How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Could these banned ingredients be contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates here in the U.S.?

The health of Americans is downright grim according to a report just released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. It declares “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” The United States spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation, however, when compared with 16 other nations we come in dead last in terms of health and life expectancy for men and near the bottom for women.

Here is the breakdown for you:

  • More than two thirds of United States citizens are overweight – 33% being obese.
  • 32% of children are either obese or overweight.
  • 43% of Americans are projected to be obese in 10 years.
  • After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death and is linked to 70% of heart disease and 80% of diabetes cases.
  • And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

These reports and statistics scream the word HELP!
Recently, I spent some time down in Mississippi volunteering in the most obese county in the nation. I found that while social and economic factors do play a part in this epidemic, the main culprit was the lack of nutrition education. The victims of obesity are likely the same victims of systematic brainwashing from Big Food marketers, relying on diet soda, low fat products, or looking only at calories on product labels. Basically, they are doing what the food industry has been teaching them about losing weight versus finding out the truth about real food.

And that’s the problem – the food industry is the one leading our conversation in this country about food and nutrition, educating the mass public about what to eat and what not to eat. Coca-Cola recently even went as far as creating a special campaign to combat obesity – yes you read that right – a sugar filled soda company trying to stop obesity. (You can read my reaction to that here).

Unfortunately, the doctors in this country are not exactly leading the discussion either, since nutrition is not currently a focus in medical school. And the government has their hands tied by big food industry and chemical company lobbyists that basically control what the FDA approves, deems safe for human consumption, and our overall food policy.
So who is going to finally tell us the truth about our food?

The food industry does not want us to pay attention to the ingredients nor do they care about the negative effects from eating them. They certainly don’t care about the astronomical medical bills that are a direct result of us eating the inferior food they are creating.

The HELP we need starts here. We as a collective nation must stop this trajectory of sickness and rising health care costs, by understanding the ingredients we are putting into our bodies. We must challenge the U.S. food industry to discontinue the use of banned ingredients that are not allowed elsewhere in the world. We deserve to have the same quality food without potential toxins.

Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with GMO’s, chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick.

Using banned ingredients that other countries have determined unsafe for human consumption has become a pandemic in this country. To prove this point, I found the best and easiest place to look for evidence was just across “the pond” in the United Kingdom, where they enjoy some of the same types of products we do – but with totally different ingredient lists.
It is appalling to witness the examples I am about to share with you. The U.S. food corporations are unnecessarily feeding us chemicals – while leaving out almost all questionable ingredients in our friends’ products overseas. The point is the food industry has already formulated safer, better products, but they are voluntarily only selling inferior versions of these products here in America. The evidence of this runs the gamut from fast food places to boxed cake mix to cereal to candy and even oatmeal – you can’t escape it.

US brands that are reformulated without additives in other countries

Some of the key American brands that are participating in this deception are McDonald’s, Pringles (owned by Kellogg’s), Pizza Hut and Quaker (owned by Pepsi), Betty Crocker (owned by General Mills), Starburst (owned by M&M/Mars), and Ritz Crackers (owned by Kraft). In the examples below, red text indicates potentially harmful ingredients and/or ingredients likely to contain GMOs.

Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Mix Ingredients

Betty Crocker cream cheese icing ingredients

Having a pre-made box of flour, baking soda and sugar all ready to go saves time for some people when it comes to making a cake, but does saving time have to come at the expense of chemically derived and potentially toxic ingredients?
The United States version of Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake not only has artificial colors linked to hyperactivity in children, food cravings, and obesity, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fat). Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “Previous trials have linked even a 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” This could easily be the amount of trans fat in one serving of Betty Crocker icing alone.

Sodium benzoate is an ingredient that Coca-Cola actually removed in their Diet Coke product overseas, but you’ll still find it in their product Sprite, cake mixes and loads of other products across the USA. The Mayo Clinic reported that this preservative increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.

McDonald's french fries ingredients

Fast Food giants like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are just as guilty as General Mills’ Betty Crocker.
Look closely at the ingredients in McDonald’s french fries above. Do you see how the french fries in the U.K. version are basically just potatoes, vegetable oil, a little sugar and salt? How can McDonald’s make french fries with such an uncomplicated list of ingredients all over Europe, but not over here? Why do McDonald’s french fries in the U.S. have to have TBHQ, trans fat and “anti-foaming” agents? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked – I didn’t think Americans liked foam with their fries either!
The anti-foaming agent – dimethylpolysiloxane – is a type of silicone used in caulks and sealants and as a filler for breast implants. It’s also the key ingredient in silly putty.
Thanks FDA for allowing companies to put silly putty in our french fries. Seriously – this is out of control.

