Many of us put a lot of faith in food and beverage manufacturers. But occasionally, the people producing our food, and sometimes even the FDA, don’t have our best interests in mind when it comes to the standards they establish. In some cases, overlooked ingredients can be adverse to our health in a big way. For this reason, some countries are a little more stringent about what their citizens consume on the daily, at least compared to the United States.
This Soda Is Particularly Bad For You
‘Brominated vegetable oil’ doesn’t sound too bad. But the stuff is flame retardant! The ingredient has been used in American sodas since the beginning. But new studies have shown that the mysterious ingredient may be related to skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve problems.
As a result, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have pinky-promised to remove the ingredient from all of their sodas. Mountain Dew, on the other hand, still boasts the ingredient on every bottle. Europe and Japan gave this ingredient a hard no, even if it cost them the famous green soda.
This Childhood Favorite Has A Dark Secret
Few cheeses are naturally yellow. Most are white through and through. But it’s no secret that kids love bright colors. So to solve this problem, Kraft brightens up its famous mac and cheese with Yellow #5 and #6.
The thing with these food dyes is that they’ve become notoriously linked to hyperactivity, allergies, and increased cancer risk. Kraft swears to do their best to omit these harmful ingredients, but countless other products that the dye can be found in has led many European countries to ban the substance altogether.
Meat Lovers Will Agree With Vegetarians On This One
Anything that is literally named “Pink Slime” does not belong in food. That shouldn’t even be up for discussion. For Canada and the EU, the talk ends there and it is thus banned. But Americans sometimes go and complicate things.
Pink slime is a meat by-product that consists of finely textured beef. The substance is added back into the meat equation as a filler that lowers the fat content. The process requires ammonia gas or citric acid to kill bacteria, neither of which are regulated and can cause health issues.
Way To Ruin A Good Thing
GMOs are all the rage right now, but few people know why that is exactly. The fact that other nations, including Russia, have a ban on them has caused some curiosity in Americans. But not all GMOs are created equal.
For the EU, the GMO most worthy of a ban was the one that prevents the ringspot virus. That’s because it has been linked to tumors, organ damage, sterility, birth defects, and, of course, death. Banning the GMO meant banning any corn, soy, or papaya from America.
Tastes Like Arsenic!
Chicken is one of the most user-friendly meats. You’ll often hear a person refuse red meat for their heart, pork for religious purposes, even fish for fear of high levels of mercury. But chicken generally passes all of the tests. Except for this one.
The poison arsenic is fed to US chickens in order to make the meat look pinker and fresher. In order to “freshen” up the meat even more, it is then cleaned with chlorine. Both of these components have led the EU to ban American chicken.
Swine Aren’t So Bad Until You Give Them This
For some, pork is the lowest of the low when it comes to meat. Being that pigs will eat anything and everything, it can be a little worrisome to think what might be getting passed down to the consumer. But the real danger of pork is not the pig’s fault at all.
A drug called ractopamine is given to pigs in order to reduce their fat content and increase protein synthesis. Our fears about their consumption are validated by a study that showed 20% of ractopamine remains in the pork being sold in the store. That number is so high that US pork has been banned in 160 countries!
The Low Carb Diet May Help More Than Just Your Weight
Potassium bromate was banned in Europe, Canada, and China once researchers found that it can be linked to kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage. These serious side effects beg the question of why anyone would decide not to ban the ingredient.
In America, potassium bromate is a fundamental part of the baking process. Oxidation enables flour to bind, but this process takes a while. Flour can be chemically aged with potassium bromate to cut down on production time. And who better than Americans knows that time is money?
It Sounds As Bad As It Is
Azodicarbonamide is more of a nuisance than just being a mouthful to say. The chemical is used to bleach certain objects like plastic, yoga mats, and sneakers. Oh yeah, and flour. Anything, edible or not, containing azodicarbonamide is banned in Australia, the UK, and most of Europe due to its link to asthma.
Here in America, the compound can be found in frozen dinners, packaged baking products, and boxed pasta mixes.
This Additive Is Not So Sweet
Crops are under scrutiny more than ever for questionable farming practices that have blown up in the past century. One of these practices is the use of herbicides, which are used to kill unwanted plants, like weeds, that steal the nutrients from the plants we want.
If it can kill a plant, it probably can harm us. So it comes as no surprise that the herbicide Atrazine has been linked to birth defects, reproductive tumors, muscle degeneration, and skin sensitization. In the US we still use Atrazine to treat 90% of our sugar cane. It’s banned in the EU.
Fat-Free May Also Mean Vitamin-Free
Olestra, aka Olean, was used as a filler in high-fat foods that used a lot of certain ingredients like butter and oil. In the ’90s, a calorie-free, fat-free, and cholesterol-free additive sounded like a dream come true. Today, it’s on Time‘s list of the top 50 worst inventions.
