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McDonald’s serves WHAT in London?! The outrageous double standard in fast food.

If you’ve ever been to the U.K., you might notice that the fast food restaurants over there are a little bit different, and slightly healthier than they are here. In the past, I wrote about how it’s a common practice for food companies (everyone from Betty Crocker to Pringles to Quaker Oats) to reformulate their products with safer ingredients overseas, while they continue to sell us inferior products with unhealthy ingredients here in the States. If you walk into any McDonald’s in the U.K. you’ll find organic milk available for children in their Happy Meals, and no chocolate milk.  Just think about that for a minute…

McDonald’s serves organic milk to children in the U.K.? But not here in the U.S.?

McDonald’s also serves organic milk with their porridge (oatmeal), coffee and tea! You’ll also find healthier items, like pineapple and carrot sticks that you won’t find at any McDonald’s in the U.S. – also without preservatives. Their fries aren’t cooked in oil that contains TBHQ (a derivative of butane) or the anti-foaming agent dimethylpolysiloxane (an ingredient in silly putty) like they are here. Isn’t it funny that the oil in the U.K. seems to work just fine without these ingredients?

McDonalds V4

Pull through the Taco Bell drive-thru and you won’t be able to order Cinnabon desserts and big Mt. Dew Baja Blast Frozen drinks because these super sugary “treats” simply aren’t available. If you dine at Pizza Hut, you’ll get to take advantage of a free unlimited salad bar full of fresh vegetables (like they used to have in the United States but discontinued). I’m not saying everything is healthy in these restaurants, because it’s certainly not – but, it’s definitely different than what we’ve got going on here in the U.S. Not only are their ingredients different, but they are serving up completely different ingredients and menu choices. One startling thing I noticed is that many of the menu items in the U.K. contain far less sugar than the versions that they serve us in the U.S. 


Five Fast-Food Restaurants Serving Up More Sugar In the U.S.:

1.  McDonald’s Chocolate Shake (without whip cream or cherry on top)

If you order a large chocolate shake in the U.K., you’ll get it in the classic smaller cup (16.9 oz.) that I remember as a kid. This is about the same size as a medium size shake now in the U.S., as cup sizes have grown dramatically over the years. McDonald’s has changed their shakes for the worse in the U.S. and now serve new larger versions (22 oz.) with whipped cream that contain an astounding 120 grams of sugar. In the U.K. that large shake still has a whole lot of sugar (67 grams), but it’s so much less sugar than what we get here at home. Taking into account the bigger cups sizes in the U.S., ounce for ounce, the U.S. McDonald’s shake without whip has 33% more sugar than the U.K. version. 

2.  Pizza Hut Pepperoni Lovers/Pepperoni Feast Thin Crust Pizza (14” large/8 slices)

Not only would you get to take advantage of that free unlimited salad bar in the U.K., but when you order this pizza it only contains 16 grams of sugar, versus a whopping 40 grams in the U.S. version. That’s 151% more sugar!

3.  Subway Turkey Ham Sandwich (6″ with 9-grain wheat bread, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and onions)

Subway used to be one of my go-to “healthy” sandwiches before I stopped eating processed fast food. Their Turkey Ham Sandwich isn’t exactly high in sugar, but here in the U.S. you’ll get over 56% more sugar (8 grams of sugar for 217 gram subway sandwich) than if you were to order the exact same sandwich in the U.K (5.4 grams of sugar for 228 gram sandwich). 

4.  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (20 oz. venti, semi-skim/2% milk with whip)

Following my Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte investigation, I couldn’t help but wonder if Starbucks was serving up the same ingredients in other countries. I obtained the complete list of ingredients for the Pumpkin Spice latte in the U.K., and my hunches were correct. Not only did they reformulate their recipe with safer ingredients, but it also contains a lot less sugar. The venti Pumpkin Spice (2% milk with whip) in the U.S. has a whopping 58% percent more sugar than the U.K. version. A “tall” latte in the U.S. (small size) has almost the same amount of sugar as the Venti (large size). 

Starbucks also doesn’t use use caramel coloring in the U.K., which proves this is a totally unnecessary ingredient. Instead, they color it with beta carotene (from carrots) and don’t use preservatives. Starbucks is telling news agencies here in the U.S. that they’ve got a “team in place” working on phasing out caramel coloring in the U.S. But, they’ve already done it in the U.K., so why can’t they just serve the same, safer, product here?

Starbucks PSL UK

*Caramel Color Level IV contains 4-MEI, which is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. The National Toxicology Program also has determined caramel coloring level IV compound 4-MEI to be a carcinogen.

5.  Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnut

A plain Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut in the U.S. has 52% more sugar than the U.K. version. Not only is the U.S. doughnut slightly smaller (49 gram size), but it’s got more sugar, ringing in at 10 grams, versus 7 grams in the U.K. doughnut (52 gram size). If you eat more than one doughnut, those extra sugar grams can add up quick. 

