Top 8 Sadly Mislabeled Foods

Welcome! Want to end your menstrual misery? Grab my book Quit PMS for 20% off with coupon code "PMSFREE"

Top 8 sadly mislabeled foods

This may not come as a bubble-bursting surprise to many of you, but there isn’t always food in our food. Carrageenan, azodicarbonamide, propylene glycol and other unpronounceable additives hide in processed foods.

Sadly, even seemingly straight-forward foods are deceptively mislabeled. Here are eight offenders, along with practical tips for buying unadulterated versions of these foods. 

1. “Wild” Salmon

I’m just as bummed as you to put this on the list! Unfortunately, according to natural foods expert Mark Sisson, even when salmon is labeled “wild” it can spend half its life in a hatchery before being released into the wild (source). And while this isn’t as bad as fully-farmed salmon, it still presents some big problems.

For example, even a short stint in a hatchery leads to the accumulation of toxins such as dioxins and PCBs. While wild fish contain measurable levels of these toxins, it is extremely higher in farmed fish. Further, the partially-farmed fish will have been fed protein pellets during their time in confinement which alters the omega-3 content for the worse (source).

So how do we know when wild salmon is really wild? First, Dr. Weil says, “You’re better off assuming that salmon sold as wild during the period from November to March really is farmed.” Second, look to the price tag for a hint. Really wild salmon is going to be more pricey. While I haven’t been able to find a watertight rule for sourcing wild salmon, your best bet is to discuss the source of the fish with your fishmonger. Additionally, keep in mind that many experts believe the health properties of even partially-farmed outweigh the potential problems. It’s certainly not a black-and-white issue.

2. “Raw” Almonds

Yes, I have a bone to pick with almond flour.  I also have a bone to pick with regular ol’ raw almonds because they aren’t raw, even when labeled so.

Yep, U.S. grown almonds, even if labeled “raw” are not raw. That’s because pasteurization by irradiation, ultra high heat, steam or chemical sterilization is required for all domestically grown almonds. Sadly, these processes damage the enzymes, fatty acids and integrity of the almonds.

These organic almonds are truly raw – imported from Spain where pasteurization isn’t required. Also, one reader told me that she is also able to purchase truly raw almonds direct from a farmer in California, before the almonds are treated.

3. Mislabeled Olive Oil

small olive oilDid you know the majority of olive oils imported from Italy don’t meet industry standards, meaning these oils are rancid or cut with cheaper oil such as canola oil? Yep, numerous studies point to the fact that, when purchasing Italian olive oil, you are probably getting an adulterated product (source and link to the studies).

Producers frequently cut olive oil with cheap seeds oils, usually canola oil, and this additive remains undisclosed on the product label. In many cases, you’ll have better luck purchasing a good olive oil if it comes from California, not Italy.

Buy top quality olive oil or risk eating some rancidified canola oil in your homemade salad dressing. This is the trusted and truly pure olive oil I use in my home. It’s certainly not the only unadulterated olive oil, but it’s the one I use.

4. Honey

Store brand honeys (you know… those ubiquitous honey-filled plastic bears) are an extremely processed product. Pasteurized at very high heat, the enzymes are denatured and probiotics killed. Additionally, these processed honeys are often completely stripped of the beneficial pollen.

The worst part about processed honey, however, is not what is removed but what is added. Processed honey is usually diluted with corn syrup to increase profits, even if the product is labeled “pure honey.” Unless the container states “100% pure honey,” you can assume that it is cut with corn syrup. Various brands of processed honey tested positive for traces of antibiotics and heavy metals (source). Yuk!

Purchase only raw honey (also called unpasteurized). Ideally, purchase locally produced organic honey. If that isn’t an option, I recommend this organic honey available online.

5. Mislabeled Cinnamon

Most cinnamon available on supermarket shelves is cassia cinnamon, also called Chinese cinnamon. True cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon. Cassia has more of a bite and is darker whereas Ceylon cinnamon offers a warmer, rounder flavor and lighter color. The Ceylon version comes with a higher price tag, however, which is why cassia vastly more popular (source).

Another concern is the coumarin content of the different cinnamons. Cassia contains 5% coumarin, a moderately toxic component, while Ceylon has only .4%. Small amounts of cassia shouldn’t cause a problem, but it can cause liver damage in sensitive individuals (source).

You can find organic Ceylon cinnamon here. Use it wherever a recipe calls for cinnamon. I always emphasize the importance of purchasing organic spices, since non-organic spices are usually irradiated (which alters the spices integrity).

