3 Food Marketing Words That Mean Nothing

nature valley granola bars

Food companies are smart. They know what consumers care about and what terms are trendy, and they market their products accordingly.

This isn’t always a negative thing, but it can be.

Below are three common terms used on food packages – none of which mean what they seem.


Perhaps the most misleading term in the food industry, “natural” can be slapped on just about any food product!

Here’s a funny video about the “natural” phenomenon. Watch from 0:27 to 1:05 and you’ll see what I mean :)


The term “cage-free” might drum up images of happy hens running around a farm yard, but this is far from what cage-free actually means. In reality, most “cage-free” birds spend their lives in extremely crowded warehouses and have little or no access to the outdoors. Diseases run rampant in these warehouses due to tight quarters, unclean conditions and contaminated feed.

If you’re looking for eggs or poultry from chickens who truly lead happy lives, look for the term “pasture-rasied” on packages. More on egg-buying here.

food marketing

Made with Whole Grains

Just because something has whole grains in it, doesn’t mean it is whole grain. Even if only a small percentage of the grains used in a product are whole, that product can write “made with whole grains” on the package. Sugary cereals, commercial baked goods, and packaged crackers may all make this claim – but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy, 100% whole grain, or naturally high in fiber. More on grain-buying here.

food marketing


Decoding food labels can be super tricky. Looking for the term “organic” is one way to make it easier, since organic is a regulated term & has a consistent meaning no matter what kind of product you’re buying.

5 Ways Buying Organic Helps To Save the Earth

organic food

There are plenty of reasons to buy organic food: to avoid eating pesticides, GMO ingredients, antibiotics and artificial hormones, for example. But did you know that going organic is also a great way to help preserve and protect the earth? In fact, if every person in the U.S. made 10% of their purchases organic for one […]


Cadbury Mini Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

cadbury egg cookies

I normally buy organic, fair trade chocolate and candy. But come Easter season, I can’t resist a bag or two of Cadbury Mini Eggs! These little guys are so addictive that I often eat them all before getting around to baking them into cookies, but this year I held out. Thank goodness because these cookies are amazing You could really […]


9 Ways To Tell You’re On the Wrong Diet

fad diets

I’ll tell you a little secret: Weight loss “diets” don’t work. Why? Because the word “diet” implies something temporary. Something you are either on or off of, depending on your life’s circumstances in a given moment. This mentality – of practicing healthy habits for certain periods of time and not others – does nothing but […]


3 Ways My Family Is Getting Healthier

grow happy blog

This post is brought to you by Knowledge Universe. Thank you for supporting me and the Grow Happy campaign for healthier kids! My family is pretty healthy on the whole. We eat a variety of healthy foods. We’re active. And we spend a lot of time together. But there’s always room for improvement! A few […]


The Best Natural Candies for Easter

natural easter candy

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays, for one main reason: I. Love. Candy. Hunting for candy-filled eggs and eating their contents throughout Easter Sunday has long been a tradition in my family, and is one that I hope to continue (for selfish reasons ). But the more I learn about what conventional […]


5 Easy School Lunch Ideas

easy lunch ideas

I haven’t been good about photographing Lucy’s packed lunch lately, but I wanted to share a few recent photos since we parents are constantly looking for ways to break out of our lunch ruts. Many more healthy ideas in this easy school lunches post and when you follow me on Instagram! Here are a few […]

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