McDonald's strawberry sauce ingredients
McDonalds Strawberry Sauce in the United States includes high fructose corn syrup, red #40 and sodium benzoate, while the citizens of the U.K. get off scot-free. Instead, they get 37% real strawberries in their product and no additional flavoring or harmful preservatives.

Pizza Hut garlic cheese bread ingredients

Pizza Hut does a huge disservice to us (and their workers) by using Azodicarbonamide in their garlic cheese bread. This ingredient is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because azodicarbonamide can exacerbate the symptoms. However, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains like Subway and Starbucks use this ingredient in their U.S. bread products.

Natural and artificial flavors and hidden MSG (in the form of autolyzed yeast extract, in this case) are commonly found throughout products in America but not elsewhere. Junk food companies intentionally add this combination of ingredients to create sensory overload by exciting your brain cells to remember the food you are eating and make less nutritious ingredients taste better to you.
I’m not saying that the food industry has completely eliminated these same tricks abroad – but when you look at the U.K. version of garlic cheese bread, the ingredients look pretty basic. Many of the ingredients you could use at home to make garlic bread. I’ve never found TBHQ in the baking aisle at the grocery store, have you? TBHQ, by the way, is a preservative derived from petroleum and used in perfumes, resins, varnishes and oil field chemicals. Laboratory studies have linked TBHQ to stomach tumors. This preservative is also used by Chick-Fil-A in their famous chicken sandwiches.

Pringles sour cream and onion chip ingredients

Reviewing the ingredients in Pringles really got me worked up… ever wonder why you can’t stop eating chips after having just one? MSG is the culprit – and in the U.S. version of Pringles, it’s added twice! Once in its known name and again in a hidden source, called “yeast extract.”

This begs the question “Why are Americans so addicted to processed food?!” The food industry has designed it that way on purpose to line their pockets with profits, at the expense of our health.

Ritz Crackers ingredients

The U.K. Ritz Crackers ingredient list resembles items that you’d find in every household around the country – but the United States version goes the extra mile to include trans fat, HFCS and natural flavor. Natural flavor can be also be a hidden form of MSG, which, again, is an additive that will likely make you eat more than you would otherwise.

Quaker Oats strawberry flavor ingedients

In the United States, Quaker Oats has several different flavors of oatmeal that contain different fruit flavored, artificially dyed pieces of dehydrated apple but that don’t actually contain any of the fruit shown on the package. But in the U.K. – they don’t even attempt to sell that garbage. They instead have a product called “Oats so Simple” that actually has REAL strawberries in it – light years ahead of our version that includes trans fat, artificial food coloring, and artificial flavors.

Rice Krispies ingredients

There’s only one difference in Rice Krispies between the U.S. and U.K. version – but it’s a big difference. It’s one ingredient that is banned virtually in every other country, except here in the United States. That ingredient is called BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) or BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and is a very common preservative used rampantly throughout packaged food in the U.S.

Test studies published by the IPCS (International Program for Chemical Safety) “show tissue inflammation, enlargement, and/or growths in 100%, and cancer in 35% of [animal] subjects” as reported in this article. How can the U.S. allow this chemical in our food – much less in cereal aimed and targeted at our kids?

Starburst Fruit Chews ingredients

And speaking of targeting our kids – food companies have found a way to naturally color candy all over Europe, but our candy here is still full of artificial substances made from petroleum and GMO sugar. Looking at the ingredients in Starburst Fruit Chews provides a great example of this disgrace.

I saved the most startling fact for last. One very cautionary set of ingredients that are included in almost all of the American products but not the U.K. products are GMO’s, in the form of either corn or soy.

There have been no long term human studies on GMOs and preliminary studies on animals show horrific consequences. For instance, a study showed GMOs caused toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. Another study revealed that female rats fed GMO soy for 15 months showed significant health issues in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. A 2009 French Study concluded that Glyphosate (used on GMO soy) can kill the cells in the outer layer of the human placenta, the organ that connects the mother to her fetus, providing nutrients and oxygen and emptying waste products. A Russian study conducted on hamsters that were fed GMO soy diets for two years over three generations found that by the third generation, most of the hamsters lost the ability to have babies, showed slower growth, and suffered a higher mortality rate.

