As you are aware, I have decided to “Go Green,” and in doing so, I’ve been educating myself on the types of ingredients being added to food products, beauty & personal products, and household products. As you may imagine, it’s a lot to read and digest. However, I am happy to report that there are many resources in which one can find information, which in my opinion means that there are more and more people who are seriously considering or have already gone Organic.
While doing some research on non-healthy ingredients in which to look for in food products, I came across a great article entitled, “12 Dangerous And Hidden Food Ingredients in Seemingly Healthy Foods,” written by Vivian Goldschmidt, MA. I was taken aback when I saw this title because what this means is that some manufacturers are labeling their food products as being “healthy” and “natural,” while sneaking in ingredients that are just the opposite of what their labels advertise. All in the name of “mass products,” which will put more coins in their (manufacturers) pockets at the risk of the consumer’s health.
To be fair, mass production is not the only reason for manufacturers to put chemicals in the foods we eat, it is also done to preserve and enhance the flavor of some foods. But did you know that “there are more than 3,000 food chemicals purposely added to our food supply? And did you also know that utilizing products that contain “man-made chemicals acidify your body’s pH which in turn accelerates bone loss?” (Goldschmidt 1). Neither did I, which is what encouraged me to continue reading this particular article and share my findings with you.
You may wonder why or how we have gotten to such a state, where we’re pushed to question the ingredients that go into the foods that we eat and also the foods certified by our government as being safe for consumers. According to Goldschmidt “the beginning of the food processing revolution, begun soon after World War II,” when “manufacturers did not bother to hide the newly added synthetically made food additives.” It was “the perception that as women joined the workforce, their available time for cooking would be greatly diminished, and that most everyone would quickly adopt the newly invented convenience foods.” And (you’re gonna love this part) “like a tsunami thunderously invading the shoreline, the convenience food industry has flooded grocery stores with their processed products.”
Goldschmidt continues by saying, “As a result, foods have become so industrially processed that in some cases they could be easily labeled as “edible food-like substances – a synthetic man-made product – rather than actual nourishing food.” Mind blowing information don ‘t you agree? Sadly, “staple foods such as potatoes and corn are often used as basic ingredients in a host of product-have their genetic makeup purposely tampered with and may be dangerous to our health.” (Goldschmidt 2).
For the remainder of this paper I will leave you with the 12 dangerous and Hidden Food Ingredients In Seemingly Healthy Foods, cut and pasted directly from Goldschmidt”s article. Please continue to read on, for I am sure you will be just as surprised as I was when I read it. It sad really, almost like those in the know really don’t give two shakes about the consumers, but they care a whole lot about the almighty dollar.
Don’t forget to comment…I really would like to hear what you think! Until next time LP
Let’s analyze a “healthy” breakfast cereal
Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage and some of them are proven potent bone protectors as well. So isn’t it a great idea to have your morning breakfast cereal with healthy antioxidants? Not so fast… Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Kellogg’s® Smart Start® Strong Heart Antioxidants:
Rice, whole grain wheat, sugar, oat clusters, sugar, toasted oats [rolled oats, sugar, canola oil with tbhq and citric acid to preserve freshness, molasses, honey, bht for freshness, soy lecithin], wheat flakes, crisp rice [rice, sugar, malt, salt], corn syrup, polydextrose, honey, cinnamon, BHT [preservative], artificial vanilla flavor, high fructose corn syrup, salt, honey, malt flavoring, alpha tocopherol acetate [vitamin E], niacinamide, zinc oxide, reduced iron, sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, Yellow #5, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), thiamin hydrochloride (vitamin B1), BHT (preservative), vitamin A palmitate, folic acid, beta carotene (a source of vitamin A), vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene): this common additive used to prevent oxidation in a wide variety of foods and cosmetics is listed by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in 2005 as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” on the basis of experimental findings in animals. It is also used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, transformer oil and embalming fluid. As if this were not enough, the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warns that BHT should not be allowed to enter the environment, can cause liver damage, and is harmful to aquatic organisms.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): Loaded with “unbound” fructose and glucose molecules, studies have shown that the reactive carbonyl molecules can cause tissue damage that may lead to obesity, diabetes, and also heart disease. So much for this “Strong Heart Antioxidants” cereal recipe! HFCS is made from genetically modified corn and processed with genetically modified enzymes. To make matters worse, studies have recently revealed that nearly half of tested samples of HFCS contained mercury.
