As I was standing in the check-out line at the grocery store the other day, I picked up a can of chips from a nearby display and started reading through the ingredients and nutrition facts. Not only was I amazed by the large amount of sodium in such a small can, I also found myself struggling to make sense of nearly a third of the ingredients. I mean, really, what is disodium inosinate and how does it differ from the disodium guanylate that is listed right after it? In frustration, I put the chips back and thought to myself, when did it become normal to eat these processed foods when we don’t fully understand what we’re eating?
The majority of the American diet is made up of foods like this that contain any number of food additives. Some of these ingredients are downright nasty, but they've somehow managed to make their way into our food!
Recently there was BVO in our soda helping to keep the dye from separating with the liquid. It happens that BVO doubles as a great flame retardant and is used to make carpets! Not until many people stood up and demanded to know why it was in our drinks did Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola decide to remove it from their beverages. And this is by no means the only case like this.
Take artificial food coloring for example, which can be found in almost any processed food. Not until many children got sick after eating their Halloween candy, did the FDA realize that the orange food dye used in the candy wasn’t good for us and shouldn’t be in our food. This has happened time and again.
Of course the companies that make this “food” are going to add just about whatever they can in order to make you want more, so we can’t rely on their judgment to tell us what is and isn't good for us! And even though some guidelines are in place to protect us from things that should never be in food, like too much rodent hair or insect parts (yes, some is allowed) we, as the consumer, should be aware of what we consume and how it affects us and our families! To do this efficiently, we must either learn about these thousands of food additives, or start eating unprocessed food where these chemicals don't even exist.