By Food Babe
Holiday Gifts That I’m NEVER Buying (…again)
I’m embarrassed to say that several years ago I used to buy gift baskets from Mrs. Fields Cookies for some special occasions and as holiday gifts. My college girlfriends even would send me them during hard times like when I had a romantic breakup or before exams. As much as I love cookies, once I found out the truth I never spent another dime on their products. I got the complete list of ingredients in their holiday gift baskets and let me tell you, they are filled with ingredients that let’s just say, Santa would call really naughty!
Mrs. Fields Holiday Gift Baskets make the NAUGHTY LIST!
- Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Mrs. Fields uses margarine and partially hydrogenated oils as a substitute for real butter in their cookies. While their cookies contain some butter, partially hydrogenated oils take a front seat as one of their main ingredients. These oils are the primary source of artificial trans fat in our diet, which have been shown to increase “bad” cholesterol and decrease “good” cholesterol, leading to heart disease. As reported in Scientific American, “It took decades for scientists to realize how deadly trans fats could be, partly because the food industry and the cardiovascular prevention community dismissed concerns over adverse effects on health, but the evidence continued to mount”. Finally in 2013, the FDA tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) due to these health concerns, so no one should be eating these oils – even during the holidays!
- Mono & Diglycerides – This is another (somewhat sneaky) source of harmful trans fat.
- Soybean Oil – This oil is heavily processed and almost always extracted with the neurotoxin hexane, a cheap byproduct from gasoline production. It’s also high in omega-6 fatty acids (which the American diet is too full of) increasing the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) – Your body doesn’t process HFCS the same as regular sugar (sucrose), and excessive high fructose corn syrup consumption has been shown to increase the risk of developing diabetes.
- Enriched Bleached Flour – This is the worst type of flour because it’s been stripped of fiber and nutrients, and comes from a heavily hybridized wheat crop, which may have been pre-harvested with Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
- Parabens – Mrs. Fields cut-out frosted holiday cookies include methylparaben and propylparaben as ingredients. You may have heard about these ingredients in cosmetics, shampoo and lotions, but not realize they are in food too. Parabens have been found to be endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are linked to breast cancer (sources: 1, 2, 3, 4), and reproductive problems. This ingredient made the EWG’s top 12 dirty dozen food additives – which means it’s one of the worst food additives in existence!
- Genetically Modified Ingredients? – Several of the ingredients used by Mrs. Fields typically come from genetically modified (GMO) crops. When we called Mrs. Fields customer service and asked whether they use any GMO ingredients, the agent did not seem to understand what we were asking. They have not responded to email requests. I will update you here when (and if) they respond. These ingredients are often derived from GMOs and can be found in Mrs. Fields holiday gifts: Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Mono & Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, Canola Oil, Fructose, Xanthan Gum, Cottonseed Oil, Glycerin, Food Starch.