Things you should know about your food (but probably don't want to know) . . .
1. Shredded cheese, so easy for salads and soups (and definitely quicker than hauling out a block of cheese and a grater) is coated in something called cellulose to keep the shreds from sticking together. Cellulose is made from wood pulp. Yep. Your shredded cheese is covered with sawdust from a giant redwood or something.
2. Cellulose is also used in many low-fat items, including ice cream. Check the labels. My Weight Watchers one-point low fat ice cream is really a branch of a tree.
3. Aspartame is said to be perfectly safe, but I think it is akin to rat poison. Here is a pro-aspartame website. It will
tell you how wonderful it is. Here is a website
that tells you how terrible this drug is. It lists 92 different problems
that aspartame can cause, including MS, lupus, cancer, vision problems, and
death. Personally, I think this is a loathsome chemical, foisted on the
public, oddly enough, by Donald Rumsfield (check
this FDA site for some interesting comments about this). Call me a biased
liberal, but I feel sure that anything Rumsfield had a hand in simply cannot be
good for me.
4. Saccharin is a sweetener drug that has been around well over 100 years, but it has only been on the market since 1977. That's when Congress
overrode the FDA and forced it to approve it. Check
it out at this FDA website. Trust those folks on Capital Hill, yes? Saccharin is believed to cause cancer.
5. MSG can be found in these ingredients: yeast extract, torula yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast. You'll find those ingredients listed in thousands of foods, but they won't mention MSG. That includes soups, etc. that claim to be MSG free. They aren't.
6. Splenda is sucralose, and
it leaves a taste like chlorine in my mouth. I couldn't figure this out until I
looked up stuff about it, and discovered it is sugar turned into a
chemical that is, guess what, chlorine. Go to http://splenda.com for the
corporate smiley site about it if you want the Disney spiel. This
sweetener also supposedly causes thymus problems and possibly cancer and other
health issues. It has become quite popular at a very alarming rate. At least it is
alarming to me.
7. Aside from sugar, Stevia the sweetener that I think is
the best to use. Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than sugar. It
supposedly has been used for 1000 years in Paraguay. The FDA cracked down on it
in 1995, apparently at the behest of the sugar industry, and Monsanto (Monsanto
is a giant food company that apparently exists to make money from foods,
regardless of the potential for poison, for anyone who doesn't know that, which
I suspect is many Americans).
Stevia is now widely available in the U.S.
Information on side effects is conflicting and it depends on who sponsored the
research, of course. Research by the aspartame companies shows it is bad; stevia
sellers say it is good. I would not use Truvia, which is a sweetener derivative
of stevia. I found one site that says that stevia makes your body process sugar
a lot quicker. At http://sweetleaf.com there is some information, but it is a
corporate site and doesn't say much. It does say there have been 1000 tests and
it's found to be safe. Japan apparently has banned most sweeteners except
for stevia and sugar.
8. Plastic food packaging seep chemicals into your food, particularly bisphenol A. When you cook in plastic containers, the exposure to the chemical is increased. Bisphenol is a hormone disruptor and can cause breast formation in men and severe hormonal imbalances in women. It may also encourage hormone-related cancers such as prostate cancer and breast cancer. See Plastics chemical bisphenol A found to promote prostate cancer in animal studies.
9. Love your Greek yogurt? During production, companies create a whey product that no one knows how to get rid of. It's toxic and has caused fish kills by the thousands when illegally dumped in streams and lakes.
10. That expensive extra virgin olive oil you're using because it's supposed to be so healthy for you - probably isn't. It probably isn't even olive oil. Many of these oils are cut with cheaper seed and nut oils.
11. That lovely red color of your favorite ketchup, including m husband's favorite, Heinz, comes from crushed bugs. Red- and pink-colored products are often dyed with cochineal extract, also known as the bodies of crushed-up little insects. Cochineal extract is also listed as carminic acid or carmine. The bugs come from Mexico.
12. No cream in coffee creamer. Those non-dairy coffee creamers have lots of sugar, a little kelp carrageenan), and some other stuff.
13. Carrageenan, which is a seaweed, is often used in ice cream.
Thursday Thirteen is played by
lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a
while and this is my 305th time to do a list of 13 on a