My mind was reeling when I found this data.

Why are they doing this? In the U.K., restaurants are required to let you know if their food contains any genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, with a warning on the menu. If they simply remove all GMO ingredients, they can avoid this obligation.

One of the most prevalent GMO crops in the world are sugar beets. Most sugar in the U.S. actually comes from GMO beets, and no longer from sugar cane (which is generally more expensive to produce). According to Ken Roseboro of the Non-GMO Sourcebook, non-GMO ingredients tend to cost food manufacturers 25% to 50% more. So, here in the US it’s easy for food producers to just switch to GMO sugar beets to save money and keep pumping our food up with more of it than they do overseas without taking a hit financially. On packaged food containing GMO sugar, the ingredient list can still say “sugar” and they are not required to tell us if it’s GMO here in the U.S.. For restaurants it’s even easier, because they don’t need to even tell us the ingredients if they don’t want to.

There are very few GMO warnings labels on menus in the U.K. because restaurants know that customers overwhelmingly don’t want to eat GMOs. It’s simply more advantageous for them to serve GMO-free food in countries with GMO labeling laws. This could cost them more money as non-GMO sugar is more expensive to produce, so one viable option is for them to simply use less sugar which actually benefits consumer health in the long run in multiple ways. Meanwhile many of the same food companies continue to fill our “food” here with cheaper GMO sugar, and do everything they can to make sure that those labeling laws don’t pass here in the US.  

We are getting the short end of the stick.

When I look at the menu items at these U.K. restaurants: organic milk, free unlimited salad, coffee without caramel color, non-GMO food and less sugary options – I feel like we are getting the short end of the stick. Sure, I realize that not all of the food in the U.K. is better, and some things are even worse than what we’ve got here, but when you look at the complete picture, they are definitely getting a better deal. Just last week the great-granddaughter of the co-founder of General Mills spoke up and made the news asking shareholders: “Why not here?”. She asked this simple question citing evidence that General Mills makes GMO-free versions of its food in Europe and Asia, and labels GMOs in 63 countries – But not in the United States, even though it’s entirely possible for them to do so.

Knowledge is power.  

I am sharing this information with you to spread the word to let companies know we won’t stand for inferior and less healthy products. When these companies tell us that it’s not possible, or it’s too expensive, we know that they really can because it’s already being done. This is such an easy request –  we simply want the same healthier options that they are serving in other countries. They may not initially want to do this, but if consumer demand is strong enough, they will. The truth is, as more food manufacturers seek out natural and non-GMO ingredients, they will become more readily available, as they are in the U.K. and Europe. So, please share this post with everyone you know and raise awareness of this very important issue. Let’s raise the bar here in America and persuade these companies to bring these safer food products here for us and our loved ones, not just for citizens in other countries.

With Much Love,


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436 responses to “McDonald’s serves WHAT in London?! The outrageous double standard in fast food.

  1. Big changes start with small steps, and education is the key. These days everybody knows that additives are bad, fresh and organic is good, and big pharma controls all – but HOW did this information come out? Because some courageous and persistent people stuck to their guns and risked criticism and ridicule in order to investigate deeply and thoroughly what was going on. I’m old enough to remember when cigarette ads claimed that their Brnd X was safer for you than someone else’s Brand Y. And when seatbelts were considered a frivolous extra for “alarmists.” And when GMO stood for General Manager of Operations (hmm…some irony there). In our current culture, most of us do not have the time, even with the best will in the world, to research thoroughly the sources of our food, the details of the agricultural industry, and so on. Bravo, Food Babe and others, for working so hard on our behalf. Yes, ultimately we are free to make our own choices. I just want mine to be a well-informed and conscious one.

  2. Yeah we all agree that it is healthier…but having things our way is so ingrained in us that if they made things healthier of course they may not taste as good to the general public. Soooo the general public will not go to eat there and the businesses will not make money then they will either switch menus or close down.

    1. Even though I don’t consume dairy milk very often, when I do I hate the taste of non-organic milk! The misnomer that healthy = not as good tasting is a dangerous one to carry around. If the entire continent of Europe can get by without the extra calories and additives, can’t we?

      1. I stated to the general public usually healthier doesn’t taste good. We get used to how we expect things to taste and anything different from that doesn’t taste good. When you go to McDonald’s for instance are you going there thinking oh yumm I am gonna go get me a salad and pineapple chunks,,,,no normally people go there when they are craving something greasy and horrible for them. I do agree that we can get by without the extra calories,,but as a whole I do not believe there would be enough people to jump on the bandwagon and make it financially good for the companies. Europe’s people are raised to eat better for themselves from a very young age. A large amount of Americans are not,,,unfortunate for us. The ones that are though,,,will eat Subway Salads or something like that instead. Supply and demand is how the businesses see it,,,if people aren’t going to buy the healthy stuff they are not going to offer it.