6. Maple Syrup

Think you don’t need to read the labels on a bottle of – supposedly – maple syrup? What’s in the title should be in the bottle, right? small pancakesThink again. Many so-called syrups don’t contain any maple syrup at all! Zero, zip, nada. Instead, high fructose corn syrup, colorings, artificial flavors, and a slew of preservatives create the processed pancake topper.  These syrups aren’t allowed to use the term Maple Syrup on the bottle (thank goodness!) and instead are usually labeled maple-flavored syrup, table syrup or pancake syrup.

Don’t be fooled by marketing terms like “All Natural Table Syrup,” either. Syrups sporting this label contain no maple syrup, only a hodgepodge of sugars, sweeteners and flavorings.

Purchase only 100% pure maple syrup, ideally Grade B like this one for the best flavor and nutrient profile. The label on the bottle should say pure maple syrup or 100% pure maple syrup.

7. Canned Pumpkin

I recently learned from Learning and Yearning that canned pumpkin often contains a variety of squashes – not just pumpkin – to create the desired color and texture.

According to the FDA compliance and Policy Guide,

Canned “pumpkin” has for many years been packed from field pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) or certain varieties of firm-shelled, golden-fleshed, sweet squash (Cucurbita maxima), or mixtures of these. Pumpkin and squash are sometimes mixed intentionally to obtain the consistency most acceptable to users. (Read more.)

So squash in canned pumpkin isn’t as nefarious as, say, the canola oil hidden in olive oil. But still, when I’m making pumpkin pie I want it to be pumpkin pie, not squash pie. That’s why I either roast my own pumpkins (here’s how) or purchase this brand of pumpkin which contains only Golden Delicious Pumpkin (I checked with the company).  You’ll find it online or in your health food store.

8. “Cage Free” and “Free Range” Eggs

small egg yolkBoth the terms “cage free” and “free range” sound good, right? These words may conjure pictures of happy chickens running around in the sunlight, laying eggs for your omelet. Sadly, these are marketing terms that do not ensure humane living conditions for chickens. 

“Cage Free” means only that the bird is packed into a small, poorly ventilated, enclosed space where it barely has room to walk, let alone spread its wings. It is fed an improper diet of grains and soy, leading to poor quality eggs. The term “free range” isn’t much better either, according to Dr. Mercola:

While flimsy definitions of “free range” allow such facilities to sell their products as free range, please beware that a hen that is let outside into a barren lot for mere minutes a day, and is fed a diet of corn, soy, cottonseed meals and synthetic additives is NOT a free-range hen, and simply will not produce the same quality eggs as its foraging counterpart… (Read more)

Here’s a surprising tip: don’t purchase eggs that boast a vegetarian-fed diet. Chickens aren’t vegetarians! They long to forage, pecking grubs and worms from the ground. Purchase your eggs from chickens who are given space to forage. Look for the term “pastured” on the box. You’ll get the best eggs if you buy from your local farmer’s market or straight from your local farmers.


Are you on the lookout for mislabeled foods? How do ensure that there is really just what you want in your food?

This post may contain affiliate links to items I personally use and recommend. By making purchases through these links, you are supporting the companies or products I believe in, and you're supporting Empowered Sustenance. Thank you!

Some of the ads on this site are served by AdChoices and, as a result, I do not necessarily recommend the advertised products. The revenue from the ads makes it possible for me to continue blogging, so I appreciate your understanding.


  1. Marge says

    Hi Lauren! I’ve just purchased your e-book and I’m now reading your blog and I’m loving it – very informative and great articles.

    I’m actually shocked about almonds not being so raw as described on a package. The raw almonds I love oh-so-dearly are from USA (I live in Finland). Also about maple syrup – I’ve bought generic brand and never really given much thought of it’s consistency since it’s written on a bottle that it is being manufactured in Canada and it’s authentic. Canadians are famous for their maple syrup – why not trust them, heh?

    Lesson from today: other than reading the contents read where the food item comes from!!

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying the e-book and blog!

      As for the syrup, you’re good if it says “pure maple syrup” on the label. The problem is if it says, “maple-flavored syrup” or “table syrup.” When it comes to syrup, the other ingredients will most likely be listed.

  2. says

    This just made my day! Well, not because of what you revealed… all of these lies are AWFUL. But because I already knew 7 out of the 8! :) The olive oil one I had never heard before. I think that along with the honey and raw almonds are probably the worst :(

    • Maritha says

      And worse about the Olive Oil…..Canola Oil comes from the Rapeseed which was used to make mustard gas in WWII (although Snopes poopoo’s this). Canola was found to be the cause of mad cow disease. When my son and I eliminated it from our diets, our blemishes cleared from our faces and we certainly feel much better. Canola is a zombifying oil in my humble opinion!

