Why This Vegan Will No Longer Buy ‘Food for Life’ Products


For a long time I have purchased sprouted breads made by Food for Life. Most often I have bought their Ezekiel 4:9 bread in the low sodium version. I was drawn by the biblical verse after which the bread is named. The first portion of the verse reads like this in the New Revised Standard Version, “And you, take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them into one vessel, and make bread for yourself.”

Now, even though I’m a minister, I do not typically talk about religion all that much with health coaching clients. I only talk about religion within the context of the client’s belief system or what they desire out of the religious realm when putting together a healthy life. It does come up with most clients but it is usually only one piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. For other clients religion and spirituality play no role in their lifestyle so we do not talk about those matters at all. It is totally up to the client.

I do think it powerful when a client’s healthy lifestyle can be tied to other parts of their life. So, when Food for Life produces a bread with a religious name and theme it generates interest and curiosity in me. And, after consuming their breads, I believe those made by Food For Life are healthier than the vast majority of breads on the market. They are made of sprouted whole grains and they are probably about as close to the denser sort of breads our ancestors likely made. In addition to their breads, I have used their English Muffins for breakfast and enjoyed their tortillas at many a lunch.

I’m also interested in their Vegan story as espoused on their website. Not only do they explain forthrightly what foods they make are Vegan, they also talk about Vegan Superfoods, and produce Vegan meats. The word ‘vegan’ is all over their website. And, I guess, that’s the thing….

As a vegan myself, and as someone who follows a whole foods plant based diet, I can no longer purchase Food for Life products. This is what happened.

I was getting out a piece of Ezekiel bread and some homemade peanut butter and an apple for a snack. I’d looked at the nutritional label of the bread before, found no ingredient objectionable and knew, by their website, they were vegan friendly. But this time I saw something that had not registered with me before. There was a little note by the nutrition label that said something like, “Interested in more nutrition information? Go to ppnf.org.”

I’m always interested in more nutrition information so I did, I went to ppnf.org which is why I will no longer purchase Food for Life breads.

PPNF stands for the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. The website says this is not the original name of the organization. It used to be called the Weston A. Price Memorial Foundation.

It could be that for many reading this post, the thought will flash across their mind, “Weston Price…What would a group affiliated with Weston Price be doing as the nutritional ‘advisors’ to Food for Life?”

That is exactly what I was thinking.

Now, I do not believe it my role as a health coach to tell people what to eat in order to be healthy. For the most part coaches do not teach. Though this is a little simplistic, coaches go along the journey with a client and reminds the client often of what the client has said to be important, what they hold to be valuable. I do not tell clients to be vegan, unless they want a vegan consultant (not a coach). If they want a vegan consultant I’ll be more direct. But most people just want to be healthier without being (what they view to be) extreme.

The Weston Price folks are not vegan, they are not plant based. Instead, they incorporate unpasteurized (raw) milk. They seek out saturated fats and cholesterol from animals.  It is completely within their right (though not the cow’s) to eat this way and to try and convince others to eat this way too. People can eat in any way they want and I have seen people eat in a variety of ways to achieve a variety of health results.

However, I can think of only one cause for this divergence between the Food for Life website touting veganism and the company’s support of the Price-Pottenger Foundation. It seems to me to be money, the almighty dollar.

A lot of vegans eat Ezekiel breads, just like I did, as a healthier alternative to what’s on the grocer’s shelf. They read the company’s website and naturally believe the organization holds similar values. Digging further we find this is apparently not the case. This appears to me to be a way of duping  vegans into buying the products and then supporting Weston Price.

I will no longer participate.

I have started buying breads made by One Degree Organic Foods. They are available at the supermarket I walk to several times a week as well as Whole Foods and, I’m sure, other stores. You can even track where the ingredients of their foods come from via a smart phone app.


There are almost always alternatives to any product you purchase. It is important to me that I purchase foods and food products that are closely aligned with my values as often as possible. I want to support companies I believe support me in some way. And even if your values and my values are different, you might be well served to do the same.

What about you? I would love to hear of other healthy breads you enjoy. Is the bread readily available from an ordinary supermarket or do you have to go to a specialty or higher end store?  I look forward to learning about even more options for breads that fit with my healthy lifestyle.

