*** VEGAN BAD FOOD ALERT ***
This is really a sad day. Poor, unsuspecting vegans (like myself), have been purchasing these deceptive alternative meat products over the years in an effort to maintain a healthy, vegan lifestyle.
The “MorningStar Chik’ N Strips” packaging boasts “100% Vegan”.
However, what you may not know when you purchase this product, is that it’s made with GMO ingredients.
Here is the ingredient list taken from the MorningStar website:
VEGGIE CHIK’N (WATER, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, WHEAT GLUTEN, NATURAL FLAVOR, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, SALT, COLOR ADDED, PEA PROTEIN, CARROT FIBER, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN B6 [PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE], VITAMIN B12, CALCIUM PANTOTHENATE, IRON [FERRIC ORTHOPHOSPHATE], ZINC OXIDE, MAGNESIUM OXIDE, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE), SEASONING (DEHYDRATED GARLIC AND ONION, SALT, MALTODEXTRIN, BLACK PEPPER, DEHYDRATED GREEN AND RED BELL PEPPER, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, NATURAL FLAVOR), EXPELLER PRESSED CANOLA OIL. (source)
- Soy Protein Isolate and Canola Oil - well known and documented GMO ingredients. Unless it is labeled “organic” or is labeled “Non-GMO Project Verified”, we can only assume it’s made from GMO products.
- Natural Flavor – a sneaky way for companies to hide ingredients they don’t want you to know about
- Salt – processed, toxic iodized salt
- Color Added – ?? who knows what this could be
- Maltodextrin – could be sourced from corn, which is a well known and documented GMO ingredient. Unless it is labeled “organic” or is labeled “Non-GMO Project Verified”, we can only assume it’s made from GMO corn.
- Autolyzed Yeast – another name for MSG. You do not want to be eating this or worse serve it to your children (source)
I can’t tell you how many of these products I have purchased over the years (veggie burgers, chik’n strips, crumbles, corn dogs, breakfast sausages, etc).
And don’t forget that if you’ve ever bought a MorningStar Veggie Burger from Burger King as a healthy, vegan alternative to hamburgers, you probably have eaten their GMO burgers there, too.
After doing some research, I discovered this disappointing news taken directly from their website (http://www.morningstarfarms.com/faq.html)***
“Q. Are Morningstar Farms products made with GMO ingredients?
A. We recognize that some Morningstar Farms consumers may prefer foods that do not contain biotech ingredients, so we offer Morningstar Farms Breakfast Patties made with Organic Soy.
At this time, all our other products contain biotech ingredients. The ingredients we use have been approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities, and all of our products comply with food labeling requirements where they are sold throughout the world.”
***UPDATED on 2/5/2013***
I received a comment from Chris (thank you!) that he tried to access the link to their FAQ page listed above and it has been removed from their website. In fact, they do not even have a FAQ page anymore.
I had written a post about a Bolthouse Farms product (owned by Campbell’s Soup Company) around the same time I wrote this one that I recently had to update as well. Bolthouse Farms has since changed their labels and removed the question on their FAQ page regarding their use of GMO’s in their products, just like Kellogg’s.
My theory is that both companies (Campbell Soup/Bolthouse Farms and Kellogg’s/MorningStar) are trying to downplay or make it hard for you to find out if their products contain GMO’s, especially after all the public awareness and boycotts that have occurred due to Proposition 37.
What does this mean?
Even if you decide to stop eating the MorningStar foods, you should carefully consider whether to support Kellogg’s and the many other products they sell (Cheez-It, Famous Amos, Keebler, Special K, Pringles, Austin, Mother’s Cookies, Carr’s, Gardenburger, Worthington, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Rice Krispies, Pop-Tarts, Chips Deluxe Cookies, Eggo, All-Bran, Nutri-Grain, Frosted Flakes, Crunch Nut, Krave, Coco Pops, Fruit Loops, Corn Flakes, Corn Pops, TownHouse).
Kellogg’s not only uses GMO’s, high-fructose corn syrup, MSG, etc. in their products, but also contributed $632,500 to fight Proposition 37 and oppose the labeling of foods containing GMO’s and your right to know what’s in the foods you buy (source)
More disturbing news from Kellogg Company:
And if all of that isn’t bad enough, here is Kellogg’s policy regarding the use of cage-free hens (also from: http://www.morningstarfarms.com/faq.html#): ***UPDATED 2/5/2013 – this link has also been removed from the MorningStar website***
“Kellogg Company has been working to reduce its use of eggs from caged-hens since 2007 when we announced a commitment to use a minimum one million fewer eggs annually in Morningstar Farms® products. Since that time, we’ve actually reduced our use by approximately 20 million eggs, far exceeding our original goal.
Undertaking a phased-in transition to cage-free egg use in Morningstar Farms® products is not a viable option at this time due to insufficient supply and the resulting increase to the price of the products, particularly in a recessionary environment. However, we continue to look for additional ways to reduce our use even further while maintaining great taste and the right price/value equation for consumers.
For the eggs that we still use, Kellogg requires suppliers to comply with the United Egg Producers’ Certified Program, which establishes animal welfare guidelines for the egg industry and whose processes include extensive third-party audits to ensure egg producers are in compliance with rigorous standards.”
What do I do now?
If you buy products made by Kellogg’s, you are supporting a company that:
- uses GMO ingredients
- uses caged-hen eggs (watch“Food, Inc.“ to know why this is important)
- contributed $632,500 to keep you from knowing their foods contain GMO’s
It’s really sad, but we just can’t assume or take for granted that the foods we buy and think are healthy are anymore.
We have to be vigilant and informed and read the labels on everything we buy.
Buy organic or support companies that provide Non-GMO Project verified foods if you can, whenever possible.