DailyDirt: All Natural Doesn't Necessarily Mean Good For You...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

A growing trend in food packaging seems to be using the words "all natural" to describe ingredients. This is meant to be an improvement over the previous "completely artificial" ingredients that have been used for decades. However, as some point out, the use of natural ingredients doesn't necessarily mean what consumers might think it means. Starbucks found out that "natural" might not satisfy all of its customers when it switched from Red #40 to a natural food coloring made from crushed insects. Those crushed insects aren't harmful, but that's not exactly what folks were expecting from a "natural" ingredient, either. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.
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Filed Under: artificial, castoreum, coloring, flavoring, food, fragrance, gmo, natural, taste
Companies: chipotle, pizza hut, starbucks, taco bell, yum brands


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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 29 May 2015 @ 5:52pm

    "Some food alarmists have been warning people that artificial strawberry and raspberry flavorings come from 'beaver anal glands'"

    Whole new meaning to "eating beaver"...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Any mouse, 29 May 2015 @ 6:07pm

    this link talks about how flavor chemicals made from yeast are "Natural"

    http://boingboing.net/2015/05/20/fake-grape-and-vanilla-burping.html

    it's actually kinda interesting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 29 May 2015 @ 8:38pm

    All natural!

    Most deadly poisons are "all natural", so yes, I'd say something being "natural" has absolutely nothing to do with how good it is for you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Unanimous Cow Herd, 29 May 2015 @ 9:07pm

    Castoreum

    Castoreum = Beaver taint.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 May 2015 @ 12:30am

    I can't believe I've been eating beaver butt!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Paul Renault (profile), 30 May 2015 @ 4:27am

    "natural black pepper flavor"?

    Me, I want to know what the difference is between "natural black pepper flavor" and "natural black pepper". Or even just "black pepper".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 30 May 2015 @ 10:20am

      Re: "natural black pepper flavor"?

      Me, I want to know what the difference is between "natural black pepper flavor" and "natural black pepper". Or even just "black pepper".

      My understanding is that "natural X flavor" means a chemical extracted from the plant, perhaps piperine in the case of black pepper, and "artificial X flavor" could be the exact same chemical but produced artificially by some means (no idea how) rather than extracted from the plant. I think in the UK they are or used to be referred to as "natural" and "nature-identical". I don't know if there's some specific requirement for the entire peppercorn to be included for the ingredient to be called "black pepper".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 1 Jun 2015 @ 9:52am

      Re: "natural black pepper flavor"?

      Black pepper means that black pepper was used. "Natural black pepper" means mostly the same thing (in the US, "natural" on food labels has a greatly ambiguous meaning and its presence in describing food or ingredients should be ignored). "black pepper flavor" means a flavor that tastes like, but isn't, black pepper.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    madasahatter (profile), 30 May 2015 @ 9:02am

    Stereoisomers

    There is a little appreciated point about this debate: many chemicals in food have what chemists call stereoisomers. They have the same chemical components but in 3-d the structures are either left or right handed. This handedness may or may not be important; Thalidomide is a drug where one stereoisomer causes birth defects and the other is a useful drug. However this does not necessarily have anything to do with artificial or natural.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 May 2015 @ 10:24am

    That brown stuff that comes from my anal sphincter is natural and organic. Bonn Appetite.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 31 May 2015 @ 8:45pm

    "All Natural Doesn't Necessarily Mean Good For You..."

    Artificial doesn't necessarily mean bad for you...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 1 Jun 2015 @ 12:51pm

    If it exists in nature...

    If it exists in nature, then it must be natural. Naturally, therefor, shit is 100% natural. Do I want it in my food? It depends. Bees shit honey (I think)... Dog poo? No thanks!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 1 Jun 2015 @ 12:53pm

      Re: If it exists in nature...

      "Bees shit honey (I think)"

      Close, but wrong end. Bees vomit honey.

      As far as the "natural == good" mistake, my go-to example is the fact that arsenic is completely natural.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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