Know What's in Your Food

Promoting awareness and change about the food we eat, and where it comes from.


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Gerber Graduates

Gerbaer Graduates Lil' Entrees Chicken and Pasta Wheel Pickups in Sauce with Peas.

Gerber Graduates

Not too long ago, my adult son pointed out these Gerber Graduate meals for toddlers. The first thing  I see on the box is ” made with farm grown vegetables’ …uhhh.. where else are vegetables grown? The second claim I see is,” no preservatives”.  According to the package, Gerber pressure cooks the food so there is no need for preservatives.

Now for a look at the ingredients:

IMG_3026

Hidden forms of MSG -Modified Corn Starch, Maltodexterin, Autolyzed Yeast Extract,

Most likely GMO- Soy Lecithin. You can read my other post about GMO’s here.

Salt- Salt, Potassium Chloride (Salt Substitute)

Sugar-Sugar

Starch- Tapioca Starch, Modified Corn Starch

Natural Preservatives -Soy Lecithin, Lemon, Salt, Sugar

Natural Flavor- The origin from where this is obtained can be disgusting. You can read my post on natural flavoring here.

There are vitamins that have been added to this product. These are artificially added vitamins:

  • Thiamin mononitrate
  • Riboflavin

Starch is mentioned 4 times in the ingredients list.

I called Gerber to ask about their plastic container marked recycling code #7.  Plastics that have the #7 could contain BPA if they don’t have the letters PLA or a leaf symbol on them. The leaf symbol and PLA let you know the  plastic is from plant sources and doesn’t contain

Plastic recycle logo Other

Plastic recycle logo Other (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BPA. There is no PLA or leaf symbol on the container that Gerber supplies. The outside package says that it plastic doesn’t contain BPA. I called Gerber to ask if they do quality control checks on their plastic to ensure ongoing safety and that they do not contain BPA. This was a brutal call. I spoke with a supervisor named Diane who was not happy about my questions regarding quality control. I simply wanted to hear that Gerber does their own testing for BPA and possibly had a third-party tester as well.  She insisted on dodging my questions, and asked me at one point, ” I don’t know what it is that you don’t understand?”  I kept my cool during the whole entire time, but what I didn’t understand was why she insisted on avoiding my question. Finally she relented and contacted quality control for me and had Carla call me back from the quality control department. Carla assured me they did their own testing for BPA at Gerber and they had compliance requirements from the plastic manufacture as well. She couldn’t go into detail as to what they were due to confidentiality reasons. I am not sure why Diane couldn’t tell me that in the first place …

One other note, Diane, in an attempt to impress me, told me that regarding their vegetables, they test the soil, tell the farmer what kind of seeds they can use and what kind of pesticides they can use. This is the layout for factory farming and GMO crops. I wasn’t impressed at all.

I was curious about the,” no preservatives claim” on the box. So I bought a package of these and left them out in the open to see how long it would take to grow mold on the food. It took right at 4 full days. Pressure cooking and natural preservatives like, salt, sugar , lemon, soy lecithin are what Gerber use to keep this product on the shelf without refrigeration…..gross. Pressure cooking involves cooking food at high temperatures. This is my guess of why they had to add in some artificial vitamins to account for what was lost in cooking (or perhaps what was never there to begin with).

Gerber Food Day One

Gerber Food Day One

Gerber Day Four

Gerber Day Four

Sham Award

This is a box that basically contains MSG, GMO, starch, sugar, and salt along with some artificial vitamins.

Gerber needs to graduate to producing real food for toddlers, and not boxes full of  sugar, salt, starch, MSG & GMO’s to our younger generation.

Sources: Live Strong, Gerber, Inrfood.com


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Vegetable Thins Receive the Sham Award

Nabisco Vegetable Thins

Vegetable Thins

A few days ago, I was in my local grocery store. I took a picture of these vegetable crackers. The front of the box looked so promising. With a name like Vegetable Thins…how could you go wrong? I love the way they have  a picture of vegetables on the box, and the claim right on the front that says they are  made with real vegetables.  Health and nutrition all right in a box in the form of a cracker. Today must be my lucky day…or not..

Now for a look at the ingredients…

Ingredients to Vegetable Thins 2Unbleached enriched flour is the first thing on the list.  Enriched flour is flour that has been stripped of its natural nutrients and  nutrients have been artificially added. To look at the FDA requirements what nutrients must be available in a pound of enriched flour click here.  I will save you some reading time, unless you are going to eat a pound of  unbleached enriched flour, it probably isn’t going to serve much of a nutritional purpose for you.

Next we see a list of the vitamins that have been added to the flour.

  •  Then, sigh, comes one of the most corrupt and misuses of Mother Nature … GMOs, in the form of soybean, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Palm oil Made from non sustainable resources (rain forest destruction).
  • Dehydrated vegetable blend of carrots, onions, celery, cabbage, red bell pepper, tomato, and parsley (more about this in just a moment).
  • Salt
  • Monosodium Glutamate(MSG)- In the form of hydrolyzed soy protein, natural flavor, disodium guanylate, malted barley flour.

Today, I was on my way to an appointment, and I remembered these pictures I had taken last week. I decided to call 1-800-622-4726 and ask the good folks at Nabisco how many crackers I would have to eat in order to get a serving of vegetables.

I called and spoke to Jan, who was a very nice lady. I asked Jan my question of how many crackers I would have to eat in order to get a full serving of vegetables. She repeated the question. I confirmed that was indeed my question.

Jan asked me for the UPC number on the box. I told her I didn’t have that. She proceeded to tell me she wouldn’t be able to help me unless I had the box because they had so many products. I gave her the full description of the box and the product name. Jan told me she had different size boxes of  Vegetable Thins, and she wasn’t sure she could help me unless I had the number on the box…. Now, I am not sure how the size of the box would change the answer on the number of crackers I would have to eat, but okay….whatever…

Jan put me on hold to see what she could do. At this point I was about 1 mile away from the grocery store. I pulled in the parking lot and ran in the store, and got the box off the shelf and found the number. I waited on hold in the grocery store aisle for a little longer and Jan returned on the line. I told her I had run into the grocery store, and I had the number off the box, if  she still needed it (*insert the sound of chirping crickets here*). Jan seemed a little surprised that I was in the store. She quickly regained her composure, and then proceeded to tell me that the crackers weren’t made with real vegetables. …  Wait a minute! What the heck? I told her it says they are made with real vegetables on the box.  I pointed the list of dehydrated vegetables in the ingredient list. She agreed with me, but quickly followed up with those dehydrated vegetables are only used to flavor the crackers (*along with several forms of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and salt*). So there was no amount of crackers that I could eat that would  equal a serving of vegetables… Oh no! Say it ain’t so Jan…..

Before I made the call, I was certain that there would be no real amount of vegetables in these crackers, but I do call companies frequently about their products because I want them to be accountable for the truth in what they are marketing, versus what they are  selling.  I told Jan that I was disappointed, and I felt the product was misleading.