Have you ever wondered what we actually buy when we go to the grocery store? Lately, it seems like this question has become the latest “fad.” But is it really a fad this time? This list indicates otherwise.
With food manufacturers recognizing the public’s increased concern with food allergies and health risks, there is an epidemic of false advertising when it comes to food items being “healthy.” This is primarily a problem in the U.S., where it is very common for the FDA to approve completely absurd ingredients in everyday consumed food items.
The food ingredients on this list entail almost half of the items you may currently have in your pantry, or possibly more. If an American moved to any of these countries who have outlawed these ingredients, it is likely that they would not find most of the everyday items sold in Walmart or your local grocery stores. So what would you be able to eat in your home if you eliminated these ten ingredients?
10. Farm Fed Salmon – Banned in Australia and New Zealand
Most people are not aware that the fish we buy from the store, are usually farmed fish. Very similar to farmed animals, who are fed unhealthy chemicals in order to increase their size and “quality,” farmed salmon are also fed dangerous chemicals. Wild salmon gets the bright pinkesh-red color from natural carotenoids in their diet. On the other end of the spectrum, farmed salmon are fed a completely unnatural diet of grains which include genetically engineered varieties, plus a lovely mix of antibiotics and other drugs and chemicals shown to be unsafe for humans.
Because the fish are given so many extra chemicals, the flesh is turned into a yummy grey color. In order to compensate for the grey coloring, synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals (gasoline) is used to give it a false pink shade. Synthetic Astaxanthin is also not yet approved for humans to consume. There have been studies conducted which show farm fed salmon can damage your eyesight.
If you would like to avoid farm fed salmon, know what to look for. Wild sockeye salmon is bright red because of the natural astaxanthin already in the fish, while farm fed salmon is a pale pink. Lastly, the fat marks (the white stripes in the meat) are thinner than farm fed salmon’s wide fat marks. If you find canned “Alaskan Salmon,” you can guess that it’s farmed. So, keep an eye out for sockeye salmon!
9. Coloring Agents – Banned in Norway and Austria, the European Union required there to be a noticed when these agents are present
I’m sure many of you, maybe all of you, have Mac & Cheese in your house. But did you know that your cheesy pasta contains the coloring agent, Yellow #6 which is shown to cause hypersensitivity in children. Coloring agents, Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Red #40, can be found in cake, candy, Mac & Cheese, medicines, sports drinks, soda, pet food, cheese, and infant food. These agents are banned based on research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, primarily with different effects on the behavior in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has stated that some dyes used in food have been contaminated with known carcinogens.
Apparently, if you want your country to eat healthy products, you need to place a ban on all harmful agents. The countries who have placed a ban on these food colors and dyes are given special treatment from Kraft. Instead of using chemicals which are most likely killing us softly, Kraft uses natural colorants including, paprika extract, beetroot and annatto.
If you are one of the many people upset by this information, you’ll be happy to know that food blogger and activist Vani Hari or “Food Babe,” has created a Change.org petition, requesting that Kraft removes artificial dyes from American Mac & Cheese. Join the movement if you agree!
8. Potassium Bromate (AKA Bromated Flour) – Banned in the European Union, Canada and others
You can find Potassium Bromate in rolls, wraps, flat bread, breadcrumbs, bagel chips, and hamburger and hot dog buns. Bromated Flour bleaches the dough, making it more elastic while helping to strengthen it which then reduces the amount of time needed for baking, resulting in lowered costs for companies. Although, this is cost effective for manufacturers, it is harmful to human health. Bromated Flour is associated with Kidney and nervous system disorders, as well as gastrointestinal discomfort, thyroid problems and even cancer.
Are you willing to give up your hamburger and hot dog buns?
7. Olestra or Olean – Banned in the UK and Canada
Don’t you love those fat-free bags of chips? You just feel so much healthier eating those, than eating a regular bag of chips full of that gross fat. Well, you might want to rethink that logic. Olestra, or Olean, is a calorie and cholesterol-free substitute for fat which is primarily used in fat-free snacks, such as your beloved chips and french fries. At one point, Time Magazine named it one of the worst 50 inventions ever made, although that statement did not have much weight. Food companies are still going strong with this ingredient, not to mention they are making millions of dollars while doing it.
Purdue University had results from a study done on rats who were fed chips with Olean, which showed those rats had actually gained weight after eating them. Other reactions included, various intestinal reactions including diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. Olean prevents the chips from absorbing fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. As a way to compensate, the FDA requires that those vitamins be added to any product with Olean or Olestra. Even though the vitamins are eventually added to those products, I’d still stick to the original “fattening” chips.
6. Brominated Vegetable Oil (AKA BVO)- Banned in over 100 countries including Europe and Japan
Have you ever heard Imagine Dragon’s song “Radioactive?” Well that’s what this chemical is thought of-radioactive.
Brominated vegetable oil is derived from corn or soy and then bonded with the element bromine. The chemical acts as an emulsifier in citrus-flavored soda and sports drinks which helps the flavor from separating and floating to the surface. BVO is banned because it contains bromine, a chemical whose vapors are capable of being corrosive and toxic. If you want to know how dangerous it is to consume Bromine, try thinking of consuming chlorine. Yeah, that will settle nice in your stomach.
