Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Discussion: Ingredients banned by Whole Foods

There's been a lively discussion about ingredients banned by Whole Foods in this post, so I thought I'd create a post for that topic here. (Here's a link to Tony Dweck's argument as to why many of these ingredients shouldn't be banned.) I have been unable to find any rationale for why they ban these ingredients, but I'll keep looking!

I'm going to be writing more about this topic in the next few days, but I thought we could play a little game I'm calling Let's See What's Banned in this Product! These products are directly linked to Whole Foods' online store. Can you list the banned ingredients in these products?

Nature's Gate Herbal Conditioner 
EveryDay Shea Moisturizing Conditioner
Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Curl Activating Leave In Conditioner for Curly to Kinky Hair
Kiss My Face Cold & Flu Shower Gel

If you get bored, take a look at any surfactant based products in their on-line store and count the banned ingredients. I haven't found one yet that doesn't contain at least one banned surfactant! And count how many things are "derived from..." Wow, this is going to be a fun topic to research this week!

As an aside, do they realize that coco betaine isn't cocoamidopropyl betaine but can be its own ingredient? That's one of the reasons I never shorten the latter to coco betaine! So is this ingredient allowed or not? And what's with the random capitalization of some ingredient names on the list? That's kinda weird...

Related posts:
What does "coconut derived" really mean?
Defining your product by what's NOT in it! 
Much maligned ingredients (a series) - part 1


DuhBe said...

I'm pretty sure they know there are a large family of betaines used in the cosmetic industry, and cocomidipropyl betaine is allowed on their good list.

Keep in mind that whole foods has 2 levels for personal care products (it's talked about in their text) The list people usually look at is the banned list for their "premium" products that have a special seal on the label. So you'll find lots of products on their shelves which contain SLS, PEGs, etc. But those shouldn't have the premium seal on them.

Thanks for the link to dweckdata. Great stuff there! His ebook is only $6, so I'm a bit poorer after your blog post.

Anonymous said...

I have had a difficulty discovering why Whole Foods has castor oil as ingredient on the Premium Body Care list. Yet they sell castor oil.
Thanks for any info.

Anonymous said...

I meant banned ingredient list on Premium Body Care.