The US really doesn’t care if the people get poisoned!!
Think you can trust the FDA with your health? Think again! Check out the toxic foods that are allowed in the U.S. but not in other parts of the world.
Competition in the production of food is huge in the United States. Farmers and manufacturers need to do things fast and cheap in order to make a profit. Unfortunately, fast and cheap doesn’t necessarily equate to healthy for humans, because harmful chemicals are often used to increase profit margins.
We consumers don’t know half of the toxic substances being put in our food and have to rely on the government to protect us. Sadly, the U.S. is doing a poor job of it.
Why is this? Basically, because Europe (and many other countries in the world) have higher standards than we do. They follow something called the “precautionary principle,” which means when substantial evidence of danger to human health is shown, then protective measures are taken—even if there’s uncertainty. The U.S. only takes protective measures when there’s a heap of evidence.
Feeling nervous? There’s no reason to be too concerned. Although some of these products and chemicals are banned in other countries, most of them technically pose extremely small risks, if any at all.
The safest route is to rely on scientific, factual research published in reputable journals—and stay up to date on any new developments that may affect your diet. More research may reveal these products as actual dangers to the American consumer, but it just might clear them for worldwide usage, too. Here are a few additives to keep an eye on.
Artificial Food Dyes
What it is: Food coloring made from petroleum or crude oil
What it does: Makes your food look pretty! Studies show that people prefer the taste of their food to match the color. Enter food dye. The artificial type is cheaper than the natural variety and lasts much longer.
Why it’s bad for you: Although food dye is typically associated with cancer and tumor growth in adults, a clear link hasn’t been established. However, a report published in Environmental Health Perspectives pointed out a few concerning missteps in the risk assessments of food dyes. The research conducted on rats did not consider any in-utero exposure and only lasted two years, which is concerning when most cancers emerge in the third year of the rodent’s life.
That being said, the biggest controversies surround kids. Studies show that artificial dyes are lightly to hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions, lack of concentration, and poor judgment.
Where you find it: Sodas, juices, candy bars, processed snacks, cereals, candy—basically anything that looks bright and colored
What you can do about it: Check out the natural dyes that are popping up in foods in stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. They use natural ingredients like beets and turmeric to color your food. They cost a little more but are worth the price! You can also find recipes online to create your own all-natural dyes from ingredients in your kitchen.
What it is: A type of sucrose polyester blend made from ingredients found in foods like vegetable oil and sugar
What it does: Makes your food less fattening, but still great tasting. It has the properties of fat but contributes no fat, no calories, no trans fat, and no cholesterol.
Why it’s bad for you: Although long thought of as a cause of major gastrointestinal side effects, including intense diarrhea, few studies found any significant impact on the gastrointestinal system. However, studies show that rats that consumed Olestra in combination with real fats not only didn’t lose weight, they actually gained it. Studies show that it also may interfere with vitamin absorption.
Where you find it: Snack items like chips and nachos
What’s being done about it: The only thing that you can do is avoid products made with this. The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to allow it on the market despite objections from organizations like the Center For Science in the Public Interest.
What it is: A drug known as a phenethanolamine.
What it does: Causes increased muscle protein growth in animals while decreasing fat. The animals given ractopamine can gain lean body mass while eating less. The result is a better quality product that costs less.