  3. Karen says

    I just looked in my spice rack and my cinnamon isn’t either of the two you mentioned. What about cinnamon saigon?

    • says

      Saigon cinnamon isn’t “true” cinnamon either, although it is in the same family as both Ceylon and Cassia. According to World’s Healthiest Foods:
      Scientifically speaking, there is only one true cinnamon, which is most commonly called “Ceylon cinnamon,” and comes from the plant Cinnamomum zeylanicum. An alternative scientific name for Ceylon cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum, which simply translates as “true cinnamon.”

      The term “cassia” never refers to Ceylon cinnamon but rather to other species of cinnamon, including Cinnamomum cassia (alternatively called Cinnamomum aromaticaum) and Cinnamomum burmannii. While most simply referred to as “cassia,” you’ll often find Cinnamomum aromaticaum being referred to as “Chinese cinnamon” or “Saigon cinnamon,” and you’ll find Cinnamomum burmannii being called “Java cinnamon” or “Padang cassia.” You can read more here: Scientifically speaking, there is only one true cinnamon, which is most commonly called “Ceylon cinnamon,” and comes from the plant Cinnamomum zeylanicum. An alternative scientific name for Ceylon cinnamon is Cinnamomum verum, which simply translates as “true cinnamon.”

      You can read more here:

  4. chantel says

    do you have any more info about why you suggest those 2 olive oils? i’m just curious. WAPF suggests Bariani and I have bought that before. also, sort of ironic, but i roasted our halloween pumpkins and they turned out more like a mix between spaghetti squash and butternut squash. So we ate it like squash with butter and nutmeg. i bought canned pumpkin to make the pies. so it seems i prefer my actual pumpkin as squash and my actual squash as pumpkin. ok. maybe that was confusing. love your blog! thanks!

    • says

      I think there are many other great olive oils out there, those are just the two with which I have experience. I am sure any recommendations for oil from WAPF is going to be right on track – I respect their strict standards when sourcing and recommending ingredients!

    • Nadine says

      Olive Oil is not very good for roasting, it has to do with the heat it gets to. I try not to use vegetable oils, but I will use lard, or goose fat which has a high temperature tolerance and makes a wonderful crisp roast vegetable and meat.
      As for Pumpkin pies, I truly cannot fathom that Americans buy tinned pumpkin, when it is so simple to steam pumpkin and mix it with spices and eggs to make a wonderful pumpkin pie.

  5. says

    Wow. I already knew the thing about the honey, but I gotta say that a lot of this comes as a surprise. But then again, knowing how our beloved USDA operates… it doesn’t. Thanks for bringing the truth to light. I love almonds and honey and maple syrup (I only buy the real stuff, because of thr price it’s a treat) and olive oil and pumpkin pie… no love loss on the salmon though:) So I will be watching out! We raise our own chickens and they are truly free-range (they eat bugs in my garden) so at least I don’t have to worry about that or the honey since we only buy local. What about local almonds? Like, right from an orchard? If the producer isn’t technically “producing” them and therefore doesn’t have to go through any of the government crap, are they safe to eat?

    • says

      Yep, almonds straight from the orchard will most likely be raw. Can you check with the almond grower? I think it wonderful that you have access to almonds straight from the orchard, as well as your own pastured eggs!

  6. says

    I knew some of these already, but appreciate your research very much. Such a knife-through-the-heart kind of post! But sadly necessary. Thanks for breaking the bad news in an easy-to-share format.

  7. says

    thank you for sharing this, we knew about some of them. But the salmon was news to us, we will look out for better options now. We try to always get our honey and eggs locally!

  8. says

    #7 explains so much! I’ve had such a hard time getting pies made with fresh roasted pumpkin to taste like the canned stuff I remember eating as a kid. Also, I used all my fresh pumpkins for other things, so in a pinch I roasted an ambercup squash for pumpkin pie this thanksgiving, and it turned out really well. My fiance wouldn’t believe it wasn’t pumpkin, even after I told him!

  9. says

    Thankfully there are a lot of these don’t apply to me. I haven’t used olive oil in years as grapeseed oil leaves no flavor and I like it better for cooking. You are so right to add olive oil to the list. It is so important to know where any oil you use comes from though as the nutrition of oils can be changed so easily. My honey is from a local grower and isn’t bought in a store at all and I know it’s 100% real and local. Same goes for my syrup, though it’s not maple because I live in a desert. My eggs come from free range chickens for sure. I know because the chickens have free range of my backyard. Much of the rest of this list I either don’t eat or didn’t know about. I wish people would pay more attention to where their food comes from and I love reading all your posts. I don’t always learn new things but someone really should be saying this stuff.

