Tuesday, July 14, 2009

HFCS at WholeFoods? Say it Ain't So!

By Marcie Barnes

One of the things I really like about Whole Foods and other stores like it is the fact that I don't have to do so much label-reading.

I admit after some searching I find I am not the first person to make this discovery. But how many also had the general impression that there were no HFCS (High-fructose corn syrup) products at Whole Foods?

I knew that Earth Fare had a non-HFCS policy. Unfortunately, I assumed Whole Foods did as well. A huge benefit, for me at least, in shopping in these earth and health-friendly stores is the comfort in knowing they choose to sell products good for us, and the planet.

I could not find such a policy on Whole Foods' site, someone please point me there if there is one. I did find this tweet, however, that explains "
none of our 365 products contain HFCS and only a small % of our branded products do, unlike in other stores."

Other tweets explain that "
HFCS isn't on our unacceptable ingredient list, but you'll still find it's the exception, not the convention in our stores."

Here is what I found:


This is a shrimp tray, with cocktail sauce included. The HFCS (and more corn syrup later) is in the sauce. What baffles me, in part, is why it seems that the cocktail sauce was portioned out from a bottled shelf brand that has HFCS, when there is an organic 365 brand available without HFCS. Furthermore, I think it might be even simpler (and cheaper) for the kitchen to mix some 365 organic ketchup with a little grated horseradish, and voila! Cocktail sauce.

Don't get me wrong, I love Whole Foods (I was actually there a couple days ago because I was in a bad mood and being there cheers me up :)) I just find it odd that they (my local Cary, NC store, by the way) would package up some shrimp with HFCS sauce and showcase it in the seafood section.

I was actually curious about Whole Foods non-top ranking in Greenpeace's recent Seafood Scorecard report. More on that coming up. Stay tuned.

What do you think? Should HFCS be on the unacceptable list at Whole Foods? I think so, especially considering recent news regarding mercury in HFCS.

Main photo credit goes to boeke on Flicker. Shrimp photo is mine.

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