    2. The majority of the food does taste better in Europe. I lived in England for a year (returned here 2 years ago) and the food choices at fast food chains were much better and resembled real food. My allergies improved remarkably and when I mentioned this to a physician after i moved back to the States he said he wasn’t surprised. Fruits, vegetables and meats at the grocery store looked and tasted much better. Of course they spoiled faster, but really doesn’t that say something scary about our fruits and vegetables here?
      The majority of the European countries have been very proactive, protecting their food from being modified. The difference is easy to discern.

      1. Again I am not disagreeing that it probably does taste better,,,,I am just saying that US as a whole would not agree.

      2. Unfortunately we cannot rely on FDA or USDA that supposedly there to help regulate foods that are safe and healthy for American people.

    3. We are not ingrained. We are addicted. We’re as addicted to the cheap as we are to the chemicals. We’re eating foods that lack nutritional value and our brains are asking for more just to keep up.
      Fat, salt and sugar are the enemies, our bodies and brains are addicted.
      None of the foods I ate as a kid are the same. They may taste very similar but they’re chemically produced.

      1. I totally believe ingrained is the word for it. If you watch TV commercials and look at the ads these days they are all for what makes you happier,,,what tastes better to you,,,how it caters to you as a person and your wants,,,not necessarily needs. It has been like that since I was very young and I don’t foresee it changing. Go ahead and go on Youtube and watch commercials especially for fast food restaurants and try to deny it. Burger King in particular is saying Have it Your Way! Also think of comfort foods. Most things considered comfort foods are the gooiest most calorie filled food there is. You as an individual may not be affected by these things but America as a majority is unfortunately. I agree there are a group of Americans that can disagree but as a majority I really think we are a selfish self centered all for what I want and like society. It shows in every aspect of life not just our food choices. Me personally,,,,I would love to have the option of fruits and veggies at fast food chains,,,it would make it so much easier to eat better and to teach my children to eat better. Even if it meant that it was not “fast” food anymore and I would have to wait a little to get my food.

      2. The change from sugar to high fructose corn syrup has led the food industry to change the way our bodies react to food. We’re being sold chemicals because they are cheap, easily modified and take longer to spoil. We’re being fed well processed dog food. It’s full of sugar and fat. Obesity in America is epidemic and very expensive. It’s time to shutter McDonalds and Taco Bell until they sell us real food again.

    4. That’s an utterly ridiculous notion. You are slyly supporting the USA’s added chemicals and preservatives in already fundamentally unhealthy food. I can guarantee you now that if the Americans used the same ingredients as they do in the UK (which are already bad by the way, I know first hand – the cheese tastes like plastic and the meat like cardboard with organisms) they would get used to the difference in a month. It’s kind of like when you buy potato crisps (or chips) where they specify on the packet that there is a new improved recipe, that’s usually down to them removing unnecessary ingredients from their product. You will barely notice the difference in taste at first and even if you do, after weeks of consuming it you will be back to normal.

      1. Don’t put words in my mouth! In no way did I say I support the chemicals that they put in things. I am saying that businesses are gonna make things the cheapest for them and the way people are more likely gonna buy it. If it is cheap, makes the taste buds happy, people buy it. What really makes me laugh is,,,,,,,I live on a farm,,,,grow my own food,,,,,raise my own meat so I don’t have to have the chemicals in stuff. Hahahahahahahahahaha! I am saying that America as a whole is a hard thing to turn on to something new.

      2. I don’t think anyone is really understanding her point. Rachelle is not in support of the fast food industry. She is simply sharing that because they are selling massive amounts of food, they have no reason to change. We vote with our dollars and the US is voting in large numbers. Because people have become addicted, a change would probably destroy business. What she’s saying is that mcdonalds is not a social service agency, it’s a business. Because it is a business they will produce what sells. She’s not in favor of that notion, nor is she anti health. She is just a realist.

  3. When I went over to England for the first time, I went to a Mcdonalds. I was 10 years old and ordered what I always did: a plain cheese, double cheese burger. When I took a bite I was not only thrown off but wanted nothing to do with it. The mean tasted different, I could hardly taste the cheese and the bread wasn’t as soft I suppose? I was grossed out. I live over there for a month. When I came home I could barely eat ANYTHING. I felt sick to my stomach, our food gave me a nasty taste in my mouth. Their food is different, it’s better. Ours is chemicals and sugar. It’s freaking crazy.

    1. American bread is weird stuff. I recall my first time eating some standard supermarket white bread.. Oh wow that was bad. So sweet and weirdly fluffy, like it wasn’t even food! And mayo is sweet too, so is peanut butter.. it’s madness! Scoops of sugar in what I would consider savory foods.

      Been in the US 10 years now, I wonder if I could handle European foods still..

