Prepared by Elke Wehinger

Be aware of the 'Health Food' Aisle

Be Aware of the ‘Health Food’ Aisle

I’ve always wondered why we have a ‘Health Food’ aisle and what does it mean to all the other food that is not in that aisle?  It is a sad statement about what we as humans’ think is OK, what we do to our bodies, the planet and the future of our next generations. But this is a totally different topic which might become a later posting.

Knowing that we have a lot of unhealthy stuff in and on our food, I started to read food labels, looking for locally grown food and products with no additives and, if possible, organically grown. The ‘Health Food’ aisle was something I loved seeing in grocery stores because I thought I could just skip all the ‘bad aisles’ and go right to the ‘good stuff’.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it looks. Not everything they put in the ‘Health Food’ aisle is actually healthy.

You still need to read the labels and you have to make sure you don’t believe everything that’s on the front of the box. There are too many misleading claims to name them all here but I have a few faves:

‘All Natural’ is a good one. It means pretty much NOTHING. It is a term that isn’t regulated and can be stretched beyond a true claim of health. Anything that doesn’t have added colour, artificial flavour or synthetic substances can be called ‘natural’ but it doesn’t mean it’s GMO free, it doesn’t have corn syrup in it and isn’t sprayed with pesticides.

Really? That doesn’t sound natural or healthy to me.  

I love how they put the GMO free products, usually with a big sticker on the front, in the ‘Health Food’ aisle.  It’s nice to know it’s GMO free but there is still no guarantee that it is pesticide free! Again, it doesn’t sound very healthy to me.

And then there is the claim of ‘Whole Grain’. This one misled me for a long time. You’d think the word ‘whole’ would give you a guarantee that the product is whole, but even that isn’t true. Refined white flour can be listed as whole grain if only a small amount of whole wheat is added back into it. It is crazy!

As I said before, there are too many claims to mention in this blog and I might write another one about this, because I think it is something very important and something that people need to know about.

The good news is, we can read the labels and look at what it really is!

Just to get you started with reading the labels and knowing what’s good for you look for:

-Unless the product is certified organic it most likely contains GMO.

-Whole grain isn’t a claim that means a lot. Look for ‘whole wheat flour’ or ‘100% whole wheat’ or ‘whole grain’.

- The best you can buy is ‘100% organic’ because that claim indicates that EVERY ingredient in the food is certified organic.

Soooo much to read and sooo much to know, but in the end, it is about your health and it will be worth it. So be aware of what you find in the ‘Health Food’ aisle and read what’s really in your food before you buy it.

About Contact Us
Meal Garden, 326 1/2 Bloor Street West, Unit 4, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1W5, Canada