All Aboard the “natural” train

March 5, 2009

As everyone can tell, food products tend to go with the food trend of the moment. It used to be fat-free or calorie-free, now it tends to be “all-natural.” When I think of the word natural, I think of a whole food without additives. But, now in the super market, natural can also mean refined and products with lots of added sugar and salt. It can sometimes take a close eye to determine what is truly natural!


Just the other day, I was scoping out the peanut butter for sale. I always buy all-natural peanut butter without any added sugar or salt. (my choice of the moment is Crazy Richard’s- amazing!) But, what I noticed is that a lot of the peanut butter products say “all-natural,” but they have a lot of added sugar and salt, so this can be tricky! The Skippy “Natural” has added sugar and salt. Also “Simply” Jiff has partially hydrogenated oils, sugar, and salt!

Also, beware of the new natural snack foods as well. Orville Redenbacher came out with a new product claiming it is All Natural popcorn-looks good right? However, as noted in this article, the ingredients of the popcorn include popping corn, palm oil, salt, mixed tocopherols. What are mixed tocopherols? Apparently, they are additives to keep “natural” food “fresh.”


I’m sure that there are other products out there that also use the same advertising. So, we must keep a close eye to the ingredients and remember that “natural” does not mean without tons of added sugar, oil, salt, and maybe even additives.

Has anyone else encountered the “all natural” problem with other foods?

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Jessica March 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm


I haven’t done much research on tocopherols, but from what I’ve seen, it is a chemical compound that has vitamin E properties. However, since I’m not very well-versed on the topic- I will research more and get back to you about that!

Shannon March 9, 2009 at 11:48 am

I thought tocopherol was another word for Vitamin E….no?

Jessica March 6, 2009 at 2:58 pm

OH believe me, don’t I know it! It is so hard to tell what products are truly natural and not- i would’ve definitely picked up this popcorn too if I didn’t see that last ingredient!

Culinary Wannabe March 6, 2009 at 5:57 am

I’m such a sucker for a label! Would you believe I actually have this popcorn in my pantry right now. Now it’s giving me the heebie-jeebies!

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