Though I have been personally steering away from processed foods ever since my grandmother taught me to be wary of any food that required a hazmat suit and a beaker to produce, I recently viewed a report on food additives that stunned me. The authors claim that the US Food and Drug Administration allows more than 100 food additives into our marketplace that have been previously banned in other countries for various health related reasons.
List of Internationally Banned Chemicals Commonly Found in Processed Foods:
- Artificial food coloring has been linked to Hyperactivity in children and may be linked to ADHD.
- Olestra/Olean was named one of the 50 worst inventions by Time Magazine and is known to cause anal leakage. Gross!
- Bromated Vegetable Oil/BVO, a known flame retardant often found in sodas is known to cause skin lesions and irritations, memory loss, and loss of muscle control.
- Potassium Bromate found within many baked goods, and also goes by the name of Brominated Flour is a known kidney toxin.
- Azodicarbonamide a product used in many fast food bread products and as a bleaching agent for many foam products is known to cause Asthma.
- The Butylated Brothers/BHA and BHT two common food preservatives are known carcinogens, as well as thyroid, liver and kidney toxins.
- GMO (Genetically-modified) foods. These products are completely untested and many tess have shown possible DNA damage from eating these products. One study found that hamsters started growing hair on the roof of their mouths after being fed a diet of GMO foods. Other studies have linked GMO’s to sterility, and infant mortality.
- High Fructose Corn Syrup/ HFCS Is a known endocrine system disruptor and has been shown to encourage insulin resistance This product alone may be responsible for the rising rates of diabetes.
- Hydrogenated Oils also known as trans-fats are known to raise cholesterol levels and are linked to heart disease.
- Sodium Benzoate a chemical preservative found throughout the processed food aisles is a known carcinogen and can convert to benzene inside the body.
- Dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent is found in fried products like french fries and chicken nuggets and silly putty.
- Natural and Artificial Flavors can contain MSG a known cellular poison. MSG is insidious because it is cheap, often not listed in ingredient labels, pervasive in processed foods, increases appetite and increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, insomnia, type 2 diabetes. On top of the risks it is an ingredient that is hidden on labels. In other words it increases your bodies desire to eat foods that cause disease.
- Synthetic hormones (rBGH and rBST) are hormones found in milk products that increase the risk of cancer including breast cancer.
There is no doubt that America’s national health crisis has many roots, but this report made me wonder: are the health and disease trends among our nation’s citizens related to these ingredients? With as many as 30% of Americans considered obese (and this number is projected to rise in the coming years,) 41% of Americans expected to get cancer in their lifetimes, 25% expected to die of a heart attack, and strokes, asthma, and diabetes on the rise, it seems like there might be a coorelation with these banned ingredients showing up as “regulars” at mealtime.
It seems high time that we need to get back to basic ingredients: local, fresh foods. Click here for 10 keys for healthy eating habits.
Chemistry Photo by Some rights reserved by x-ray delta one Frest Market Photo by Some rights reserved by Jamie in Bytown