skip to Main Content

WHY SPUD HAS A BANNED INGREDIENTS LIST, AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU.

Did you know SPUD has a banned ingredients list? If you’re wondering why the answer is simple.

 

At SPUD, we care about what you eat. We know that healthy, real food is important to you, and it’s important to us too.

 

We subscribe to the Michael Pollan school of thought – “don’t eat anything your Great Grandma wouldn’t recognize as food”. Of course, all our Great Grandmas are different, and many foods that are common and perfectly healthy today would be completely alien to them. I guarantee my Great Grandma never ate sushi.  We need to think more in terms of ingredients no one’s great grandma would recognize as food. Stuff like polydextrose and natamycin.

 

This isn’t to say that we’re anti-science. Just the opposite. We’re pro-science, but we’re also pro-real food.  That’s why we’ve done our research, and compiled a list of totally unnecessary food additives that we find unacceptable. This banned ingredients list helps determine what products make it to our shelves. These include artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, hydrogenated fats and many others.

 

As an example, here are our top 5 banned ingredients:

 

ARTIFICIAL COLOURS

WHAT ARE THEY?

Although we associate foods that have artificial colours as cheery, often celebratory foods, the grim, unappetizing truth about ‘the rainbow’ is that it’s made from the same stuff that fuels our vehicles: petroleum. Yep, created in a lab, chemicals derived from petroleum are used to enhance the colours of a multitude of products we consume, perhaps unknowingly.

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. That’s what makes artificial colour an easy addition to the banned ingredients list.

 

HYDROGENATED OIL 

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

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 not even controversial, this stuff is straight up bad for you, and therefore included in the banned ingredients.

 

AZODICARBONAMIDE

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 the 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.

THE BOTTOM LINE

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. The research is still out on this, but ADA is a totally unnecessary additive. Why debate how cancerous or not cancerous something is when we can simply avoid it altogether by only choosing higher quality bread?

 

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. 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. 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.

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 their inclusion on the banned ingredients list.

 

HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP

WHAT IS IT?

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is an industrial, corn-based (no, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy) 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 the sweetness in a vast amount of processed foods including sodas, iced teas, yogurts, salad dressings, tomato sauces, ketchup, soups, breads, crackers, baked goods, candy, chocolate bars, and nutrition bars.

THE BOTTOM LINE

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. The 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.

 

 

SEE THE FULL LIST

Arianna

Arianna is SPUD's social media and content manager. She loves plants and animals and lives with several of both. Contrary to popular belief, she does NOT hate rice.

Back To Top

Get $10 OFF your first order.
I would like to receive recipes, sustainability tips and offers from SPUD.ca