Until next time, I’m…

Wishing you well,

Rev. Russell Elleven, DMin, BCC, CWP
The Minister of Health

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  • Good on you for looking deeper into the company behind the products. I’m quite surprised to see WAPF endorsed by the Food for Life brand.

    • Thank you VeganOstomy! It was such a surprise to me that I had to say something about it. Food For Life touts veganism prominently on their site and then *BAM* – Weston Price. Plus, One Degree is Canadian 🙂

  • Dr Mary Wendt

    Great information!!! Vote with your wallet!!!

  • Thanks for sharing this! I am at a point where I am rechecking every label before I buy anything. Great article!

    • Thank you June! I think we all want to purchase things that agree with our values:-)

  • Reed Bilz

    Is there a Sprouts grocery store in Chicago? They offer sprouted grain bread. Fort Worth is getting a Whole Foods in 2015; on Bryant Irvin across from Lockheed Martin recreation area.

    • Hello Reed!

      Sounds like things are happenin’ in FW! Since writing this I have starting buying the spouted bread at Trader Joe’s. I now like it much better than the Ezekiel bread I used to buy.

  • Pat11

    You probably don’t eat honey…but if you do, I recommend the Alvarado Street Bakery breads. Coop. Green.
    I love this one:
    I can get it frozen here in Tokyo.

    • Right, don’t eat honey:-) Hello Tokyo!

      • Pat11


  • Michael Parish

    Just because a food is vegan doesn’t mean the organization is. If we start selecting food vendors based on their personal eating habits we’ll end up eating air. The fact that they produce a bread that’s vegan is good enough for me. I’ll continue buying their excellent products. I also buy refried no oil beans from a company that sells meat related Mexican products and flour products from companies that also sell products that include eggs. The Minister is a bean brain and full of himself.

    • Michael, thank you for bringing a new perspective to the discussion. Thank you too for being vegan. And finally, thank you for the compassion with which you made your comments.

      Wishing you well,

    • Teresa Proaps

      Good sense. Thank you. Some folks are so silly.

  • Kathryn Polster

    Have you inquired to why they have a tie to that group?

    • Hi Kathryn and thank you for asking this! Yes, I did inquire as to why they supported the group. They basically just said they were sorry that I felt this way and respected my decision to buy a different bread. There was no real explanation for the support.

      My assumption is the company supports the ideas of the Weston Price Foundation. Of course, that is perfectly within their right. But it is perfectly within my right not to send my dollars to a company who will then send some of those dollars to a WPF organization.

      Wishing you well,

      • Kathryn Polster

        Absolutely. I’m glad I ran across this (somebody in the Dr. McDougall forums shared the link). It is tough, but the best thing we can do is vote with our dollars! It is frustrating when companies with healthy foods have unfortunate ties. I’ve recently had to cut out Eden foods and that bums me out but I have to feel good about how I spend my dollars. I’m looking forward to exploring your blog further! Cheers.

        • Thank you Kathryn! I’m glad someone this is being talked about in McDougall’s forum. I’m a big fan of his and did one of his three day weekends. I also hear you about Eden Foods. I’ve started using Kuner’s “No Salt Added” beans at my local store.

          Wishing you well,

  • The Vegan Gypsy

    I’m just reading this article now thanks to your comment on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. Thank you for sharing this info, it’s infuriating and so disappointing. In order to keep our purchases aligned with our beliefs, we have to become investigative reporters!

    • Thanks so much Vegan Gypsy!


  • Betty

    So many words and I still don’t know exactly why you won’t by the bread. What is the significance of the group?

    • Hi Betty!

      My apologies for not being more clear. The foundation supported by FFL emphasizes animal products and (raw) milk.


  • ChrisS

    Cows don’t, and shouldn’t have “rights”. My “God”, pun intended, you vegans are really out of your minds. I know plenty of “normal”, well adjusted vegetarians, but most vegans are a little bit “wacky”. One thinks of the typical “Liberal hippie” head in the clouds idiot with no sense of the real world. Typical Hillary supporter I’d imagine. LOL

    • Thanks for your kindness ChrisS!

