Say What?! + What Is Natural Flavor?


Yo, yo!  Let's talk natural flavors y'all!  I started thinking about this topic lately because I keep seeing people questioning it in all my crunchy Facebook groups.  The term "natural flavors" can be deceiving, and it's up to us as consumers to learn exactly what that pertains to.  Let me just say this- natural flavors could be a multitude of things- and that is scary as hell!

I first learned of "natural flavors" through a 60 Minute piece about 5 years ago.  I remember being shocked at what I was seeing.  The video features a company named Givaudan- the largest flavor manufacturing company in the world.  They claim to be the best because their flavors are irresistible.  They take flavors from mother nature and basically destroy it.  The Givaudan scientist is more than pleased to be reproducing thousands of variations of flavors- chemically.  These concoctions are nothing short of disgusting.  She even goes on to say strawberry and vanilla can come from a “beaver’s backside,”  Yes, "natural flavors" can literally contain castoreum- taken from a beaver's anal gland.  Excuse me while I puke!

Check out this hilarious piece by The Food Babe!

Excitotoxins, such as glutamate (bi-products like MSG) are naturally occurring in natural flavors- and it's perfectly legal.  These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience an irresistible feeling when it comes to food.  I'm sure you have experienced that feeling- can't stop at just one cookie or chip.  Or even, why you crave certain flavors or products. 

Excitotoxins literally overexcite your cells until they die or are damaged.  This then causes injury and disease.  Consuming excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders and result in diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and strokes.  Not to mention, obesity, migraines, fatigue, and depression.

Go into any conventional grocery store in America, pick up a product and look at the label.  Chances are, you will see "natural flavors" listed in the ingredients.  This is scary and ridiculous.  Ever wonder why Americans eat more calories than any other nation?  Is it because we have more $ and a bigger appetite- no, it's because our food supply is chemically produced and enhanced with these “natural flavors” along with extra fat, extra salt, and extra sugar.

According to the FDA, "natural flavors" can include:

The essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. (21CFR101.22).

What Can You Do?

We were born to eat real food- not fake shit created in a lab.  I try to avoid "natural flavor" as much as possible- and it get's hard!  I may find a delicious organic product, turn it over to read the label, and see "natural flavor" listed.  I secretly die inside and place it back on the shelf.  In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to worry about this, and we definitely don't deserve to be tricked or lured into thinking we are eating something "natural". 

I encourage you to take a peek in your pantry.  You may be surprised at how many of your own products contain "natural flavors."  Spread the word, share this post with your friends and family.  #savethebeavers

xoxo Christina