It is no secret that America is called “the fattest country in the world,” with obesity rates at an all time high for children and adults it’s hard to ignore the fact that Americans are doing something wrong, but are these foods causing even more damage than what you look like? The answer is yes! Buzzfeed recently released an article on the eight foods that we eat here in the U.S that other countries banned, not just discourage but literally the citizens are not allowed to eat them! If that doesn’t say there is a serious problem with what we are putting in our bodies and our childrens’ bodies, I don’t know what will …so I am going to share those eight ingredients that can potentially do serious damage to your body, nervous system, and organs. Fair warning if you are a hypochondriac, like I am, you might not want to read this whole thing because I now think every time I put one of these items in my mouth something terrible is going to happen to me.
First up, artificial food dye. It is no surprise that this is something you should probably stay away from considering the name tells you it’s fake. Also, this little ingredient that makes our food oh so pretty is found in basically everything: cereals, cake mixes, cheese, and most importantly macaroni and cheese! Now I can eat macaroni and cheese every day so this was probably the most upsetting for me! For those of you who are wondering, “what could a little food dye do to me?,” well, studies show that these dyes are linked to brain cancer, nerve damage, and hyperactivity in children. The reason for this is because the chemicals that make up these artificial dyes are derived from petroleum, which we know is used to make asphalt, gasoline, diesel fuel, etc. This is banned in Norway, Finland, Austria, France, and the U.K.
Next, is the fat substitute olestra. This is found in fat free potato chips, corn chips, and French fries. The reason this is placed into different foods is because it is a way for manufacturers to lower the calories in their products; however, while they may be lowering calories, olestra takes away the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and it also can cause anal leakage, just a little fun fact for all of you! This is banned in the U.K. and Canada.
Number three on the banned list is brominated vegetable oil. This is what turns all of your favorite sports drinks cool colors; it allows food dyes to stick to liquids. Why is this dangerous? Well for starters bromine is the chemical used to stop carpets from catching on fire and studies have shown that brominated vegetable oil is linked to organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss. This is banned in over 100 countries so I won’t list them all.
Here we have an “impatient bakers” best friend, potassium bromate, also known as bromated flour. Any time you eat rolls, wraps, bread crumbs, bagel chips, etc. there is a chance you are putting this ingredient into your body. This helps cut down baking time as well as costs for the bakery, but because it is derived from the same chemical as brominated vegetable oil, it can cause kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage. This is banned in Europe, Canada, and China.
Azodicarbonamide is number five on the list. This chemical compound can not only bleach plastic (including the soles of your sneakers) and flour, but it also can induce asthma. It is found in a variety of items such as breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and package baked goods. This one is banned in Australia, the U.K., and most European countries.
Next up are the food preservatives BHA and BHT. These are the waxy materials that keep your food from getting spoiled or rancid. They are used in cereal, nut mixes, butter, meat, dehydrated potatoes, and in gum. Why is it dangerous? Well these have been linked to cancer in rats! They’re banned in the U.K., Japan, and many other European countries.
Men have heard time and time again that steroids are terrible for you and can affect your body in horrible ways, so why would growth hormones for animals be any different for their bodies or ours? Number seven on the list are the synthetic growth hormones rBGH and rBST. These are found in milk as well as a variety of other dairy products. The potential side effects of these are infertility, weakened muscle growth, and many different cancers. These hormones are banned in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the EU.
The final item on the banned food list is the poison arsenic. Now until I saw this list I didn’t even know they used this in food; the only time I heard of it was on TV shows or in movies when someone was trying to kill someone. This is used in some poultry to make the chicken appear pinker and fresher. The consequence of eating too much of this is death. Surprisingly this is only banned in the EU.
After reading this I am sure you will think twice before eating certain foods too frequently!