Bromine is also found in pesticides, plastics, baked goods, soft drinks such as Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca…etc., toothpaste, mouthwash, hair dyes, textile dyes, automobiles, fire retardants and hot tub and swimming pool treatments. Luckily there are a few companies such as Pepperidge Farm who only use unbrominated flour when making their products.
Aurora Gonzalez, one of PepsiCo’s spokeswomen (PepsiCo owns Mountain Dew), explains, “We take consumer safety and product integrity seriously and we can assure you that Mountain Dew is safe. As standard practice, we constantly evaluate our formulas and ingredients to ensure they comply with all regulations and meet the high quality standards our consumers expect.” Although, PepsiCo makes a very persuasive and sugar-coded response, the facts of Bromine cannot be erased. Bromine has been shown to alter the central nervous and endocrine systems which in-turn causes stomach pain, skin issues, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue, a metallic taste in the mouth, and even cardiac arrhythmia. Doesn’t that sound like fun? I’ll be sure to pick up a bottle of Dew on my way home.
5. BHA & BHT (preservatives) – Banned in Japan, parts of the European Union such as England, and the U.K. does not allow it in infant food
These preservatives can be found in your favorite cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes and everyone’s favorite-beer. In the United States, the state of California is the only state which recognizes the U.S. National Institute of Health’s report that BHA may be a human carcinogen, which acts as a cancer-causing agent. The National Toxicology Program’s 2011 report on carcinogens explains that BHA can spark allergic reactions and hyperactivity and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human hazard.”
BHT is approved in the EU because of animal studies conducted which did not find any correlation between cancer and human exposure to these chemicals.
4. Synthetic Hormones (rBGH) – Banned in the European Union, Australia, Canada, Israel, and New Zealand
If any of you are big milk drinkers or like your dairy products, you might look at those products a little differently after reading this. These synthetic hormones are found in dairy products, used as growth hormones. In order to increase milk production by around 10 percent, dairy farmers inject their cows with genetically-engineered cow growth hormones. The problem with this, is that once the cows are injected, they become lethargic, infertile and some suffer from inflamed and infected utters. Have you ever heard of IGH-1 (Insulin Growth Factor – 1) before? It’s found in rBGH and supercharges the milk but then leads to horrible effects in humans after consumption, such as breast, colon and prostate cancers.
This is the primary reason why most people choose organic milk and dairy products. If you are one of those people, you should also be on the look-out for products that are labeled as “rBGH free.”
This is the largest selling dairy animal drug in America. rBGH is the synthetic version of natural Bovine Somatotropin (rBST), which is a hormone naturally produced in cows’ pituitary glands. If you have ever heard of Monsanto, you know nothing good is on the other end of that sentence. Monsanto developed a new version of rBST from genetically engineered E.coli Bacteria and markets it under the name “Posilac.” Sneaky. This chemical is injected into cows which increases milk production and incidentally banned in over 30 nations due to the increased risk of various cancers.
3. Azodicarbonamide – Banned in Singapore, Australia, the U.K. and Other European Countries
We all like our bread for sandwiches, frozen dinners on a busy night, boxed pasta mixes when we don’t want to actually cook and packaged baked goods when we want to veg on the couch. But these delicious items are artificially bleached. These flour bleached products are named by some as an asthma-causing allergen.
America sees it as a completely safe ingredient but not in Singapore. If you are caught using this ingredient in the country of Singapore, you could be facing up to 15 years in prison and possibly penalized for almost $500,000 in fines.
This ingredient is also used in some foamed plastic items such as, yoga mats or tennis shoe soles.
2. Arsenic – Banned in the European Union since 1999
Everyone’s favorite…chicken! The FDA apparently allows arsenic in chicken feed which helps the growth of the chickens, increase productivity in the process of feeding the birds, and also boost pigmentation. When you buy a package of chicken, and see that the blood vessels seem to be very pink, it is not because the meat is more fresh than others. It’s because of how effective the arsenic can be. The same is said for Turkeys. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies inorganic arsenic as a “human carcinogen.”
Inorganic arsenic also contaminates manure where eventually move into drinking water and possibly cause increased levels of arsenic in U.S. rice. Many environmental groups have already filed lawsuits against the FDA requesting arsenic’s removal from the market.
1. Ractopamine (Tainted Meat) – Banned in Over 160 Countries Across Europe, Russia, China and Taiwan
Ractopamine agents acts as a repartitioning agent which increases protein synthesis. In other words, they are compounds that increase the lean content and reduce fat-content in the meat, while making growth more efficient. These agents were first utilized for livestock once researchers found that the drug, which is also used in asthma, had increased the muscle content in mice. The drug is currently used in roughly 45 percent of U.S. pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle and an unknown percentage of turkeys. These animals are pumped full of this drug in the days right before their slaughter. After the slaughter occurs, the drug does not disappear. There is still 20 percent of Ractopamine in the meat once they hit the store’s shelves, according to Veterinarian Michael W. Fox.
On February 11, 2013, Russia had a ban on U.S. meat imports go into effect, which will continue until the U.S. agrees to certify that the meat is Ractopamine-free. I wonder when that will happen.
The drug is linked to human cardiovascular system issues and is estimated to be responsible for hyperactivity, chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes. Maybe Russia isn’t as crazy as everyone thinks.
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