In a revealing 2011 60 Minutes special, the world got a glimpse into the secretive and fascinating world of food flavoring.
The exposé showed how the industry, led by giants like Givaudan, engineers flavors that captivate our senses and, more concerningly, our appetites.
As we explore the implications of these revelations, we invite you to reconsider what goes into the foods you consume daily.
Understanding Natural Flavors: A Lesson from 60 Minutes
The 60 Minutes feature took us to a citrus grove in California, where Givaudan’s "super sniffers" and "super tasters" went to get inspired by the best flavorist of all - Mother Nature.
Their job is to find the next most captivating taste, then work diligently to replicate and enhance these flavors. As 60 Minutes correspondent Morley Safer put it, Givaudan’s role here is akin to an artist visiting Rome for inspiration.
But here's the twist: these natural flavors, though inspired by nature, are often recreated in labs with chemicals.
"You take what this smells like, and then you copy it," explained a Givaudan flavorist. This process of 'improving upon' nature's flavors has become a cornerstone in the food industry, but at what cost to our health and perception of natural food?
The Deception in Everyday Foods: A 60 Minutes Perspective
According to the 60 Minutes special, almost everything edible in a package or can is intensified with either fat, sugar, salt, or all three, plus flavors.
This revelation is crucial in understanding how even products marketed as healthy options can be deceptive. For example, competitor electrolyte mixes use 'Natural Flavors' like 'Lemon Lime Flavor' and additives that are far from their natural origins.
Citric Acid: Often derived from sources like black mold, citric acid is added to products to enhance their sour taste. However, this isn't just about flavor. Citric acid may be a culprit in the rise of disease and allergy causing inflammation.
Malic Acid: Similarly used to add a sour flavor to foods, malic acid can be naturally found in fruits. However, in the context of these electrolyte mixes, it's often added in a synthetic form, which has no nutritional and functional content.
Synthetic Minerals: The case of synthetic minerals, such as magnesium malate, is particularly noteworthy. These are often included because the raw salt material used isn't of high enough quality to provide necessary electrolytes naturally. This reliance on synthetic additions contrasts sharply with more natural, unaltered mineral sources.
This revelation from the 60 Minutes special is crucial for understanding the subtle ways in which food products can be manipulated.
While these ingredients are technically 'natural' or derived from natural compounds, their processing and the context of their use are far from what one might expect from genuinely healthy, natural products.
This is how we do it.
In contrast, Crucial Four's mHydrate stands as an example of purity and honesty in ingredient sourcing and formulation. By avoiding these deceptive additives, we ensure that our products are not only healthy but also genuinely natural in every sense of the word.
Every component in our products is meticulously chosen for its natural origin and health-promoting properties.
Speaking directly on mHydrate, our new electrolyte mix - our ingredients list includes only 100% functional ingredients. At the core are mSalt and mMinerals - both supremely high quality salts that are mineral dense and tested to be free from microplastics and an industry low in heavy metals.
As for what we use to flavor our products - we don’t need ‘Natural Flavors’ because our flavors are natural. We use Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice and Organic Lemon Juice - both low-temperature dehydrated to retain maximum color, taste, and nutritional value. That means you also benefit from the electrolytes and other health benefits in actual lemon and cherry fruits!
Additionally, our sweetener of choice is use Organic Coconut Blossom Nectar, a natural and low-glycemic sweetener also low temp dehydrated.
We will never use additives like 'natural flavors,' citric acid, and synthetic minerals, we ensure our products deliver genuine nutrition and taste, reflecting our ethos of feeling more limitless through truly natural nourishment.
Because the electrolyte content of mHydrate is sourced only from natural sources, you benefit from nature’s synergistic actions that are simply not present with synthetic sources. That means the electrolytes are absorbed more easily by the body.
Empowering You with Knowledge: A 60 Minutes-Inspired Approach
The special highlighted Dr. David A. Kessler's viewpoint, the former head of the FDA, who warned about simulated flavors hijacking our brain.
In light of this, we urge you to be cautious of labels and understand the misleading nature of the term "natural."
If the ingredients list says 'Natural Flavors' but no mention of the actual food from nature that they are sourced from - look again.
If the vitamins and minerals supplements do not mention which food source from nature the vitamins and minerals are sourced from - they are likely synthetic.
A Word From Our Founder: In Response to 60 Minutes
Responding to the concerns raised in the 60 Minutes special, our founder Charles Barber emphasizes, "We never use ANY natural or organic FLAVORS, FLOW AGENTS, ANTI-CAKING AGENTS, TOXIC SOLVENTS, PRESERVATIVES, SYNTHETIC MINERALS, EMULSIFIERS, THICKENERS, or ANYTHING the body can’t use. We're here to help you feel limitless, not to trick your taste buds with artificiality."
This 60 Minutes special serves as a wake-up call.
Back in 2011 when this special was first published, Givaudan had 9000 employees. Just 12 years later, they have nearly doubled - with 16,000+ employees.
In a world where food flavoring is a multi-billion dollar industry focused more on addiction than nutrition, making informed choices is vital. Use the code 'gethydrate' before November 23rd to begin a journey towards genuine health and taste with Crucial Four.
In the end, it's not just about what tastes good, but what genuinely nourishes you. Join us in rising above the industry's flavor manipulation to embrace the true essence of natural foods.
Watch the 60 Minutes special yourself.