At the end of my post the other day on the 14 ingredients in McDonald’s french fries I made reference to how I’d heard that many companies offer a much healthier version of their food products to countries outside the US. I was wishing I had more information on the topic and then a few days later this article showed up in my e-mail. Talk about synchronicity and serendipity! It gets into the reasons why companies give us less healthy versions and includes a link to a great “foods you should ban from your diet” infographic. There’s also a list of good resources for being a conscious food consumer. Be sure and watch the video at the beginning…..it’s only a couple of minutes, but very informative….
(by Dr. Joseph Mercola) McDonald’s, a poster child for the average fast food diet, has yet again been exposed for selling foods containing far more hazardous ingredients to American customers.
Repeatedly, we find that processed foods—which are bad enough even without added chemicals—contain far more hazardous ingredients in the US compared to other nations, most notably Europe.
In fact, many of the foods Americans eat on a regular basis are banned in other countries. On the upside, companies like Frito Lays has actually started offering a certified organic version of its popular potato chip, but it’s only sold in certain stores.
With all the known health issues associated with junk food, why not offer this healthier organic version everywhere? Granted, organic potato chips are by no means a health food. But if you’re going to eat chips, organic chips would certainly be the lesser evil.
There are countless of examples showing that processed food does not have to be quite as harmful as it currently is, yet there’s a pervasive double standard. Americans get processed foods that are absolutely chock full of additives, while the same products sold in other nations are made with far fewer ingredients, and less hazardous ones.
McDonald’s French Fries Contain Far Less Junk in the UK Than the US
FOX news1 recently reported that McDonald’s French fries sold in the UK containfar fewer ingredients, which is typically a hallmark of a healthier product. Even if it is highly processed, and therefore not a good foundational part of your diet, at least you’re getting less toxic exposure with each bite when you do eat it.
For starters, in the US, McDonald’s French fries are made with potatoes cooked in hydrogenated canola and/or soybean oil—two of the worst cooking oils you can use; both of which are also in all likelihood the genetically engineered varieties.
American fries also contain TBHQ; antifoaming agents, preservatives, and color stabilizers. For some reason, American French fries also contain beef flavor, made with wheat and milk derivatives. As a result, they carry an allergy warning for those with wheat and dairy sensitivities.
Meanwhile, French fries sold in the UK consist of potatoes cooked in non-hydrogenated sunflower or rapeseed oil, and nothing else. Salt is added after cooking. Realize that both of these oils aren’t great as they are both high omega 6 oils that become oxidized to cyclic aldehydes and the rapeseed is GMO.
Still, if McDonald’s can make a tasty French fry without preservatives, antifoaming agents, color stabilizers, TBHQ, and added flavorings for its British restaurants, why do they refuse to make them without this junk for Americans?
American Food Contains Thousands of Hazardous Food Additives
More than 3,000 food additives — preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients — are added to US foods, including infant foods and foods targeted to young children.
Meanwhile, many of these are banned in other countries, based on research showing toxicity and hazardous health effects, especially with respect to adverse effects on children’s behavior.
This includes food colorings such as red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and/or blue 2, which has been shown to cause behavioral problems, allergic reactions, and even cancer.
In countries where these food dyes are banned, companies employ natural colorants instead, such as paprika extract, beetroot, and annatto. But if they can do it in a host of other countries, why can’t they switch over altogether, and use natural colorants in foods sold on the American market as well?
Another example: the anti-foaming agent dimethylpolysiloxane, found in the American version of McDonald’s French fries, is a type of silicone with anti-foaming properties used in cosmetics and a variety of other goods like Silly Putty. Does it have to be used to make a decent French fry? Apparently not. So why use it?
Ditto for TBHQ. Animal studies suggest there may be a number of health hazards associated with this chemical, including liver effects at very low doses; positive mutation results from in vitro tests on mammalian cells; biochemical changes at very low doses; and reproductive effects at high doses.
A question that really needs to be answered by each and every offending food company is: Why do you want to make Americans sick? You’re keeping all this junk out of the UK and other countries’ food supply, why not here?
The following infographic highlights 10 glaring examples where foods sold in the US contain ingredients shunned by other nations, due to their health risks.
Embed this infographic on your website:
A Key Component of a Healthy Diet—Absence of Toxins
Now, before I get accused of promoting organic junk food, I would like to bring your attention to the video with Michael Pollan featured at the beginning of this article. A key factor of a healthy diet is the absence of toxins.
And very few processed foods can make that claim due to current agricultural methods—unless they contain 100 percent organic ingredients. In the case of McDonald’s French fries, only Russet Burbank potatoes are used, as their unusual shape allows them to be cut into longer pieces.
But the potatoes must be perfect, or else McDonald’s rejects them. To prevent net necrosis, which causes dark spots and lines on the potatoes, farmers use a highly toxic pesticide called Monitor. This pesticide is so toxic, farmers will not enter their fields for five days after application.
Once harvested, the potatoes are kept in atmospheric-controlled warehouses for six weeks, during which time they are inedible.They’re too toxic to consume before the chemical has sufficiently off-gassed from the potatoes! But does that mean that once off-gassed, the toxin is completely removed? No.
Overall, potatoes have among the highest levels of pesticide residues of any food crop.3 In last year’s pesticide testing done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other fruit or vegetable. These chemicals penetrate the skin into the potato, making them impossible to wash off.
The point here is that the nature of the processed food industry drives chemical-heavy agriculture, which means many core ingredients are highly contaminated from the outset. So even if hazardous additives are not added to the food during processing, the food could still be a source of toxic exposure. That said, American junk food could be made to be a whole lot less hazardous than it currently is, simply by not adding extra junk into the mix during processing…
GMA Is a Major Proponent of Keeping Toxic Foods in America
The primary offending trade association, which represents most popular processed food companies and restaurants, is the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). The GMA is a radical front group that has gone to great lengths to protect this toxic status quo in the American marketplace, fighting tooth and nail to prevent positive food industry changes from being implemented. Last year, I named the GMA ” the most evil corporation on the planet,” considering the fact that it consists primarily of pesticide producers and junk food manufacturers who violate some of your most basic rights as human beings—just to ensure that subsidized, genetically engineered and chemical-dependent, highly processed junk food remains the status quo.
Let’s have the GMA’s explain why its members are so insistent on making Americans sicker than other nations, by refusing to remove ingredients that are banned in other countries, and refusing to label GMOs so that everyone can make an informed choice when they’re shopping food for their family. Between 2012 and 2014, the GMA have successfully blocked GMO labeling legislation in over 30 states, at a price tag of more than $100 million!
These funds were received from the 300+ members of the GMA, which include chemical/pesticide, GE seed, and processed food industries. Together, these industries are working in a symbiotic fashion to grow, subsidize, and manufacture foods that have been clearly linked to growing obesity- and chronic disease epidemics. And the use of unnecessary food additives is one factor that makes American processed foods so much worse than the same items sold in other countries.
You can read the rest of the article at:
And this is a short article with more on the topic and the good news that things are starting to change:
Related Self-help Health posts:
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.