Ever wonder what’s really in your food? You probably know about the pesticides and insect in your food, but I’m talking about the chemicals found in your food that are also used to make some of your ordinary household items.
Yes, that’s all really true.
That bread you use for your breakfast toast and sandwiches? Over 130 store-bought bread brands, including ones that label themselves as ‘healthy’, contain a chemical called azodicarbonamide (ADA), which is used as a dough conditioner and a bleaching agent. But guess what else it’s used for? Foam plastics, for things like our flip-flops and your yoga mats. That’s right, you’ve been eating that. More research is being conducted, but many European countries have banned its presence in food due to its possible links to cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned against its frequent use as its safety is still being questioned. But then again, you’re eating something that’s used to make flip flops. Isn’t that enough to make you not want to eat it?
ADA isn’t the only chemical you need to worry about. In a recent New York Times article, researchers might have just about ruined every child’s favorite meal when they found potentially harmful chemicals, known as phthalates, in macaroni and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese, even in brands labeled organic. They’ve been linked to behavioral problems in older children. Pregnant women may also need to watch out for these macaroni and cheese mixes because they can cause genital birth defects in infant boys.
What else have you been eating?
A movie theater experience doesn’t feel quite as complete without a bag of popcorn delicious, buttery popcorn. And that extra butter you put on it? Well, I’ve got some bad news: it’s not really butter. It’s made with lots of trans fat, the bad kind, and chemicals like polydimethylsiloxane, which is used as a defoaming agent. Basically, any butter that needs to be stopped from foaming probably isn’t a ‘butter’ you want to be putting in your system.
You’ve also likely ingested propylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze. It’s found in the dessert aisle of your supermarket in that three-layer chocolate cake you probably like or in your favorite ice cream. If you’ve wondered why your store-bought ice cream is always creamy, smooth, and ready to scoop after coming out of the freezer, antifreeze is your answer.
Now that some of your favorite foods have been ruined (I’m so sorry), you might think twice before reaching for them again. It might be time to start looking at those ingredient labels, and learning what some of those completely unpronounceable words actually are.
The Food and Drug Administration only evaluates a very small number of food additives. Instead, when it comes to evaluating most processed ingredients and chemical additives, the FDA leaves it up to the individual companies to evaluate the safety of their ingredients, and they don’t follow regulations of any kind. And despite strong evidence that certain ingredients, such as the phthalates, are linked to serious health issues, the FDA have yet to ban their presences in our food. The reason? There hasn’t been enough research to claim 100% that certain food additives can cause harms to our health.
What I’m trying to say is, you can’t wait until research proves 100% that a chemical can cause some health complication, especially when you’ve already been consuming it. By then it could be too late. If there’s suspicions and strong evidence that something isn’t good for you, it’s time to reconsider and look for other options, like organically-made foods. And trust me, they’ll taste a lot better when you know you’re not eating flip-flops for dinner.
LabFinder is a no-cost, online platform for people to easily schedule their medical tests and view results securely. The LabFinder team is passionate about improving the ‘patient and doctor experience’ through better communication, reduce out-of-pocket expenses and making everyone know more about their own medical tests. The mission of LabFinder is simple: we want to be solution to you and get you the test results you deserve so you can make right choices about your health.