    • says

      How wonderful that you have your own fresh eggs! I want to have chickens in the future, although I currently don’t have the yard for it. Also, as a side note, I never recommend consuming grapeseed oil because of its fatty acid profile. Coconut oil and ghee are great substitutes for it.

      • says

        I am lucky to have the yard for chickens. I haven’t always lived in such a farming friendly area and it’s so nice to be able to have that now. Maybe it’s my lack of understanding of chemistry (not my favorite subject), but I don’t understand what you’re talking about with grapeseed oil’s fatty acids. I could switch to coconut but I’ll never find ghee in my area and it’s a good month when I can afford all natural food os shipping is just not an option. Olive is the oldest and most used oil in all of history, but like you said, it’s just hard to find from a good source.

  10. Alexis says

    I use Pete and Gerry’s eggs. They are great tasting and I believe the only brand certified as Humane. Thank’s for the great info. I never knew about the olive oil. I get mine from Fairway Market their store brand organic…it’s awesome. thanks again!

  11. Tanya says


    I recently heard that coconut oil is one of the few oils that have saturated fats. Did you know this? If so, what is you’re reasoning behind its healthiness?

    I am eager to start using coconut oil but now I am a bit skeptical, your advice is greatly appreciated!


    Tanya Duncan

    • Alisa says

      This is a concern to me since I use a lot of coconut oil. Lauren G, do you know if this is true about coconut oil having saturated fat, and if so…. is that a health concern if I use it a lot?

      • says

        Coconut is primarily saturated fat (specifically short chain saturated fatty acids)… which is the healthiest kind of fat! Coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats around. I recommend the book Nourishing Traditions to learn more about the important roles of saturated fats.

        • Vanessa says

          Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. Which means it is not stored in the body like long chain fatty acids which come from animal fats. Medium chain fatty acids are primarily used by the body for energy and are great antimicrobials. They greatly help with malabsorption issues, but because of the high saturated fat content, they need to be balanced with cold-pressed omega 3s like fish and fish oils, but the saturated fat itself is a healthy one, and one not to worry about.

        • Vanessa says

          Oh, btw, I believe the only sources of short chain fatty acids are from butter and breast milk. I believe butter contains short, medium, and long chain fatty acids.

  12. Dawn says

    I am curious about the olive oil. I have the brand you suggest in my cupboard but it says the oil is from the Mediterranean (product of Spain & Tunisia) but bottled in California. Is there a different version I should be looking for or is this ok b/c it is bottled by US standards?

  13. tasos poli says

    How can you say anything about olive oil that is not pure,and not recommend a Greek olive oil are you for real…did you do ANY research.
    Or we should assume that you are in someones pocket?? I like to believe that you did not do your research properly .

    • says

      I did recommend both a Greek and a Californian olive oil. The Greek olive oil is the Jovial brand, made from heirloom olives and family farmers. I’m not saying my two suggestions are the only pure oils, they are just two examples. And for goodness sake, don’t assume that my post is influenced by money or that I didn’t do my research?

      • tasos poli says

        Like I said before I did not think you are in someones pocket but for Gods sake please do some research when you talk about olive oil and purity. So many brands are pure and good with out boutique prices . I don’t want to use you site to promote them ….but if someone in buying oil from a region and bottles it don’t you thing may be a reason for the way this is something very new that company’s MUST label where the oil comes from …till few years ago It would have being bottled as Italian. I like your site and I read it when I can but you need to be more informed when it comes to oil.
        thank you for your time

  14. exotec says

    Thanks for the great info. I knew most of it… but it’s nice to have those links!

    We get our eggs from a fellow raising his hens in his yard, too. They’re very obviously different from eggs not raised from chickens who are out doing “chicken things” in the yard! Delicious.

    About coco oil – yes, it’s got loads of healthy saturated fats. There’s nothing wrong with saturated fats! Especially the animal-based ones, so long as you’re not eating commercially finished meats with skewed fatty acid profiles. Don’t fear saturated fats – especially coconut oil. The reason we’ve been steered away from them is due to an unproven causation for cardiovascular disease purportedly based upon high blood cholesterol levels. This has NEVER been shown to be true. And the problem isn’t the cholesterol: it’s the underlying reason for those atherosclerotic patches to form in the first place (which cholesterol is there to *heal*). Cholesterol is cardioPROTECTIVE, not the reverse. (Besides – our bodies produce more cholesterol than we could ever eat, anyway!) Don’t fear fats. They’re good for you.

    Great blog. Thanks for the insight!

