Kashi’s Woes Continue

kashi natural?

Kashi, once the darling of the real food community, has seen its sales decline in recent years. Now owned by Kellogg’s, the company has been embroiled in legal battles as well. Customers sued the company for claiming its products were all natural, when in fact, some of the ingredients used were hard to classify as such.

California plaintiffs contended in a 2011 lawsuit that Kashi products cannot be called all natural if they use ingredients such as soy oil. Soy oil is extracted from soybeans using a chemical solvent, hexane, a process that is far from natural.

Other ingredients of concern include pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate (vitamins B6 and B5). Although these vitamins occur naturally, it is much cheaper to synthesize them in labs.

As expected, Kashi reached a settlement, and will pay $5,000,000 to customers (and the lawyers). Additionally, Kashi will strike the “all natural” claim from some of its products by the end of the year.

Kashi is hardly alone, as many other manufacturers are being sued in recent years. In fact, there has been a ten-fold increase in lawsuits around the tern “natural” in the last 3 years, compared to the previous 5 years. As you may recall, the FDA has decided NOT to define “natural”. This leaves lots of wiggle room for lawsuits.

Where do Kashi and other manufacturers go from here?

Perhaps they can start by ending the practice of health-washing their products with silly claims on the front of package.

  • Confused

    What’s the difference between lab manufactured vitamins and “natural” vitamins. They are both the EXACT SAME chemical compounds.
    I would really like to know the difference.

    • Wesley

      Chemically they may be the same. Issue is centered around “all natural” claim. If you synthesize something it is “man made” & no longer all natural.

    • Dani

      To add to Wesley’s comment, vitamins are added (in the ingredient list) when the product is stripped of it’s nutrients during heavy processing. It’s a clear sign that the product is not “natural”

    • Susan

      I agree. Chemically, they have the same effect on the body, so what’s the difference?

  • rubicon bill

    Thanks to Fooducate we can stay away from some of these frauds

  • N.P.

    I have to love how people vilify everything on this website. The site slogan is eat a bit better, Kashi is a bit better and than some and we make them look like the enemy.

    • EVIL food scientist

      If you didn’t grow it yourself , or buy it from an organic, identity preserved, heirloom, sandal wearing unwashed hippy who smells vaguely of dirt, B.O., and a bit of weed who brought it to the farmer’s market in his zero emissions vehicle, it’s not “real food”.

      • Dani

        Why are you on this site? You’re clearly against what it stands for, so are you just here to troll?

      • Dale

        You are funny, man! ;-) )

    • http://www.fooducate.com/ Fooducate

      Part of the issue may be the fact that since Kashi was acquired by Kellogg’s there is a perception that there is more focus on profits than on quality ingredients.

  • L M

    The more I learn about the FDA the more disappointed I am.

    • Jason

      ^^^Its hard to imagine this federal regulation group is filled with so many people that have conflicts of interest.

  • H2O

    Thanks for reminding us to keep reading the ingredients. If its not real food we shouldn’t be eating it. No matter how healthy THEY say it is for us, and GMO soy is about the worst thing you could eat.

  • Karrina

    I saw one of there cereals saying “NON GMO” in the store today, I thought they were improving there bad rep. Guess not

    • JKern

      Do you understand that non-gmo and “natural” are completely different? And Dani, can you explain your comment on the added vitamins? FWIW, I have two boxes of Kashi cereal, neither of which have the ingredients noted in the article. It’s important to read this blog and then *think* for yourself instead of blindly taking a brand name and scratching it off your shopping list.

      • vacuumation

        For the first time in years, I took the plunge and bought a box of Kashi’s Cinnamon Crumble from Target yesterday. I’ve heard a lot about the Kelloggs claims and how turned Kashi into one big marketing scam, so I was aware of what I was getting. And of course thanks to the Fooducate app I was an informed customer — and an informed customer is what these corporations like Kelloggs do NOT want.

        That’s why they’ve used their highly-paid lobbyists to get themselves “Non-GMO Project Verified,” which was a massive graphic planted on the front of the cereal box I bought yesterday. Reading through the ingredients, I see the usual culprit of these fake “natural” food products: non-organic SOY, which when highly-processed and chemically derived is just as bad as High Fructose Corn Syrup and other junk. They literally juice-up these products with Soy compounds just to turbo-boost the number of Protein grams that they can advertise on their box. This particular product had some really bad protein-boosting byproducts: Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Lechitin (emulsifying junk), Defatted Soy Grits (used to make said Soy Protein Isolate).

        If this cereal were certified Organic, these soy products would NOT be in there. What Kelloggs/Kashi is guilty of here is MISLEADING ADVERTISING. If it was a toy it wouldn’t be a big deal When it comes to our health, that is not to be messed with.

  • Disgusted

    I’m glad they were sued many others that do the same thin… I hope they all get sued millions…the FDA does not care..they are lazy …so it say sue away..down they all should go with their deadly chemicals…

  • Samantha74

    Thank you for providing us with information that the food manufacturers deliberately leave out. True we can choose to eat all natural, kinda natural or even gnaw on plastic fruits if we want, but simply knowing what I’m putting in my body is a refreshing.

  • vacuumation

    Thanks for the update on the Kelloggs/Kashi issues. But it would be very helpful to include LINKS to the various news items referenced here.

  • Babsru

    Thank you fooducate for enlightening us on this! Had no idea and this article has helped educate people about the issue of food claims in the grocery stores!

  • Dale

    Excuse me but how is Kashi any worse than the crap promoted by Fooducate?? Synthetic vitamins – if that’s the worst they’ve done I’d count myself lucky as a consumer.

    Why condemn Kashi for “silly health claims” but then you INVITE the egg board and the olive oil industry to do their own promos “health washing” (as you phrase it) their own agendas??

    Hypocritical much?