Have you ever wondered what is really in the food that is sold at the local Spar, Pick and Pay, Shoprite or even Woolworths? The list below shows some of the ingredients that you are likely to find in a typical shopping basket. While it is true that not every box, tin or bottle of processed food will contain these chemicals you are bound to run into them sooner or later…the key thing is to read the ingredients labels and reflect on what you buy before it ends up in you or your family.
1. Acrylamides – Toxic, cancer-causing chemicals formed in foods when carbohydrates are exposed to high heat (baking, frying, grilling). They’re present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips, and because they aren’t intentional ingredients, acrylamides do NOT have to be listed on labels. Acrylamide is a well-known compound that is chemically manufactured in large amounts and used in the synthesis of polyacrylamide. This polymer is frequently used as a flocculation agent in water treatment and as an insulating material. Acrylamide may therefore occur naturally in water and air and is considered carcinogenic. Acrylamide was not considered to be a great health risk in food prior to April 2002, however when the Swedish National Food Administration (NFA) presented the results of its studies on barbecued, deep-fried and oven-baked foodstuffs they found that the formation of acrylamide occurred at high temperatures and in products containing carbohydrates.
2. Aspartame – Chemical sweetener that causes neurological disorders, seizures, blurred vision and migraine headaches.
Autolyzed Proteins – Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.
3. BPA (Bisphenol-A) – A hormone mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics. Active in just parts per billion, BPA promotes cancer, infertility and hormone disorders. It also “feminizes” males, promoting male breast growth and hormone disruption .
4. Casein – Milk proteins. Hilariously, this is widely used in “soy cheese” products that claim to be alternatives to cow’s milk. Nearly all of them are made with cow’s milk proteins.
5. Corn Syrup – Just another name for High Fructose Corn Syrup (see below). Frequently used in infant formula products.
Food Colors – FD&C Red #40, for example, is linked to behavioral disorders in children. Nearly all artificial food colors are derived from petroleum, and many are contaminated with aluminum.
Genetically Modified Ingredients – Not currently listed on the label because the GMO industry (Monsanto and DuPont) absolutely does not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown corn, soy and cotton are GMOs. They’re linked to severe infertility problems and may even cause the bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own gut. If you’re not eating organic corn, you’re definitely eating GMO corn.
6. High Fructose Corn Syrup – A highly processed liquid sugar extracted with the chemical solvent glutaraldehyde and frequently contaminated with mercury. It’s also linked to diabetes, obesity and mood disorders. Used in thousands of grocery items, including things you wouldn’t suspect like pizza sauce and salad dressings.
7. Homogenized Milk – The fats in the milk are artificially modified to change them into smaller molecules that stay in suspension in the milk liquid (so the milk fat doesn’t separate). While it makes milk look better on the shelf, it’s also blamed for promoting heart disease and may contribute to milk allergies. Raw milk is healthier…
8.Hydrochloride – When you see anything hydrochloride, such as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride or Thiamin Hydrochloride, those are chemical forms of B vitamins that companies add to their products to be able to claim higher RDA values of vitamins. But these are synthetic, chemical forms of vitamins, not real vitamins from foods or plants. Nutritionally, they are near-useless and may actually be bad for you. Also watch out for niacinamide and cyanocobalamin (synthetic vitamin B-12).
9.Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein – A highly processed form of (usually) soy protein that’s processed to bring out the free glutamate (MSG). Use as a taste enhancer.
10. Partially Hydrogenated Oils – Oils that are modified using a chemical catalyst to make them stable at room temperature. This creates trans fatty acids and greatly increases the risk of blocked arteries . Also, many fast-food restaurants use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers. Trans fats are twice as dangerous for the heart as saturated fat. Why? Trans fats are a result of a hydrogenation that converts liquid fats, such as plant oils, to solid ones. It turns a healthy oil into an unhealthy one. Studies show that trans fats increase bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol, promoting heart attacks and stroke.
11. Phosphoric Acid – The acid used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and add to the overall fizzy-ness of the soda. Phosphoric acid will eat steel nails. It’s also used by stone masons to etch rocks. The military uses it to clean the rust off battleships. In absolutely destroys tooth enamel.
Propylene Glycol – A liquid used in the automotive industry to winterize RVs. It’s also used to make the fake blueberries you see in blueberry muffins, bagels and breads. (Combined with artificial colors and corn syrup.)
Sodium (Salt) – The processed white salt lacking in trace minerals. In the holistic nutrition industry, we call it “death salt” because it promotes disease and death. Real salt, on the other hand, such as “dirty” sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, is loaded with the trace minerals that prevent disease, such as selenium (cancer), chromium (diabetes) and zinc (infectious disease). Much like with bread and sugar, white salt is terrible for your health. And don’t be fooled by claims of “sea salt” in grocery stores. All salt came from the sea if you go far back enough in geologic time, so they can slap the “sea salt” claim on ANY salt!
12. Sodium Nitrite – A cancer-causing red coloring chemical added to bacon, hot dogs, sausage, beef jerky, ham, lunch meats, pepperoni and nearly all processed meats. Strongly linked to brain tumors, pancreatic cancers and colon cancers . Sodium nitrite is a complete poison used to make meats look fresh. Countless children die of cancer each year from sodium nitrite-induced cancers.
13. Soy Protein – The No. 1 protein source used in “protein bars,” including many bars widely consumed by bodybuilders. Soy protein is the “junk protein” of the food industry. It’s made from genetically modified soybeans (often grown in China) and then subjected to hexane, a chemical solvent that can literally explode.
14. Sucralose – An artificial chemical sweetener sold as Splenda. The sucralose molecule contains a chlorine atom. Researchers have repeatedly found that artificial sweeteners make people fat by actually promoting weight gain.
15. Sugar – The bleached, nutritionally-deficient byproduct of cane processing. During sugar cane processing, nearly all the minerals and vitamins end up in the blackstrap molasses that’s usually fed to farm animals. (Blackstrap molasses is actually the “good” part of sugar cane juice.) Molasses is often fed to farm animals because every rancher knows that farm animals need good nutrition to stay alive. Amazingly, conventional doctors don’t yet realize this about humans, and they continue to claim that eating sugar is perfectly fine for you. Sugar promotes diabetes, obesity, mood disorders and nutritional deficiencies.
16. Textured Vegetable Protein – Usually made of soy protein which is extracted from genetically modified soybeans and then processed using hexane, an explosive chemical solvent (see Soy Protein, above). Widely used in vegetarian foods such as “veggie burgers”.
17. MSG and hidden MSG (i.e. Yeast Extract) – MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a chemical used to fatten up laboratory animals and evidence suggests it may ultimately make one fat as well. It is everywhere, for example, most hamburgers. MSG causes amongst others headaches and allergic reactions. There are also hidden forms of MSG that contains free glutamate and is used in many “natural” food products claiming “No MSG!” Yeast extract contains up to 14% free glutamate! Marmite is an example of a product made mostly from Yeast Extract but you’ll also find it in thousands of other products, from soups to chips.