Yellow #5: Almost all colorants approved for use in food are derived from coal tar and may contain up tp 10ppm of lead and arsenic. Also, and not surprisingly, most coal tar colors could potentially cause cancer.
I love starting my day with an antioxidant-rich breakfast complete with natural granola and fresh fruits sprinkled with slivered almonds, flax, and pumpkin seeds for extra crunch. Try it with your favorite milk substitute, and if you have a sweet tooth, use a little honey. I’m quite sure you’ll love it too. There are also many tasty varieties of boxed cereals that truly contain all-natural ingredients – just read the label and avoid synthetic ingredients including the ones listed above.
Are you ready for lunch?
You know that you can never go wrong with a salad to start your lunch with, so you pick your favorite bone-healthy alkalizing vegetables and all you have to do is pour some delicious dressing. Add a few crispy nuts and seeds and voila! You’ve got yourself a healthy lunch. But your choice of salad dressing can ruin your intentions… Let’s take a look at one of the most popular salad dressings, Kraft’s Creamy Italian dressing:
Water, soybean oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, contains less than 2% of garlic*, xanthan gum, citric acid, propylene glycol alginate, onions*, polysorbate 60, spice, red bell peppers*, garlic, phosphoric acid, parsley*, vitamin E, natural flavor. *dried
Soybean oil: More than half of all soybeans crops grown in the US are genetically-modified (GMO) representing a meteoric rise since 1996, when only 7% were GMO soybeans. Genetically modified crops not only pose environmental dangers. There is a growing concern (and mounting scientific evidence) that genetic engineering of food plant seeds may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health.
Propylene glycol alginate (E405): this food thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier is derived from alginic acid esterified and combined with propylene glycol. Bear in mind that even though propylene glycol is used as a food additive, it has many industrial uses including automotive antifreezes and airport runway de-icers.
Polysorbate 60: short for polyoxyethylene-(20)- sorbitan monostearate this emulsifier is widely used in the food industry. Made of made of corn, palm oil and petroleum, this gooey mix can’t spoil, so it often replaces dairy products in baked goods and other liquid products.
While some commercially made salad dressings really may have natural ingredients (make sure you read the labels), try to stick to basics and use olive oil with lemon juice as often as possible. Olive oil, is in fact a fruit juice and contains long chain unsaturated fatty acids that alkalize your body’s pH. You can also make your own salad dressing at home using wholesome natural ingredients.
An afternoon snack to energize your day
A couple of hours after lunch, you might crave a little pick-me-up snack. A few pretzels might just hit the spot, right? But not so fast… Take a look at the list of ingredients in a bag of fat free Rold Gold® Pretzels, the number one brand in the US:
Enriched flour: these pretzels are made with enriched flour. But don’t let the attractive description mislead you: like most highly processed foods, enriched flour is devoid of nutrients and more often than not it is also bleached. Since the wheat germ and bran are removed from this type of flour, the body treats it as a refined starch.
But it doesn’t end here. The “enrichment” itself is made using toxic ingredients. For example, iron is added back into enriched flour. Unfortunately, food makers use a metallic form of iron that your body can barely absorb and should not be ingested. Watch the shocking video below:
It has fortunately become quite easy to replace enriched flour with healthy alternatives, especially with whole wheat flour. But don’t forget that there are other options that can add variety to your meals such as rye, quinoa, millet, and brown rice flour and sprouted grain products.
I like to snack on alkalizing fruits, whether dried or fresh, and sometimes add a few nuts such as almonds or walnuts and some sesame seeds that are naturally high in calcium. Dried fruits mixed with nuts are easy to carry around so you can have a bone-healthy snack anytime of the day.
It’s time for dinner now
As the day is winding down, you are looking forward to a nutritious and substantial dinner. You might choose what you think is a healthier lower fat alternative to beef, such as the Morningstar Farms® Grillers® Vegan Veggie Burgers. Take a look at the ingredients:
Water, textured soy protein concentrate, corn oil, contains two percent or less of autolyzed yeast extract, vegetable gum, natural flavors from vegetable sources, maltodextrin, soy fiber, salt, carrageenan, potato starch, onion powder, caramel color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, konjac flour, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, soy sauce (water, soybeans, wheat, salt), concentrated onion juice, ascorbic acid, vinegar powder, citric acid, aspartic acid, modified corn starch, malic acid, succinic acid, tartaric acid, lactic acid, wheat flour, soy lecithin.