Archive for the ‘Toxic Chemicals in Food’ Category


Organic Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup (Recipe)

In Healthy Organic Recipes,Natural Foods,Organic,Organic Foods,Organic vs Non-Organic,Reading Ingredients and Labels,Reading Nutrition Labels,Toxic Chemicals in Food,Toxic Food Additives on April 12, 2011 by organicconversion

Going Organic, Easy Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

by Kristina Blasen (2011)

My son loves Chicken Noodle soup. I think eating chicken noodle soup is fine, but companies like Campbell’s add preservatives that don’t need to be in there and when it is canned soup the metal from the can itself can leach into the food. There is a lot of information about this danger and studies have been done on BPA-related chemicals leaching into food (which is common). Check this out (2007) if you want to learn more about those studies.

Here’s the ingredients in Campbell’s Double Noodle Soup:


I checked out Eden foods organic canned goods since they don’t use BPA in their cans to see if they had a good alternative to Campbell’s, but they didn’t so I went to plan B, making my own homemade and trying to get a recipe as close to the familiar version so my soup-lover would actually eat it!


2 pts. no-chicken organic broth (I used Pacific, but be VERY careful with this, read the label and make sure all ingredients are organic vegetables and spices with no preservatives or anything added. Beware of modified yeast which is basically 78% MSG.)

1 bunch organic celery, chopped

1 bag organic baby carrots, whole

1 large organic yellow onion, chopped

sea salt (to taste)

pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon organic garlic, chopped

3 organic chicken breasts (I cook them in there whole then take them out later and chop)

1 16 oz. package organic noodles (organic durham wheat)


Add all ingredients except the noodles to the CrockPot and cook on High for 2 hours. Remove chicken and chop on cutting board. Return chopped chicken to pot. Depending on when dinner is…turn to low/or keep warm setting until almost time for dinner.

Make the noodles separately in the last 15 minutes on the stove (according to package directions) and add them last or they will get mushy and lose their shape. I used twist noodles since my son likes those and they are more kid-friendly.

For the adults: I add a handful of spinach or kale for greens to my bowl and put the soup on top.



Is MSG toxic?

In Reading Ingredients and Labels,Toxic Chemicals in Food,Toxic Food Additives on April 5, 2011 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,



Is MSG Toxic?

by Kristina Blasen (2011)

MSG stands for Monosodium glutamate. The stance the FDA has taken is that MSG is a safe food additive, though it acknowledges that some people may be “sensitive” to it. MSG is hiding in just about every processed food product these days. Food companies say it is a “flavor enhancer”. The reason it is added to food is that it makes people eat more. It is highly addictive. In science, they use it to make rats and mice fat since none are fat in nature.

MSG goes by many different names. When you are checking out food ingredients and nutrition labels look for these names which contain 78% MSG:

MSG Gelatin Calcium Caseinate
Monosodium glutamate Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP) Yeast Extract
Glutamate Autolyzed Plant Protein Yeast food or nutrient
Glutamic Acid Sodium Caseinate Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract Senomyx (wheat extract labeled as artificial flavor)

(This table is from the “MSG Myth” website. Read the entire article and find more sources of MSG that may be in your food under additional names here:

Check out the signs of MSG toxicity: (Table is from:

1. Severe headache 12. Shortness of breath, chest pains, asthma 23. Slowed speech
2. Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting 13. Swelling, pain, or numbness of hands, feet, jaw 24. Chronic bronchitis-like symptoms, allergy reactions, dry cough, hoarseness or sore throat
3. Irregular heart beat or blood pressure, racing heart 14. Pain in joints or bones 25. Heavy, weak feeling in arms and legs
4. Depression or mood change, bipolar, SAD 15. Flushing or tingling in face, chest, pressure behind eyes 26. Irritable bowel or colitis
5. Abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, colitis, IBS 16. Gagging reflex or difficulty swallowing 27. Attention deficit disorder, anxiety attacks, rage, panic attacks
6. Balance problems, dizziness, or seizures, mini-strokes 17. Hyperactivity, behavioral problems 28. Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson’s
7. Tenderness in localized areas, neck, back, etc. 18. Chronic post nasal drip 29. Pressure behind eyes or on head, neck, shoulders
8. Sleep disorders 19. Skin rash, itching, hives 30. ADD, ADHD, Rage Disorder
9. Blurred vision or difficulty breathing 20. Bloated face, dark circles under strained eyes 31. Asthma
10. Chronic fatigue or sleepiness 21. Extreme thirst or dry mouth 32. Weight problems, obesity, hypoglycemia
11. Excessive perspiring or shuddering and chills 22. Difficulty concentrating and poor memory

