food law

FDA Rules That 'Love' Can't Be Listed as a Granola Ingredient

“‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material.”

by Daisy Meager
04 October 2017, 2:15pm


Many swear that food made with love tastes better. Misty-eyed Italian nonnas will wink and say that the secret ingredient in their ragu is a touch of amore. Certain mezcal producers believe romance is the key to a better spirit. And if you're on the receiving end of a lovingly prepared dinner, it will undoubtedly taste better than if you'd flung the ingredients together yourself.

Love is also a vital ingredient in the granola produced by a bakery in Massachusetts. But now, they might have to take it out.

In addition to the usual rolled oats and nuts, Nashoba Brook Bakery's granola lists "love" on its ingredients list. However, after the US Food and Drug Administration carried out an inspection of the baker's factory, the cutesy addition was called into question.

In a letter sent to the bakery at the end of last month, the FDA issued a warning on health and safety practices at the factory and mis-branding of certain products, including the granola. The FDA wrote: "Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient 'love.' Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by their common or usual name. 'Love' is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient."


The bakery's owners told Bloomberg that they were surprised that the FDA took issue with ingredient, which, after all, does make the world go round. Nashoba's CEO John Gates said: "I really like that we list 'love' in the granola. People ask us what makes it so good. It's kind of nice that this artisan bakery can say there's love in it and it puts a smile on people's face. Situations like that where the government is telling you you can't list 'love' as an ingredient, because it might be deceptive, just feels so silly."

And couldn't we could all do with a bit more love right now—even in our granola?