As we go through advancements in technology, so does our food. Grocery shopping or even small purchases of food are now challenging. It is challenging in a way you can n no longer discern a natural food from a treated one. Packaged foods have been chemically laden to preserve it or make it more appealing. Even non-packaged foods such as fruits or even vegetables are frequently reformed.
If you prefer natural foods, it would be best to buy your foods directly from a farm, a farmer’s market, or grow them yourself.
6 Food-Industry Tricks That Might Shock You
Lately, TIME brought out six food-industry tricks that should be common knowledge, but instead are hidden under the radar. Most definitely the food industry would have you believing that your apple is just an apple, rather than an apple coated with wax. And that’s not even the whole story yet.
As TIME reported:1
“…your food goes through a lot to make it to you, from being treated with antibiotics to getting a chlorine bath and a wax coating. Many of these steps are no big deal… but some are bad for your health and others huge money wasters.”
1. Farm-Raised Salmon Is ‘Colored' Pink
Naturally, salmon eats what nature provides it to eat. Thus, they are more nutritionally adequate and balanced with fats, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants like astaxanthin which gives salmon its naturally pink or coral hue.
As chickens, pigs and cows are feed with genetically modified crops like corn or soy, so is farmed salmon. In addition, they are also fed with chicken or other feather meal, artificial coloring, and synthetic astaxanthin.
It is ironic that synthetic astaxanthin is not permitted to be consumed by humans but is allowed in fish that we eat in the end.
Ironically, synthetic astaxanthin is not approved for human consumption, but is permitted to be used in fish feed that humans ultimately eat. Is that sensible to you?
Astaxanthin is added to turn their flesh pink – the color most people expect their salmon to be. Natural salmon get astaxanthin from green algae. However, farmed salmon, without these synthetic “pigment pellets” added to their diets, would be an unappetizing grey color.
Farmed salmon have reduced levels of omega-3 fatty acids by 50% compared to wild salmons. What they lack in essential fats they make up for the contaminants they contain due to grains and legumes fed to them that are genetically altered.
Norway, the world’s top producer of salmon reports high levels of contaminants present in farm-raised salmons. The Norwegian Department of Health warns on eating too much salmon due to contamination concerns. Russia banned Norwegian salmons as they claim these fish contain lead and cadmium in high amounts.
2. Your Oranges Might Be Dyed
Literally, an orange is colored orange. So producers have to go to that extent making their oranges orange because consumers might perhaps mistake it for another fruit.
These oranges are sprayed with Citrus Red No.2, an artificial dye that is toxic to lab rats and caused tumors of the bladder.
If you purchased oranges in a package, it should tell you in the label if it is dyed. That is if these oranges have labels. It is best therefore to avoid them.
3. Many Foods Are Dyed
Oranges aren’t the only ones dyed with synthetic colors. Wheat bread may be dyed brown and pickles dyed yellow amongst others to make them more appealing.
It has been revealed in a report that nine food dyes that are presently used in the US are linked to health illnesses like cancer and allergies.
For instance, Red # 40, which is the most widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of tumors of the immune system in mice, while also triggering hyperactivity in children.
Blue #2, used in candies, beverages, pet foods, and more, has been linked to brain tumors. And Yellow #5, used in baked goods, candies, cereal, and more, may not only be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals, but it's also linked to hyperactivity, hypersensitivity, and other behavioral effects in children.
4. Produce Often Gets a Wax Coating
Some produce is waxed after harvest to withstand the long journey to market unscarred and to protect against the many hands that touch it. While the wax is supposed to be food-grade and safe, there are different types used:3
- Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree)
- Shellac (from the lac beetle)
- Petroleum-based waxes
The natural waxes are far preferable to the petroleum-based waxes, which may contain solvent residues or wood rosins. Produce coated with wax is not labeled as such, but organic produce will not contain petroleum-based wax coatings (although it may contain carnauba wax or insect shellac).
The other potential issue is that wax seals in pesticide residues and debris, making them even more difficult to remove with just water. To reach the contaminants buried beneath the surface of your vegetables and fruits, you need a cleanser that also removes the wax, which is what my fruit and vegetable wash does. Produce that is often waxed includes:
Cucumbers Bell peppers Eggplants Potatoes Apples Lemons Oranges Limes
5. Olive Oil Might Be Mixed with Cheaper Oils
Olive oil being one of the healthier choices became a staple cooking oil in most kitchens due high levels of unsaturated fat. But olive oil now became a victim of swindle. Some manufacturers produce olive oil adulterated with cheaper oils like corn, sunflower, palm, sesame, soybean and walnut. Even the “extra virgin” olive oil is not spared. These added oils are not listed on the label of the bottle. It is best then to purchase a trusted brand or from a local producer. If you purchased one and it doesn’t taste anything or something like olive oil or plainly it tastes bad, return it to the store and ask for a refund.
