There seems to be a big difference, food-wise, between Europe and the U.S.A.
Additives in the food that are banned in Europe because they are considered dangerous for our health will still be sold to the American people. I wonder why the American people do not inform themselves about these health risks and put a stop to this.
When growth promoters, genetically engineered ingredients, herbicides, and plastic should not be in your food, then why do people eat it in America? I could add a couple more things to this list like sugar or sweeteners, bad fats, and strange additives, etc.
A health crisis
When you look around, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say, a health crisis is more than visible. Lots of people complain about allergies and are gluten sensitive. More than 70 years ago, one did not hear about Celiac disease. People would eat their locally baked bread made with non GMO grains, which were not sprayed heavily with pesticides, and everything was fine. In the 1950s there was a use of pesticides but since then it has increased 50 fold.
One did not eat all this man-made food either, so I think the intestines were in better shape. Our total immune system was stronger. With our lifestyle, we have over time, weakened our resistance and it is no wonder when you look at what is considered food nowadays. Scientists are still trying to figure out the whys and hows, but I think the closer we eat to nature the better our health will be.
Those yummy French fries
Here is an often-cited example. McDonald’s French fries in the U.S. compared to the French fries they sell in Europe.
U.S ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil ( Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural Beef Flavor) Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Salt, Fried in a vegetable oil blend with Citric Acid and Dimenthylpolysiloxane. Are you still with me? One can hardly pronounce the words.
McDonald’s French fries look very different in other countries. Here come the ingredients: Potatoes, Vegetable Oil, (Sunflower and Rapeseed) Dextrose. Fried in non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Salt is added after cooking. Let’s face it, even if the French fries are far better than in the U.S. the food generally served in this fast-food chain should be avoided.
A good option, if you love French fries, is to make them at home with one of those new hot air fryers which use hardly any oil. The other good thing is you chose the oil you use. This makes homemade French fries a lot healthier.
There are many brands of hot air fryers on the market. I think it is a good option but most of them use nonstick material. That again is bad for your health. I did find one with a glass container so that will be my first choice.
Just a word of warning
Take utmost care what pots and pans you use for cooking. Iron is very heavy. I have inherited some good ones from my Mother and now and then use them. They are also ideal for in the oven. For normal cooking, I use stainless steel. Stainless steel is also good for in the oven, as is good quality earthware and glass. That is it.
What is very bad for your health is to use aluminum, anything coated like Teflon and special plastics that are “microwave safe”. Don’t believe this myth, as any plastic is problematic, and a microwave oven is a big NO. Scientific studies have proven that people who consumed milk heated up in a microwave oven, documented that the subject’s blood picture had changed when looking under the microscope. Why would I want to eat food that changes my blood? I find it a scary thought.
When you buy a good quality set of stainless steel pots and pans, it will last a lifetime. My Mother bought her set in 1972 and I am using it.
The FDA and their OK’s?
In America, it is believed that when the FDA has given green light, you are safe. Are you? I have lost my faith in their decisions as over time, it has become obvious that not your health but the financial health of big companies is more important. There are so many examples of misjudgment, conscious and perhaps unconscious ones, by the FDA that would fill a book.
I will only mention one, Aspartame. If you google Aspartame, you will get a lot of information suggesting it is either unhealthy or is OK for a healthy individual to occasionally consume it. However, it is sold as a sugar substitute to those who are overweight and regular consumption of low-calorie sweeteners (including Aspartame) may increase the risk of metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
If you must have a sweetened drink, consuming a little, emphasis on little, sugar is OK and should be preferred above artificial sweeteners. Stevia and honey are other good alternatives. Do not forget, these artificial sweeteners are everywhere, especially in things labeled as diet this or that.
The FDA has stated their buddies, the big food companies, can do what they want and put chemicals and food additives in the food you eat as long as some “qualified expert” has said it is OK. That saves the FDA a lot of work and means a carte blanche to the food companies. I thought it was the FDA’s job to take care of the health of the population. That is a wrong assumption as the sicker we are the more money flows selling harmful prescriptions. Do not be fooled, everything is related.
The GRAS List
Have you heard of this list? Here you will find all the chemicals that have been OK’ed for food use but the worrying thing is that most of these chemicals have not been tested long term. One simply does not know what will happen to your health after eating it for years. Let’s not forget that most of these nasty things have an accumulative effect, the more and longer you eat it the more will be present in your body.
A good example of something bad, but is on the GRAS list, are artificial trans-fats. What about the nearly 500.000 deaths per year from associated heart disease? People eat things like frozen pizza, peanut butter, packaged snack foods, vegetable shortenings. Not a good idea as all these foods contain trans-fats.
In 2015 the FDA woke up and said that partially hydrogenated oils were not good. It gave the food manufacturers a few years to find a solution and look at what is happening now. These companies have now changed to palm oil, but as you probably know it is bad for the environment, animals and our health. There you see, we do not advance at all.
Here you can watch a YouTube video and see the disaster of using palm oil.
Have a look at the 11 ingredients that are banned outside the U.S. but are still permitted within the U.S.A. I think this list is quite impressive. When you come to think of it, there is little natural substance left in these types of food. No wonder people get all these ailments.
Potassium bromate is banned in China, India, Brazil, and Canada. Azodicarbonamide is banned in Australia and Europe.
In the U.S. these chemicals are used in loaves of bread, rolls, and “egg breads”. These chemicals are classified as possible human carcinogens. Asthma and breathing difficulties can occur when you are exposed to them. Are you eating these things?
2.Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
It is banned in Japan and other countries.
In 1977 it was approved by the FDA and used in food and beverages. You will find it in some sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas, where it is used as an emulsifier. This stuff was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.