  15. Tricia says

    Hi! I like the article, however I have a bit of a concern with your #1 food. Having been a fisheries biologist, it is true that the pellets fed to the fish are of questionable origin. However, hatcheries are not “farms” they are not for profit, they are run by state agencies. Because of this, there is no financial motivation to get a bigger bang for their buck. (Additionally, to everyone that is concerned about the salmon being fed pieces of salmon– this happens in the wild all the time and is a totally natural process for the fish to do, it’s not a “Soylent Green” scenario because they are animals and are cannibals as a result of their evolution.)
    Ok, back to the main point, after release from the hatchery (again, hatchery not fishery) the fish (which are only smolts and not adults) go to sea for 1-4 years. During this time they build most of their muscle and fat, and when they return to freshwater they are much, much larger than when they left. In my interpretation, this is akin to probably most of the people who read this blog- they were fed SAD most of their lives, and then turned their diet around and are much better for it. If we were to spend up to 50-80% of our life not on SAD will we really suffer all of the consequences of a 100% on SAD lifestyle? Probably not, right? That’s likely the lifestyle these fish have seen- mostly a wild diet that is only good for them.
    Additionally, all the of the facts presented against hatchery fish are still based on fishery fish– the PCB levels, fire retardant levels (BTW if you live in SF never ever ever eat the WILD fish here– flame retardant levels are the highest in the world) are still all cited from fishery fish, no fish that were tagged in a hatchery and caught in the wild 1-4 years later.
    If you have any thoughts on this, let me know. But I truly do believe you don’t need to simply go off the price tag (unless spending more per fillet is your thing) especially because some fisheries (Alaskan) are so well managed that they are able to keep their prices down due to competition.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and professional experience, I appreciate your comment! You make a good analogy about humans and the SAD lifestyle. I, personally, tend on the side of caution when sourcing fish because and so that is why I am very hesitant about buying the salmon even if does eat a wild diet for half its life. And I had no idea about the PCB levels being highest in the San Francisco fish! Your comment give me some things to think about and I appreciate the time you took to share your experience here.

    • says

      Thanks for sharing your experience in this. We live in an area (Western Oregon) that has fish hatcheries and I was under the impression that once those fish are released into the wild, they go to the ocean and there is no way for fisherman to catch only salmon that were hatched “in the wild”. They can only establish that they were caught in the wild. Salmon hatch in the same rivers where the hatcheries are located and wild hatched salmon swim to the sea with hatchery fish. Are the hatchery fish marked in some way that a fisherman could distinguish between them when catching them out in the ocean?

      • Tricia says

        Hi Terri! Yes, you can tell the difference between wild born and hatchery born salmon in the field — the adipose fins are clipped off of hatchery fish. This is the fin that is located on the top side and is closer to the tail than the head. It is very small and the fish appear to not have detrimental effects from the removal. In my experience this has always been true of hatchery salmon. So if you are a sport fisherwoman you will be able to tell on a fish you land. Adipose fins lost to damage will not likely be a clean cut as is done in the hatcheries. However, most people don’t buy a fish in whole, so it is difficult to assess from a fillet what a salmon’s life history has been.
        As a researcher, we note the clipped or not clipped fin if we retrieve salmon from the water, but we of course let them all go again so I’ve never had the ability to study omega 3 content :) Fisheries don’t have time or interest to note adipose fins.
        Also, RE: the article that Mark Sisson cites as evidence for early exposure mattering to juvenile fish, the study was done to evaluate fish that migrate through a waterway that is highly contaminated from industrialization done in the late 1800s. These fish were found to have high levels of contaminants, but this study does not say what the effects on the adults of this population were, so his citation is misleading. The hatchery juvenile fish in the study do not migrate through that waterway, and were used as reference for “normal” contaminant levels.

    • says

      I went back to check the “evidence” on Mark Sisson’s site, and that abstract to which he linked actually states that wild born salmon that swim through certain waters in Washington contained higher levels of contaminants than hatchery born salmon, which is the opposite of the point he was trying to make. Now I’m confused. I also read the info on your wild salmon source above and it doesn’t mention anything about how they would know whether the salmon they catch in the wild, years after it was hatched, has been hatched in a hatchery.

  16. says

    Thanks for sharing. Keep it coming! I knew some of this. The almonds and salmon are real bummers for me. I don’t understand why they can do false advertising like this and get away with it. Even if you spend a lot of time reading about the best food to eat, the scams just keep coming and coming.

  17. Rochelle says

    Thank you! I thought I was caught up on food lies for the most part but I didn’t know about the salmon :(. Thank goodness I have a co-op near me. They aren’t perfect but almost. I can’t believe this is allowed. Thank you for keeping us up-to-date :)! I really appreciate it!