Example UK genetically modified ingredient label

Example UK genetically modified ingredient label

In the U.K. food companies are required by law to list if a certain ingredient is derived from a genetically modified or genetically engineered material on the label. Out of all the products I researched, I couldn’t find one product with this label. (See example from GMO-Compass and BBC above of what it would look like if I did.)

This was very telling considering that not only have food companies taken out all sorts of hazardous chemical ingredients abroad – but they also have willingly reformulated their products without GMOs.

Food corporations in the U.S. claim reformulating their products to remove harmful ingredients or changing labels would be too expensive – but they’ve already done just that in Europe and in many other countries. Their governments listened to the outrage of their people and took the safety of their citizens’ health above everything else. Is it too much to ask the same for us in the United States of America? How much do our sickness, obesity, and mortality rates have to worsen before they respond to us?

I will leave you with this note: is and I are very disturbed about the shameful hypocrisy allowed to happen with our food supply here in the U.S. In fact we are feeling very compelled to do something about it. Stay tuned, because we are going to need every one of you to help when we are ready. In the meantime, I hope you’ll share this article (you can use the green ShareThis button below).

March 5th Update: I have started a petition – please sign and share it now. Together we can make a change.

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268 Responses to “How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries”

  1. elizabeth

    this post blew my mind! thank you so much for your research. i am sharing this with everyone i know … including several news stations. i want to know how i can help bring light to the facts and help make a change in how and what people are eating!

    Reply
    • Diane (to elizabeth)

      Since I became aware of Kraft Mac and Cheese through the Food Babe, Im reading more of the ingredients in what Im packing in my childrens lunch. I was thinking I was doing a good thing by buying the Baked Cheetos. Then I read the ingredients…Yellow 6, Yellow 5. I wonder if the store will give me my money back from everything I need to trash in my cabinet!

      Reply
      • Food Babe (to Diane)

        Yes – they will give you your money back. A lot of those brands have a “satisfaction guarantee” on the label – take it back to the store and save your health and some cash.

      • Greg (to Food Babe)

        Is there a time cut of after you buy it ?

  2. Dawn

    This is utterly ridiculous! I’m so glad I don’t eat any of these things anyway. Stopped going to McDonald’s when I became a vegetarian, and now am a vegan – would have thought salad and fries would be all I could eat there but now I see the fries have MILK in them and “beef flavor”. Interesting and scary to see how many neurotoxic and obesity-causing agents are in our “food”. The overarching problem is that the same chemical companies that have their tentacles wrapped around the food industry also do not have an interest in solving problems like ADHD, cancer, and obesity. A non-GMO, organic, whole-food diet seems to be the only way to go.

    Reply
    • Michelle (to Dawn)

      Well…not exactly. The chemical industry also has its tentacles in pharmaceuticals.

      Just google mergers & acquisitions of these once separate industries and try to figure out who isn’t, or hasn’t already been, in bed with whom…like Monsanto with Pharmacia, Upjohn, & Pfizer; Syngenta with Astra Zeneca; DuPont with Merck; and, of course, Bayer CropScience with Bayer.

      When you get sick from one of the products they sell, they’ll recommend another product they sell for you to take. They know their products cause disease: That’s why they spend so much money keeping consumers in the dark about GMOs and other toxic ingredients. From the Pharm to the Pharmacy: they’ve got their tentacles in your wallet. I consider it immoral; to them, it’s simply called, “cash flow.”

      Reply
      • Dawn (to Michelle)

        That’s the point I was trying to make, but without doing the research on who owns what I wasn’t specific about it. Thanks for adding that, Michelle!

  3. Tracy Duda

    This information makes me cry. It’s not so much that it’s new info, it just reinforces it. Thanks for sharing and for your research.

    Reply
  4. Justin Horn

    I’m honestly not surprised by this, after opening my eyes, reading your website the last few months, etc.

    It just depresses me because in order for big change to happen in the U$A, we can’t depend on the government. They have already been bought off. The only way is for more people to wake up and stop spending money on crap. Money is the only thing that talks.

