A tale of two vegetable broths…not all organics are created equal.

Buying organic is a good idea if you’re trying to eat healthier, but food manufacturers are getting sneaky.  If you are buying organic vegetable broth, you may want to look closely at the label.  Big name brands and store brands are cashing in on your desire to live healthier….and they are hoping you won’t read their labels (or maybe they think you can’t see the label with all that wool pulled over your eyes).

I went to purchase some veggie broth to make my delicious carrot ginger soup, and I saw two brands of organic broth on the shelf.

broths copy

It’s the battle of the broths!

One was the store brand (Kroger’s “Simple Truth Organic”) and the other was a trusted name (Pacific)

The store brand ingredient list was rather long…..

broth1photoWhen I looked more closely, I read that this broth was made with veggie concentrate, not real whole veggies……and it also had four different kinds of sugar AND yeast extract which is MSG’s evil twin.

And it also contained a “red flag” word: flavoring.  I don’t like that word because it can sometimes mean animal parts…like the fluid of beavers sex organs kind of animal parts. Yep “castorium” is classified as a “natural flavoring”. It’s used in candy and sweets more often than other foods, but I don’t think I want to play a game of chance with ingesting anal gland fluid.

Then I read the fine print: May contain MILK, SOY, or WHEAT!  Three things I don’t want in my veggie broth thank you!

Maybe they thought I wouldn’t mind four different kinds of sugars in my broth because they were “organic”.   What’s next?…”organic artificial preservatives”?  I think their “Simple Truth” is that they were screwing with me.

Now look closely on the front of the Simple Truth brand, and you can see some very, very, very, tiny letters.  Always be careful when you see very, very, very tiny letters because they are telling you something that they don’t really want to tell you. It says “except that which occurs naturally in yeast extract”.  (They are talking about their claim that this product contains “no MSG”) (monosodium glutamate). You can read all about the wonders of that poison here.

Then I looked at my trusted name.  Quite a difference!  And much easier to read!   broth2photo

Water, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onions, leeks, garlic, sea salt, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Nice.

And it’s certified organic by Oregon’s certification peeps.  You can’t get much more organic than that!

So the moral of the story is, just because you see “organic” on the front of the carton, it doesn’t mean that you automatically want what’s inside the carton.

I hope I’m preaching to the choir here!

Eat well! Live well! Be well!

Categories: cooking, health, healthy diet, nutrition, vegan cooking

Tags: , , , , ,

7 replies

  1. Simple Truth Organic vegetable broth is the reason I started making my own. I was appalled when I read the ingredient list. To quote Joan Cusack on Say Anything, “There’s no food in your food!”

    I have since vowed to only buy ingredients and not any “food” products, even organic food products. When I make a meal I want to know exactly what is going into it and how fresh it is. I make homemade broth once a week. I figure it costs less than $2.00 a quart. I make bread every 5 days or so that has only 6 ingredients and costs about $1.25 a loaf.

    I love this post so much. If you want to be truly healthy, you have to pay attention and put some extra effort into your shopping trips and food prep.

  2. We don’t really have ‘made-up” broth, only the dehydrated kind that you add water to yourself. I like that kind of control (and that it doesn’t cost as much to ship around the country). But I will tell my Dad to look on the labels of the stock that he buys. His Publix store brand is probably up to the same tricks as Kroger. He loves making soup so this will be of interest to him. Thanks for sharing! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    • Thanks Kellie! Ya I don’t mind the dehydration as much as the sugar! I really couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw all that sugar in vegetable broth! Even Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, which are two “health conscious” brands are doing this hide-the-crap game. Do you celebrate Thanksgiving with us in the US? I can only imagine what your house was like if you do! All that wonderful food you make! If you ever open a bed and breakfast let me know!

  3. I need you here to do my shopping! (And you can cook in my new kitchen:)

  4. whew! I buy Pacific quite often….great article Susan….it just goes to show…you gotta read the fine print! The marketing of the word “organic” makes me mad! And then they have the nerve to charge more for it because they have “organic” on it! GRRR!

    • Thanks for your comment Sherry! In the US there was some legislation introduced that would make the word “organic” only apply to certain foods but now that big business has gotten their hands in the game, we have to protect ourselves! You’re ahead of the game! Great!

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