We all cringed when we heard the news spread about hamburgers made out of so-called pink slime. Then when we learned about how filthy conventional apples were, many of us started buying organic apples. A few of us even stopped making macaroni and cheese for our kids when we read that our favorite brand contained harmful food dyes.
As you can see, it’s getting harder and harder to find healthy food. Sadly, the food industry essentially lies about the health of certain food. After all, scientists are working overtime to make food cheaper. And let’s face it: Much of what goes into our food, well, really isn’t food.
So the next time you go to the supermarket or a restaurant, here are six more ingredients to be on the lookout for.
L-cysteine is a softening agent often used in bread. It’s non-toxic, but it’s often made from hair. That’s right, human hair! Another source for L-cysteine is duck feathers. If you haven’t lost your appetite for bread yet, make sure that you read your labels and avoid L-cysteine. According to Popular Science:
“The truth is, you might have eaten hair today. Food manufacturers use L-cysteine, an amino acid in keratin, to stabilize dough and perk up the taste buds that detect salty, savory flavors. Although some factories derive their L-cysteine synthetically or from duck feathers, others get it from human hair. It’s clean, though, thanks to the fact that the manufacturers who use human hair boil it in hydrochloric acid to extract the L-cysteine from the keratin.”
Have you read the long list of ingredients on most packaged food lately? If not, you should. One ingredient you might see in many products—cellulose—is actually wood chips. Yes, wood chips!
And because wood chips are “organic,” they’re also in organic food. Cellulose is in many products including: waffles, pancakes and pancake syrup. So the next time you want frozen waffles for breakfast, check the label and make sure that it doesn’t contain any cellulose. To find out what restaurants serve cellulose, here’s an article to check out: “15 Food Companies That Serve You Wood.”
3. Meat Glue
The steak you had last night might not have come from where you think it did. Does it come from a cow? Yes, but it probably comes from meat taken from several different cows and glued together. Meat glue comes from transglutaminase, an enzyme found in blood that can bind proteins together. Food scientists learned how to create it from bacteria from cows and pigs blood. Transglutaminase hasn’t been linked to any health problems—yet. Unfortunately, meat glue is hard to avoid since it’s not on the product labels and it’s used in hundreds of products.
“Marketing consultants and food scientists estimate — because no company will discuss sales figures — that 11 percent to 35 percent of all packaged and sliced ham, beef, chicken, fish, pizza toppings and other deli products are enhanced, restructured or molded using the meat glue, made from one of two brands of protein adhesive,” The Seattle Times reported.
4. Natural Flavorings
Most of us agree that artificial sweeteners are bad, but did you also know that natural flavorings are just as harmful? Natural flavorings often contain excitotoxins. If you want a healthy weight and strong immune system, you need to avoid foods that have natural flavorings listed on the label. Food Babe.com recently did a report explaining why the excitotoxins in natural flavorings are so harmful:
“These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Ever wonder why you can’t just eat one chip? Or one cookie? Or why you remember a taste of a product so distinctly and crave uncontrollably? Excitotoxins can be to blame.”
In 2006, the FDA approved lunch meat to have a virus sprayed on it to kill Listeria. In layman’s terms, it’s a microscopic bug. Instead of trying to get rid of Listeria, the FDA allows six viruses on your lunch meat. And there are no labels on meat that has these viruses. Do organic deli meats such as ham, roast beef, and hot dogs contain these viruses? Yes, according to FoodRenegade.com. So if you don’t like microscopic bugs on your sandwich, perhaps you should avoid deli meat altogether.
6. Titanium Dioxide
Similar to asbestos, titanium dioxide is a mineral used to whiten a product. It’s found in products ranging from paint and sunscreen to skimmed milk and coffee creamers. Although the FDA considers it safe for human consumption, there are many studies that say otherwise. In 2006, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified this mineral as a “possible carcinogen to humans.” And the American Cancer Society (ACS) has also released a report expressing their concern for this chemical-causing cancer. Should it be a concern for you? Yes, especially when you consider that titanium dioxide accounts for 70 percent of the total production volume of pigments worldwide. Titanium dioxide is a metal and can cause serious health problems. Avoid it.
Don’t believe everything the food industry tells you. They lie. So when you pick up a packaged food and see a label with the ingredients like the ones above—put it back on the shelf! And the next time you’re in line at a sub shop or a fast food restaurant, just leave. Better yet, run! And if you aren’t doing so already, now is the time to grow your own food and make your meals from scratch.
What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.