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Fake Health Food: Kashi

I’m not going to lie, until recently I had a bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal just about every morning and I felt pretty good about eating it. After all it had a lot of protein and fiber in it, just what my body needs. Then something alarming started to happen, I became more and more aware of what I was putting into my body and some of the websites I began to visit discussed how Kashi really isn’t as healthy as it reports itself to be. At first I was in a state of denial, ‘ My Kashi wouldn’t include GMO laced ingredients in their products, it just wouldn’t!’, but as time progressed I finally saw the light; the Kashi brand is a fake health food

Kashi bills itself as a natural brand that is healthy to eat and feel good about. They make only a few organic products, so mostly they are using the term ‘natural’ as a marketing gimmick for people to buy their food. The ingredients themselves, for the most part, in their products aren’t bad; no HFCS for example. However, the majority of them are not organic or healthy because they contain GMOs. Here is what Kashi has to say on their Facebook page when they are confronted on the issue:

We are listening and can appreciate your concern about GMOs. We also believe in organic agriculture as an important tool in a sustainable food system. That’s why 46% of our annual grain supply is organically grown and we source about 35 million pounds of organic ingredients per year. As a result, we have increased our production of organic foods significantly since 2004. We hope that you and your members will purchase more organic foods from Kashi and other manufacturers as it may help to increase the amount of organic ingredients available in the US. From Kathy at Kashi

So, according to them they use less than half organic ingredients in their products, meaning that the other 54% of ingredients are GMO based. That isn’t exactly natural is it. It certainly doesn’t make me think of one of their employees walking through a jungle fondling mangoes like they do in those commercials that they run. All natural should mean ingredients that are not based on something that is created in a lab.

On their website they have something called ‘Make A Real Food Promise’:

To living well. To eating better. To ingredients grown in the sun. To giving your body the good food it needs. To a better you. To choosing real, whole foods that care for you and the environment.

I’m sorry but 54% of the ingredients that you use are not ‘real, whole foods’. Instead, some scientist at Monsanto threw a bunch of chemicals together and created a frankenfood concoction, that is anything but what you say that you represent and support.

Kellogg’s, which owns Kashi, certainly took the ‘natural’ foods gig and ran with it, didn’t they? You won’t find the Kellogg’s name anywhere on any of the Kashi products, or on the website. Perhaps because they know that savvy shoppers automatically can figure out that their products are overly processed junk foods that contain equally junk ingredients. By purchasing Kashi they automatically bought into the ‘natural’ foods market and started a blitz advertising campaign acting like they are the warriors for ‘real food’. Their commercials always have one of their bohemian employees walking around touching food, nodding at native people and talking about how concerned they are about the environment. Well, if Kellogg’s really cared about the environment they wouldn’t be purchasing GMO laced ingredients, would they? GMO crops contaminate other crops and who knows what the hell the end product does to our health!

All of this has me thinking about whether or not Kashi’s organic products are actually organic. Why only make a few organic and not the rest? It’s like they got lazy at their factory and decided it wasn’t worth trying to be truly healthy all the way. Do they even make their organic cereals in dedicated facilities, or do they make them on the same machines as they make their non-organic products? I guess we’ll never know.

Do you know what I would like to see? More lawsuits brought upon companies such as this who claim that their food is healthy and natural when in fact it contains GMOs. A lawsuit has been filed in California against ConAgra foods for promoting Wesson oils as 100% natural, when in fact it contains GMO ingredients. If this lawsuit goes through and succeeds it may set the stage for other companies being held responsible for their fake claims.

Never trust what a company says. If they are pushing their whole ‘natural’ angle so hard that it hurts chances are their product isn’t really as natural as they claim it to be. Always question these companies when it comes to their products and their advertising tactics.


23 responses »

  1. I loved this—-so true and made me laugh!:

    “Their commercials always have one of their bohemian employees walking around touching food, nodding at native people and talking about how concerned they are about the environment. “

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  3. Kashi being owned by Kellogg’s and not being an actual health food has been written about endlessly. How’d you manage to miss it?

