The dawn of COVID-19 has caused a lot of financial strain and the first thing people tend to cut back is the grocery budget. Sometimes there just isn’t much left over. I totally get it but consider this.
Half-hazard bargain shopping at the supermarket can be detrimental to your health. We’ve been conditioned as a society to opt for convenience over whole foods. Big Brother has collected data using trial and error to refine their techniques over the years at our expense.
They’ve studied us extensively and fooled most of society into reaching for processed food under the ruse of safety. It may have started innocently enough but food manufacturers have taken aim at your family in the name of profits.
We’ve been raised to shop at the supermarket instead of the farmer’s market and very few people grow their own food anymore. We are barely one generation removed from the dawn of the mainstream grocery store. For most, it’s just a matter of convenience.
Many people will spend more money on a monthly car payment than they will on their grocery budget. Somehow, we’ve been fooled into taking more pride in what we drive than what we ingest into our bodies. Technically, most people just don’t know any better.
Abuse of Trust
We’ve been conditioned to trust the FDA, thinking they have our best interest in mind. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is an agency of the USDA.
It is responsible for ensuring the safety of commercial meat, poultry, and egg products. They have a table of ‘new technologies’ for the processing of poultry and livestock listed here on their website.
Near the bottom of the list, you’ll see that anhydrous ammonia is used in ground beef as an antimicrobial. It’s actually added to the meat. So, what is anhydrous ammonia and why would they put it in beef?
Well, according to OSHA anhydrous ammonia is pure ammonia – undiluted. To put this in perspective, household ammonia is diluted with water until it contains between five and ten percent ammonia.
You see, meat packing facilities are prime breeding grounds for bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. The use of chemical products and carbon monoxide saves ‘costly handwashing time and extends shelf life.’ That’s enough to offend me but there’s more.
Cattle are fed grain and corn because its cheap, but they digest it poorly because they were meant to eat grass. Corn and grain get caught in the end of the intestinal tract and ferment where it produces resistant strains of E. Coli that contaminate the meat supply at slaughter.
Its virtually unavoidable under the current system. A Cornell University study found that when they switched cows from grain to hay based diets for five days before slaughter, resistant E. Coli strains were reduced to an undetectable amount.
Apparently, it’s too costly to feed livestock hay for a few days before slaughter. Its far cheaper to just mix pure ammonia into the beef. Here’s a little irony. The same organization discourages people from washing meat before cooking because we ‘could potentially contaminate it with chemicals.’
Processed Food Products
Since meat is a whole food product, they aren’t required to put that stuff on the label. America’s health is being sacrificed in the name of profit and it has caused a public health crisis. Here’s some of the most common ingredients on food labels that could be affecting your health.
These are synthetic chemicals artificially designed to mimic certain food flavors. They may taste good going down, but they can wreak havoc on your body. Most studies have been done on mice with concerning health effects.
Certain flavors were shown to be toxic to bone marrow while others unequivocally inhibited red blood cell production. Red blood cells are formed in the bone marrow and their job is to transport oxygen.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
This artificial sweetener seems like its in everything these days, from soda and juice to snack foods and cereals. There are even commercials touting its ‘safety’ but it has been directly linked to weight gain, diabetes and inflammation. Some studies even show that entire countries who use more of this artificial sweetener have seen a sharp rise in Type 2 diabetes.
This is an alkali metal salt compound used as a preservative in processed meat, like bacon and hot dogs. Its also used as a coloring agent and preservative in fast food burgers.
When exposed to heat in combination with amino acids (yes, most meat contain amino acids), these nitrates can morph into nitrosamine. Consumption of nitrates and nitrosamine have both been linked to multiple forms of cancer.
BHA & BHT
These are also food preservatives found in just about everything from chips and cereals to beer and butter. The state of California lists these agents as known carcinogens while the rest of the country lists them as probable carcinogens. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Potassium Bromate & Bromic Acid
Actually, these are one in the same. Potassium bromate is an oxidizing agent used as a food preservative. Its mainly found in breads, flours, and rolls because it increases the volume of these products. When you see “enriched flour or bread,” here’s your culprit.
They may put some good stuff in there, but the product has been enriched with potassium bromate as a preservative and a volumizer. This stuff is an endocrine disrupter that has been linked to cancer and banned from the food supply in several other countries.
Generally Recognized As Safe
Each one of these items is Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA. It seems their logic is GRAS in small amounts but here’s the thing. You get small amounts from this item and then that item, then another and so on.
Think of how this builds up over the course of a week, much less a lifetime. This is where America’s health and obesity crisis came from. It’s not because we’re nutritiously irresponsible; it’s in the commercial food supply!
Even reading food labels and identifying ingredients can be terribly difficult. This probably isn’t done by accident. There are 61 different names for sugar on food labels and sodium has over 20 different names. Each name is a different version of what is created from processing. Any ingredient that may not appeal to patrons is simply disguised under another name.
As a rule of thumb, the shorter the ingredient list – the better. If you can’t pronounce it then you probably don’t want to know what it is and you certainly don’t want to eat it. Foods are best left in whole form without additives whenever possible.
Buy organic when you can and consider growing at least some things yourself. Try the local farmers market or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) club. Some CSA’s even include eggs, poultry, or herbs and it’s a much safer option for your family.
Consider this. You’ll either pay a little more up front buying organic unprocessed foods that you prepare at home or you’ll pay a lot more down the road when the doctor gives you (or someone you love) an unexpected diagnosis. Either way, you’re going to pay……. but at least now the choice is yours.