Natural Flavours

The Silent Scream on an ingredient list.

If you’re already reading ingredient list labels chances are you are already onto a road of health discovery.
Maybe you have a food sensitivity.
Maybe you just want to know what your putting in your body (that’s me).
Maybe you don’t care but you’re shopping for someone who does.
Either way, you are engaged.

I think you should know about this one ingredient that you may be overlooking in your red flag / do not buy list.
It’s not by mistake you gloss over it, that’s exactly how the food corporations want it to be, but we’re going to flip the beetle on this dirty little secret and look a little closer.

Let’s use cashew milk as an example.
Left side is what’s in the dairy section of the grocery store.
Right side is you, making your own nut milk – yay you!

1 1/2 cups cashews
4 cups water
2 dates

First things first, let’s lay the foundation for all of our food choices by agreeing that real (not processed) food is always the better choice, cause it’s real and no one has stripped it down, pumped it up or messed with the ingredients.

Is this particular ingredient list terrible? Maybe not at first glance but take a look through it and see if anything ‘bad’ grabs your eye.
What did you find?
Vitamins, minerals cashews – all good right?

this one ingredient is a red flag and it’s in almost everything

The ingredient SILENT SCREAMING at you off the label is NATURAL FLAVOUR.
Natural flavour is anything but.

what’s the difference between artificial and natural?

Natural flavour starts with some aspect of a real food, plant or animal while artificial flavour is produced entirely in a lab.
So what’s the big deal?
Natural flavours (same as artificial flavours when you think about it) are tiny little science experiments.
Here are 10 of 106 (!) ingredients in the “Natural Flavour” profile of a Cashew Nut:

Should you be interested in seeing the other ingredients, go to FlavorDB it’s fun and terrifying in equal parts.
The sum of parts that is natural flavour is much like an alien invasion of your body that bee-line’s right for the brain connection.

There’s literally more scientists working at some of these food companies than chefs.
Not a believer?
Check out the book Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss and make sure you’re sitting down cause it’s a straight up riveting tale of how food went from being a source of fuel to a food like entity meant to make us want to eat more – the continued existence of this book with all of it’s damning information is a testament to the fact that a lawsuit hasn’t happened making it conveniently disappear .

When you crave certain foods, it’s because your body associates a flavour profile with a nutrition source it wants.
Our bodies are the most complex, brilliant self regulating miracles aren’t they?
Well food science has found a way to bypass that association and big business has put that to use.

But our bodies have been fooled for the last hundred years. 

Our minds may believe that we are consuming something that is good for us, when that is the furthest from the truth. 

Could this be the core reason for today’s obesity crisis, rise in diabetes, and all other food related illnesses? 

It is definitely part of the reason.

The healthy Butcher

With so many directives on what’s good for you and what’s not, the world of nutrition can cause paralysis from analysis.
Heck I started this post with the intention of giving you the tools to start making your own beautiful, creamy nut milk at home…and here we are.

Rather than hit delete I thought it worthy of your attention.
If you agree, please share this information with anyone who you care about.
Once the mind grasps this reality it’s hard to ignore.

That said, know this:
You WILL catch yourself checking for Natural Flavour on ingredient lists and sometimes, you WILL buy it anyway, but SOMETIMES you might not.
And that my friends is how we figure this nourished life out.
Baby steps – one ingredient / vitamin / mineral at a time!

That recipe for the creamy, cashew milk that’s like a bear hug to your spirit is here.

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2 thoughts on “Natural Flavours

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