Does Natural=Healthy?

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What does it mean when you buy products labeled “natural”?  Turns out, not much. Putting the claim natural on your product is not regulated by the FDA or USDA. ”A natural nutrition bar and a certified nutrition bar may look nearly identical to a consumer, other than price, but a behind-the-scenes examination of how they were manufactured, focusing on the soy protein ingredients, reveals the importance of purchasing certified food.” says the report from Cornucopia institute.

What is it that makes the soy in one nutrition bar superior to another? In a video posted by The Cornucopia institute they talk about how whole soy beans are bathed in a neurotoxin called Hexane that is used to extract protein from the beans.  This was actually quite shocking for me to learn.  I have always mistakenly believed that foods with soy were a healthier choice for myself and my family.  When I learned about this practice I began talking to other mom’s about it.  99% of the people I have talked to were also operating under this false belief.

So what can you do to be sure the food you are eating and feeding your family is of the best quality possible. Here is a list that the Cornucopia Institute came up with:

1. The use of Hexane and other synthetic solvents is prohibited in food processing, but only when the food carries the “USDA ” seal.

Products that state they are “made with ingredients” only have to have 70% certified ingredients.  Companies are not prohibited from using hexane to process the remaining 30% of (non ) ingredients.

2. Non- soy protein ingredients are almost universally processed with hexane.  Consumers wishing to avoid hexane extracted foods should avoid the following ingredients.

  • soy protein
  • soy protein isolate
  • soy protein concentrate
  • textured vegetable protein

Oil refinery. Hexane is a by-product of gasoline refining.

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