"So you have Vitamins, and then you have herbal supplements, which are not FDA approved. But just for reference, Twinkies are." - comedian Jim Gaffigan
I love watching comedians (and Jim Gaffigan is one my favorites because he talks so much about food)! But this joke actually made me think recently about a very serious topic… how do we as Americans view our responsibility for our health?
In the past, I feel that we may have believed that it’s the insurance company’s responsibility to pay for our healthcare. We may have believed that we can trust the government to tell us the true and best information for our health. We may have believed that our doctors are unquestionable and will always tell us the best, unbiased solution.
Today, as a country, I believe that we are reframing the way we think! We’re taking back control of our health as our own responsibility. We have to educate ourselves. We have to seek multiple professional opinions. We have to know that it’s okay to evaluate the credibility of our sources of information. We have to vote (with our DOLLARS) on what is acceptable to us. And we are.
One of the more concerning topics that have hit our news media in recent years is our food quality. I’d like to mention a few facts that may not yet know about the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) so you can decide for yourself what’s acceptable nutrient food source to you.
Susanna Kim of ABC News writes “Last week, Buzzfeed published a list of 8 ingredients banned outside the U.S. that are found in foods in America. The list was derived from the book, Rich Food, Poor Food: The Ultimate Grocery Purchasing System, written by husband and wife team Jayson Calton, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition, and Mira Calton, a licensed certified nutritionist.”
Says Mira Calton: "We call it our GPS of grocery purchasing system: how to identify dangerous ingredients -- so people can shop safe and smart in the grocery store."
The book includes a list of banned foods and dangerous foods, which they call "poor food." Calton said manufacturers are not putting these ingredients in their food to be "bad people. It might have been part of their original formula and sometimes they don't know.”
The Food and Drug Administration assures the public that despite the frenzy over the list of ingredients banned in some countries outside the U.S., it is doing its job of monitoring food safety.
Here are just a few of the ingredients that are banned in other countries but are allowed in the U.S.:
1. Blue #1 and #2 Food Coloring
Generally found in: candy, cereal, drinks
Example of products it’s found in: Nutrigrain blueberry bars and M&Ms
2. Yellow #5 and #6
Also known as: benzidine and 4-minobiphenyl and tartazine
Example of a product it’s found in: Kraft macaroni and cheese
Known health association: will cause genetic mutation of our DNA and
is a known carcinogen (which means a “cancer causing agent.”)
What I hope you’ll take away from this article is three things:
1. Don’t assume. Read every label. Consider how it was processed / grown. Look for the sneaky stuff. Real food doesn’t have a label. Choose the purest original form of the food – not found in a bag, box, or wrapper.
2 . When you receive information from a source, consider its motivations. When a (insert popular yogurt brand that starts with an "A" here) commercial tells you that yogurt has natural probiotics – is it true? Research actually showed that probiotic in (insert popular yogurt brand here) yogurt was found to be clinically INSIGNIFICANT. But they want to sell you yogurt and that’s how TV advertising works.
3. Only YOU are responsible for YOUR health. Please keep learning more every day :)
Top 10 grossest food defects the FDA deems safe for humans by Eric Berger at the Houston Chronicle.
11 Food Ingredients Banned Outside the U.S. That We Eat by Susanna Kim at ABC News
Rich Foods, Poor Foods by Jayson and Mira Carlton.
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