Does food confuse you? Don’t buy the B.S.

Connecting Gate to Plate Blog

Does food confuse you? Don’t buy the B.S.

Have you ever felt judged for what’s in your grocery cart?

Do you wonder whether GMO-free, gluten-free, antibiotic-free, fat-free milk is better than regular milk?

Are “natural” Fritos better for you?

Does anyone really need organic, natural, hormone-free cat litter?

Grocery store marketing is full of food claims that are B.S. (below standard).

Don’t buy it!

Five Ways to Avoid Buying B.S. Food

  1. Ignore the label. Just as you don’t want food with empty calories, avoid food with empty label claims such as “____-free”, “natural”, “farm-raised” or  “sustainable.” For example, all milk in the grocery store is GMO-free, gluten-free, and antibiotic-free. Those labels are used to make the product seem more attractive. If you want to know facts – not B.S., flip the package over and read the Nutrition Facts Panel.  The information on this panel is scientifically true. Really. Watch this amusing video that illustrates the B.S. on food labels.
  2. Understand the journey. The journey of your food is truly an amazing story – and usually not the negative, sensationalized claims you hear. Sometimes, many hands touch a product on the way to the store.  In other cases, for example when you purchase a bag of apples, the last hand to touch the apple was the one that picked it from the tree.  In every case, rules are in place to ensure food is handled properly to secure it is safe and nutritious when it reaches your table.  Rather than buying the B.S. get to know the system in place to protect your food safety.
  3. Fight the bullies. Often B.S. is communicated in a way designed to create an extreme emotional response.  People become scared and even well-intentioned neighbors and friends can pressure you to change your eating and buying habits.  Celebrities, wellness gurus, or gym nutritionists often proclaim their way is the only right way.  Who are they to say your food isn’t good enough? Your family’s nutrition is your business.  Just as bullying is a real threat in our schools, food bullying has become ridiculous.  Parent groups are clamoring for rules about what can be served in school or at events based on fear rather than science.  Don’t rely on the B.S.  Make you decision based on science.  If you need nutrition insight, find a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist – members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will help you fight bullying and B.S. with science-based recommendations.
  4. Get to know the people. Have you watched a documentary on farmers abusing animals, damaging the environmental, or becoming huge factory farms?  In reality, 96% of today’s farms and ranches are still run by families; they are the people who can give you the real story about how food is raised without the B.S. You can find farmers and ranchers who blog here. 
  5. Make your own decision. Define your own environmental, social, ethical, and health standards when it comes to food – and measure all claims against YOUR OWN standards rather than falling prey to B.S. food.

Food is a basic necessity, not a battleground. It is time to elevate the food conversation away from B.S. so you can avoid overwhelm the next time you are making food choices. Use these five tips to avoid food that is below standard and pick up a copy of Food Truths from Farm to Tablejust named an Independent Publishers (IPPY) medalist in health/medicine/nutrition, to uncover the truth in food.


  1. Zoe Miller on June 8, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This needs to be shouted from the rooftops!

    • Michele Payn on August 17, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      Yes, unfortunately most people have no idea what they’re buying.

  2. Norm on October 8, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I once (on Twitter) made fun of a gluten-free label on ground coffee. I thought it was a great example of BS marketing. Of course coffee doesn’t have gluten. One of my Twitter friends who suffers from celiac, pointed out that she uses that sort of information. Apparently, ground coffee *could* have cross contamination in the grinding process.

    Good article. I heartily agree that orthorexia is real and out of control. Marketers are eating it up.

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