That’s because Olestra disables your body from being able to absorb vitamins. Additionally, it can cause leaky bowels and cramps, neither of which would complement a leaner physique. The ingredient is banned in the UK and Canada.
This Chemical Will Burst Your Bubble
All over Europe, Japan, and the United Kingdom bans have been implemented against BHA and BHT, food preservatives that are known to cause cancer in rats. While these preservatives can be found in all sorts of packaged foods, like cereal and meat, they’re most infamous for being in chewing gum.
How these chemicals operate is through attacking oxygen molecules, thereby prohibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Interestingly, according to Live Science, Vitamin E has the exact same effect but without the harmful risks.
This Food Is More Loopy Than It Is Fruity
Froot Loops cereal is more than just a medley of flavors and colors, it’s a medley of artificial dyes and chemicals, too. For one, it contains the harmful preservative BHT. Secondly, it contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, despite saying zero trans fat on the label (that’s because the law only requires them to account for more than 0.5 grams of trans fats).
Third, the dyes used are thought to inhibit nerve-cell development. This kiddie cereal is banned in the UK, France, Austria, Finland, and Norway.
This Food Will Give You Wild Thoughts
More and more people who walk into restaurants are asking the same question about salmon: Is it farmed or wild? That’s because farmed salmon are fed chemicals that enhance their color, making them more visibly appealing to grocery store shoppers. One of these chemicals is synthetic astaxanthin, which can damage eyesight. Yikes.
Austria and New Zealand have banned farm-raised salmon altogether. Aside from the chemicals, this may have to do with the close proximity that farmed salmon are kept in, which increases the risk of contamination.
Blue Foods Might Cause You To Feel Blue
Speaking of food dyes that mess with the body, blue dye is among the worst. Before getting into the potential side effects of consuming the pretty die, it is first important to know that the dye is derived from petroleum. That’s the stuff we put in our gas tanks and also is what creates the asphalt we drive on.
Banned in Norway, Finland, France, the UK, and Austria, this dye may contribute to hyperactivity, brain cancer, and nerve-cell degeneration.
This Food Is Safe Everywhere But America
M&Ms are a world-wide sensation, and a part of that may have to do with their willingness to tweak their ingredients to adhere to varying laws and regulations. America, as you probably could have guessed, is pretty much fine with whatever. Here, the candy currently still contains blue dye, which we previously deduced is not great.
The red ones also contain a carcinogen called amaranth. When this was discovered back in 1976, the red ones were omitted long enough for the public to get over it. American M&Ms are strictly banned in Europe.
The Dye Used In Cherry Pie May Actually Make A Grown Man Cry
Shirley Temple would not approve of the drink named after her being full of red#40 food dye if she knew what it could do. According to CBS News, this particular food dye has been linked to ADHD and cancer. It is also among the most common food dyes that people are allergic to.
Anything containing red#40 is banned in Europe. While groups have advocated making it illegal in the US, it’s still found in grenadine, maraschino cherries, and cherry pie mix.
This Food Can Be A Real Pest
The EU is very high maintenance when it comes to its rice. They practically banned basmati rice in 2017 with an order that manufacturers drop levels of the pesticide Tricyclazole down to a hundredth of its previous legal limit.
On top of that, the EU has also monitored the amount of arsenic in their rice. Arsenic is that poison we feed to our chickens. Currently, America allows both chemicals but does regulate Tricyclazole, allowing only three parts per million.
Shiny Can Be A Bad Sign
That shiny, waxy layer on the outside of apples doesn’t naturally occur in nature. In fact, organic apples actually have skin that’s a bit rough. Since apples are a fruit that’s eaten with the skin on, manufacturers decided that people would pay more attention to their look than to any added ingredients.
The shiny skin is caused by the pesticide DPA, or diphenylamine. While more research is needed to confirm a correlation between this substance and cancer, concern was enough to cause Europe to ban American apples entirely.
Poison Of The Sea
Carrageenan is a filler that is extracted from seaweed, which sounds like it’d be healthy for you. After all, any leafy green is bound to be ridden with vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, some researchers have found the substance to cause issues in the digestive system, ranging from inflammation to IBS to colon cancer.
Tests conducted on mice found that the compound caused the development of glucose intolerance and impaired insulin response. Carrageenan is now banned in the EU, but that doesn’t stop Americans from using it in chocolate milk, ice cream, soy milk, beer, and veggie burgers.
Lactose Intolerance Is Nothing Compared To This
Recently, we’ve been seeing milk cartons sporting “no rBST” on the front. That’s because the hormone has been used in the past to increase milk production. Unfortunately, doing so is terrible for the cows, causing health conditions like mastitis.
Mastitis is basically inflamed breast tissue, but with all the high demand for dairy, cows don’t always get a proper recovery time, almost guaranteeing an infection to ensue. The milk then becomes infested with antibiotics and pus. Due to that horror, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the EU have banned all dairy products from the US.