      1. I’m sure you would be thrown off at first!! My brothers girlfriend came to visit us, they live in NY city while we live very very far up in northern NY. She is from Turkey, legit, only here for college. She told me that she has many friends that came here for school as well. Each and every one of them came over at a healthy weight, very little fat on them, breasts in proportion to their bodies, clear skin, minimal body hair (as in no facial, back, stomach, chest, or any where that hair isn’t known to grown on a majority of women) they were here less than a few months when all that started to change. My brothers girlfriend said she put on 30 lbs in the course of two months, terrible acne, mustache hair EVERYTHING. What changed? The food. She said she did everything she normally did at home, ate what she was told was fine to eat here “healthy” food. Guess our food isn’t so healthy is it.

      2. Everything tastes sweet here because most of our food has high fructose corn syrup. Look at the labels and you will see.

    2. My family moved to America from Australia in 1988. When we got here I was so excited to eat my favorite fast food treat, a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Wow was I in for a shock, I remember it being one of the most disgusting things I ever put in my mouth (before trying a Twinkie). I took one bite and then promptly climbed up a tree and wouldn’t come down until Mum told me that I didn’t have to eat it.

  4. Thank you so much, Vani, for all the valuable food information you give us. It would be awesome, too, if you could have contact information available from your post for us to easily contact the companies you mention with our comments. I think they might listen if the Food Army contacts them. I am doing that on my own, but I don’t know if most people will take the time to research each one. Thanks again!

    1. You all are saying the same things over and over in different persrectives you all know the right answer You are just explaining it in your own perception of how each of you see it

  5. I want to say thank you for your commitment to making companies/people accountable for their actions. I am a label reader and you have taught me really how to read labels. I have learned from you on some new hidden ingredients that i have thought where OK .. and ha ha.. NOT..
    Thank You for being a stand for your life and mine and making a difference and changing lives one person at a time.

  6. Greetings and kudos to Food Babe! I LOVE this blog post. I’d like to try to answer the question of why the food companies have different standards for the US and Europe. And BTW I think the answer is obvious if you look at it from a business and marketing point of view. These companies are in business for one reason only. To make money. And in order to make money they must know their target market and give them what they want. It seems that their marketers are shrewd and right on target for how to stay in business. For example if I had a clothing line – – and I had 2 distinct markets – – 90 year old ladies and 14 year old girls I am not going to show the same styles to these distinct markets. 90 year old ladies are not going to wear a pair of shorts the size of a postage stamp. This would be considered smart marketing.

    So in this respect I cannot fault these fast food companies. I think if we point an accusing finger at the companies, we do a disservice to our goal which is to get America healthy.

    I don’t claim to have the answer but I do believe there are two main areas that we should focus on. 1. Education and 2. Legislation

    Through legislation we were able to get cigarette ads off of TV and we were able to get cancer warnings on cigarette packs.

    Perhaps if a milkshake contains an unhealthy amount of sugar for the average person, it needs a warning label attached to it so the consumer can choose whether or not they want to self destruct. This type of thing can be legislated.

    However we know there is so much corruption in the government – – these types of laws never get passed. Corporate greed seems to rule.

    Perhaps we are doomed to become the first civilization in the history of mankind to do ourselves in through mass gluttony. It’s already started. We are a nation of out of control gluttonous people. Fast food didn’t create this. But are they guilty of encouraging it and supporting it – – You betcha!

    1. Dee, your comments are right on. We need to advocate for more education and legislation. If companies can do this in the UK and elsewhere, they can do it here.
      The obesity of so many Americans is the major reason we are considered, “the ugly American”. Our children should be taught proper nutrition and these differences in school, and we should press our representatives to enact legislative changes as the UK and other countries have done.

      1. Barbara thanks for your comment. And the sad part is that we are spreading the American lifestyle to other nationalities . . . . . .But clearly we are the world’s leader in Obesity! Nutrition education is of course critical but on the other hand until we start treating obesity as a mental problem (as in “addiction”) we will just be spinning our wheels. Thoughts precede actions. Food thoughts precede gluttonous behavior. In my humble opinion the answer to the obesity epidemic is for people to start practicing mindfulness and other forms of meditation. If we heal the mind, the body follows. But what do I know? I’m just an uber healthy 61 year old yoga teacher fit as a fiddle. Most folks would rather follow the prescriptions of their pot bellied physicians. 🙂 Go figure.

    2. Dee, I am so grateful for your comment. As I was reading Vani’s article, the thought came to me – of course, it’s NOT America’s health that’s the main concern here – in fact it doesn’t seem to be a concern at all in this country. MONEY is god here, and clever marketing/distribution promotes what costs the least amount of money to manufacturer or procure in some other way.