    I see this whole food issue now, not much different from the Matrix movie. Need to unplug and really wake up.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth Bird (to Justin Horn)

      That IS the solution, Justin. It is up to US to use our purchasing power to correct the situation. When the cash flow of these greedy corporations diminishes, they will change their behavior. Cause & effect. Now, WE have to suck it up & boycott. When WE have to have everything we want, when we want it, THEY will continue to do exactly what they are doing, as it’s ALL about the money. It’s not that difficult, and, we can feel good about ourselves for making a difference. Simple as closing the wallet.

      Reply
      • Becky (to Elizabeth Bird)

        It is easier to close the wallet on these foods than it is to afford the good foods we need!! That is why I believe home and neighborhood gardens are the only way we can reach the masses. As a middle class family it has become insanely expensive to eat healthy, even though it should be cheaper!! You can really only trust yourself to get safe food on the table! It is ridiculous that we can’t trust our own government to get safe cornmeal on the table so break out the dried corn and have a dry mixer so you can make your own because money is all anyone cares about anymore. I wonder if they realize they are poisoning themselves too!! We have the right First Lady to get the job done, if she is ready to put our children over politics. I would find it hard to believe that any politician is innocent in this matter because of how many big business’s our contributing to or are the problem!! So frustrated!!

  5. michelle

    Vani,
    Thank you for reporting this enraging topic. I teach high school and part of the curriculum is “Search for Self”. I show various documentaries about the food industry (Supersize Me) as well as a few others, read various articles (I will be using this one!), and provide other examples. I HOPE my students walk away with knowledge about the food they eat and how it affects them. Im trying to educate my parents AND my siblings who feed their kids fast food on a regular basis.
    I’ve been making better choices thanks to colleagues who have opened my eyes. I also need to thank you for helping my choices AND for introducing me to Almond Butter Brownies.
    Be well. :)

    Reply
  6. Linda

    This is one of the most important topics to get out there. This is such an issue. What is the saying….You can’t out exercise a bad diet. This is so true since most Americans might think they are healthy but actually they are not. Sharing all over. Keep this kind of information coming.

    Reply
  7. Georgina carranza

    Keep spreading the information. I do not feed my child or myself any of these brands.

    Reply
  8. Shannon

    Great job!! I reposted on Herbal Fusion Food Market FB page…Get people thinking about what they are putting into their bodies and the reaction it causes. If you like processed foods ..make them yourself. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  9. Cindy Koch

    Everybody who reads this has got to tell their representatives we will not stand for this any more! Our food is making us sick so the pharmaceutical companies can make a killing (pun intended!) selling us drugs. Mars and Hershey’s sell their candy in Europe w/out GMOs because Europeans will not stand for them. Our whole country is run by greed now. GMOs will destroy this world and they need to be stopped NOW! THIS IS SERIOUS! With in a few wks. the FDA will probably give the go ahead for GMO salmon. There’s no stopping what will happen next if we don’t stop this!

    Reply
  10. Wendi Kaye

    It’s shocking and ridiculous that they do that to you.
    I don’t use any ready made products any-more so I’m ‘boycotting’ all these companies.

    Reply
  11. Melissa Scott

    I first have to say that you are my food hero! I have learn so much by following your posts, I am nowhere near as disciplined as you are but I am getting better and better with my food choices and education daily, Thank you! My greatest accomplishment has been the fact that my 7 and 4 year old children refuse to eat a McDonalds because I have educated them on the things that are in their food. To that I am furious over the fact that McDonalds is now advertising new McFish bites as a “healthy” alternative for happy meals. I have never been one to get so upset over food until I started learning and asking questions. I would LOVE for you do to a piece on these horrible pieces of deep fried fish or whatever it is….it is obscured to me. Anyway, just needed to vent Thank you for all of your education!!

    Reply
  12. Theodora Crawford

    How tragic so few pay attention to their food and unknowingly watch the plague of obesity cripple childhood. If we were educated, taught to “question authority”, and immune to advertising hype, even then healing from sugar addiction would be tough. And even if we could eliminate our sugar intake, fighting corporate money in politics is almost impossible. The tale of Michael Taylor, Monsanto lawyer and currently Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA, should be alarming, but it is not. He believes scientifically designed food, modified in a lab, is legally allowed to bankrupt organic farmers if their plants become contaminated by GMO crops…Longevity studies, critical of GMO effects on human health, are impossible in the US…he has established that 3 months is sufficient. Look up the word “endrocrine” and link this to “disrupted” and let your imagination explore the inferences of this combination. One thought occurred to me; could GMO diets possibly explain the rise in gender confusion? As I said, just a thought…There are many others backed up by fact but most of studies are attacked, the scientists fired, their results demonized. And we eat more and more genetically modified “foods”.

