By the way Organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are important for our diet but do not compare to the nutrient density of superfood. David Wolfe, Superfood, pg 3.
So while I am always touting for you to read your labels, I also need you to be aware and educated. (I try to help in that category) Acai is not a superfood. Some will say so, but there are not guidelines. David Wolfe is a world-renowned authority on superfood and well respected.
Kind of just makes you mad doesn’t it?
Nell Stephenson posted about a pseudo paleo diet where we eat excess amounts of food accepted on a paleo diet and think we are eating healthy. Can you imagine a mother feeding this to their child in the guise of thinking they are feeding them superfood like the name depicts? By the way other ingredients in this squeezable juice are:
Acai, grape, apple, citric acid, choline, ditarite, tricalcium phosphate, magnesium oxide, malic acid, natural flavor, pectin and ascorbic acid. These ingredients are naturally occurring in food so in addition to the superfood labeling misuse, they are also calling this organic, which it is. These chemicals are found naturally in food. By the way, arsenic is organic. I wouldn’t eat that either. I believe the use of these ingredients is well intentioned. It is basically an artificial vitamin. But we know we get our best nutrition from whole food.
It just ain’t right folks, it just ain’t right.
All information from Superfood comes from David Wolfe’s book “Superfoods”