Jake HughesThe Paw Print
With the increasing demand for people to eat healthier and watch out for certain ingredients like gluten or trans fats, the increasing number of controversial topics that have risen in our supermarkets, both internationally and at home in the US, come to no surprise.
When we speak of topics like this, the phrase “You are what you eat” comes into my head for a number of reasons. If your diet consists of high saturated fatty foods and sugary drinks it will have an effect on your mental and physical health. If you eat right and balance that with a healthier way of living it will reduce the risk of social, mental and physical damage.
An increasing amount of ingredients in our foods approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been linked to a number of serious health problems. For example, some ingredients have been linked with different types of cancers.
The huge corporate brand Nestle, which has its sticky fingers in all the pies, also has a firm grip on the frozen pizza section. A number of different brands operate under Nestle like DiGiorno’s, Stouffer’s and California Pizza Kitchen. These particular brands have come under great scrutiny recently due to high amount of trans fats. Nestle use hydrogenated vegetable oils to keep the costs down, making it more affordable; however, they introduce a high amount of trans fats.
Some states have banned the use of trans fats in food within restaurants because of the connection trans fats have with some cancers, but the FDA has allowed it within frozen foods as long as the manufacturer states it on the label. It’s not only frozen foods that contain these shocking ingredients.
Bill Philips, an editor from Men’s Health, recently wrote an article on a number of products that have questionable ingredients in them. Surprisingly, Gatorade was one. Gatorade recently stated they will be removing a flame-retardant chemical (brominated oil) from their drinks within the next couple of months.
It’s wild to think that chemicals used within weed killers, flame-retardants, paint chemicals and sunscreens are also used in our foods. How can this be true; why isn’t it on the label? Because the manufacturer cleverly hides these ingredients under names like “Butylated HydroxyAnisole” or “natural flavoring.”
A particular ingredient that is widely used in a number of soft drinks and other low sugar products is Acesulfame-K. This ingredient is used in over 5,000 products worldwide. It is a calorie-free artificial sweetener that was approved by the FDA. Many healthy critics claim the FDA made this decision on flawed animal testing and say the ingredient is linked with lung and breast tumors along with thyroid problems.
In past years, the meat industry as well has been a hugely controversial industry. Recently, the meat industry in Ireland and the UK took a head dive with reports of horse meat being widely used within a number of meat products like frozen burgers and lasagna.
It is really unnerving to think of what goes into our foods and what impact it has on our health, because, after all, we are what we eat.