It isn’t scientific, but here is an interesting article where a woman shares how eliminating all sources of MSG and switching to an all organic diet reversed her MS (multiple sclerosis) symptoms.

One of her posts shows how MSG toxicity symptoms mirror MS symptoms which I found interesting:


Why would a company offer both organic and non-organic versions of the same product?

In Budget Organic Food,Natural Foods,Organic,Organic Foods,Organic Product Reviews,Organic vs Non-Organic,Reading Ingredients and Labels,Reading Nutrition Labels,Toxic Chemicals in Food,Toxic Food Additives on April 3, 2011 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Cheese & Garlic Croutons

Cheese & Garlic Croutons


Fresh Gourmet:

Same company, same product

organic vs. non-organic

Read and compare the ingredients!

by Kristina Blasen (2011)

This all started a few months ago when I got sucked into a buy 2 for $4 sale at the grocery store on, of all things, croutons. I mean, how many croutons do I need? I had been making some great salads all week since I was trying out new dressings so I ended up with two bags of Farm Fresh Cheese & Garlic Croutons since they were on sale. Apparently I’m a sucker for a sale because this week when I was checking out the manufacturer’s website I noticed that their “suggested retail price” was $1.99 a bag. (…So I paid $.02 extra for my “sale”).

Keep in mind, these weren’t organic, I only found out they offered an organic line of croutons on the manufacturer’s website today. Then, when I checked it out at the store I found the “Organic Ceasar” croutons made by Fresh Gourmet separated from all of the other croutons made by Fresh Gourmet even though the rest have a huge display in the produce section! These were the same price as the non-organic, $1.99 for a 5 oz. bag.

This struck me as a strange move for a company, to continue to offer non-organic versions of the same product that you are able to produce organically and offer at the same price.

I haven’t tried the organic croutons (after all I still have more than a whole bag left of the others), but after I read the ingredients list of the regular, non-organic croutons compared to the organic ones I’m just disappointed in the company itself.

Check it out for yourself:

Fresh Gourmet Cheese & Garlic Croutons (Not organic) INGREDIENTS:

Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Canola and/or Sunflower oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, 2% or less of Yeast, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Corn Syrup Solids, Whey, Romano chesse solids from cow’s milk, parmesan,cheddar and blue cheeses (Pasturized Milk, cheese cultures, saly, enzymes), maltodextrin, calcium propionate (preservative), calcium peroxide, calcium sulfate, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, sodium stearoyl lactylate, autolyzed yeast, garlic powder, dehydrated parsley, cultured whey, autolyzed yeast extract, food starch modified, vinegar solids, cream, nonfat milk, natural flavor, citric acid, annatto and turmeric (color) and TBHQ (to preserve freshness).

Organic Caesar

Organic Caesar

Fresh Gourmet Organic Ceasar Croutons INGREDIENTS:
Organic Seasoned variety: Organic wheat flour, organic sunflower oil, organic cracked rye, organic cracked wheat, salt, 2 % or less of the following; organic sugar, organic wheat gluten, organic garlic, organic onion, organic parsley and yeast.

A lot of people think “organic” is always more expensive, in this case it wasn’t. Some people think they add weird ingredients. (I think the “regular” ingredients are much weirder in this case).