6. Chicken Is Given a Chlorine Bath
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) permits poultry producers to put all the poultry through an antimicrobial wash, using chlorine and other chemicals to kill pathogens. We already have a problem with antibiotics causing antibiotic-resistant “super germs” when used in the animals' feed, and this likely makes the problem even worse. Workers in the plants have also reported health problems from the chemical washes, including asthma and other respiratory problems. Not to mention, it's unclear how much of the chlorine residue remains on the chicken when you eat it. In the European Union (EU), the use of chlorine washes is not only banned, but they won't even accept US poultry that's been treated with these antimicrobial sprays.
Germans Alarmed Over US ‘Chlorhuehnchen' (Chlorine Chicken)
Both the USDA and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asserts that chickens given a chlorine bath are safe. But Germans aren’t that convinced. Though the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, could generate an estimated $100 billion a year in economic growth for both the US and the EU, Germans think that having this trade with the US may compromise their food safety and quality.
According to Reuters:
“The phrase ‘Chlorhuehnchen,' or chlorine chicken, has entered the parlance of everyone from taxi drivers to housewives since trade negotiations began a year ago. An Internet search for the term generates thousands of results, bringing up cartoons of animals dumped in vats of chemicals and stabbed with needles. A majority of Germans believe chlorine-washed chicken is a danger to human health despite its successful use in the United States to kill bacteria, according to survey by pollster Forsa.”
The US Food Industry Allows These Dodgy Practices That Are Banned in Europe
While GM crops are banned in several European countries, and all genetically modified foods and ingredients have to be labeled, the US has recently begun passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion, in addition to the fact that GM ingredients do not have to be labeled on a federal level.
In another example, chicken litter, a rendered down mix of chicken manure, dead chickens, feathers, and spilled feed, is marketed as a cheap feed product for US cows. The beef industry likes it because it's even cheaper than corn and soy, so an estimated 2 billion pounds are purchased each year in the US.
However, any cow that eats chicken litter may also be consuming various beef products intended for chickens – raising concerns about Mad Cow Disease. And it's not only the spilled feed that's the problem; the infectious agent can also be passed through the chicken manure as well. In the US, the use of poultry litter in cow feed is unrestricted. Europe banned all forms of animal protein, including chicken litter, in cow feed in 2001. Want yet another example? The drug ractopamine is banned in 160 countries, including Europe, Taiwan, and China.
If imported meat is found to contain traces of the drug, it is turned away, while fines and imprisonment result for its use in banned countries. Yet, in the US an estimated 60-80 percent of pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys are pumped full of this drug in the days leading up to slaughter because it increases protein synthesis. In other words, it makes animals more muscular… and this increases food growers' bottom line.
Adding insult to injury, up to 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket, and this drug is also known to cause serious disability, including trembling, broken limbs and an inability to walk, in animals. It's also killed more pigs than any other animal drug on the market. While Europe has remained steadfast on its Ractopamine ban, including refusing imported meat treated with it, the US is actively trying to get other nations to change their minds and accept Ractopamine-treated pork.
What Are the Worst Processed Food Additives?
Due to added preservatives and additives, processed foods can last a long time on the shelf without spoiling. Unfortunately, a lot of efforts made are to increase their shelf life and their makers put a lot of money and time into strategies to increase shelf life and fashion a packaging, and not on how to give out on the food’s nutrient value. It would be wise to avoid them. But if can’t, be conscious of these additives:
Ingredient Found in Health Hazards Coloring agents: blue #1, blue #2, yellow #5, and yellow #6 Cake, candy, macaroni and cheese, medicines, sport drinks, soda, pet food, and cheese Most artificial colors are made from coal tar, which is a carcinogen Olestra (aka Olean) Fat-free potato chips Depletion of fat-soluble vitamins and carotenoids. Side effects include oily anal leakage Brominated vegetable oil (aka BVO) Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas Competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, which can lead to hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer. The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous, corrosive chemical linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss Potassium bromate (aka brominated flour) Rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips See bromine above. Associated with kidney and nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal discomfort Azodicarbonamide Breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods Linked to asthma BHA and BHT Cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and beer BHA may be a human carcinogen, a cancer-causing agent. BHT can cause organ system toxicity Synthetic hormones: rBGH and rBST Milk and dairy products Linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancers Arsenic Poultry EPA classifies inorganic arsenic as a “human carcinogen”
Beat the Food Industry at Their Own Game: Choose Real Food
It’s quite simple really – swap the processed food with fresh whole foods. The more stops your food makes before reaching your plate, the more company it has. The greater your risk then with contamination.
If you rely on processed inexpensive foods, you exchange convenience for long-term health problems and mounting medical bills. It's also important to source your food directly from high-quality, local sources so you can determine that your chicken is not doused in chlorine and your apples are not coated in wax, for instance. For a step-by-step guide to make this a reality in your own life, simply follow the advice in my optimized nutrition plan along with these seven steps to wean yourself off processed foods.
Preparing the food yourself assures the quality and safety of it. You wouldn’t want to put in something you don’t want to eat right? Cook the food yourself and skip phone call for ordering pizza or the take out in the nearest fast food chain. If you value your health and do this, imagine what you can do for others as well.
Please read the rest of the article at Mercola.com