      I am saddened by those I know who say they can’t afford “safer” foods, such as organic produce and grass-fed meats and raw dairy (how I wish I could get that!), but I say, it’s cheaper to buy quality organic foods (of which btw, one would tend to NOT stuff themselves with, modifying the “cost”) than to pay doctors to medicate you with the damage you caused yourself by consuming the wrong stuff. A ruined gut, which unfortunately I possess, is a very hard thing to live with, but things are vastly improved since I changed what I eat for the most part. And I am a pretty healthy 65-year-old who has learned some good new tricks. My hubby, who suffers seasonal allergies, suffers quite a lot less, since he’s been eating good healthy home-cooked foods cooked at home.

      Not only is legislation a good solution and a good active goal, but boycotting bad foods is quite a peaceful and effective way to make bad stuff go the way of the dodo bird.

      1. Nancy, I hear you!

        I stopped eating grains in January – (eat them now very occasionally but not every day and small portions) I feel 200% better. Most every disease begins in the gut.

        I understand that organic can often be preferable but I take fresh, local over organic any day of the week. I really believe it is the store bought processed garbage that is killing us. If people just stopped eating processed garbage 90% or health woes would likely disappear!

      2. Nancy I hear you!

        I stopped eating grains in January (now just eat them very occasionally and small portions) and I feel 200% better!

        I understand that organic may be preferable in some situations but I would take fresh, local over organic any day of the week.

        My belief is that it’s the store bought, processed garbage that is killing us. If people stopped eating the processed garbage – 90% of our health woes would likely disappear. Disease starts in the gut. It’s that simple.

      3. People say they cannot afford good quality local foods, and that his simply not true. They are unwilling to purchase vegetables or beans and cook them. A little cauliflower/broccoli/cabbage goes a LONG way to healthily filling a stomach for pennies, for example. 2-3 sweet potatoes with a little organic butter/coconut oil is a ton of food for 4 people and costs nearly nothing A whole free range, organically raised chicken is very inexpensive and lasts for days.
        People are merely unwilling to change patterns or exert effort. The easiest thing to do is to produce excuses.
        CSAs and farmers markets cut corners on expense as well.

        I’m sure this comment has been posted on this site in literally 10s of thousands of similar iterations. Nothing new here.

  7. mcdonald’s serves up gmo garbage in the usa i have not ate there or any other chain similiar to them in severeal years. when i would eat there i would pay a heavy price 8 to 12 hours later. eating better and feeling better these days. also i have been reading mcdonalds sales are worse for them in 12 years.

    1. Your not the first person I heard of how getting sick off your food after they returned to the USA. We just need better food.

  8. Please always post the contact information for the companies with bad food practices. That way your readership can quickly and easily contact these companies to complain.

    Also, please affiliate yourself with “Food & Water Watch” — they do great work to help safeguard us and could definitely make use of the information you gather.

  9. Unfortunately, this isn’t new at all, however, it’s very good to be reminded of this more often! My highly recommended read on this topic is “Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What’s at Stake for American Power” by Mark Schapiro. You can learn that it’s not only regarding food items, but also cosmetics, toys, computer hardware (Yes, Apple for example), etc. where Americans are exposed to so much higher levels of chemicals – while exactly the same products in Europe have less chemicals and toxic ingredients/ components….. Yet the companies here in the US keep telling the customers they can’t changes the recipe, etc. although they know better.

  10. What I said which I spelled wrong was that people in america are so proud to be americans but the food here is killing people…yes it is …I shop and the ingredients in things are horrible and nothing changes…and if they do it does not effect most foods…I don’t ever eat fast foods…after what I have read on this website..but in other countries they do not put the poisons that they put here….and the food industries do not cooperate with changes …the greed will and is winning over people’s health ….

  11. I live in uk and have only visited USA once. I was really surprised at the lack of variety of vegetables you have in supermarkets. With so much land that can be turned to arable farming and such a wide variety of climates across the country why do you have so much less choice than we do? And why is everything so tasteless. Finally why do so few family restaurants offer vegetables with meals? Is it cultural or does lack of other choices lead to unhealthy diet? To say food service industry companies provide what is wanted or expected is a cop out quite honestly.

  12. But the British are just as obese and drink like raving alcoholics so this does come at quite a surprise.

    I’ll bet this is only in certain hip places in London. Probably not the same in the whole of the UK.

    I don’t see this happening in the US. There are way too many obese and unintelligent people in the US that think it’s their “right” to look like hell and eat like crap. And you know what? It is their right… BUT we healthy folks should not have to pay for it!!!!

    This is why Obamacare and any other socialized medicine is a tax on healthy and intelligent people.

    1. Hi
      Fortunately what McDonalds in London serves are exactly the same in the whole of whole of UK. I live in a small town outside of London, in the county of Staffordshire, town of Burton upon Trent and we have 3 McDonalds, been to Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham etc and the menu are all the same.

