Last week Cargill, food ingredient behemoth, and owner of the Truvia brand stevia sweetener, agreed to settle a potentially harmful lawsuit. One of terms of the settlement is that Cargill will set up a $5 million fund to pay consumers who may have been deceived by its marketing of Truvia as a natural sweetener. Two consumers from Minnesota filed the lawsuit and had planned to turn it into a class action suit. Cargill was smart enough to avert a prolonged PR fiasco.
And, you should be smart enough to think about the difference between the all-natural stevia plant vs. the highly processed powder that you buy in a package. The stevia leaf goes through multiple chemical processes and is combined with erythritol, which is made from yeast that feeds off of GMO corn, to become that powder.
As another part of the settlement, Cargill will change some of the wording on its packaging and website to explain the ingredients of the product in detail.
If you are a stevia fan, here are some important suggestions for you:
- Read the label – just because a product boasts “stevia” doesn’t mean that’s the only thing in it. We’ve found inulin, silica, maltodextrin and many versions of “natural flavors” in stevia sweeteners.
- For a less processed liquid stevia, check the supplement section of your grocery store. Some are available only in a solution of alcohol.
- Get stevia in powder form rather than liquid, it is generally less processed and have fewer, if any, preservatives.
What stevia do you use?