As I have said before, Food Politics are far reaching, but how far?

Does the FDA really have your back? You might be surprised... please read on.

If you have been anywhere else on this site, you know that I encourage people to eat foods in their natural state. If you are interested in optimal health, consuming real whole foods is one of the best ways to slow aging and improve well-being. I realize that many people don’t believe that this type of nutritional program is practical so they consume a number of foods that I would call modern or even processed. Now, if you are going to consume these types of foods, you must read labels and steer clear of ingredients that will cause ill health: trans-fats, high-fructose, MSG, etc.

Unfortunately, the truth is, the Food and Drug Administration is NOT checking for inaccurate nutritional information on labels. The Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI has found that the Food and Drug Administration is only checking to see if there was a Nutrition Facts panel on the product tested. Yes, the report claims that the Food and Drug Administration checked 28,000 food labels for inaccurate nutritional information, but all they checked over a fourteen month period was if the label was present, not its accuracy. The Food and Drug Administration never tested the contents of the packages. What ever happened to actually being able to trust what you read?

"The Food and Drug Administration's report to Congress demonstrates that the specific issues of concern to the Committee—the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels and misleading health-related claims that make it difficult for Americans to comply with federal dietary advice--have been the casualty of not only budget cuts, but a lack of commitment on the part of the Agency to fulfill its mission," wrote CSPI legal director Bruce Silverglade to the Congressional committees responsible for FDA appropriations.

"The FDA should be cracking down on claims for bogus 'whole wheat' products, deceptive '0 trans fat' claims, inaccurate 'Nutrition Facts' labels, and misleading statements like 'made with real fruit', not just eyeballing labels to make sure that information is printed in the required format."

If the FDA is having a difficult time being forthright with Congress, I imagine their interest with the public’s concern is more than waning.

There is some hope though. The CSPI has urged the Congressional committees to direct the Food and Drug Administration to: (1) conduct supermarket sweeps to stop misleading health-related claims; (2) systematically test the accuracy of Nutrition Facts labels; (3) give labeling enforcement higher priority during inspections of manufacturing facilities and distribution facilities; (4) put a stop to marketplace fads before they get out of hand; and (5) increase funding to the FDA division responsible for food labeling.

The FDA isn’t going to be motivated to quickly take care of this issue because there isn’t any money in it. The majority of the FDA’s focus is on the drug industry, because that’s where the money is. So, what can you do until you are comfortable with what you are “really” eating?

If you combine the Food and Drug Administration’s lack of effort in over-seeing the improvement of every-day food label claims, and the ability of the manufactured food industry to mislead the public with unknown and misunderstood ingredient names, we need to really make an effort to know what we are putting in our bodies.

Here are some tips to ensure that you know exactly what you are eating:

1. Don't eat packaged or processed foods

2. Eat real whole foods (Preferably sustainable, beyond organic, organic, and/or natural)

3. Make your food at home

Follow these tips for two weeks, and watch the improvement in how you begin to feel.