They used to make cars out of steel. They used to put real sugar in coke. They used to… well, I’m getting ahead of myself. In this post I’ll highlight three products in our grocery stores that used to be real, but were changed for the worse in order to market better to consumers.
- Lost: everything
- Gained: lower price point
Get some original maple syrup! Have you ever had it? I hope so, it is delicious. Forty gallons of sap are filtered and boiled until only one gallon of syrup remains. The sugar caramelizes and it turns from clear sap with 2% natural sugar content to brown syrup of 66.9% natural sugar. A third cup of pure maple syrup contains 165% of the recommended daily intake of Manganese and 28% of the recommended daily intake of Zinc, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. The process of turning a tree of sap into syrup for your fridge is not an easy one, so maple syrup is not cheap, but it is original and the sugar is natural.
Artificial maple syrup was invented to make “maple syrup” more affordable, but I put it in quotes to emphasize that this concoction is really no longer maple syrup at all. I am amazed that, to mimic the natural sweetness of pure maple syrup, the first two ingredients are high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup, both sweet but dramatically unhealthy for you. Then, besides a long list of other ingredients meant to mimic the texture of maple syrup, maple extract is added for flavor and food dye for color. I encourage you not to put these corn syrups and dyes in your body, but invest in your health and purchase actual maple syrup. The ingredients speak for themselves (or itself).
- INGREDIENTS: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, WATER, SALT, CELLULOSE GUM, MOLASSES, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR (LACTIC ACID), SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BENZOATE AND POTASSIUM SORBATE, CARAMEL COLOR, CITRIC ACID.
- Price: $0.12/fl oz – 24oz for $2.78
- INGREDIENTS: MAPLE SYRUP
- Price: $0.59/fl oz – 32oz for $19.99
- Lost: Health
- Gained: A product your kids will beg you for
Don’t worry, this price point is an easier one to swallow. This is just another case of companies sneaking sugar into product and hoping people don’t notice. Sugar is addictive, the dopamine hit from sugar over time will actually block dopamine receptors, so that the body needs more sugar over time to get the same high. So, which peanut butter would the body be inclined to enjoy more, the peanut butter which delivers a dopamine hit, or one that has no dopamine? Which will our kids want more? Read the ingredient list, even Jiff Natural has added sugar!
Hear me out now, I love sugar, natural sugar. Natural sugar comes in its original form which usually is paired with fibers and proteins to help the body absorb it properly (added sugars are not absorbed well into the body). And peanut butter will usually have 1 to 2 grams of natural sugar per serving! But, if our dopamine receptors are shot, then 2 grams of sugar will go completely missed and the peanut butter will taste bland and flat. Take a break from added sugar altogether, then eat natural butter and enjoy the rich natural sweetness. The natural sugar in peanut butter is unique and not like the generic added sugars we are used too.
Jif Peanut Butter Creamy
- Ingredients: Roasted Peanuts and Sugar, Molasses, Fully Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (soybean and rapeseed), Mono and Diglycerides, Salt.
- Price: $0.20/oz – 28oz for $5.49
Jif Natural Peanut Butter Creamy
- Ingredients: Peanuts, Sugar, Palm Oil, Salt, Molasses
- Price: $0.21/oz – 16oz for $3.39
365 Everyday Value, Organic Creamy Peanut Butter Unsweetened & No Salt
- Ingredients: Dry Roasted Organic Peanuts
- Price: $0.25/oz – 16oz for $3.99
- Lost: Integrity
- Gained: Lower price point
Lastly notice olive oil. The big thing I want to point out is that some “olive oils” are lying to you. They are easy to spot though, because they are the cheapest ones. Avoid the cheap ones and read the ingredients of every olive oil you purchase. Check out these oil ingredients and you will quickly see how they can be provided for so cheap.
Luciani California State Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Ingredients: Sunflower Oil (75%) & Extra Virgin Olive Oil (25%)
- Price: $0.14/fl oz – 33.8fl oz for $4.59
Violi Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- Ingredients: Sunflower Oil (85%), Extra Virgin Olive Oil (15%)
- Price: $0.12/fl oz – 33.8oz for $3.99
O Organics Organic Olive Oil Extra Virgin
- Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Price: $0.50/fl oz – 33.8oz for $16.99
What to do: read the ingredients list on EVERYTHING. Start implementing products with no added sugar (sugar listed on the ingredient list, even organic cane sugar), no corn syrups, and no food dyes.