Two days ago, I was horrified to learn that not a single Campbell soup, juice, or edible food-like product is safe for vegans! I had just plopped down on my couch with my favorite dinner: a HUGE bowl of sliced, steamed sweet potatoes (I’m loving the Japanese ones!) and a head of crispy Romaine lettuce leaves to wrap my potatoes in, when I watched one of my favorite vegan YouTuber’s reaction to learning this shocking information. Needless to say, she was really angry that she had just consumed a soup she made using Campbell’s vegetable broth.
I was angry too. As a fellow vegan, I know how hard we try to read food labels and restaurant menus to make sure we don’t accidentally consume animals products. Finding out that you just accidentally consumed the animals you are trying so hard to protect feels like getting punched in the gut. It feels like finding out someone just lied to your face, or stabbed you in the back. And that is exactly what big food companies are allowed to do to consumers under current FDA food regulations!
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
“The label of a food to which flavor is added shall declare the flavor in the statement of ingredients in the following way:
(1) Spice, natural flavor, and artificial flavor may be declared as “spice”, “natural flavor”, or “artificial flavor”, or any combination thereof, as the case may be.
(2) An incidental additive in a food, originating in a spice or flavor used in the manufacture of the food, need not be declared in the statement of ingredients.”
This is EXACTLY why I DON’T TRUST FOODS WITH LABELS. In my opinion, if a food has a label with more than 3-5 ingredients, it loses credibility as food and probably should’t be consumed. If it was produced in a factory, there is no way of knowing what else is produced on the same conveyor belt or packing line. I choose to avoid consuming food-products that have a label with some exceptions (I love Just Veggies brand freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, dried fruit (no added sugar or oil), and occasionally use Vega Protein powder).
I have lost a lot of faith in America’s food system. (For more useful information about the current politics and policies regarding food, visit Marion Nestle’s blog: http://www.foodpolitics.com/) The FDA cannot properly regulate food because of conflicting interests. Example:
This is information that consumers need to be aware of. We live in a free nation, and I am thankful for people like FoodBabe for reminding us of our responsibility to look into our food and speak out when we see wrongdoing. I advocate for complete transparency in our food system, and I won’t be happy until “health” means what it should and becomes the default desire of our nation. Not profits.
Let me know if this opened your eyes or informed you in any way! You can go to change.org to sign a petition to stop sneaking animal products in Campbell’s products and tell others what you’ve learned here!