Posts Tagged ‘investigation’

  1. The Truth: Meat, Fish & Poultry Labels

    July 21, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    There are so many products in the grocery store it is overwhelming. How do you decide what you buy? Maybe you reach for the familiar foods you had in your home growing up. Lucky charms anyone? Or maybe your health has recently declined and now you are starting to read the labels. Can someone please tell me why boiled skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals is in my favourite childhood cereal? Ew.

    So, what do those claims on the label really mean? And who really has the time to look into each and every one? How am I supposed to know what is the best and who is telling the truth? To be honest, I’m tired to reaching for a product just because of the label. I want to know what I am buying and what these claims on the label really mean. I want to be an educated consumer in Canada. Don’t you?

    So how does one become an educated, healthful consumer in Canada? By taking little steps in the right direction each day, and learning as you go! I want to help you on your journey and make this practical. Together we will learn and discover how we can make better decisions to benefit our health. I will never tell you what to do – I simply want to provide you with information and let you decide what to do with it.

    Today we venture to the meat, fish and poultry section of the grocery store…

    What is the difference between each package in front of you? Next time you are at the grocery store buying meat, poultry or fish, take a moment to look at the labels before you make a purchase.

    What does “all natural” really mean?


    Is it really better to buy grain-fed, antibiotic free?

    photo copy

    I don’t blame you if it’s easier to ignore the label. We all buy our food for different reasons, but maybe it’s time we became aware of what these food labels really mean…

    The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) are the people who enforce policies and standards, set by Health Canada, governing the safety and nutritional quality of all food sold in Canada. They make sure we aren’t lied to as consumers so that we can make educated decisions when purchasing the food that ends up on our plates.

    To avoid the confusion behind those labels, I dug into some information and summarized my findings for you. Below is a simple chart I put together with information from the CFIA. After doing some research, I realized that food labeling is not always a “marketing scam” (as I initially thought). Sure, it is hard to know 100% what you are buying, but labels can often be a very helpful thing, as long as you know what the label really means. Let’s find out…

    (Please note that these guidelines do not include organic claims, which fall under the Organic Products Regulations of the Canada Agricultural Products Act.)

    CFIA Meat, Fish and Poultry Label Claims

    Click here for the link to the printable version


    Print off this chart and take it with you next time you go grocery shopping. This is an easy step to becoming an educated consumer in Canada.


    Buy organic first if possible!


    I don’t believe organic is perfect, but it is usually better. Why? They have strict regulations that they must follow in order to be certified organic. For example, feed must be organic and GMO free (remember, all those non-organic grain fed animals are most likely loaded with GMO corn & soy). Organic promises no added hormones or antibiotics to promote growth. Synthetic preservatives or added colouring are prohibited and the animal must have access to pasture. There are many more regulations they must follow, which makes “label reading” much easier when buying organic. All you need to do is look for ONE label instead of being confused by a bunch of labels:



    Look for this label to avoid GMOs in non-organic food. This label is found on organic food too, even though “certified organic” already means non-gmo:


    If organic is not an option, follow the chart I have provided to help you with purchasing your meat, fish and poultry. Remember, your health is your own responsibility, don’t just leave it to chance or labels. Educate yourself!

    In Love,

    Melanie Faris

  2. Finding healthy bread in the grocery store

    March 13, 2014 by Melanie Faris

    Bread brings back many great memories. As a young girl, I loved coming home to a house filled with the smell of my Dad’s fresh homemade bread. I couldn’t wait to sit down for dinner and smother soft butter all over it. Another favourite bread memory is having dippin’ eggs for breakfast – aka, over easy. I love(d) having eggs for breakfast paired with a piece of toasted buttered bread to soak up all that delicious runny yolk. I LOVE bread. Too bad one of my favourite foods is full of crap. Crap!

