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A few ingredients you won’t find on our shelves

At Spud we have rigorous ingredients and quality standards we use when sourcing products. We do the homework for you so you can trust the products you are purchasing from Spud are of the highest quality, nutritious and sustainable. This includes a list of over 1,000 harmful ingredients that have known effects on the environment and our health which we do not stock. Instead, we focus on natural whole-food alternatives.

Here are a few common ingredients found at a conventional grocery store, and why we don’t stock them at Spud:

Artificial Colours

harmful ingredients artificial colours

WHAT ARE THEY?

Food dyes are man-made complex initially made from coal tar but are now made from petroleum. Yes, the same substance is used to make gasoline, fuel, diesel, plastic, and asphalt. It’s commonly used in candy, cereal, ice cream, and other snack foods to make it more appealing.

POTENTIAL RISKS:

There have been studies linking artificial colours with ADHD and hypersensitivity in children. It has also been linked to increased inflammation and disruption of the immune system, as well as contain potential toxins linked to cancer.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Although there is still further research required to determine the potential impacts of artificial colours in our food, one thing we do know is that they provide absolutely no nutritional value. When you switch to a diet that uses more fresh, whole foods, you’ll find it incredibly easy to avoid consuming anything that might contain artificial colours or any other mystery ingredients you’re on the fence about. This is why we do not include it in any products listed on Spud. Instead, snack foods are coloured using natural sources such as turmeric, beet powder and spirulina.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

harmful ingredients hydronated corn oilWHAT IS IT?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an industrial, corn-based sweetener that’s become a crowd favourite among processed food and beverage manufacturers. Because it is cheap and is sweeter than plain sugar, manufacturers use HFCS to provide sweetness in a vast amount of processed foods including sodas, iced teas, yogurts, salad dressings, tomato sauces, ketchup, soups, bread, crackers, baked goods, candy, chocolate bars, and nutrition bars.

POTENTIAL RISKS:

HFCS is incredibly high in nutritionless calories of fructose and glucose. When you consume HFCS, the fructose beelines straight to your liver and triggers lipogenesis (the production of fats like triglycerides and bad cholesterol). This can cause ‘fatty liver disease’, a condition which affects 70 million people worldwide, and occurs when fat makes up at least 5% of the liver. Glucose also spikes insulin levels, our body’s primary fat-storage hormone. The combination of these two features can lead to increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, and more. And since it’s only found in highly processed foods, it’s kind of a no-brainer to eliminate.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The bottom line is, any kind of sugar in excess amounts will have negative effects on your health. This is the same for refined white sugar, natural cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and even maple syrup or agave. However, not all sugars are biochemically identical and are not processed the same way by our bodies. The highly processed nature of HFCS is why we’ve banned it at Spud. Additionally, seeing HFCS on the list of ingredients is usually a clue that you’ll be seeing a slew of other processed ingredients in that same product, so when you bypass HFCS, you’re likely bypassing a ton of other highly processed and nutritionally deficient ingredients as well.

Hydrogenated Oil

harmful ingredients hydronated oils

WHAT IS IT?

The process of hydrogenation means that we are turning a natural oil into a solid fat by forcing hydrogen into the oil at high pressure. Hydrogenated oils can be found in margarine, vegetable shortening, many packaged snacks, baked goods (especially pre-made versions), ready-to-use dough, many fried foods, and both dairy and nondairy coffee creamers

POTENTIAL RISKS

Hydrogenated oils affect heart health by increasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, and decreasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease, heart-attacks, and strokes.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Hydrogenated oil was invented to reduce cost and maximize shelf-life for food producers, not for its nutritional qualities. In fact, hydrogenated oils affect heart health by increasing low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, and decreasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol levels. This is been proven on many cases to be bad for our health, therefore it is not in any products found at Spud.

Azodicarbonamide

harmful ingredients ADA

WHAT IS IT?

Azodicarbonamide (ADA) is a dough conditioner that is used by bread processors to create products that are ultra-soft and chewy. It is also used as a bleaching agent in flour. However, the creepy superpower of this ingredient is its dual-action ability to be used in the realm of plastic production, where it creates springiness in yoga mats and shoe soles. ADA has been banned in Australia, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. Yet despite growing public health concerns, it is still accepted by the US Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada.

POTENTIAL RISKS

The controversy around ADA started after workers at a manufacturing plant who were exposed to significant levels of ADA developed asthma. However, it is the breakdown products of ADA that is additionally concerning. When flour containing ADA is baked, it creates a carcinogen known as urethane. In fact, International Food Additive Database that permits the use of ADA in flour.

THE BOTTOM LINE

The research is still out on this, but ADA is a totally unnecessary additive. Instead of taking the risk on something that could be extremely harmful to our health, at Spud we focus on sourcing high-quality bread from local bakeries and producers.

Potassium Benzoate & Sodium Benzoate

WHAT IS IT?

Sodium and Potassium Benzoate are used as preserving agents to prevent mold in products and extend shelf life. It can be found in acidic foods like pickles, salad dressings, olives, processed fruit juices, and soft drinks. It can also be food in health and beauty products like shampoo body lotion and deodorants.

POTENTIAL RISKS

Benzene content increases in correlation with shelf life, light exposure, and heat. There is no way to know where the benzene levels are at once you crack open that can. When combined with citric acid, like in a soft drink, for example, the ingredients form benzene, a carcinogen associated with leukemia and other blood cancers.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Both the FDA and the Canadian Health Protection Branch have deemed these ingredients ‘safe’ when consumed in low amounts, but again, there’s no way to know how much benzene is in the products you are consuming, so why risk it? There are lots of potassium benzoate- and sodium benzoate-free products available, so they are just not necessary. Hence we do not stock products that contain it at Spud.

SPUD has been delivering local and organic groceries in Vancouver and the lower mainland for the past 20 years, and now services Vancouver Island, Calgary, and Edmonton as well!

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