    • Victoria

      Except Christians are mostly Republican, and this person is obviously a Christian, so with your Hillary/Lib-hate, they are probably on the same “side” as you.

    • Mat

      If I had a nickel for every “anti-vegan” and animal hating piece of filth that projected their self-hate onto vegans for no reason whatsoever other than the cowardly inability to face up to their own issues and deal with them in an authentic and courageous way… I would be a rich man. The author of this is a better man than I am to dismiss you with humor. It is filth like you that shouldn’t have rights.

  • Samantha

    Thank you for this article. Found it in a round about way via social Media and the new book Proteinaholic. I will no longer buy these products anymore.

    • Thanks so much Samantha! We vote with our dollars and we should vote (I believe) with products who share our values…


  • Paul

    Why did the Weston A. Price Memorial Foundation change its name to the Price-Pottenger Foundation? Wasn’t it because they didn’t want to be confused with another later-arriving organization called the Weston Price Foundation which teaches very different dietary principles. Weston Price himself advocated a vegetarian diet and would have disagreed with the Weston Price foundation. See http://www.vegsource.com/news/2010/07/the-truth-about-the-weston-price-foundation.html and http://www.vegsource.com/news/2009/11/reflections-on-the-weston-a-price-foundation.html
    The Price-Pottenger Foundation offers fairly solid nutritional advice and advocates unprocessed food. It has very little in common with the Weston Price Foundation which is about as far away from vegetarianism as you can go. We ought not to assume that the one organization teach anything like the other simply because they have or had similar names.

    • Hey Paul!

      Thanks for this. I’ll look into it more closely over the weekend and if I find anything that changes my mind I’ll certainly post something here. However, I don’t think I’ll have to do that. On the front page of PPNF they entice subscribers with a free Cod Liver Oil ebook, extol the virtues of milk, butter, and animal protein.

      Elsewhere they also say, “Primitive nutritional wisdom – the traditional diets studied by Dr. Price – incorporated foods that were high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. The peoples ate foods that were nutrient-dense, including fish, butter, eggs, and organ meats and minimally processed. Primitive, traditional diets do not include high quantities of sugar, white flour, fillers, or other additives.”

      Sounds pretty familiar to me!

      Wishing you well,

    • My original response is below but here is some additional stuff about Pottenger from the website:

      “In his research…Dr. Pottenger found that animals enjoying traditional diets containing raw and unprocessed meats and milk were stronger, more active, disease free and socially well-adjusted. These findings mirror the discoveries of Dr. Price in his studies of human tribes who maintained traditional diets. Humans and animals alike need the nutrients provided by consuming a variety of minimally processed meats, vegetables and dairy products.”

  • BecksterHall

    It sounds like the issue is with the link to Western Price. It’s a link for those who want healthy…. not just vegan. Not every household is vegan. We’re a family of 5.

  • Tracey Tobin

    So are you saying that the products we are buying are NOT vegan? Or just that they don’t eat vegan themselves?

    • Hi Tracey!

      Sort of…I’m saying Food For Life attempts to show up as vegan friendly and then turns around and actively supports a specially non vegan organization with their dollars.


      • Tracey Tobin

        I understand your point exactly! But I guess what I’m asking is – in your research, did you find that the items they are claiming are healthy and vegan and good for us are actually NONE OF THOSE things?

        • Hey Tracey!

          I actually like their bread. I think it is vegan and healthy. But I don’t buy it because there are other breads just as vegan and healthy who do not support, as best I can tell, anti-vegan organizations.

          Hope this helps,

          • Tracey Tobin

            Thank you so much, Russell, for taking the time. What other brands do you use? I would be interested in knowing more about them. Thank you!

          • Hi Tracey!

            I’ll buy the One Organics bread I mentioned in the article. I also like Trader Joe’s brand of sprouted bread. I’ve also begun to experiment with making my own:-)


          • Amber

            I’m confused… You do not support Food For Life, a company that sells vegan products, because they reference a Paleo website to explain why they sprout their grains. But you have no problem buying Trader Joe’s bread when they sell animal products under their brand name? Huh???

