In America, consumers do not think twice about reaching for a box of Froot Loops or a six-pack of Mountain Dew soda. In other countries, however, such items are not available for purchase due to the toxic nature of their ingredients. It’s not just cereal and soda that contain controversial and dangerous ingredients, however. According to authors of a new book titled Rich Food, Poor Food, nearly 80% of America’s pre-packaged foods are banned in other countries around the world (i).

Mira and Jason Calton have authored Rich Food, Poor Food to shed light on an otherwise shadowy American food industry. In the book, the authors present a list of ingredients that have been banned in other countries. Called Banned Bad Boys, these ingredients are still used in the production of an alarmingly high percentage of American convenience foods. According to the authors, up to 80% of the pre-packaged foods, snacks, and beverages in the United States contain these potentially toxic ingredients.

Banned Bad Boys: Toxic Ingredients to Avoid While Grocery Shopping

Although an overwhelming majority of pre-packaged foods contain ingredients known to cause serious side effects, consumers can avoid illness and improve health by avoiding the most common toxic ingredients in the list below. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) require food manufacturers to include certain ingredients on the label and/or package of food. This Ingredients label is typically located on the back of the food item, just beneath the Nutritional Facts box.

When shopping, beware of food items, snacks, and beverages that contain the following Top 5 toxic ingredients:

1. Olestra

Named as 1 of Time Magazine’s Top 50 Worst Inventions, Olestra is a food additive found in many low-fat and fat-free snacks. This ingredient is known to inhibit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and might cause cramping, intestinal discomfort, and adversely harm the digestive system.

2. Brominated Vegetable Oil

A main ingredient in sodas like Mountain Dew, Fresca, and Squirt, brominated vegetable oil is among the worst beverage additives available. The ingredient is reportedly banned in over 100 countries for being linked not only to thyroid disease, but to a number of other autoimmune diseases and cancer as well (iii).

3. Yellow Dye #5, Yellow Dye #6

Food coloring is another potentially harmful ingredient that is prevalent among American-made convenience foods. Certain products, like macaroni and cheese, use large amounts of this dangerous dye to enhance the color and visual appeal of the food once it is fully cooked. In other countries, these food colorings have been banned after studies linked them with the development of allergies, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and cancer.

4. Bisphenol-A (BPA)

BPA is a synthetic chemical found in a number of different plastic items, including containers for many popular foods and beverages. Most recently, health advocates have expressed concern that food items may absorb the BPA content of its container, particularly when stored in high temperatures for a prolonged period of time. BPA is potentially harmful to a vast number of adults, children, and infants, as it is used to manufacture everything from plastic water bottles to baby bottles (BPA-free alternatives are available). In 2010, Canada became the first country to ban the use of BPA (iii).

5. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

GMOs are widely used among American farmers to increase the yield and value of a particular crop. For example, Monsanto produces a type of GMO corn that is resistant to the pesticide glyphosate, known by most consumers by the brand name Roundup. By genetically modifying the corn, farmers can use heavy amounts of pesticides without damaging the crop. And while this practice ensures a bigger cash payout after harvest, it also subjects consumers to an unnatural form of food that causes serious side effects. In 2012, a team of French researchers found that Monsanto’s GM corn caused the formation of cancerous tumors in laboratory mice.

This special health report has been produced by Assure a Smile, South Florida’s Home of Holistic Dentistry. For more information, readers are invited to visit the URLs in the Sources section below. Readers may also schedule an appointment with a Miami dentist online, or call our front desk directly at 305-274-0047.

Sources:

(i) “80 Percent of Pre-Packaged Foods in America Are Banned in Other Countries.” Yahoo! Shine. Accessed 16 July 2013.

(ii) See above.

(iii) “Canada Declares BPA Toxic, Sets Stage for More Bans.” Reuters. Accessed 16 July 2013.

 

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