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Label Reading Secrets You NEED to Know

I have to admit - this post is semi-embarrassing for me. I'm supposed to know better than this. I realized though, that if I can be duped this easily, then so many others who are even less educated about what is in our food supply are being duped as well. 

I love grocery shopping - seriously, my husband jokes it's my favorite hobby (he might be right). I love just getting lost, finding something on sale, deciding what I'm going to do with it... yadda yadda. Until I have a really busy week and I just want to get in and get out as fast as I can. 

Last week, I knew I wanted to make some yummy soup since the weather was cooling down. I needed some crunchy bread or crackers to complete the meal. I didn't like the options in the bakery, so I headed for the crackers. If you've ever been in the cracker aisle, you know its a sh*t show, right? I was in a rush, the box was pretty, everything else said wheat or multigrain, or just looked gross, but theeesseeee - these were made with REAL chickpeas! They're even called Good Thins! Great - popped them in the cart without a second thought. 

good thins read labels

Monday night I heated some soup up, threw some of these bad boys on the table and sat down to a lovely dinner with the hubs. One bite and I knew I had been duped. These were way too good to be made with chickpeas. I'm all about being healthy, but c'mon, you know when you taste something that is too good to be true.

Sure enough, one look at the ingredients and I felt like an idiot. 

Not only are they not really made with chickpeas, these are just chock full of nasty ingredients I choose to almost always stay away from. 

Now, I'm going to tell you something most health bloggers won't:

I ATE THEM ANYWAYS.

YUP. I paid $3 bucks for these dumb crackers and I'm not just throwing them in the trash. I think its ridiculous when health bloggers make you feel like an idiot for eating something like this. I fully understand most everyone is on a budget. We aren't all millionaires and our entire pay checks cannot be devoted solely to groceries. AND THATS OK.

Will I buy these again? Nope. Am I going to beat myself up for fall prety to false advertising? NOPE, and neither should you. 

I'm here to tell you, we're human, and that's OK. Health bloggers make mistakes (they usually just don't tell you about them).

 

Here are my top tips for not being duped by big food companies:

 

1. Quick scan the ingredients list

if you see more than 5 ish ingredients (and a bunch of stuff in parenthesis) PUT IT BACK. 

 

2. Could you make this at home?

If not, put it back. I'm all for convenience, so if paying a little more for chopped veggies fits your schedule this week - have at it. Is there a sauce you know how to make but just don't feel like it - grab that baby! I highly doubt you know how to, or could replicate Cheetos in your kitchen, so put that back.

**I'm not saying you can never have Cheetos, but trust me, once you start eating healthy, your body won't even want those Cheetos**

 

3. Don't be fooled by gimicky words.

Did you know that "All Natural" actually means nothing.? Its not a regulated term, so its plastered all over everything. Same goes for "Natural" and "whole grain". Learn that labels that matter. (I'll be sure to write an extensive blog post on this later). 

Look for "non-GMO project verified" 

Certified Organic

Glyphosate Residue Free 

 

I'm super pumped about this last one. As some of you may or may not know, glyphosate is a chemical which is sprayed on the majority of crops in this county. Its the main ingredient in Roundup Weed killer and is widely used in farming. Unfortunately, the USDA and FDA do not test food for glyphosate nor do they regulate its use. In numerous peer-reviewed studies, Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, autoimmune diseases, reproductive problems, liver and kidney damage, antibiotic-resistance, and much more. This topic is one for another blog post, but I urge you to investigate this harmful chemical and try to stay away from it at all costs.

 

To sum it up, you must be your own food detective.

I dream of the day that everything is clearly labeled, honest and fair, but until that day, you must do your own research and take your health into your own hands.