      Obese, oh ya we have some obese people no denying that but not sure whose got the most UK or US. Alcohol drinking lol… cant deny British likes their beer lol….:) I dont drink maybe because I grew up in Canada (Canadian first then British) lol….

      1. i live in Wales (part of UK) and near a town called Abergavenny which has a famous food festival that celebrates local, organic fresh food. Growing GMO crops is banned throughout the EU thank goodness and there is increasing legislation to try and combat the obesity problem. Our nearest McDonalds is in Cardiff I think over 30 miles away, and there is no Starbucks around here either because the town planners refuse permission for the to build. These are popular decisions

  13. When I got back last April from overseas, I wondered if the USA really cares about each other. It would appear not. I love my country, but the country doesn’t care about us. Thats obvious!

  14. Want to hear something worse? I’m married to a music producer, and a lot of actors, athletes, musicians, politicians, and a few CDC scientists live in our neighborhood. When we first moved here, the HOA sent out a notice that all HOA hosted events (Christmas party, trick-or-treating, 4th of July BBQ, etc) are GMO-free, and if you are providing any food, it has to be organic or Non-GMO Project verified. They stated that in 2000, some community members approached the HOA board and demanded a GMO-free atmosphere, and it unanimously passes every time it is up for vote. Hubby has said that almost every musician he has ever worked with has it in their contract that they are FORBIDDEN to consume any GE foods. They have one of the assistants constantly running back and forth to Whole Foods because they won’t drink non-organic coffee or teas. One of the athlete’s wives also told me it is the same for her husband, and as far as she knew everyone else on the team. So clearly, somebody somewhere knows something about this GMO garbage…they just allow the rest of the public to get sick eating it, but not themselves.

  15. What are the favorite spices and flavorings of american cuisine? sugar and salt. Companies cater to the wants of their customers. i’m disgusted with the food that is mostly available here and am disenchanted with society. I’m so grateful to all the non lemmings keeping me informed!

  16. RAPESEED is Canola used as WD40. A LUBRICANT and PESTICIDE

    CAN = canada O= oil LA = Low Acid, as in low Erucic Acid.
    RAPESEED has 48% Erucic Acid. LA just means they strained POISONS to a certain extent.

    RAPESEED Destroy’s Endocrine Glands,

    There is no such thing as a Canola Plant. Until recently they just created an ALIEN CANOLA PLANT of RAPESEED PLANT.

    Canola, Corn, Soybean and Vegetable OILS ARE


    Make sure OILS are PURE. ALL NATURAL.

  17. Hi Vani, thank you for the work you do! Really appreciate it.

    I am a student of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and in one audio lecture by Micheal Jacobson, Founder of Center for Science in the Public Interest, talked about how Red 40, Yellow 6, and Blue 1 (all associated with ADHD, ADD, behavior and learning disorder) are not allowed in the UK. McDonlad’s strawberry milkshake in the UK has real strawberries in it, while in the US, they use Red 40.

    Most of the industrialized nations of the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all 25 nations of the European Union, have disallowed the
    use of rBGH.

    Our government is not looking out for our health but other political agendas. We are thankful we have you and your team.

  18. The “food” in the USA is ridiculous! I moved from Canada and notice a major difference in the labeling of food here and the taste. Plus how it makes me feel. Yuck!

  19. Not surprised. Not sure why Americans see this as a double standard. American’s are fat and happy….and it really is all about giving the customer what they want. These companies would not produce the green if they served healthy food in the US.


  21. This is to JOE October 2, 2014, as there was no Reply button under your comment. Joe, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was trying to be diplomatic, but I think if folks would truly be interested in eating healthier, they would stop buying the things that make them sick, and switch over to the foods that make them healthy! It’s a no-brainer, but habits are surely loathe to change. I’m not 100% “there” yet, but the changes I’ve made to organic grass-fed meats and fruits and veggies in season (and out of season, as I’ve been canning and freezing for the winter) have truly put some sort of a smile on my poor old gut, and I’ve notice mu hubby’s allergies have reduced significantly. I appreciate folks like Vani, and other web sites that are exposing big time the fallacies of the standard American diet. Can’t afford to fly to Europe to eat better tho’. yuk,yuk.

    1. Its less that there is no demand..
      and more that there is not so much choice, no publicity, and no (or very little) information. Unless you have information you cannot make a choice.

      In the UK the nutritional information is on the packet (in supermarkets)
      Calories, Protein, Fats, Sugars, Salt, additives.

      on the menu (in McD’s , KFC etc) they just show Calories,
      though you can ask for more information.

      some restaurants also provide Calorie information.

      Nutrition and the importance of a balanced diet is also discussed (not exactly taught) in schools. so children do have some information on diet too.

      the trouble is… its still ‘cool’ to have a bigmac and a milkshake, or whatever.
      and of course Kids the world over, dont want to wait, for anything.
      so fast food is the default choice.