  18. Amanda says

    For anyone interested in getting wild and sustainably harvested salmon and other fish directly, look into a Community Supported Fishery in your area. I signed up for one this past year and have nothing but good things to say about it.

  19. says

    I left a comment on the Learning and Yearning blog after clicking through from your part about the canned pumpkin, and figured I ought to copy it over to here since your post was the one that I was reading in the first place : )

    Heirloom Gardener magazine did an article a while back on canned pumpkin and how Libby’s has used Dickenson or Dickinson (goes by both spelling) Squash since the beginning. It is a heirloom veriety of C. Moschata squash. It looks like a pumpkin. As interesting as I found the article, and even bought and grew some of the seeds. I think that the average grocery shopper when looking for ingredients to make their pumpkin pie, don’t really care about an education in the different strains of squash. If it looks like a pumpkin it must be type attitude. Really the only time that it matters what the strain of winter squash it is, is in growing them because squash of different strains cannot cross. But different VERIETIES within the same strain can cross.
    When you stop and think about it, there is a lot that goes into their selection for canning, because they need squash that is not watery, and very dense so you get the most product after it is cooked down, tastes great, and a vine that is a large producer on top of it all.
    There are a lot of squash that are sold for decorations at halloween as “pumpkins” but are really C. Moschata or even C. Pepo (mini pumpkins). But there are a lot of C. Maxima (like Candy Roaster), that if you told someone it IS a “pumpkin” they would look at you funny.

    We grew a lot of heirloom varieties of winter squash this year ( C. Pepo, C. Moschata, and C. Maxima “pumpkins”). Although they are very different in appearance on the outside. They are all very similar on the inside. I don’t think that there is any significant difference in the nutritional value between the different species. My main concern would be GMO. Allot of the SUMMER squash available in the supermarket are GMO, but I don’t know about the winter squash.
    Although winter squash take a lot of room, most people have room to grow their own summer squash. It is sooo prolific, and considering how much the organic stuff costs at the grocery store, it is certainly well worth it. If in doubt, grow your own.
    If anyone is interested in identifying the different species of the varieties of sqaush, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (which I love!) has all different varieties on their website with the species listed below the picture.

  20. Janelle says

    What about cinnamon purchased in an Indian ethnic grocery shop? I spent some time in India, and the state of Kerala is famous for growing spices like cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, nutmeg and others. If you shop for spices there, would the cinnamon be the same as Ceylon cinnamon (which is an old term for Sri Lanka)?

    • Jacinda says

      Except that all ‘raw’ almonds from the USA are actually pasteurized… that was the fact that she has posted…

  21. Julie D. says

    They used other squashes in canned pumpkin because to most people they taste better and make a better pumpkin pie.

  22. says

    foods are really important in our life as it is essential for our survive. The foods you offered above are backed by science as they are proven good for human health. Therefore, what you share is useful for people who want to improve health! Thank you for all, again!

  23. Brett says

    “Real” pumpkin isn’t used in canned pumpkin because it’s not good to eat – it’s bitter, and requires lots more sweetening than squash does. I’ve made pie from cans, pumpkins and squash, and squash is by far the closest to what we consider “pumpkin pie” flavor. Totally harmless relabeling!

  24. AmyO says

    Napa Valley organic Olive oil is repackaged in California but it is NOT California olive oil. It’s a product of Spain and Tunisia, look at the bottle. I use it, it’s good, but it’s not local

  25. Don Hill says

    OK, the canola oil thing really boils my blood, but pumpkins? Here is my take on pumpkins: I use predominantly home grown (I’m looking at my pumpkin field right now) Old Timey cornfield pumpkins, HOWEVER, I have also made delicious “pumpkin” pies with Cushaw (locally called Kershaw) squash. It actually tastes more “pumpkin” that true pumpkin and is loaded with nutrients. Honey? Buy it locally raw with the comb. You get ALL of the benefits that way (and you can sometimes pick whether the honey is predominantly clover, wildflower or tupelo(my favorite). Same holds true for eggs. Get them form local farmers or raise the chickens yourself. They crank out several eggs a week, so a very small flock can easily feed a family and, best of all, they work for chicken feed! :) They also make great companion animals for cattle, goats or horses.

  26. Jenny says

    Any recommendations on fish to buy at a local grocery store? Maybe another article is appropriate on fish alone. Pacific fish are getting radiated, but how does that affect inner Alaskan fish? Atlantic fish have many contaminates, but are now touted as better than Pacific for some fish. Are there any decent fish out there for the common people or should we forsake fish altogether unless coming from a spring-fed pond in my backyard? I am grateful for any wisdom here.