          • Yeah, I hear you. But TJ, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t pretend to give me nutritional advice through an organization that does not align with my values. All of the grocery stores in my area sell animal flesh as food. It felt, to me, like I was duped by FFL by offering up the vegan story then suggesting Price-Pottenger as a resource.

          • Guy Mic

            But as at least one other person points out, they are not necessarily giving out nutritional advice. Their research showed it appeared to be more a reference pointer regarding ‘sprout their grains.’ In English Composition, this is providing credit to the ‘source of the information reference.’ I find that ethical. If true, it does not mean that support or even align themselves. I really think you are drawing conclusions without facts. Frankly, I do not know what the facts are either way, but except for my posting here, I’m not on a soapbox ‘preaching’ about it.

      • CSR


        • Thanks for the note CSR! Why even give Weston Price free advertising from a vegan company? I would love to take this post down or re-write it and buy your bread from time to time. Loved your tortillas too:-)

          Hope you are well,

  • Fantasticp

    I am a vegetarian on the Weston Price Diet, and that is EXACTLY why I started eating Ezekiel bread. The Weston Price Diet is not about making an excuse to eat a bunch of fat and meat like the paleo diet, but about healing cavities. Wheat is the number one cause of cavities. Sprouted grains are ok. Although the Weston price foundation does not support being vegan or vegetarian, it can be done. Basically cut out all of the wheat and processed foods and refined sugars, and increase foods rich in vitamin A, D, magnesium and calcium. People that claim this means needing to eat tons of meat and dairy simply lack imagination. I also switched from a classic toothpaste to a “tooth soap” and swish coconut oil around in my mouth for 10 minutes twice a day. I can tell you, my teeth and gums have never looked better and my cavities are starting to fill in.
    So Ezekiel bread and those “paleo” coconut wraps are pretty much the ONLY tooth safe sandwich material. I liken the Price label on the bread to a “gluten free” label.

    • Fantasticp

      I would like to add, eating too many nuts and oats as well as excessive dieting throughout my late 20s left my teeth in pretty bad shape. I was starving my teeth and clogging their pores at the same time. I didn’t want to get my cavities filled and drilled until I gave this diet a try. I have gained a few pounds, but it was so worth it!

      • I certainly learn something new every day. I had no idea there were Weston Price vegetarians! It’s still not a way I choose to spend my dollars but I’m glad you have found something that works for you.


      • Elizabeth Dimick

        You GAINED weight from cutting out Wheat?

        • Fantasticp

          Because by following the Weston price diet, I had to increase my fat intake SIGNIFICANTLY. Yes, I gained weight. I also grew hips at 36 years of age without having a kid lol. I’m a hippy size 6 now, and I was a large 2/ small 4 without hips before the diet change.

  • Amber

    In the quick search I did it does not look like Food For Life (the makers of Ezekial Bread) actually “support” Price-Pottenger. In my search, the only association I found between Food for Life and Price-Pottenger is that FFL quotes PP as a source regarding why they sprout their grains:

    “We believe in sprouting the corn we use because sprouting is the best way to release all of the vital nutrients stored in whole grains (Source: Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, La Mesa, CA).”

    P.S. To my knowledge Food For Life doesn’t claim to be a vegan company. In fact they have many recipes on their website that contain animal products.

    • Hi Amber and thanks for your comments!

      Unless FFL has changed their bread packaging each and every loaf has a link to Price-Pottenger for those who want “nutritional” education. So, at least to me, FFL probably explicitly supports Price-Pottenger. If not, they certainly are implicitly supporting them. Again, as a vegan (not just WFPB), that is not where my values are going to align.

      (It could very well be that they have changed their labeling. I’ve not purchased FFL products for three years now.)

      Additionally, if you click on About Us, on their website there will be Vegan Story. While FFL may not claim to be a vegan company they are, without a doubt, courting vegan’s dollars. That’s why I say *this* vegan won’t be purchasing their products.

      It would make a great deal more sense to me if FFL linked to PCRM.org on their packaging.

      Wishing you all the best,

  • PCRM will suggest sprouted bread in some of their recipes. I think FFL could easily make their case concerning sprouted grains without using ppnf.org as a source.

