9 Food Chemicals Banned Everywhere BUT the US

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Brominated Oils… Potassium Bromate… Azodicarbonamide…

Sound scary?

These food additives are found everywhere… in processed food products. And you might not even know it unless you’re really looking at the ingredient list.

But why? Why do companies use these chemicals?

There are a couple of reasons:

  • Greed 
  • Enhanced flavor
  • Extended the shelf life
  • Reduced bacterial growth
  • Makes it look pretty

Basically, chemicals are a cheap way to make you like a product more. So rather than putting in quality, they substitute these chemicals.

Why is this even allowed? 

The FDA governs food safety. It looks for immediate hazards. But, they’re not interested in the long-term effects of cumulative exposure. The FDA also lets the companies that use and manufacture these chemicals test for safety. Once something is determined to be Generally Regarded As Safe or GRAS, it’s rarely if ever, tested again.

One perfect example of this is aspartame. Approved for use in food over fifty years ago, numerous studies have shown aspartame to be very damaging to your long-term health. 

So now that you know you’re the one that is responsible for your health, let’s take a look at some of the food chemicals banned in other countries. It’s up to you to read the ingredient list and make wise choices.

9 Food Chemicals Banned Everywhere BUT the US

  1. Potassium Bromate and Azodicarbonamide (ADA)

If you like fluffy bread, chips, bread crumbs, and white flour, you’re probably consuming a lot of potassium bromate. It’s why sandwich bread on the store shelves is so soft and fluffy.

Some companies are replacing potassium bromate with azodicarbonamide, a very similar chemical used to make yoga mats and the rubber soles of shoes. However, this chemical can break down into urethane.

These may not be listed on the label because it’s an additive used with the flour directly. However, it’s required to be listed in California as a cancer warning because of Proposition 65.

These chemicals may cause respiratory problems, cancer, and kidney problems.

  1. Hydrogenated and Brominated Oils

Most people know hydrogenated or hydrolyzed oils create trans fat that clogs your arteries. Most people think brominated oils are better, thanks to a large marketing effort by companies that wanted easy and cheap flavor additives. These oils are found in soft drinks and bread products, the most popular being Mountain Dew.

The oils can irritate your skin and cause headaches, memory loss, and impaired balance and coordination. The FDA states that a drink must contain less than 15 parts per million and that following standard dietary advice, a person will only drink one per day. Unfortunately, according to a Gallop poll, half of Americans drink one or more glasses of soda per day. 

  1. Yellow, Red, Blue Colors

Synthetic dyes make processed foods look bright and vibrant. Their safety is called into question by the American Academy of Pediatrics and European regulations. You can find them marked on the label as yellow #5 red #40, blue #3, and over 50 other different variations.

Numerous studies show that children who eat colored food products or drink colored drinks tend to have exasperated ADHD and other behavioral problems. Any product with coloring sold in the European Union must warn that the product “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

The public has asked for better products, and many companies agreed. But, few have complied. For example, Mars Inc. stated in 2016 that they would stop using artificial dyes, however, products like Skittles are still coated in these chemicals.

  1. Caramel Coloring

Caramel sounds a little tasty, right? Unfortunately, caramel coloring is a group of chemicals that creates a rich, dark brown color in food and drinks. You’ll find it most offering in dark-colored sodas, like Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

Caramel coloring is a carcinogen and the recommendation is to consume no more than 200mg/kg/day. However, caramel coloring is used in granola and protein bars, cereal, bread, and many packaged foods. 

  1. Titanium Oxide

You might know this one quite well, as it’s one of the primary ingredients in sunblock.

Titanium oxide is found in many products, from candy to soup to baked goods. It’s often found in supposedly healthy ingredients like salad dressing to create a bright, brilliant White.

The problem with titanium dioxide is that our bodies cannot get rid of it easily. Some of the studies in Europe so that it can damage DNA, which could lead to cancer.

  1. Growth Hormone rBGH

If you like dairy or beef, you’re probably consuming some of this. Bovine growth hormones (BGH) help make cows produce more milk and grow bigger. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have to be listed on the label because this is not added directly to yogurt, milk, or your steak. Your beef contains this hormone unless it’s specifically marked or BGH-free.

The biggest concern is bioaccumulation in humans. Any hormone-dependent cancer or health issue, like depression, may be affected by these hormones. It’s suspected but not proven that the push to have children drinking milk in school is one of the causes of the ever-decreasing age at which boys and girls are going through puberty.

  1. Chlorine Washes (on Chicken, Pork, and other Food Products)

Chlorine washes are typically safe to use and very effective at destroying bacteria. If you visit the butcher, cleanliness is key and the meat is carefully tended. However, that’s not the case in factory operations where feces, waste products, and lack of cleaning run rampant. The fast, almost too fast pace of the factories does not allow proper cleaning or sanitation.

The use of a chlorine wash allows these factories to continue as long as they spray a little bleach on your food. You may want to stick to your local butcher.

  1. Antibiotics in Animal Products

Did you know almost half of all antibiotics are used in animal production? Antibiotics are routinely given to many farm animals to prevent infection from overcrowded and dirty conditions. So even though a package might be marked antibiotic-free, several rounds of antibiotics may have been used for that animal and they don’t have to tell you.

The rampant overuse of antibiotics in farm animals is believed to be part of the problem creating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Stick to organic meats if you want to avoid this problem. 

  1. Genetically Engineered Corn, Soy, and other Produce (GMOs)

Genetically engineered produce was supposed to be the savior of the farming industry. However, the studies showing that GMOs are safe have all been produced or funded by the companies making the GMOs.

GMOs have mostly been designed to resist pesticide use. Especially in soybean, wheat, and corn, millions of tons of pesticides are used in fields and remain on the food product when processed. That means you’re consuming more and more pesticides as you consume these processed food products.

Independent studies show GMOs present numerous health problems, including cancer, depression, and gastrointestinal issues. Studies have yet to differentiate if the health problems are caused directly by the GMOs or the increased pesticide use. 

If you take the time to read your food labels, you’re going to find a lot of different chemicals and additives. However, there are natural alternatives, ones that do not have these chemicals. Or you can stick to a more natural diet, choosing whole ingredients of fruits and vegetables. The more natural you swing your diet and the fewer chemicals you have, the healthier you’ll be.

Keyword: food chemicals

Metatag: food chemicals are everywhere and you have to do a little bit of sleuthing to discover where they are. Read your ingredient list and check out if these nine are part of your food products.

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