    Reply
  13. Dani Dickerson

    This is a serious, open wound and “they”are trying to put a band-aid over it all. I am comletely upset with how processed foods are manufactured here in the U.S but im not suprised why the FDA passes all these ingredients here. Hm. If other countries are BANNING these specific ingredients, then why arent’t we?One of the biggest profits-and there are other circumstances that contribute to profitingt the gov. -In contributing to the U.S.A come from sicknesses/diseases within many Americans. It is plain and simple. “They”make money off of many Americans being sick. A majority of Healthy Americans ,won’t make this country any money .chemicals are passed to ignite the cravings and a need for an Americans to have that food product. Its a win for those big food corporations, it’s a win for wallstreet, and it’s a win for the government. Is it a win for the American people? Uh I think not. I have the greatest amount of hope though. If people become aware of the food their eating and what healthy food they could be consuming, then ALOT would change in the land where we there is limited freedom of choice.

    Reply
  14. Cameron

    Sure are a lot of people acting really surprised about completely obvious things in here.

    Reply
    • Dani Dickerson (to Cameron)

      I agree, but whats obvious to one person may not be obvious to another. Thats when spreading knowledge comes in handy.

      Reply
  15. Bob Shepherd

    We are also worried about GMOs here in the UK. We thought it was bad here but it seems worse in the USA. We are told that GMOs are widely accepted in USA so we should accept them, too, and many trials are being held. Our politicians are being bought by the major producers of GMOs.

    Reply
    • Belle (to Bob Shepherd)

      Please tell your friends in the UK that GMOs are not widely accepted here. We are being held captive by big business. I believe that this is a terrible public health crisis. I am in my 50s and have never seen so many grossly overweight people. Diabetes is an epidemic. Many people in this country at least want to have GMOs marked as such on food labels so that we know what we are eating. (We assume it’s GMO if it’s not certified organic.) Legislators in many states in the US are proposing labeling laws, and the big corporations are fighting them with big amounts of money and nasty campaigns. So, no, it’s not “widely accepted” in the US unless you work for one of the companies that is putting this over on us, or you are totally ignorant as to what is going on. We are counting on people in other countries to stand firm against this stuff.

      Reply
  16. Fernanda Litt

    The worst part of these foods is that they are formulated to be highly addictive, as well as toxic:

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.141650259306316.27231.103754789762530&type=3

    Reply
  17. Sandy

    Vani, great job on your research! Not a surprise since all that matters in this country is profit. The lobbyists for food, pharma and other areas are running the country. I follow Dr. fuhrman and try to stay as plant based and organic as possible. I have even cut down on my favorite, Almond Breeze almond milk since it contains Careegenan (sp) Even the rice that is grown in this country, which is a plant based food is laced with arsenic and I have greatly reduced my consumption of that also. It is getting to the point where it is very scary!
    Sandy

    Reply
  18. Nicole Marie Story

    And if these ingredients are not contributing to higher mortality rates in the U.S., then WHAT is contributing to the higher life expectancy rate in our Euro counterparts?

    Reply
  19. HCT

    Excellent article.

    Reply
  20. Allison Naseri

    Love this article! I always wondered why I feel like I’m eating better when I’m outside the US even though I’m eating more. I also have found some research about flax not being allowed in certain countries like France. Many don’t recognize it as a food and neither does our FDA. I’ve read were it converts to cyanide in the body. Have you come across this? Is this true?

    Reply
  21. Alicia

    Hi Vani –

    This is another awesome article. Thank you so much for the work that you put into them. One day at a time we WILL change the face of food in America. I’ve shared your article (like many others) with my followers. I’m on board for what ever you and Lisa have planned!

    Reply
  22. alison

    Are there ingredients that are banned in the us that are not banned in other countries?

    Reply
  23. Karina

    How can we get a list of these ingredients that are banned in other countries?

