Most people don’t realize, despite a growing trend in conscious eating, that several food ingredients banned worldwide are actually still being approved for human consumption by the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration). A general rule: even if a food is low fat or low sugar, if it is commercially produced and has an ingredient list full of difficult-to-pronounce, laboratory-produced ingredients, it probably isn’t good for you.
The following is a list of six foods you might want to reconsider before eating:
1. Olean (Olestra)
When food manufacturers produce low-fat foods, they often include synthetic ingredients to compensate for taste. Olean, a.k.a. Olestra, cannot be metabolized by the body, and has been known to cause diarrhea.
2. Farm-Raised Salmon
As opposed to wild salmon, the farm-raised kind are usually grown with antibiotics and given chemicals to make them bigger, stronger and more visually appealing to consumers. Australia and New Zealand have banned this type of fish. You’d be better off eating wild, cold-water salmon which contain large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids and DHA.
3. Flame-Retardant (BVO)
Perhaps the most shocking of all the items on this list, Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO), found in products like Mountain Dew, are used to evenly distribute synthetic flavors throughout a product. However, this ingredient was actually created as a flame retardant by chemical companies. Research shows that it interferes in the reproductive cycle, depresses the nervous system and interrupts the endocrine system. Delicious. BVO is already banned in Europe and Japan.
Banned in 160 countries, ractopine is a drug used to reduce fat content and create leaner meat in pigs, cattle, and turkeys being readied for slaughter. The drug has been shown to cause chromosomal changes, heart disease and hyperactivity, among other issues. If you must eat meat, choose locally grown, organic, grass-fed meats that have not had any contact with hormones or antibiotics.
5. Hormone RGBH
This hormone, given to cows to make them produce more milk, is banned in countries like Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and more. Genetically engineered in laboratories, the hormone can be found (in traces) in milk, cheese and yogurt which is not organic.
6. Genetically Modified Foods
Genetically modified foods are foods produced from organisms that have been intentionally modified on a genetic level in order to introduce new traits or preserve desired traits – with an end goal of making them more commercially appealing. It is claimed that over 165 million acres of land in the United States is presently growing GMO crops. The commercial sale of genetically modified foods began in 1994. Many countries have bans on GMOs (genetically modified organisms), but not the US, which doesn’t even require relevant labeling on these products – a victory for food-industry conglomerate Monsanto, which earns billions of dollars from GMO products.