    Since learning more about ingredients and where they come from, I have a hard time buying conventional bread from the grocery store. I just can’t seem to put genetically engineered food, sugar and preservatives into my body when there are healthier options out there. I seriously don’t want to drive to a health food store every time to find bread that is actually healthy. I want bread that I can buy at the regular grocery store just down the street! The only problem is finding a healthy option in the grocery store, and enjoying it too! Cardboard is not the taste I want from “bread”, and unfortunately this is what a lot of those healthy breads taste like. So I headed to the grocery store to dig a little deeper and share with you what bread is “Melanie Approved” and what bread stayed on the shelf.

    Oh – make sure you read all the way to the bottom. There is a BONUS Bread not in the investigation that we eat at home all of the time and is super easy to find. It is completely NUT FREE and one you can have your kids to bring to school. I love this bread. But first, watch the investigation below to find out some other great breads to buy, and to see which ones didn’t pass the test.

    Click here to watch my grocery store investigation.


    Breads that did not make it into my cart:

    (all ingredients are taken directly from the company’s website)

    Dempster’s Healthy Way Boost My Protein!

    The ingredients start off great, but then comes the sugar and genetically modified ingredients…



    Dimpflmeier Bakery – Schinkenbrot – Black Forest Style Rye Bread

    I don’t want to bash Dimpflmeier, as I believe they make wonderful breads that are really healthy and delicious too! I do want to point out one ingredient they often add to their bread that has me putting the loaf back on the shelf. Caramel Colour. This is a colour additive that is processed from a carbohydrate that often includes ammonium and sulfite compounds. Both are toxic and not something I want to have in my body. Sorry Dimpflmeier, but this one didn’t make the cut.

    Ingredients: Natural Spring Water, Unbleached Wheat Flour, Rye Flour, Rye Grain, Sour Dough (Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Whole Grain Whole Wheat Flour, Rye Flakes, Salt, Yeast, Caramel Colour, Cultured Whey Powder (Whey and Bacterial Culture), Rolled Oats.


    Dempster’s WholeGrains Flax

    I don’t mean to pick on Dempster’s. Their bread just happened to be the most popular at the store and the ones that caught my attention with their marketing for healthy choices. Unfortunately, I didn’t find them so healthy…especially with sugar being the 3rd ingredient on the ingredients list.

    Ingredients: Whole grain whole wheat flour including the germ, water, sugar / glucose-fructose, milled whole grain flax seeds, wheat gluten, whole grain soybeans, yeast*, soluble raisin syrup (raisin solids, water), vinegar, salt, vegetable oil (canola or soybean), whole grain flax seeds, monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, calcium propionate, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, calcium carbonate. *order may change. May contain milk ingredients, sesame seeds and sulfites.


    Breads that made it into my cart:


    Dimpflmeier – Organic – 100% Rye Bread with Sunflower Seeds

    Ingredients: Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Organic Sunflower Seeds, Salt.

    Ezekiel Bread

    This is my personal fave! Always check the freezer for their products as they have no preservatives added. I also love their wraps to make an egg burrito with in the morning or tuna wrap for lunch.

    Ingredients: Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Millet, Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Lentils, Organic Sprouted Soybeans, Organic Sprouted Spelt, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt. Rolled in Organic Unhulled Sesame Seeds.



    I didn’t see this particular bread at the store on the day of my investigation, but there’s no way I could do a post on healthy bread and leave this one out. I was taken by surprise when I first saw it because the ingredients were too good to be true (especially since I was in Sobeys and not a special health food store!). This is bread that is often in my shopping cart. If you haven’t tried Silver Hills Squirrelly Bread, you are missing out!! Check it out – 

    Non-GMO vegan ingredients: organic whole sprouted wheat, raisin nectar (raisins, water), vital wheat gluten, sunflower seeds, organic sesame seeds, yeast, water, sea salt, cultured wheat flour (wheat flour, bacterial culture)
    May contain organic soy. Made in a peanut and tree nut free facility.


    I hope you are now equipped to enter the grocery store and find bread that is really healthy! Put down the sugar and GMOs and pick up bread with ingredients that will feed you nutrition instead of disease. Happy bread shopping! Now time to go make me some dippin’ eggs.