      The only way to change things… is adverse publicity..
      if you make the companies commercially uncomfortable,
      it either hits them where the feel it.. on the balance sheet.
      or they end up with a poor PR Stance ignoring or disregarding or defending.

  22. The levels if food coloring are thought to be far to low to be carcinogenic in humans according to the FDA.

  23. My daughter spent a year at colleague in PA. When she came home to England after the first semester she was craving vegetables. She said that during the whole 3 months she had spent in halls she hadn’t seen one vegetable at all. She was surprised to see something called breakfast pizza though! And even the bread was full of sugar (why?)
    During the year she was in the US she put on nearly 1.5 stones. (and still no vegetables) she said no one seemed to have heard of sprouts, cabbage, celeriac, mange tout (day to day vegetables here in the UK)
    The reason McDonalds “get away” with the different menus is because of our food legislation which means they can’t get away with selling us rubbish.

  24. This very deceptive. It is true, everything has more sugar in US, but not because someone is conspiring, it’s because the people want it sweeter. I’ve lived in US for 10 years now and people here are crazy about sugar content. Everything has to be sweet–even vegetables– or they won’t eat it. It’s sad, but it’s reality, so no wonder the fast food industry is adding 50% more sugar than in Europe. It’s fact that food regulations are stricter in Europe and people are not addicted to sugar. Food is also more expensive (because there are less shortcuts aka preservatives, GMOs…) But the results are healthier meals and less heart disease/cancer/obesity. Children don’t eat pizza for school lunch and vegetable are served. Things won’t change until there is a shift in mentality in the majority. Unfortunately the majority in US still wants to drown their GMO foods in sugar.

  25. Thank you!! From the bottom of my heart. It sad knowing that my three children are eating polluted and dangerous food. I try my best to educate my self and buy organic but GMO is in so many things. Please continue this work for all of us. We need to fight for everything we want in this country! Time for CHANGE we are worth it!

  26. Food is the primary key to health and well-being and our food supply has been hijacked by giant corporations, chemically altered and is making us very sick! The numbers of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease etc. are rising every year. We can sign petitions all we want, and I do, and make tiny changes; but the trends are increasing against us daily. I just heard from Organic Consumers Association that the organic food company Annie’s Homegrown has been purchased by General Mills.So now I have to add one more organic company to the growing list in the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers Association) boycott.
    Naomi Klein,in her new book This Changes Everything, says it very clearly: Our leaders have failed to protect us. It is up to us to start from the bottom up to change the system that benefits a tiny majority, while harming the majority and destroying the biosphere. Those in whom we have entrusted our safety and well-being have failed us utterly. IT IS UP TO US!
    I was chatting with one of the vendors at our local Farmer’s Market last Saturday, and he was lamenting that he could only buy organic herb teas because the non-organic teas: “They don’t even wash the pesticides off the leaves. I’m just brewing a cup of poison!”
    Indeed! This Changes Everything!
    Here is my personal strategy for dealing with this mess.
    JUST SAY NO! Saying no is simple, but not easy or convenient. It’s a lifestyle! Take my word for it; once you have started down this path, there is no turning back!
    1. I buy NO PROCESSED FOOD whatsoever, not even breads and other bakery products due to wheat and other allergies. I do not eat in restaurants, takeout or deli counters. We cook everything from scratch, which means from the simple raw materials: fresh, whole, REAL food. We also ferment, pickle, can, freeze and dry everything we can.
    2. I buy local and organic. I read all labels on so-called organic products in the grocery store. This is a buyer beware situation. More on this later.
    3. I joined the GMA food boycott some months ago, which has really been a challenge.
    • First of all I have written letters (email) to each company (the big ones) and let them know that I will no longer buy their products because of their company policy.
    • I seek out alternative products (Kudos to Vani @Foodbabe for the great work she has done here with a wide range of products.) I believe it is essential that when we choose an alternative to a contaminated product, we need to let them know! Our small gesture may not affect their bottom line, but what if hundreds, or thousands of these letters appear in their inbox!
    • Where alternatives do not seem to be available, I make my own! So far this year it has been chunky tomato sauce to replace the Muir Glen version that also has been contaminated with non-organic ingredients.(Also, part of the GMA boycott.)
    • I buy local (within a rather large area) and organic. I am fortunate to live in an area where there are local farms. I am able to buy fresh chickens and eggs from a farm a mile away; local organic meat; fresh organic produce from the Farmers Markets (3 in my area). And I order bulk organic grains and other items from and through the local supermarket. I also grow and harvest tea herbs in my yard: mints, nettles and comfrey. There are still some things that I can’t buy or grow locally, like organic chocolate, but I have solved that one, too!
    I also use no chemical laden body care and cosmetic products; use only the purest fragrance free laundry products, and avoid toxic cleaning products. It’s a lifestyle. It takes time, persistence and and determination. Go for it!

