INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - When Asheville, N.C. based grocery store chain Earth Fare opened its newest location in Central Indiana last week, it made sure its “Food Philosophy” was the first thing shoppers would see when they walked through the doors.
"It’s like our North Star, because we really believe ingredients matter, and what you put into your body really matters," says Earth Fare CEO, Jack Murphy .
Hung from the ceiling, the Food Philosophy sign details what’s considered the strictest ingredient standard in the industry: no items with high fructose corn syrup, artificial fats or colors; no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives; no bleached or bromated flour and no synthetic growth hormones in their meat.
“The thing we hear most often from people is they say, ‘we’re so glad you read the label so we don’t have to,’” says Murphy. “It’s a good feeling.”
High fructose corn syrup, the ingredient Earth Fare is most emphatic about banning, is one of 23 added sugars you might see on any food’s nutritional label . The sweeteners are prevalent in processed foods as a way of sweetening and preserving items to give them more shelf-life.
In a 2010 study done by Princeton University , researchers found that high-fructose corn syrup prompted considerably more weight gain in rats, and long-term consumption led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen.
"We've determined that it really is something that we don't want to carry and we really believe that ingredient is something that, when you make the choice, you choose not to put in your body,” says Murphy.
The Corn Refiners Association (CRA), the national trade association representing the corn industry in the US, states on its website that the idea that high fructose corn syrup is uniquely responsible for causing obesity is a “super-sized myth.”
IU Health Dietitian Teri Borho contends that if your diet is full of “convenience foods” sold in boxes from store shelves, you may be consuming more processed sweeteners and additives than you think.
"The more processed the food is, the more likely there are other items added into those foods such as artificial additives, flavorings, preservatives, and also added fats, salts and sugars," says Borho. “That’s why we dieticians really advocate for everyone to eat a plant based diet because you’re getting all your vitamins and minerals in such a way that your body can really absorb them.”
Earth Fare's new Carmel store is at 1392 S. Rangeline Road.
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