Simple food tip: read beyond the “organic” label…

horizn mlkOrganic foods are always a hot topic… everything from the controversy over the benefits of organic, to which fruits and veggies are organic ‘necessities’… the list goes on and on.

One thing I have been guilty of is putting organic products on a pedestal when they sometimes don’t deserve it. Now don’t get me wrong, I still recommend organics with my whole heart and soul, and will continue to buy organic produce and products, but my guilt comes from reading the word “organic” and making assumptions about the rest of the ingredients.

Case in point: While we were out-and-about, my kids asked for “a milk”.  I knew they were asking for a Horizon Organic Milk Box, so immediately my answer was, “Sure!”  I mean, why not?  It’s organic milk after all.  But then this caught my eye:

So, I looked closer at some of my other purchases and here is what I found:stnyfld peach yog

This extra sugar is something NONE of us needs, so my point is this… always look beyond the “organic” label.  It’s not necessarily the perfect product just because it has the “magical ‘o’-word!”  Sometimes it has what you want, but sometimes there is an “extra” that you don’t.

Be a label reader and read beyond “organic”…

(* To compute the number of teaspoons of sugar in any food product simply divide the number of sugar grams by 4!)

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6 thoughts on “Simple food tip: read beyond the “organic” label…

  1. We always get the Horizon milk boxes that are just milk, but one day my dad was getting us some things at the store and he bought the vanilla because he thought it was regular milk. Vanilla milk? Why do they even make this stuff? I thought about keeping it until I read the label. Sheesh. I think it has more sugar than the chocolate milk.

  2. I am so OVER looking at labels. My 4 year old loves Stonyfield vanilla yogurt. I freaked when I realized that I was giving her so much sugar. Life was so much easier when we didn’t know what was in our food!

  3. This is such a great point to raise. I think of Michael Pollan’s edict to “eat real food.” Who knew milk wasn’t always just milk?

    Thanks for the alert!

  4. I agree Doreen. It may be organic sugar – but it is still sugar! We only buy PLAIN yogurt (in large tubs – less plastic and cheaper) and then add honey or maple syrup to sweeten. We make smoothies at home for a flavored milk treat. Again, we add our own fresh strawberries, bananas and a bit of honey. Those Stonyfield yogurts and Horizon milks taste so icky sweet it makes me sick. What’s a shame are the so-called “Baby Yogurts”. They are full of sugar!

    And, those boxed milks don’t offer much nutritional benefit anyway. They are heated at such high temperatures to allow them to sit on a shelf instead of being refrigerated that enzymes and antibodies are killed. And with all that sugar your kids are better off actually getting a fresh milkshake when you guys are out. Wouldn’t they love that?!

    Oh, and try canning your own jam this year. You can control the sugar. I went to my local farmer’s market last year, bought a bunch of strawberries and made enough jam to last 6 months. I used less sugar and it was the best jam my family has ever tasted!

    Thanks for bringing this to people’s attention. Oh, and I hate flying on a plane and getting served their “yogurt”. It is so sweet and gross I can’t even eat it! It has so many ingredients it shouldn’t even be called yogurt. We need to get back to real, unprocessed food. 🙂
    .-= PureMothers´s last blog ..Earth Day Exploration =-.

  5. That is a great tip! I bought the Cascadian Farms fruit spread once, and it was so sweet I could hardly taste the raspberries! No wonder, when sugar is the first ingredient! I much prefer the Trader Joe’s brand.

    I didn’t think about yogurt though, but your right, there’s a ton of sugar in the Stonyfield yogurt we bought last week. I’ll definitely have to make sure to buy the plain ones now!

  6. Gus – yes! Vanilla “milk” is a joke… I think my kids have gotten their last “treat”…

    Chris – sadly we have to read everything… no assumptions about it just because of what it “is”… sometimes it “is” much of what we don’t want or expect!

    Lynn – thanks! There is often more than we expect if we don’t take a closer look…

    PureMothers – thanks for all of the very valid points and great suggestions!

    Alice – thank you too! It is shocking when we really start to “look”… my kids love applesauce… all I want contained within is “sauced apples(!)” but many have so much sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other junk it makes me cringe!

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