unhealthy foods pantry clean up
Education, Food, Food Truth, Nutrition Tips, Toxins

The Criminals in your Kitchen

In the world today we must begin to see ourselves as investigators, looking for the cleanest, purest food available, and unfortunately we have a tough job ahead of us. With the food industry changing as quickly as it does, once seemingly healthy food staples have transformed into secret health criminals. While I don’t mean to be bleak, it is important for me to address how the foods that we are think are healthy, are actually contributing to the development of the very symptoms, diseases and cancer, that we claim to have just happened, because of  “genes” or “bad luck.”

Image by CapricornOneVintage

In the typical THK manner, I am going to help you clean up that kitchen of yours, throw away the toxic junk, and replace it with foods that actually contribute to your health, not take away from it. Furthermore, many of these items could be the culprit of those nagging complaints such as; weight gain, cellulite, acne, fatigue, dry skin, high cholesterol and even ADD, so think of this as a healthy re-birth, out with the old, in with the new.

In an attempt to cleanse our kitchen, like we do our bodies, here are the most popular secret criminals containing the BIG Toxic Offenders: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Oils, Shortening and Canola Oil (TRANS FAT), Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Natural Flavor or Spices (MSG), Sodium or Potassium Benzoate, Nitrates, Color (blue, green, red, yellow), Polysorbate 60, Modified Corn Starch, and Sodium Aluminum Sulfate. Hint: these are just a few on the list…


” Avoid Food Product Containing Ingredients a Third-Grader Cannot Pronounce”


I. Packaged Grains 



HFCS, COLOR, Preservatives, CANOLA


TRANS FAT, Phosphates, Sulfates

Flavors, BHT, Corn Syrup





Corn Syrup, Phosphates, Flavor, Yellow Color

Canola, MSG, COLOR





II. Sauces/Condiments








HFCS, Flavoring (MSG)

HFCS, COLOR, Benzoate, Phosphates, Flavor (MSG)


HFCS, SPICES (MSG), Benzoate

HFCS, FLAVOR (MSG), COLOR, Benzoate, Polysorbate


TRANS FAT, FLAVORS (MSG), Polysorbate, Phosphates, COLOR





III. Other

HFCS, Aspartame, Flavor (MSG), Sorbates, COLOR (red, yellow)

Phosphates, NITRATES, Corn Starch


There is Good News Yet!


Fortunately our communities are finally taking notice of the harmful ingredients in our food, forcing companies to make changes. Therefore, there are a lot of healthier options at your local stores so you don’t have to give up convienience items completely. But the REAL goal will be to simplify your life and eat straight from the source, or in other words…


“Don’t Eat Anything Your Great-Grandmother Wouldn’t Recognize”- Michael Pollan

unhealthy healthy foods

Image by saltycotton

The idea is to get back to our roots, get back to nature, and invest a little time into the preparation of your food. It is after all the very thing that makes up every cell of your body, so we cannot completely blame our nagging ailments and diseases on our genes or the outside environment. We do have control over the food we put into our mouths, so take a little extra time to read the labels or better yet, make it by hand. You can never go wrong if your food is made fresh from local vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

The food industry is in the BUSINESS of making money, not the business of HEALTH, so take responsibility, be aware, and vote with your fork. We have the power to heal from disease, to express our healthiest self, so begin with the basics and ditch those nasty criminals in your kitchen!

Now let’s get cleaning, and replace them with some healthier food options from the grocery tour or shopping guide.


Raw Nut Butter

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  • Reply Tamara February 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Love it!!! This is what I’m all about too!!!
    Let’s teach people how easy & rewarding it can be to eat healthy & be in control of our health!!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Absolutely! if we all can waken up, the food industry will have to change!

  • Reply Ayo February 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    This is a great article. Thank you StumbleUpon! I was shocked when I realized just how many companies sneak msg and other nasties. The packaging can be very deceiving. Wheat Thins sure used to look natural to me! I cleaned out my cupboards a couple years ago and was left with absolutely nothing. Cooking with whole foods can be more time consuming but I sure do feel a lot better. I’ll sacrifice a little bit of convenience for my health.

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      So glad you have taken the time to make changes! It takes some effort but far less effort than dealing with symptoms and diseases! Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

  • Reply sophie February 6, 2012 at 8:20 pm


    Sometimes we think we are making a good choice, when we aren’t at all.
    Who knew that cultured celery extract was a nitrite?!!??!? Are you kidding me!?

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Exactly. That is why keeping it simple is always best, that way we don’t have to feel crazy reading labels all the time just to be disappointed. Stick to the perimeters of the markets and the bulk bins, no boxes except for specialty raw products. Otherwise, clean, green and whole.

  • Reply Ken January 31, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Hi Lauren,
    I am the young boy in the Crisco ad.
    Shot in the fifties, probably 1955, I can still remeber the photog directing me to look at his hand and pretend it was a great big plate of yummy pork chops.
    Funny how this old stuff pops up!!

    Got a big kick out of seeing it…………Thanks..Ken

    • lauren
      Reply lauren February 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      No way!! What a small world 🙂

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