One of the things dieticians, nutrition experts and physicians are advising is to stay away from processed food. This is a warning we’ve heard since Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Yet, it is still pertinent today. Besides the added salt, fat, and sugar there are lots of additives and preservatives that makes processed food unhealthy. Have you ever looked into what they really use? If you did you’d never eat certain things again. Reader beware, the following may make you lose your appetite. If you look on the side of the packaging you’ll often find the term “natural flavoring.” The FDA allows anything derived from natural materials to receive this designation, including castoreum. This is an extract from a beaver’s pineal gland. Items with berry flavorings often contain castoreum which is said to enhance their flavor. Some people also take it in the form of a supplement, but on purpose. Ammonium Sulfate is in some fertilizers, and breads. This is a nitrogen-based salt compound. Ammonia-containing chemicals are often added to foods deemed too acidic. But most people only associate ammonia with household cleaners.
L-Cysteine conditions the dough for some brands of bread on the market. This is an amino acid derived from human hair or duck feathers. It’s used to improve the feel and texture of bread. It would cost money to dispose of hair and feathers, so instead they are broken down to just amino acids, to be used in different products. When is the last time you’ve eaten at a Wendy’s or Taco Bell? If you have, chances are you’ve eaten sand. Silicon dioxide is added as an anti-clumping agent, to keep things from sticking together. According to Men’s Health, titanium dioxide, yes the metal, is used in some coffee creamers, frosting and salad dressings. What you sit on and what you eat may have something in common. That’s because azodicarbonamide is not only found in yoga mats, it’s a processing agent used to make hamburger buns as well. If you pick up a bag of jelly beans or other shiny candies, you may read the words “confectioner’s glaze” in there. This is most often shellac, secreted by an insect native to Thailand. The closer you eat to nature, the less surprises you will encounter when it comes to the contents of your food.