The biggest lie companies tell is that they can’t produce the same product without including all those dangerous additives that are known carcinogens and mutagens, like TBHQ (above) or BHT. Looks like they can, and at the same retail price too.


They’re attacking my tea with soy lecithin dammit!

In Reading Ingredients and Labels,Toxic Chemicals in Food,Toxic Food Additives on March 30, 2011 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , ,

Soy Lecithin and Soya Lecithin: Are they dangerous to your health?

by Kristina Blasen (2011)

I love hot tea and as I was in the tea aisle at the grocery store the other day I started reading the ingredient lists and comparing the ingredients for the same kind of tea across different brands. You’d think they’d be the same, right? No, about half the brands had the expected ingredients, but the other half added “Soy Lecithin” which certainly doesn’t need to be in there!

Liquid Soya Lecithin

Liquid Soya Lecithin

I just read an interesting article on soy lecithin and whether or not it is good or bad for you. Either way, soy is becoming a cheap subsidized food crop in the US and it is being added to all kinds of foods that it has never been in before!

If you’re allergic to soy, drinking what used to be herbal tea could make you sick, you even though they say the extraction process destroys the soy, people have gotten sick so I wouldn’t chance it!

For everyone else, well it “might” be okay, or it might cause nausea, hives, difficulty breathing and other bathroom funs.

Soya Lecithin

Soya Lecithin

The real danger is the toxic Hexane that is used to process soy lecithin into something a company can sell to make money. The “stuff” that is chemically turned into soy lecithin is a by-product of the soy manufacturing process that is often dehydrated and then recolored with chemicals to make it lighter so that it can be added to foods to make them “smoother” and to act as an emulsifier to keep foods like butter or cake mix from separating and to make the cleaning of manufacturing equipment faster (i.e. for the non-stick properties).

Does that sound like something that belongs in tea?

It isn’t something I want to eat, so why do we allow this stuff to stay in our food supply?


The Organic Conversion

In Budget Organic Food,Healthy Organic Recipes,Minnesota,Natural Foods,Organic,Organic Beauty Reviews,Organic Companies,Organic Foods,Organic Product Reviews,Organic vs Non-Organic,Reading Ingredients and Labels,Reading Nutrition Labels,Toxic Chemicals in Beauty Products,Toxic Chemicals in Food,Toxic Food Additives on March 29, 2011 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

What's in Your Food? by Bill Statham

What's in Your Food? by Bill Statham

Hi! Welcome to the “covert” organic, a little blog about converting from the processed foods and products full of chemicals and other unhealthy junk to natural foods and organic products- all while eiking by on a tiny budget and using my brain to research chemicals and pick good alternative products.

This is really a snapshot of the ongoing story chronicling my slow conversion from buying the average everyday brand name foods, bath and beauty products, laundry and cleaning products that I grew up with to buying organic in order to reduce my exposure to toxic stuff.

I’m checking the labels and researching what those crazy chemical names mean on the back of the label and with some help from a great book called “What’s in Your Food?” by Bill Stratham. Research has shown that those chemical names that we assume are okay since they are in the food and products that we buy at the local stores aren’t always “okay”.

Sometimes those long names tacked on at the end of the list of ingredients are just the formal name for a vitamin and not something that is bad for you, but sometimes those names are hiding chemicals that are known carcinogens or mutagens.

Like a lot of people, I’m on a budget and besides finding all the hidden chemicals that are in pretty much everything, I’m finding it hard to buy organic because it costs so much more than all those chemical-laden brand name products that are on every store shelf and I have to look a lot harder and research more to find out which organic alternatives are the best and where to buy them.

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Soap

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Soap- Basil

I’m trying out different natural products as I replace the “old” brand name chemical-laden stuff I always bought before because it was cheap and widely available and seeing what works and what is the most cost-effective.

Luckily, I read a lot of great articles that point me in the right direction of products and chemicals to watch out for, then I go and do my own research so I call tell the real from the quacks.

So, that is what this blog is going to be about…I think. 🙂

by Kristina Blasen (2011)