You Won’t Believe These 5 Sneaky Tricks Used By The Food Industry To Make Your Food Seem Better Than It Really Is

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You Won't Believe These 5 Sneaky Tricks Used By The Food Industry To Make Your Food Seem Better Than It Really Is
Photo – Fotolia.com © radeboj11 – note – image for illustration purposes only

Your food may have gone through a lot more than you realize before making it to your table; from getting wax coating and a chlorine bath to being treated with synthetic food coloring. While much of the prepping done to your food is generally harmless, some may actually do harm to your body. We’ve picked 5 of the most controversial practices that we think you should at least know about…

1. Fruits and Vegetables Are Coated With Wax And Possibly Other Substances

Many fruits and vegetables are coated with wax to increase shelf life, avoid bruising during shipping, and prevent moisture loss. This makes the organic ones your best option. If you must go for the conventionally grown ones, it is advised that you ask your grocer about the kind of wax used. Shellac, beeswax, and carnauba wax are preferable to the petroleum based ones, which contain wood rosins and solvent residues. The wax itself may not be your only source of concern though, but the other compounds possibly added to it as well. The list includes ethanol or ethyl alcohol for consistency, soap as a flowing agent, and milk casein as a film former. [1]

2. Salmon Is Fed “Pigment Pellets” Not Approved For Human Consumption To Make It Look Pinker

Wild salmon get to eat what they are naturally meant to eat. This gives them a rich nutritional profile that comprises vitamins, minerals, fats, micronutrients, and antioxidants like astaxanthin, which gives them their naturally pink color. In contrast, farmed salmon are on an artificial diet that consists of grain products like soy and corn, which are mostly genetically modified, as well as artificial coloring, chicken and feathers, and synthetic astaxanthin. [2]

Astaxanthin is added to give farmed salmon their pink color. These synthetic “pigment pellets” are not approved for human consumption, but are allowed for fish feed. Because of this, they ultimately find their way to your table. [2]

3. Oranges Are Sprayed With Dyes To Make Them More Orange Than They Really Are

Early in the season, some Florida oranges are deemed not orange enough, so they are sprayed with Citrus Red 2. This dye has been linked to tumors of the bladder, and can possibly harm other organs as well. Studies have also shown that it is toxic to rodents at moderate levels. An assortment of foods are subjected to dyeing, including wheat bread, roast beef deli meat, and pickle spears. [3]

4. Nine Of The Food Dyes Approved For Use In The USA Have Been Linked To Health Problems

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) published a 58-page report called “Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks,” which revealed that nine of the approved food dyes in the United States are linked to a myriad of health issues. The list includes allergic-like reactions, hyperactivity, and cancer. These findings were based on studies that were conducted by the chemical industry itself. [3]

Yellow 5 used in cereal, candies, baked goodies, and more is linked to cancer, hypersensitivity, hyperactivity, and behavioral problems in children. Blue 2 used in pet foods, beverages, candies, and more is linked to brain tumors. Red 40, the most widely used dye, has been found to accelerate the appearance of tumors in mice and to trigger hyperactivity in children. [3]

5. USA Chicken Is Subjected To Chlorine Bath That Was Banned In Europe

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows poultry producers to give chicken an antimicrobial wash. These producers use chlorine and other chemicals to rid their products of pathogens. Just how much of the chlorine is left on the chicken you eat is unclear. The European Union (EU) has banned the use of chlorine washes and the import of US poultry that has been subjected to the antimicrobial sprays. [2]

References:

[1] The George Mateljan Foundation. Wax Coating on Fruits and Vegetables. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=175

[2] Mercola. 6 Food Industry Tricks You Don’t Know About. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/30/6-food-industry-tricks.aspx

[3] Center for Science in the Public Interest. Food Dyes, A Rainbow of Risks. https://cspinet.org/sites/default/files/attachment/food-dyes-rainbow-of-risks.pdf

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