It accumulates in human tissue and breast milk and can lead to memory loss in the future. From birth defects, skin rashes, heart problems, and autoimmune disease, the list goes on. Are you by chance drinking this kind of thing?
In 2006 it was banned for food by the European Food Safety Authority and in 2015, it was no longer allowed for cosmetic products.
You will find it in the U.S. as a preservative in tortillas, muffins, pies, sausage rolls, trail mix and quite a few more products. Propylparaben has been linked to breast cancer. It is an endocrine-disrupting chemical. It causes reproductive problems. Are you eating this?
4.BHA and BHT
These are banned by the United Kingdom, European Union, Japan, and other countries.
These are man-made antioxidants. There we have it again, men trying to improve on nature. It is used in cereals and dehydrated potato products. This is to increase the product shelf life. Packaged products will often include it but you better stay away from it. BHA and BHT are a possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptors. Do you have this food on your menu?
5.Synthetic Food Dyes
In Europe and Australia, they use more natural coloring compounds. Fanta is made with actual fruit juice. Tell me why, in America, people drink Fanta which is colored with petroleum-derived artificial dyes like red 40 and yellow 6?
These artificial dyes are used to make the foods people eat look more appetizing. They are used in candy, baked goods and sweets, mustard, salmon, and even pickles. The natural color of a lot more thing are “Improved” and you do not even know it.
Come to think of it. Up till the mid-19th-century, natural dyes were used in the U.S. Then the food manufacturers found that it is cheaper to use chemicals that provided brighter colors. Do not take this information lightly, as these chemical dyes have been linked to many conditions of which tumors and hyperactivity in children are only an example. Are you eating any of this?
Here comes a long list of countries where, since 2019, GMOs have been highly restricted or completely banned. Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Greece, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
Why are they not banned in the U.S? Crops like soy, sugar beets, corn, canola, cotton, and alfalfa are mainly GMOs and you are eating it. Bayer, which fused with Monsanto and is the producer of Roundup, is fighting 13.000 people who have started individual or joint court cases. Monsanto already lost the first 3 and it is likely they (Bayer and Monsanto) will lose more resulting in Millions upon millions in fines.
When one knows that DNA of certain crops is manipulated so they become more resistant to herbicides one realizes it is not healthy to eat this. Glyphosate, which is in many herbicides, is linked to cancer and is the main ingredient of Roundup. Are these foods on your diet plan?
This is an arsenic-based drug and banned in the European Union but not in the U:S.
Chronic exposure can lead to a lot of nasty things like anemia, skin lesions, kidney damage, can increase the risk of getting certain cancers, and having miscarriages and birth defects. Why would one want to run this risk? It seems it is more important that chicken meat has an appetizing pink color and that it speeds up the growth of chickens. Are you still eating fried chicken?
You might not believe this, but it is banned in 122 countries including Russia, mainland China, Taiwan and many countries in Europe.
Why is it banned? Reproductive and cardiovascular damage in humans, also chromosomal and behavioral changes. Isn’t that enough reason? I would think so, but the authorities in the U.S.A do not, and therefore ractopamine, which is a muscle enhancer for pigs, cows, and turkeys is still used. When you buy the meat of these animals, it is still there and you ingest it. Are you still eating meat? Perhaps now is the time to go Vegan.
9.Herbicides, Insecticides, Fungicides
The European Union banned 72 of the 374 active ingredients authorized for use in the U.S. This happened in 2016, but when you look at the decline of the bees, butterflies, and insects in general, it is not enough. Do you know that if all the bees have been annihilated, we as a human race will have barely 4 more years and then we too will be gone?
Crops are heavily sprayed in the U.S. to keep them free of bugs and diseases. Birds might eat insects killed by pesticide sprays and then succumb to the same fate. We eat sprayed crops and slowly but surely we will also die. What a bright future. Do you read your labels when you buy food?
10.Olestra or Olean
This man-made cholesterol-free fat substitute is forbidden in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Olestra was created by Proctor and Gamble and the FDA approved it in the 1990s. I just wonder why one needs a substitute for fat, as we now know fat is good. One has to eat good fats, like extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. But there you see, men know better and want to improve on nature and the result can be dangerous.
You will find Olestra in certain potato chips and French Fries. The side effects are not funny as it can cause extreme digestive problems. When you ingest a lot of it you might create a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, K, and you can add carotenoids to this list as well.
These are not used anymore in Canada, Europe, and other countries. But in the U.S. they are still being used. What are they used for? Mainly by the dairy industry to increase milk production. Cows get mastitis which is an udder infection due to being treated with rBGH, which then requires antibiotics. All of this ends up in the milk, not a nice idea. If humans were to be given this, it could very well increase the risk of cancer. Why are we doing these unnatural things and the second question is are you still drinking milk?
All these man-made inventions have nothing to do with food, and should not be in the food you eat. Read the labels and if you cannot pronounce a word or know what it is, it’s better to leave it standing on the shelf. The closer you eat to nature, the healthier you will be, that is for sure. Home-cooked meals are the best and a good reason to gather the whole family around the table, just like in old times.
There is a good website called Center for Food Safety. You can signup for campaigns and show you want good and healthy food for your family. After all, you are what you eat, your health will thank you in the coming years.
Another great place is bUnited where you can join the worldwide movement of conscious consumers who have decided they want to have the last word.
Have a look at my Recommendations page as there you will find some health-related things.
Source: Food Revolution Network, article August 30, 2019, by Ocean Robbins
Photo Source: Pixabay
Not only food can pose a health risk. The pills prescribed by your doctor can often have adverse effects on your health. You might like to read the following post.