Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Stuff You Didn't Know You Were Eating!

Hello beauties!!

We've got Shants from The Chef Mother here on the Couch again today, sharing some scary food facts with us. This post is a shocker... On to Shants!


Hi peeps! It's good to be back today!

Flame Retardant–Laced Soda

What it is: The toxic flame retardant chemical brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, was initially used to keep plastics from catching on fire.

Where it is: For decades, the food industry has been adding it to certain sodas, juices, and sports drinks, including Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, and some Gatorade and Powerade flavors. BVO's purpose? To keep the artificial flavoring chemicals from separating from the rest of the liquids.

Why it's bad: Scientists have linked too much BVO to bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders

Paint Chemical in Salad Dressing

What it is: Titanium dioxide is a component of the metallic element titanium, a mined substance that is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead.

Where it is: Commonly used in paints and sunscreens, big food corporations add it to lots of things we eat too, including processed salad dressing, coffee creamers, and icing.

Why it's bad: The food industry adds it to hundreds of products to make dingy, overly processed items appear whiter. "White has long been the symbolic color of 'clean,'" explains food industry insider Bruce Bradley, who shares the tricks, traps, and ploys of big food manufacturers on his blog, BruceBradley.com. "Funny, when you use real food, you don't need any of these crazy additives—I think I prefer the real deal."

Maggoty Mushrooms

What it is: Maggots are fly larvae, tiny rice-shaped creatures that feast on rotting foods.

Where it is: The Food and Drug Administration legally allows 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms.

Why it's bad: While maggots do have their place in the medical world—they can help heal ulcers and other wounds—most people think it's pretty gross to eat them!

If you need another reason to ditch canned goods, consider this: Most are lined with bisphenol A, or BPA, a plastic chemical that causes unnatural hormonal changes linked to heart attacks, obesity, and certain cancers.

Cloned Cow's Stomach

What it is: Traditionally, cheese makers used rennet derived from the mucosa of a veal calf's fourth stomach to create the beloved, versatile dairy product. But Bradley notes that cost and the limited availability of calf stomachs have led to the development of several alternatives, including vegetable rennet, microbial rennet, and—the food industry's rennet of choice—a genetically modified version derived from a cloned calf gene.

Where it is: It's used to make the vast majority of cheese sold in the United States.

Why it's bad: The long-term health effects of eating genetically engineered foods has never been studied in humans. And since GMO ingredients aren't listed on the label, it can be tough for consumers to avoid rennet from this source. "With all these rennet varieties often listed simply as "enzymes" on an ingredient panel, it can be very hard to know exactly what kind you’re eating when you buy cheese," says Bradley, author of the soon-to-be-released book, Fat Profits.

Flesh Eating Bacteria

What it is: Grocery store meats are commonly infused with veterinary medicines, heavy metals, and staph bacteria, including the hard-to-kill, potentially lethal MRSA strain.

Where it is: Unfortunately, the problem is far from rare. A study published last year in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that half of grocery store meat tested harbored staph bacteria. Researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture as a major cause in the rise of superbugs in our grocery store food.

Why it's bad: MRSA kills about 19,000 people a year in America—that's more annual deaths than from AIDS in the U.S. Purchasing grass-fed meat and eggs from organic farmers is a more sustainable choice.

Herbicide-Flavored Food

What it is: Glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in the popular weed killer, Roundup, is a hormone-disrupting chemical now used primarily on corn and soy crops genetically engineered to withstand a heavy dousing of the chemical. Nonorganic farmers dumped 57 million pounds of glyphosate on food crops in 2009, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) figures.

Where it is: Roundup is so heavily used around homes and in farm fields that it's now being detected in streams, the air, and even rain. Because it's a systemic herbicide, it's actually taken up inside the plant…meaning we eat it. Yep, it's legally allowed in our food, and in an amount that worries scientists. It's found in most nonorganic packaged foods because most contain corn- or soy-derived ingredients, the crops that are most often heavily doused with Roundup.

Why it's bad: Glyphosate exposure is linked to obesity, learning disabilities, birth defects, infertility, and potentially irreversible metabolic damage. To avoid pesticides in products, eat organic and avoided processed foods as much as possible. And use caution—"all natural" foods often are chockfull of pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients.

Beaver Anal Gland Juice

What it is: It's a bitter, smelly, orange-brown substance known as castoreum, explains Bradley. "In nature, it's combined with the beaver's urine and used to mark its territory."

Where it is: It's used extensively in processed food and beverages, typically as vanilla or raspberry flavoring.

Why it's bad: This gross ingredient won't show up on the label. Instead, companies using it in making processed food list it as "natural flavoring." This poses a dilemma for vegans and vegetarians—and anyone who wants to avoid eating any creature's anal excretions.

Sex Hormones in Milk

What it is: Today's cows produce double the amount of milk they did just 40 years ago, thanks largely to a genetically engineered, synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST.

Where it is: It could be in milk that's not organic or not labeled as rBST free.

Why it's bad: Scientists link rBST to prostate, breast, and colon cancers. It's banned in other countries, and although still legal here, many dairies are moving away from it due to consumer demand. Choose organic milk to ensure that the cows producing your milk are fed a diet free of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides.

Shampoo Chemicals in Produce

What it is: Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals used in everything from pesticides and fragranced soaps and shampoos to nail polish and vinyl shower curtains.

Where it is: A 2010 study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found phthalates are winding up in our food, too. The source could be direct exposure to pesticides containing the hormone-disrupting chemical. Or to another potential source, human sewage sludge applied as a fertilizer to farm fields. The sludge can be tainted with shampoo chemicals that wash down the drain—it all winds up at the water-treatment plant, the source of the sludge. (Note: Use of human sewage sludge is banned in organic farming.)

Why it's bad: Phthalate exposure, even in small amounts, has been linked to behavioral problems in children, allergies and asthma, eczema, and unhealthy changes in our hormonal systems. (Just a side note here from Yolandie; you should avoid shampoos, nail polishes and any other cosmetic items containing phthalates alltogether if you can. Remember that what you put on your skin or scalp does get absorbed by the skin in small amounts and ends up in your blood as well. A lot of beauty experts have labled these chemicals as a bad seed in the beauty industry. If you can't find the word 'phthalates' in the ingredient list of your beauty products, look for the abbreviations DBP, DMP and DEP, which are different kinds of phthalates. Sorry for stealing a paragraph on your post, Shants!!)

Pretty darn scary!!!!!!

Chef Shants xxxxx

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