Natural flavours are the 4th most popular ingredient you will see on food labels wherever you look. And of course it has to be good for you because it has the word natural, right? The word is so innocent we are de-sensitized to it, so most don't question its legitimacy. Unforunately, the FDA allows food companies to use the term “natural flavours” to describe any food additive that originated in nature.
For example: when you see on your logo “Natural Strawberry Flavour” this means the company pulled some flavour from actual strawberries. The thing is, all that is required is the smallest tiniest bit of strawberry to make the flavour. This leaves behind all of the things that makes strawberries so good for you – the vitamin C, antioxidants, polyphenols, etc.
Natural flavours can contain upwards of 100 ingredients, including synthetic chemicals. They are all considered "incidental additives" not required to be labeled by the FDA. The FDA doesn’t even require companies to tell you what is in the flavours they use, which is super comforting. Meaning this can and does include things such as the excitotoxins, for example: MSG. This is what causes your tastebuds to experience an increased desire for the food, aka the "I can't put the bag of chips down" feeling. We all know what it's like in the morning when we feel violated by the foods we couldn't say no to.
All this to say - natural flavours sound great but are far from meeting our expectations of what natural should be. Labels are deceiving, and it's really hard to navigate between the marketing antics and all the misinformation. An easy way to operate is: if it's organically grown from the ground and is being sold in its pure form - you can't go wrong. :)