    Reply
  24. Anne

    I LOVED this article – thank you so much for the research. I make food awareness shirts for my etsy page, and I posted a link to it on my GMO FREE shirts. https://www.etsy.com/listing/124019379/gmo-free-shirt-organic-cotton-t-shirt

    Reply
  25. Erica

    While I agree with the content if this article, I must disagree with your statement “the government has it’s hands tied”. The government could step in and control what is allowed in our food supply. The FDA is a governmental institution, and their hands are not tied, instead their pockets are being padded by drug companies, chemical companies. The government is to blame 100% for not protecting it’s people and our food supply.

    Reply
    • FaDi (to Erica)

      I belive…… i want to agree with you ( Sadly ) .

      Reply
      • ibuknutz (to FaDi)

        sorry to say it’s true…I haven’t trusted the FDA for years!…OUR GOVERMENT doesn’t care about ur health

  26. Kathleen White

    At this point I am so confused as to what is safe to eat! My doctor today suggested that I eliminate gluten, dairy, and sugar, mix in everything you post, and I cant figure out what to feed myself and my family. Thank you for all you do!

    Reply
    • gretel (to Kathleen White)

      i think this other problem of this country , People don”t know how to cook and sometimes they see it as a problem, not fun and is work they don’t want to do. I never learn how to cook until i did no t feel good and my kids health were in danger. Just explore and star playing in the kitchen . We do green beans with gluten free ham for example for breakfast and i make my own pancakes with zucchini , tofu, almond milk and things like that. Good luck!!

      Reply
  27. Tyler

    Kathleen, I have eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. I add a few granules of sugar in my tea that I drink only on weekends. And I use only a pinch of salt while cooking. Initially, I was confused too, but over the past 2 months I found a wealth of good stuff to eat.
    - I start my day with fruit, nuts and gluten-free oatbran or scottish oats.
    - Lunch is usually lentil soup, rice or flatbreads and lots of raw veggies – spinach, daikon, radish, tomatoes, broccoli, kale etc.
    - Dinner is light – usually cooked vegetables, lentils with more raw veggies. Dessert is usually a fruit – banana, stawberries etc.
    - **All** food is organic and bought from either farmer’s market or specialty grocery stores or Whole Foods. For flatbreads, I knead my own dough from organic millet, sorghum and corn flours and sautee small flatbreads on a cast iron skillet. I cook lots of vegetables – potatoes, eggplant, peas, okra, cauliflower, cabbage etc. In winter, I make stews from seasonal root vegetables – turnips, parsnips, daikon, carrots etc.
    - I am vegan, btw, so meat is not an option. As you can see, there’s a lot of **real** food out there that you can eat.

    Reply
  28. Gabrielle Rysenga

    I modified this article and created a form letter to send to the FDA simplifying your ideas… TAKE ACTION and help FLOOD the FDA with letter expressing what the people they serve want- better quality control in our food! find the easy to copy and paste form letter here!
    http://perfectmombooks.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  29. Ella Fitzbag

    Dana Patrick is a female NASCAR racer. One of her sponsors is Coca-Cola. She has the opportunity to be a super model for our female children and teen-agers. Instead, she is in advertisements drinking coca-cola and when she was interviewed after the most recent annual race, she grabbed a bottle of coke and took a swig positioning herself in the ‘signature coke position’ – head to the side and tilted back with coke bottle turned upside down pouring into the mouth. I realize she needs sponsors but she’s sold out.The girls who watch her will drink cokes based on her imagery; however, they will gain a lot of weight and be sick, not fit like Dana. You have to be small to fit into a NASCAR car.

    Reply
    • RacingCowboy (to Ella Fitzbag)

      1) Her name is Danica Patrick
      2) You do not have to be small to race NASCAR; there are a number of drivers in excess of 6′
      3) Contrary to popular belief, auto racing IS a sport that requires conditioning and mental acuity
      4) and this is the most important — girls (hell, anyone) who honestly thinks they will look like (insert name here) by using a product (food, drink, diet pill, cosmetics) need to be educated. Outside of food knowledge, people are being force-fed (pun optional) into believing something will instantaneously fix a problem. You cant take a series of diet pills and be thin. Exercise, diet, behavior modification play a critical part to health, but that takes effort no one thinks they have to make anymore. In short, people are too lazy to take care of themselves.

      Reply
      • Scooter C (to RacingCowboy)

        RacingCowboy Thank you.