  27. Paul says

    I never knew that high heat was such a danger to the integrity of the food I eat. Thank you for warning me.

    To avoid chemicals I often try to scavenge in the wild for food. I got a stomachache from some mushrooms last week, but it hasn’t deterred me from de-toxifying my body!!

  28. Joseph Rhodes says

    These are some serious First World White People problems.

    I’m sure hungry families would be aghast to find squash in their canned pumpkin this Christmas.

  29. Corey N says

    Just found your site and love it! I have a question, for someone with a limited budget and can’t afford to do everything organic or natural, what in your opinion are the most important areas to focus on? So for example, if I only have a certain amount I can spend on organic food, should I focus on dairy, meats, or produce, etc? The same for cleaning the home, personal hygiene products, etc. I realize it’s a difficult question, maybe you could do a post on it ;)

    • Vanessa says

      In my opinion I would buy organic butter, animals, and animal fats including milk organic because those animals are healthy. Meaning they are not full of harmful bacteria. Some say factory farmed animals contain 25% more harmful bacteria than organic. Plus, their fat content is over-all anti-inflammatory, unlike the factory farmed animals which are VERY inflammatory fats. Also, the nutrition content is much higher in these animals so you get more bang for your buck; AND toxins are found in fat, so when you buy factory farmed animals and animal products you are eating much more toxins than you are in organic animals.

      There are a couple grocery stores that I go to that sell produce when it is very ripe on clearance. Like I can get an organic bunch of bananas for $.98. Keep a look out and see what you can find. Also, in one grocery store I go to, they sell their eggs on clearance the day before the sell-by date on the carton. I have used those eggs up to a month past the sell-by date and they were just fine.

  30. J. O'brien says

    I would just like to point out, that “Coumarin” is the active chemical in Warfarin, a blood thinning agent that has been given to patients for probably 100′s of years and isn’t “toxic” unless you eat 4+tablespoons of the stuff a day AND are being given Warfarin by a doctor. Many people take cinnamon for its anticoagulant and lipid lowering properties so I don’t think I could directly endorse cinnamon being laced with coumarin as a “bad” thing. Now as far as irradiated and GMO problems with food/spices I will completely agree that this is something our body isn’t equipped to handle.

  31. says

    I’m not the kind of person who does a great deal of research (thanks to people like you who does), but I was told (or I red) that when they take the honey from the bees, thet kinda “take it all” and replace it with corn syrup, instead of leaving some for them. So even if it is labeled 100% honey, the bees can have been fed with corn syrup the season before. Any “manufactured” honey is considered suspect to me.

  32. jo says

    Perhaps people should learn how to read food labels…nowhere on a bottle of “table syrup” does it say it’s 100% maple syrup. Same goes for honey..if it doesn’t say it’s 100% honey, why would you assume it’s honey? And as for cinnamon? It’s labeled with what type it is..most people just don’t know the difference. Sure, I think there should be a stricter labeling process for foods (eg. is it gmo?, was there irradiation exposure?, remove crap words like natural, eco, green, etc.) but your article title is misleading. These products are not mislabeled, just misunderstood.

    At the grocery store, buy domestically produced, certified organic products. At the market, talk to the producer and ask how they grow/process their product. The majority of them will be more than happy to talk to you about it.

    • Jacinda says

      No… not all cinnamon is labeled as to what type it is… I do my research & read labels… there is one particular brand of organic ‘cinnamon’ that says only ‘Ground Cinnamon’… looked over the entire bottle, no indication that it was ceylon or cassia… and that is not the first time I’ve had trouble determining the origin of cinnamon… there are many other producers that try to hide origin…

      Yes, there are people who are unaware… I was myself for quite a while… articles pointing these things out can be quite helpful to people who are just becoming aware that things are not always what they seem in our food supply…

    • Wendy says

      Totally agree with Jo. I thought I would be finding out shocking info… but your telling me Aunt Jemimah isn’t real Maple syrup… Read labels people!!! lol

  33. Emily says

    Hi, I was just curious if you have the name of the farmer in California for unpasteurized almonds? Thanks!

