Understanding Labels – Chicken Soup

In continuing our series on Understanding Labels I chose cream of chicken soup as this weeks victim.

I didn’t realize how much I used soups until we found out how processed they were and stopped using them.  There are a few good recipes I have that call for creamed soups and I haven’t been able to make them due to the ingredients in them.  So the recipes have just sat.  One day I decided to look for alternatives.  My pantry still has a few lingering processed items around and I came across an old can of Campbell’s cream of chicken soup.  And as usual scanned through the plethora of ingredients.  And here they are:

cream of chicken soup

water, mushrooms, vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, canola and/or soybean), modified food starch, wheat flour, less than 2% salt, cream, whey, MSG, soy protein concentrate, yeast extract, flavoring, dehydrated garlic

Let’s pick out the worst offenders.

Veg oil – veg oils like canola and corn oil are made from genetically modified corn and canola.  They are hazardous to our health as they are processed and cleaned with chemicals.  They are heated to very high temps during processing and this heat oxidizes the oils which create free radicals and are dangerous to our cells.  I urge anyone to avoid veg, canola, and corn oils at all costs.

MSG – again another toxic chemical in our food supply.  Here’s what really makes me mad.  Yeast extract is another name for MSG.  So it’s basically in their TWICE.  You can read all about MSG here in another blog I did.  But the condensed version is MSG is strictly a food additive.  It is added to as much as 80% of the flavored foods on store shelves.  The amino acids found in MSG literally attack your brain cells creating a toxic environment of overexcitability.  It excites the part of your brain that’s in charge of fat metabolism, which in turn can make you fatter.

Flavoring – this is so open ended.  what kinds of flavoring?  how much?  is it man made?  Chances are it is.  Most flavorings are an imitation of the flavor.  There is a Food Creative Flavorist identifying the flavors in a food and basically re creating it with chemicals.  There are anywhere from 5 to 50 ingredients used when creating a flavor. For example, this is what is used to make raspberry flavor:

  • 13 hydrocarbons including Limonene and Pinene.
  • 36 alcohols such as Ethanol, cis 3 Hexenol, Geraniol and Menthol.
  • 17 aldehydes like Benzaldehyde and Phenylacetaldehyde.
  • 22 ketones including Ionones, Hydroxybutanone and Camphor.
  • 16 acids such as Acetic, Hexanoic and Benzoic acids.
  • 27 Esters like iso Amyl acetate, Benzyl acetate and Methyl salicylate.

What to do instead:

Here is a soup I found in the organic section of my supermarket from Pacific Natural Foods.

cream of chicken soup cream of chicken soup






The ingredients are:

organic chicken broth (filtered water, organic chicken, creme fraiche (organic cultured cream, organic rice starch, organic cooked chicken, organic rice flour, sea salt, organic chicken fat, organic garlic powder, organic onion powder)

Much more recognizable ingredients.  Words I understand and organic.  I like that.  I am happy I found this product because I have a few recipes that call for creamed soups.  I will experiment with Natural Pacific and let you know.

I haven’t come across any homemade cream of chicken soup recipes yet.  I’m on the lookout for that.  If you have one, please feel free to share it.  I’d love to try making it myself.


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