  30. Kathy

    All I have to say is Holy Crap!!!
    It is a vicious cycle. Food industries put additives in, people get fat along with a multitude of health problems, doctors and the health care get rich, and then was pass it on to our children. By the time we as parents get smart it is so hard to change the eating habits of our children. … and then organic food cost so much that people can not afford it unless they are white collar workers.
    I have slowly cut out a lot of stuff in my diet, it may not be organic, but it is not processed. I hardly every go to a fast food place… or any place for that matter. I cook my food and take my lunch to work with me. A little change still helps.

    Reply
    • Kathy (to Kathy)

      and on another note, my grandmother, how just died last summer at the young age of 98, 4 weeks shy of her 99th birthday, never smoked or drank. She always cooked her meals, always had a garden in the back yard and would go buy fresh fruits and veggies at the farmer’s market.–and then would freeze so much food and can them…. I still make homemade jellies. She never used a box cake mix until years later. everything else was made HOMEMADE!!!. She was only on about 3 pills when she died.

      Reply
  31. Michael

    If you don’t like what a company is doing, then don’t buy the product. If you want to see a company change something fast, watch them respond to declining sales. Considering this a number one food for about everyone from children to adults, I think we all need to get over ourselves. Find a more socially conscious topic to evangelize.

    Reply
  32. Rudy Rudziewicz

    @Michael, There is a couple of big problems,one being public awareness as the GMO nightmare is not reaching the majority of people. It is being suppressed by the media. You don’t think they are being paid to keep quite? Come on. Second, With Monsanto’s V.P. now running the FDA, anything as dangerous as it may be will be sold in stores (unlabeled thanks to Mr. Obama not keeping his promise) for all of America to eat. The GMO corn kills lab animals,this is not something to overlook.

    Reply
  33. John Simms

    I try to avoid all processed foods. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of dry beans. They’re still a good food and a good value. Organic bananas and organic eggs are great too.

    Reply
  34. jack on American crack

    well…I love eating poison. Just add some more to my daily intake. I bathe in toxic waste flouride and drink it too. Yummy. I breathe the toxic chemtrails and pollution poisonous air. I brush my teeth with toxic flouride. tastes great. I feed my baby daughter the processed metals in the baby food so she can grow up to be strong too!!!I I also like the secret chemicals that I can’t even pronounce that they put into my medicine yay!!!….America….what a wonderful place!!!!

    Reply
  35. MR

    There any many unbelievable and educational documentaries available on Netflix, if you have it. The main message however, PROTEST WITH YOUR WALLET! Give your money straight to farmers & do gooders. Do not forfeit your cash & well being by supporting these greedy and evil people.

    Reply
  36. Jack

    Thanks for the information. It’s very enlightening. It’s not that most people don’t want to eat right or less toxic. A lot of people eat these brands because their lifestyle and the programming( through advertising) that they receive creates this sense of convenience. And, that’s the biggest reason these corporations can get away with this type murder. Because most Americans live a fast food life.

    Reply
  37. Paola Giles

    The European examples used as “better options” to their American versions, are hardly so. Food Dyes are just the tip of the iceberg, the real problem lies in what these dyes are made of. Sulfites and Phosphates. If your child has eczema, asthma, dark eyes, puffy lips or eyelids, headaches, nightmares, anxiety, ADD, ODD or OCD, even bowel problems or enuresis, look no further!
    Children who genetically lack an enzyme to process these preservatives, additives and flavorings will accumulate them as toxins in their body. The neurological damage will grow over time. These sensitivities are not allergies, so they are not detected by IGe tests. They create an immunological response and can lead to Cancer. Asthma is a given. Some doctors label them ” Brain Allergies “.

    The only answer is to eliminate all preservatives from your child’s diet. Sulfites, Nitrites, Sodium Benzoate as well as MSG. Colorings, flavorings and anything that sounds like a chemical formula. ( Google Feingold diet, Sulfite sensitivity, Phosphate intolerance and then combine the recommendations )

    Watch out for Soda, pectin, baking powder ( use yeast instead ), powdered sugar (just throw regular sugar in the blender ), dried fruits, citric acid, abscorbic acid, corn starch and corn syrup. Substitute dry herbs for fresh ones. Make your own soda, drinks, dressings and baking. Avoid jam.

    By the way, Organic products need to state “No preservatives” to be free of these elements. Organic does not mean they are preservative free.

    Lastly, any Milk or Yoghurt fortified with Vitamins A & D can have preservatives as sinthetic vitamins are made with them! Read labels for vitamins carefully and choose ones without phosphates or sulfites.

