Think Twice Before Eating These Foods…

I found this really interesting article on Naturalon.com entitled, “Shocking 10 Foods Americans Eat that are BANNED in Other Countries.”  Below you’ll find my own CliffNotes version of this article… I’ve highlighted the most controversial ingredients/chemicals in the article that you’re definitely going to want to think twice about before indulging in!

1.  Olestra (more commonly referred to as Olean)

At its core, this ingredient is a fat substitute that has been stripped of pretty much everything: it contains zero calories, zero cholesterol, and is created by a company called Procter and Gamble.  This ingredient is added to numerous potato products, including potato chips and French fries.  It can have adverse effects on the intestines, and because of its chemical make-up prevents the absorption of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D.  As a result, the FDA mandates that these essential vitamins be pumped back into snack foods containing this fat substitute so as to preserve the nutritional aspects of the food.  FYI- it’s banned in Canada and the United Kingdom (Shocking).

2.  Ractopamine (a drug that has been found in certain meat products)

Ractopamine is used among cattle farmers in the U.S. in the hopes that it will increase the muscle mass of the animals that they are raising.  However, traces of Ractopamine have been detected in meat products after the butchering procedures have been completed.  For this reason, Ractopamine is prohibited in more than 150 countries from Europe to Russia to China (Shocking).

3.  Brominated Vegetable Oil in Citrus Flavored Soda

I wrote about this chemical in a blog post a while back, but the basic gist is that brominated vegetable oil was created in the first place to act as a flame retardant.  Somehow, it has found its way in our food and can lead to iodine insufficiency.  Therefore, it has been outlawed in Japan and Europe (Shocking).

4.  Chicken Breast with a Side of Arsenic

Arsenic based drugs have been infused in the food chickens eat in an attempt to alter the color of the chicken breast once it has been butchered and manufactured.  These arsenic based drugs tamper with the natural color of chicken, and give the chicken products a pinkish tint.  It is the manufacturers hope that this pinkish tint will entice more customers to purchase these chicken products.  There is controversy over whether or not this organic form of arsenic has properties that cause it to mimic the carcinogen inorganic arsenic.  The European Union thought better safe than sorry, so they got rid of it entirely (Shocking).

5.  Farm Raised Salmon

We’ve talked about this a lot…unethical living conditions, inappropriate feed that differs from what salmon in the wild eat, the addition of synthetic chemicals…not good things.  Go for salmon caught in the wild only- just like Australia and New Zealand do because they have eliminated all salmon farms (Shocking).

6.  rBGH Milk

rBGH stands for recombinant bovine growth hormone, and this hormone, despite the fact that it causes various types of cancers, intensifies the production of milk, creating more yield.  Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have all responded to this information by outlawing rBGH milk in their respective lands (Shocking).

7.  Potassium Bromate (the kind that’s in store bought baked goods)

This additive is utilized in an attempt to strengthen the dough of certain baked goods before they are then attached to bread hooks and other large scale devices at commercial grocery stores.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer has placed this additive on a list of potential carcinogens.  Hence, China, the European Union, and Canada have all prohibited the addition of Potassium Bromate to their baked goods (Shocking).

I hope that you learned something new from the highlights from this article.  I think it’s very revealing that certain areas of the world take proactive steps with the knowledge they have about certain ingredients and chemicals in order to protect their citizens, while other areas of the world either turn a blind eye to current research, or, depending on how you look at it, wish to wait for more studies about the health effects of these ingredients.  Do you think that America is a “food savvy” place?  If so, why?  Also, what part of the world do you think is most savvy in promoting the health and wellness of its citizens by outlawing certain ingredients and chemicals in their foods?  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

“Shocking 10 Foods Americans Eat that are BANNED in Other Countries.” Naturalon. NaturalON. 2014. Web. 9 September 2014. <http://naturalon.com/shocking-10-foods-americans-eat-that-are-banned-in-other-countries/>

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