We all love food – it’s crucial to our survival, but according to the Organic Consumers Association, you might really want to consider what you’re putting on your plate. Even more so if you’re an American citizen, since there are a lot of hidden toxic substances in some of the products you consume on a daily basis. So much so that some of the foods freely available in America are banned in other countries. Yes, really.
Salmon can either be really good or very bad for your health
According to Yahoo Lifestyle, the first culprit you need to look out for is farmed salmon. If you’re looking to up your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, make sure you buy wild caught salmon instead of farm-raised. The latter is raised on an unnatural diet of grains, antibiotics, and other toxic drugs. This leaves the fish with grey flesh. To cover this up, the fish is pinkened with synthetic astaxanthin, which is made from petrochemicals. You most certainly do not want to put all that inside your body.
Watch out for the chicken
Perhaps you don’t like fish, but love chicken. Well, then you need to be on the lookout too. According to Eat This, Not That!, many chicken companies in the United States still use chlorinated water baths, rinses, and mists as a means to kill bacteria. This method has been banned in the European Union since 1997. Before you buy any chicken, make sure you buy it from a trusted provider.
Look out for azodicarbonamide
Something else that is potentially dangerous to your health is azodicarbonamide. It can be found in a variety of foods – frozen dinners, various bread, packaged baked goods, and boxed pasta. This chemical is used to bleach flour quickly and is also used in foamed plastics. It has been linked to diseases like asthma.
Read your milk carton
You also want to watch out for milk and dairy products. Some of these products contain synthetic hormones like rBGH and rBST. This is a growth hormone created by mankind to increase a cow’s milk production.
Cows treated with this hormone tend to become infertile and develop inflamed udders. It’s just as bad for humans and has been linked to several types of cancer, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer. If the milk you’re buying isn’t organic and doesn’t state “does not contain rBGH” on the bottle or carton, you’re putting your health at risk. Luckily, the use of this hormone in the US is decreasing. In 2014, a report by the USDA stated that only 9.7 percent of dairy operations in the US were still making use of the hormone.
Arsenic and poultry products
Another little devil you want to avoid is arsenic, which is found in poultry. This chemical is added to the feed given to chickens to boost their pigmentation and make them grow faster. This makes the chickens’ flesh look more pink, which fools many people into thinking that it is healthier. It’s actually crazy that companies are still allowed to use it – the Environmental Protection Agency has classified arsenic as a human carcinogen, which means it promotes the growth of cancer cells.
Even bread has its secrets
Bread lovers, watch out – even a nice, warm loaf of bread may contain substances that are really bad for your health. Potassium Bromate, which is found in bread-related products like flatbread, bagel chips, wraps, and rolls is something you might want to give a pass. This chemical is used to decrease the time needed for baking, but it’s harmful to your kidneys and nervous system, and can even cause cancer.
Swear off the Mountain Dew
If you love Mountain Dew, you might want to consider finding a new favorite drink. This popular beverage contains Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO). Bromine, which is the key ingredient here, can cause a lot of damage. It can cause headaches, impaired balance and coordination, as well as irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. Definitely not something you want to deal with.
Be mindful of what you put into your body
With so many everyday food products containing harmful ingredients, it’s a miracle that we’re all still alive. It’s not always possible to buy alternatives, but do take care to buy those that are available to you if you can afford it. You only have one body, so take good care of it. If you’re not sure whether something on a product’s ingredient list is good for you, a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you know how to pronounce it, if not, it’s probably (most of the time) not something you want to eat.
Did you know about all these harmful substances that are hidden in your food? Do you know of any good alternatives? Drop them in the comments.