    Keep a food diary and see how your child changes as you eliminate all these artificial foods! You will be pleasantly surprised!

    Reply
  38. Jeannie

    My granddaughter has a sensitivity to coal tar derived food colors. Her allergist at Michigan State University pediatric clinic stated that her reactions to these colors is actually a poison toxicity reaction. Why does Kraft think that children need their food to be day glow orange? Real cheese is not day glow! Red dye #40 can be found in everything from pie crust to pepperoni to vanilla pudding. Why?

    Reply
  39. Andy

    I’m sorry for you guys, I’m Scottish and I’m simply amazed at this. These are American companies, they are traitors! You must boycott them as a individuals and as a nation

    Reply
  40. ancient mariner

    Its all about the $$$$,our government doesn’t care about us it cares about the $$$$.Our politicians don’t care about us they are about the $$$$. The only people that will look out for us are ourselves,this government is not looking out for our best intrests. You can no longer take anything for granted,you must research what your eating , what your drinking,what your rolling under your arms and what your shampooing your hair with. This government no longer cares what happens to us , it cares only about the $$$$ and whos pocket gets lined with it. The FDA, USDA and others are just another source for $$$$ from lobbyists and big corporations. We must look out for ourselves and educate our fellow citizens to do the same because our government has lost all concearn for our wellbeing it only cares about the $$$$. Look at the present administration do you believe anything Obama has done has our best intrest in mind ? No and it will only get worse as the next 3 years progress. We are becoming “the wastelands” no from nuclear ruin but economic ruin . . . . . because its all about the $$$$

    Reply
  41. Ken

    FYI–Recent news concerning the hybred ( called frankenwheat ) wheat since the 70′s state it has opiates that attach to your brain causes chronic opiate poisoning and it also cause’s cancer, obesity. and heart disease to name a few. It was on the Dr. Oz t.v. program a few months ago and also in various publications. I will never eat any thing with wheat again and amazed at all the places wheat shows up. ( stopped months ago and still losing weight ), and my CHF and blood pressure has gotten much better without drugs. (I can’t help thinking it was deliberate to make the EPTB rich and help eliminate some of the population as per the illuminatti agenda. You must check it out for your health’s sake. )

    Reply
  42. A Guy

    I’ve never been to this site before. Can someone please point me to the post that contains evidence as to WHY GMOs are bad. All I can find are a bunch of posts telling me what food contains GMOs.

    Reply
  43. National Herbal Supply

    Great job, Food Babe!

    Reply
  44. marietta

    is it regulations that force these manufacturers to change their formulations? what are they doing right that we’re doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to marietta)

      People in other countries just seem to care more about the quality of their food. It is very sad…

      Reply
  45. Frankie

    I just wanted to say thank you and thanks to all the awesome commenters on here. There is so much to learn. I appreciate all of your hard work and hopefully together we can make a difference. :)

    Reply
  46. Robert Wilkins

    I think we should have a national slogan contest like here
    http://tinypic.com/r/ab1rie/5
    For monsanto. The damage they have done to the planet, the human digestive system and the bugs and birds is immeasurable

    Reply
  47. Amanda

    Each time I’m at the pediatrician I’m shown my kid’s height & weight (and head size) on a growth chart based on percentages in the general population. Why isn’t something similar done for adults? Are doctors just afraid to tell us that we’re overweight or obese? I remember asking my doctor what a healthy weight was for me and she was honest and the number was lower than I wanted to hear, but she was right (and yes it was my wedding weight). I know there is a correlation between poor eating, weight gain, poverty and lack of health care, but plenty of overweight people see doctors. I am routinely shocked how many people I know didn’t even realize they were overweight or obese or borderline one or the other. Americans honestly don’t know–it’s as if we’ve never looked at a height-weight chart. Not to mention what we should be eating and not what is being sold to us. Thank you for this post, education is key, and we can’t have education without knowledge.

    Reply
  48. Joanne

    Hi Food Babe,
    Great job! I wanted to add that our Starburst candy has gelatin, an animal based product while theirs is gelatin free…

    Reply
  49. Evdokija Tomovska

    You are my hero! Simple as that!

    Reply
  50. Cindy

    Grow your own foods, compost, don’t use pesticides do your shopping at local farms and farmer’s markets. Integrate farming back into schools.

    Reply

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