  4. The only way to be sure something is gmo free or organic is for it to be labeled as such, “organic”. It can also be labeled with “made with organic ingredients” which means that at least 70% of the ingredients are organic. That is the only way to be sure. The term “natural” has never meant anything to me, yes, it is a marketing gimmick. The US Government is the entity to blame because it’s the companies that create the gmo’s that are lining their pockets with contributions. It’s all about the money–money for the government, money for the companies at the expense of the people. As long as the government is allowed to accept money from these companies, they will continue to make more chemicals, it makes absolutely no difference to them if they are slowly poisoning the people. This has been going on since the 1960’s.

    • I wish it was more like Europe over here as to concerning the laws surrounding the labeling of food. Politicians have been in the pockets of these large corporations for so many years I don’t think they are ever going to change.

    • Rocks are all natural. Uranium is all natural. e. coli is all natural, and probably also organic. Yet, I don’t want any of them in my cereal…

      • Organic, as defined by the FDA, only refers to foods or animals that have not been treated or fed with feed treated with herbicides/pesticides in the United States. I find it quite unlikely that you would be able to incorporate an organic grass fed rock or E.coli cell into a cereal. However, the idea of incorporating good E.coli strains into dry-goods would not be a terrible idea, as you need it to aid in processing your digested food into feces.

  5. Thanks so much for this blog. I am going to repost it. I tell my clients all the time this is a once n a while treat. Not an everyday breakfast. the best foods are found outside the box in nature.


  6. Ever since I started trying Kashi food it made me sick to my stomach every time I ate it. So I stopped. I’m glad this article points out that I’m not the only one who doesn’t like Kashi.

  7. I do not work in the food industry save a few materials that beverage or supplement makers may purchase as additives or carriers for their product. I am very well aware of the difference between organic and non-organic ingredients. One thing I think should be mentioned in rebuttal to the Kashi bashing is that Non-organic ≠ GMO. Organically certified means it more expensive. Simply put! I have crops grown organically but not all of the material is certified organic simply because not everybody is willing or able to pay the price differential. There is no difference in the quality of the product or the way in which it is handled. I run not only an organically certified facility, but vegan as well. These products were organic and vegan grown/prepared long before we decided to pay the certifying bodies their commission to stamp it “Certified”.
    I agree that there are a lot of additives and practices in the food world that could be harmful. I also understand that not all that is new is bad. As a 40 year black man in America I know that I would be nearing my twilight if not for all the changes and additives to modern diets. They didn’t do it that way one hundred years ago, but people didn’t live as long either.

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  9. I have never been inclined to purchase Kashi and never will purchase it.

    It all seemed so phony. The very images on the cereal boxes repelled me. Each and every one of the bi-racial pairings struck me as fake and phony–a crude PR attempt to appear “liberal,” “multicultural.” (Don’t get me wrong: bi-racial is great! But using racial harmony as a marketing tool in this instance rubbed me the wrong way).

    Now we know just how phony this apparently pro-GMO company really is.

  10. To be clear a GMO is not a bunch of chemicals. Its is an altered organism. It is altered by using genetic strands ( DNA) of another organism. To create a viable and efficient crop. While totally unnatural in and of our ecosystem, it is surly not a bunch of chemicals mixed in a bowl. You are now equally as missleading as Kashi.

    • Partially true, but not the whole truth Benjamin. A GMO is defined as any crop that has had its genetic code modified by manipulation of foreign or designed gene sequences. Many of the most popular GMO strains out there have genes within them that contain sequences to aid in antibiotic resistance, production of the BT toxin, and digestion of harmful compounds (the byproduct of which can often be more harmful to humans), such as RoundUp Resistant strains of corn, soy, and cotton.

      I agree that they produce a viable and efficient crop, and in some instances can be a real life-saver for certain parts of the globe. However, they are…quite literally…a bunch of chemicals mixed in a bowl. The research on the effects of GMOs in the human body over time is very young, and so far the results are not very great. Higher rates of cancers, bacterial infections, weakened immune systems, liver cirrhosis, amongst others have been documented to prolonged consumption of these foods.

      This article is not misleading, merely enlightening. More research must be done, that is a fact. But be on the side of caution, these crops are engineered with one motive in mind, and one motive only. Profits.

  11. Your style is unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.

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