    Thanks for being vegan Amber!

    • Guy Mic

      So much for “coaching” versus “preaching”. I know you are indicating what you will do and why you are ____, but it comes across weighted heavy in the “preaching” category. Especially your replies on this site. I’m not surprised given you career.
      And I would preach a “if you don’t like the company, like what they stand for, or don’t want to because you ‘suspect’ something not aligned to your values, then don’t buy their products,” which at it’s core is what you are doing. But without ‘facts’ (yes those pesky things that either support your point of view or can undermine it), what you are doing is all conjecture. I would have respected this article a lot more if you indicated you “suspect” they support and acknowledge you could be wrong.

  • paul

    Gee, I hope this discussion still gets read?
    I practice and advocate for WFPBD no oil (I’m a holistic critical care nurse). I have been buying Dave’s Good Seed bread, and love it. I’m single and the bread doesn’t mold on me before I get a chance to finish it.

    Reading a comparison between Dave’s and Ezekiel bread, the Ezekiel seems better to me. Sprouted grains and no sugar being the top two reasons in my book. Just seems more “whole” and less processed to me.

    I also have a emotional response to the Ezekiel bread that’s kinda opposite of yours. The name and religious reference triggers a very negative response in me. I grew up in a fundamentalist culture that was harmful to me. Still, I have been moving past that emotional response in the interest of health… I don’t have to mix the two, just un-mix them.

    On the one hand, this strikes me as a better food to be putting into my body, but on the other, I have ethical reasons of my own for shying away from it, and now you have given me another with the info about Price-Pottinger.

    • Hi Paul! It is a real dilemma to me too. I want to eat the best product available but don’t want to support an organization which directly contradicts my values.

      Keep up the good fight!

  • Bible mentions a 2 week vegan diet (Daniel) and Ezekiel’s Bread diet.

    Christ broiled and ate fish before ascending. Fish and bread was to to feed the crowds, etc.
    Id trust that Foodforlife would have enough integrity to ensure I get vegan product even if they eat non-vegan themselves. Bible also mentions about not judging others by their foods (as long as its within mosaic law) so as a christian I really dont see an issue.

    • Bible also mentions a vegan diet in the best/most ideal place on earth, the Garden of Eden:-) What I’m attempting to do in the piece is point out what I view to be hypocrisy. If interested in a different Christian point of view you might enjoy The Lost Religion of Jesus by Keith Akers.

  • Jennifer Martin

    Micheal consider this foods made in factory could be cross contaminated. SR REV Russell do you know of a bread made without yeast,wheat/gluten,grains?

  • robert

    Weston price foundation does not mean ‘carnivorism’. They Weston Price foundation recommend that you get certain important nutrients like Vitamin K. They may give an option of getting these nutrients from milk or meat, but they do not recommend that you become a carnivore and eat against your beliefs. How you get the vitamins is up to you.
    This article makes me feel that the author has a stake in promoting One Degree Organic Foods.

    • Thanks for taking the time to write.

      I believe there are plenty of reasons vegans would not adhere to a WP diet. Animal fats, dairy fats, cod liver oil, raw milk and bone stocks come immediately to mind. I’ve suggested several other breads, including making your own, within the comments. I’m not in any way affiliated One Degree.


  • Hi Rev. Russel. Thanks for taking time to express your views and enlighten the public on this issue.
    I’m not a vegetarian anymore (used to be in my late teens and twenties), not vegan but I am trying to knock off a lot of pounds and get back to more of a “natural foods” lifestyle.
    That’s how I came across your page.
    Occasionally, we do shop at Whole Foods, pretending we are getting “healthy stuff”, but the cost is too high for my family for a regular intake.
    I wonder if CSR ever got back to you or if you have some contact with those guys for proof of what he claims in ALL CAPS.
    I hope you get the best of Guidance from the One Who Guides and He Blesses you and your family with the best in the Next Life.
    Yours Truly,
    Yusuf Estes

    • Hello Yusuf and thanks for taking the time to write! No word from CSR other than what is written above. I wish you all the best as you continue your journey towards health.