  27. I have travelled and noticed the differences as well (China, Malaysia, US, Canada, Australia).

    – Food costs, wages and ingredient costs are very very low in the US (even tho the CEO earns the big bucks, the stores are on budgets)
    – Australia has a similar healthier menu with healthy options
    – Back in the day, China offers their large meal with burger, extra large fries, extra large drink and 2 chicken pieces. Incredibly low prices.
    – Food education in the US is very slow, people are slow to take to new ideas
    – There is a lot of standard ingredients in everyday food like corn syrup that has been used traditionally for decades as a mainline ingredient and people are accustomed to the taste of these readily available ingredients. Corn syrup isn’t widely available in Australia.
    – If there was an overnight change, there would be a fair number of complaints that ‘peoples favourite foods’ don’t taste right anymore. Think Coke, it changes the flavour and it could seriously impact peoples return rate.
    – To add to the big picture. I know Australian MacDonald’s workers who have reached a mature age earn almost 3 times as much as minimum wage in the US. Legal requirement. There is a lot of things the US need to improve on, but the changes need to start at the top for anything to work.

    Fuel for your fire, I hope someone hears you.

  28. Vani,
    You are so totally awesome! Thank you for all you do! You are making a difference!

  29. Thank you Food Babe so much for all you do!!!! I am from Germany and we live here in the US (my husband is in the military) and I am shocked of how bad things are here food wise. That you have to go to specific stores or sections of the store to buy healthy food (that is so strange), that you have to read thru every single ingredient list. That I can’t let my children eat lunch at school, simply because, I can’t trust what is served! That I see daily children drink soda, SODA it’s unthinkable to serve that to a child in Europe. That I see so many people who are overweight and what hurts the most is that so many children are overweight as well… I could go on for hours of the experience I have had here food wise. And I am not saying Europe is perfect when it comes to food, but much stricter when it comes to protect their consumer.

    Thank you again for fighting and spreading the word so people in the United States can fight back by simply making better choices …

  30. The United States of America is a very powerful nation. We Americans can and should demand better, safer, budget-friendly food! When we do this, we will automatically contribute to making the world a better place. That is, straightening out our food issues here will make us happier and healthier as well as setting a good example.

    “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

    Better food at the same or very similar price would make us healthier, and being healthy supports a general sense of wellbeing and happiness. A healther happier world would be better and more enjoyable for all. So lets be this change towards being more healthy, happy, and good!

      Unfortunately I was looking at the Canadian ingredients when I made my last post, and not the UK ones.
      Yes it does look like I should be flying back home to eat my fries…Again, so sorry for this error! 🙁

  31. We don’t even have Taco Bell in London. But fear not. There’s a whole real food industry waiting to flourish in the US, it’s just waiting for you to devote your daily dollars to it on a regular basis. McDonalds only sell organic milk here because we voted with our feet and bought our food from more healthy outlets.

  32. The main reason food in the U.S. is unhealthy is because our country is run by corporations who donate to the campaign funds of all politicians who make the laws that favor the corporations. It’s as simple as that.

  33. When I visit these places in UK, I do so for the purpose of pointing out the amount of crap they add in. The bread is pumped with crap and the meat is false.

    Are carbs the enemy? no. It’s the fake ingredients.

    We had carb based meals as Children back in the 80’s, and we never suffered from them, and our waistline never changed. Fast forward to 2014 and everyone is sensitive to something or have increased waistlines.

    It’s doesn’t matter if you are fit and fat, as you can be unfit and slim. It’s about health.

  34. althought i agree with you 100% on the lax gmo laws in north america, I absolutely don’t see why you are going on about the fast food menu options in other countries. First, of all, you do have a choice. Eat somewhere else. Perhaps at home. Secondly, all restaurants and businesses have,to account for the local laws and tastes. It’s called business. That’s why they don’t sell tofu nuggets in texas.

  35. I am so tired of the America bashing. These fast food places aren’t coming to your house and forcing you to eat this stuff. It is a choice. The U.K. is no healthier than America. They have fat people too…really fat with horrible teeth to boot. You want to eat healthy, make your food at home.

  36. I think a big part of the problem IS demand. Americans have become so used to the way food tastes here that many of them don’t even like the flavor of food with less sugar. I was actually in Germany for two years, and I remember the Americans didn’t like a lot of the European equivalents of our fast food. For example, they had to put a bunch of sugar in their cappuccino for it to taste good to them, and they didn’t like how the fast food tasted because it wasn’t what they were accustomed to. I’m one of the fortunate ones who has NEVER liked really sugary foods… though I love chocolate, but mostly dark 🙂 , but the majority of Americans won’t eat the stuff. The FORTUNATE fact is that more and more people are becoming aware of the nastiness in a lot of our food, which will hopefully help swing the majority and impact our food!

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