  34. Brandi says

    You can find locally produced honey- even if you live in the city! Look op your area’s Beekeeper’s Association and it should be easy to find someone who sells honey locally. I was curious on how they did it (I was a little skeptical at first that my honey was really from my city) and looked up my city’s ordinances on keeping a hive. If I was adventurous (and in my opinion reckless and an irresponsible person, especially in a household with bee allergies *mine- bee stings make breathing “fun”) and I decided to take the risk associated with thousands of bees literally in my backyard near my home, family, and pets, I could even have my own hive in my backyard. I’ve been buying local honey for the past year after being gifted some and I’ll never go back.
    After also finding the city ordinances regarding poultry during that beehive search I’m designing and will soon be installing my own chicken coop and will be ordering hen chicks from My Pet Chicken. My city allows a coop 12 feet from any residences- I’m lucky when we bought our house that we live on a decent sized lot. My city allow 6 hens (no roosters) and My Pet Chicken sexes their chicks so I can order just hens. They also have multiple breeds they sell so we could get one of the fancy breeds if we wanted something cool looking. If I wanted to show my daughter how a chick hatches, I could also purchase fertilized eggs from them, though I would risk getting a rooster- or several- for obvious reasons. You can’t exactly sex your eggs. This way I’m not raising some little chicks from babies and having to find a new home for a rooster- hard to do in a city- or be forced to butcher a rooster that my 4 year old daughter will most likely make a pet and break her little heart. I’ll leave the heartbreak to happen when she’s a teenager and I’ll most likely want to break the little jerk’s face.
    Unfortunately for the hens the city does not allow free range- that is common sense, after all, we are in the city and I’m sure my neighbors will be thankful of that.. I decided to do this after hearing lots of reports about what “free range” chickens actually eat. This way I know first hand the living conditions and food of the hens that produce our eggs and I have an extra outlet for my food scraps as my large household produces more than I have room for in my compost bin.

  35. Jerry says

    In regards the the olive oil it’s just not true. I work in the olive oil business and know for a fact there is no adultery going on. The UC Davis was discredited shortly after being published. Please do a better check of your facts before publishing information, people will now take as fact. It’s poor journalism. Thanks.

  36. mauro says

    Hi! It’s true. You have to buy top quality olive oil, and it’s not the cheaper!
    So, why do you buy californian olive oil?
    Remember that In Italy there are lots of top quality olive oil producers: mediterranean climate is not the same than californian, therefore mediterranean products are not the same than californian.

  37. steve Runyan says

    In regards to wild salmon being from hatcheries; it doesn’t make as big a difference as the article leads on. Pink salmon return to the wild at about an inch in length; return at 2 to 10 pounds. Sockeye are released at 1 1/2 to 3 inches in length, return at 2 to 16 pounds. Coho and Chinook smolt are released at various ages and lengths, but a couple inches is the norm, and never more than a few ounces in weight for the largest of salmon, the Chinook. Hatchery reared salmon put on 98% or more of their weight in the ocean, even if in the case of pinks it is only half to 3/4 of their life. That’s a huge difference from a fish raised on a farm on manufactured feeds 100% of its life! Alaskan commercially caught salmon is “wild caught.” They do not differentiate between “wild” and “hatchery” in this labeling; they just catch it in the wild, not on a farm.
    A poster claimed that hatcheries are government run facilities with no profit incentive. In Alaska, this is not true. Many, if not most, are privately run by commercial fishing coops, who have special “cost recovery” seasons to catch and sell fish reared by the hatchery. Proceeds help fund the hatchery; fishermen pay a percentage of their catch back to the hatchery. There is a huge incentive to return as many fish as possible from the hatchery releases, to increase profit margin from the releases. There is conflict among user groups as to the impact these cost recovery efforts have on wild salmon stocks in the area.

  38. abinmo says

    The “free range” anything these days is hardly that. Glad that you mentioned chickens as we are able to get true “free range” chicken eggs from family who give them plenty of room and feed them vegetable scraps from the dinner table. The difference in taste between the two is remarkable.
    Same goes for the grass fed and hormone free, antibiotic free, etc. beef. Most cattle are finished off with grain to fatten them up at the end, including the grass fed. Very few are antibiotic free as most cattle farmers need to do this for their overall health. Lastly, the “free range’ beef lives a similar life to the “wild” salmon. To qualify as free range, they only have to be let out for certain amounts of time.
    Very few places can honestly market them as free range. At some Whole Foods in Missouri and Illinois, it is the real deal as some of it comes from my family’s farm where it is truly free range and grass fed their entire lives. It is expensive meat because the cost/time to get them to the heavier weights that standard cattle sell for is longer and costlier.
    Hope this info helps a little. Lastly, a little tidbit of info – the difference between red angus and black angus is nothing more than the color. There is no taste difference and anyone who says that they can tell is the same person who notices hints of chocolate and pine nuts in their wine. Ask any butcher, and nearly all will tell you that once the hide is off, they can’t tell the difference. Its just great marketing for black angus.

  39. Natalie says

    Whole Foods says their farmed Salmon aren’t given antibiotics. I have a 12 yr old and he doesn’t like the taste of wild salmon. Is farmed salmon from whole foods a better option than no salmon??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *