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“All Natural” Ingedients. Well… Kind of.

September 29, 2010

This article was originally posted on Fast by a Fast Casual contributor. It is not about restaurants, I know, but it is a very important article about food that we all should read.

Ben & Jerry’s complies with CSPI request

The makers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream have agreed to drop “all natural” from its retail label after receiving the request from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

CSPI said that the “all natural” claim should not be used if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

According to a story on Yahoo! News, Ben & Jerry’s no longer wants to battle over the definition of “all natural.” The Food and Drug Administration has not defined the term.

A Ben & Jerry’s spokesman said the company is not changing any of the ingredients used to makes its premium ice cream and the label change will gradually occur throughout its product line.

When asked if Ben & Jerry’s should change their label, my answer is a definite YES! Ben & Jerry’s, and every other food manufacturer, knows without a doubt that “all natural” does not mean “partly natural with some additional unnatural ingredients.” They simply got caught lying — nothing more. Although the FDA needs to define what “all natural” means, it is nonsense for any food manufacturer to use this as their defense for why they claim to be “all natural” while not completely using all natural ingredients.

And though “natural” may be a “null word” to some, in the minds of the most, “natural,” when referring to food, does not mean high fructose corn syrup, ingredients no one can pronounce, or any other ingredient that has gone through multiple processes. If we allow this, then soon Red 40 will be considered “all natural.”

Ben & Jerry’s tried to use the lack of a FDA definition to their advantage and got caught. It’s as simple as that. Sorry B&J, ‘No longer wanting to battle’ only means you have no reason to fight. You were wrong!

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