Life tip #9: Read labels

This is a very important life tip. I am frequently shocked time and time again when people don’t read labels before they purchase food. I’ve found that food is the number one factor when it comes to my and many other individuals’ health. When watching a program about vegetarianism on Oprah about a year ago, author Michael Pollan said that over half of the things in grocery stores these days he wouldn’t consider food and after checking out the ingredients you’d realize he’s right. People wonder why they get sick, but when you look at what’s inside of their food (not to mention the rest of the things they put on/in their bodies)… you wouldn’t be surprised. If you can’t even pronounce a word on the ingredients list and/or you don’t know half of what is listed, I suggest not eating it. One of the best things that came out of my becoming a vegetarian was that I was forced to read the ingredients of everything I ate (even more so when I became vegan). It may sound like a hassle, but soon it just becomes part of grocery shopping as much as picking over fruits and vegetables to make sure you don’t get any bruised ones.

  • miss

    so true, especially love how a product will advertise as all natural or no artifical colors, etc. and then when you look at the back it has high fructose corn syrup or aspertame or soybean oil or canola oil.. those cant be all natural.

  • Dancing Branflake

    So true! I always read labels, ever since I was a kid, because I knew that if there were more than 5 ingredients one of them was not meant to be consumed. Great post!

  • Gloria

    this is definitely something i’m working on. i too often only read what’s highlighted on the front of the box (low fat! whole wheat!) without checking the real ingredients – the marketing is sadly often a total sham

  • Meredith

    Yeah, same with me. It wasn’t until I became a vegetarian that I realized how very important it is to read labels and how unaware I had been of what is really in our food….it’s scary to think about what people eat and they just have no idea.

  • Krystal/Village

    I would if I could here, haha!

  • Misty :)

    This definitely IS a good tip! And I definitely need to work on this. I have never really read the ingredients listed on the back of food items. I’m sure this definitely would help out with trying to live a much healthier lifestyle too! Which is one of my goals for this summer :) Do you have any advice on what to actually look for when you are reading the ingredients on the food? Besides if you don’t know what it is or not being able to pronounce the words…

  • So Does Estella

    You are so right. On my way back from a meeting in Connecticut last week, I stopped to get gas and wanted to grab a drink. There was not one option without high fructose corn syrup. :( Lesson learned: travel with fluids!

  • Brandi {not your average ordinary}

    The best foods to buy are the ones that don’t have labels at all, like fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s what I’ve learned. And for the foods that are labeled, if I can’t pronounce every ingredient and know precisely what it is, I put it back. Such good advice, Eva! And happy Monday! (Emailing you soon. Promise.)

  • Eva

    It’s so great to see so many thoughts on this one!

    Brandi – That was one of my little background “ingredient” texts, ha! Fresh fruit and veggies need no labels, but even then it’s best to check that it’s organic, local, and fair trade!

    Misty – You have one of the best resources for your question right up in your room, Skinny Bitch. That book will give you more information than I ever could in a single comment.
    A few words off of the top of my head that I make sure to stay far, far away from are: aspartame (I think it’s called “AminoSweet” in the US now), high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, saccharin, and the list goes on and on.

  • Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh I so agree. I am very often surprised at labels that say they are natural when they are anything but that.Love your about me page. You did a great job. Also the pictures are so cute!!