The Dollar Diva

ON MY SOAPBOX – Grocery rant!

First off, I will apologize to those of you who read BOTH of my blogs (this one and Trash2Treasure) for repeating the exact same post in both blogs; but I feel VERY strongly about these issues; and I’m not sure that most people are even aware of these things.  SO, if you read my T2T blog, you can SKIP this post here, as it is an exact copy.

I absolutely HATE going grocery shopping anymore!  It’s SO time consuming and exhausting having to read EVERY ingredient label and compare prices per unit on every item you buy.  Buy you almost HAVE to these days.  Here’s why:


Remember not so long ago when everyone was promoting their food products at NOT containing MSG?  (Or did I just imagine that?)  I could have sworn that the general consensus a while ago was that we did not want MSG in our food anymore, and food processors heard us.  Well, I guess I missed the memo that says it’s now okay to start putting MSG in anything and everything.

campbell label

For quite some time, Michael and I noticed that after we had certain things for dinner that we had a hard time sleeping because something we had eaten was making our hearts race.  Certain preservatives will do that to me, and I’ve learned to avoid them.  And I wasn’t buying any different products other than what I normally did, so it really didn’t make sense.


So I read the ingredient labels on EVERYTHING in my pantry and freezer.   Ah-HA!!  Campbell’s soups (at least ALL the kinds I had on hand) ALL had MSG in them!!   I’ve since checked nearly ALL Campbell’s soups in the grocery store and every one I checked contained MSG.  A lot of Progresso soups did too.


KROGER brand soups at Fred Meyer are the only ones that I’ve found withOUT MSG.

I also discovered that Hamburger, chicken and tuna Helpers all had MSG.  As did most of the other brands of packaged rice and noodle side dishes.  ALL bottled alfredo sauces (except Newmans Own) contain MSG.  A lot of the ‘foil pack spice mixes’ like taco seasoning; most have MSG in them too!

READ YOUR FOOD LABELS IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME.  You are in for quite a shock!

And if it doesn’t have MSG in it, it probably has SPLENDA (sucralose, generic name) in it.

Remember when the words ‘light’ or ‘lite’ on a label meant low FAT?  Not anymore!  Nearly every item I have looked at lately that is labeled as being light contains Splenda.  And it’s in a LOT of other stuff now too, other than just light items.  Just about everything that is sugar free now has Splenda in it.  Even things that never contained artificial sweetners before, now have Splenda in them.

“WHAT’S WRONG WITH SPLENDA?”  You may ask.  The commercials say it tastes like sugar because it’s made from sugar, don’t they?!?  Ahhhh . . .but it’s HOW they remove the calories from that sugar that’ s the issue!  They CHLORINATE IT!!!

The truth is that sucralose does start off as sugar, but it is what happens after that is the problem. In the factory, three chlorine molecules are added to the sugar molecule to make sucralose. This alters the chemical structure of the sugar, making it a molecule that does not exist in nature. Because it doesn’t exist in nature, the body does not metabolize or digest this molecule. If our bodies were able to metabolize it, then sucralose would no longer have zero calories.

So, HOW did I find that out?  I looked it up on the intenet of course!  You see, the first time I tried Splenda in a cup of hot tea, I had an instantaneous asthma attack.  I have had asthma for some time now, but NEVER have I had such an instantaneous attack like I did that time.    “What’s in that crap?!?”  I needed to know.  As soon as I saw that it was a chlorination process they use on the sugar I knew why I had an asthma attack.  I’m allergic to chlorine!!!

Remember how a lot of people discovered that they had bad allergic reactions to the artificial sweetener Equal?   And they had to start putting that special symbol on the FRONT label of items that contained it?  I sure WISH they’d do something similar with Splenda!  It’s is in foods that have NEVER before contained artificial sweeteners.  Flavored coffee creamers, bottled smoothies, low calorie bottled JUICES, Ice cream, popsicles . . .

I saw some new kind of low calorie fruit juice / green tea energy drink at Costco the other day.  It sounded pretty healthy.  Until I read the ingredients. Yep.  Splenda!  And they are TRICKY about it because MOST food labels list the generic name ‘sucralose’ and that looks and sounds VERY similar to sucrose (sugar!)

Most low calorie drinks and sodas now contain Splenda.  Low cal Yogurts too.  So now I have to read EVERY label EVERY time I go grocery shopping because this stuff is popping up in more products every DAY.

And if having to read labels to watch out for those two ‘nasty ingredients’ wasn’t enough, NOW you have to really watch the PRICING.

When did ‘economy size’ and ‘family size’ labeled items start costing MORE than the regular sizes?!?!?!  Now I have to PRICE COMPARE every item I buy!  Sure, all that info is labeled right on the shelf, but I have to get my glasses out to read them, then look at the three different sizes, then I forget what the first price per ounce was and it just takes forever!!!  And food is just too dang expensive to be spending money we don’t have to!

The 12 packs of granola bars; more per ounce than the 6 pack.  The family size box of Toaster Strudel (Michael HAS to have his toaster strudel!) MORE per pound than the regular size.  EVEN peanut butter and Jelly for crying out loud!  Just about ANY thing that comes in more than one size anymore, the larger size costs now more per measure.  What the heck is up with that?!?!

What about people with big families who NEED to buy the bigger sizes?!?!?  This is just crazy!!!   Now, of course I was not terribly thrilled ‘back when’ the small convenience sized food products cost more per unit than the bigger sizes; but at least it made SENSE!  Producing and filling and packaging four smaller containers COSTS more than one big container; so the ‘added price for the sake of CONVENIENCE’ was at least justifiable. But PUNISHING those who NEED to buy in larger quantities is just plain GREEDY!!  And it’s NEVER the larger sizes that are on sale.

I honestly do not know WHAT I would do if I had a big family to feed and NEEDED the larger packages  and KNEW that they cost more per unit than the smaller.  Not to even mention how much added WASTE the smaller containers contribute to!  What the heck is up with this?!?!?  Do manufacturers just think that no one will ever notice??  Have YOU ever noticed this??

I can’t believe that the FDA does not have stricter labeling regulations for some of these additives  AND/OR that they even still ALLOW it to be put in food.  But I suppose if we keep buying, regardless of what kind of CRAP they put in our food, the manufacturers will continue to get away with whatever they can.

I hope you’ll join me in my  Facebook campaign  <click on the words Facebook campaign to go directly to my FB post>   to  tell the Campbell’s soup company to stop adding MSG to their soups; by liking my post and sharing it on your FB wall too.  AND refuse to buy Campbell’s products until they do so!  The ONLY way we are going to get the message across to them is to ‘hit them where it counts’ (in the pocketbook!)

Let;s use social network to effect a POSITIVE change in the food we eat and feed our children.