What’s in Packaged Food?

Organic food Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
Americans’ collective waist has been inching up every year and blood pressure increased thanks in part to our sedentary lifestyles and to the amount of sugar and salt in all food. For convenience and to save time, we often eat fast food and restaurant rich foods and walk much less than our slender European counterparts. Portion size is also much larger than we need.
Consumers are busy, too trustworthy, and not very fond of reading packaging labels; food producers count on that. According to nutritionists and medical professionals cited by Michelle Crouch, manufacturers hide ingredients they should list on the packaging under the label of “natural flavoring” in order to deceive consumers. And the deception is massive. (Michelle Crouch, “Fifty Things Food Manufacturers Wont’ Tell You”)
How do you hide sugar? By giving it different names such as “high fructose corn syrup, cane crystals, dextrose, evaporated can juice, agave nectar, and fruit juice concentrate.” In doing so, the amount of sugar does not appear as the number one ingredient on the list. Walter Willett, M.D., said that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) might eventually require food labeling to show all types of sugar contained and print them on the package as “added sugars.”

Items listed such as “carmine” or cochineal extract” are actually bug powder. FDA considers it safe, unless consumers are part of a small group of people who are allergic. Instead of bug powder, manufacturers could use petroleum-based chemicals such as Red No. 40 or No. 3 which have been proven by some studies to cause hyperactivity in children and cancer in animals. Most people would probably choose bug powder over such chemicals if they had a choice.

Among unlabeled ingredients are pesticides which are generally present in most foods. Packaging, such as particles of cardboard and chemicals that leech from the printed cardboard are also present; BPA, an industrial chemical linked to cancer, also leeches in the liquid food stored in such containers, including water stored in heated environments above certain degrees Fahrenheit.
According to Harvard Medical School, microwave fast cooking tends to preserve vitamins much better than boiling vegetables in water. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/microwave-cooking-and-nutrition
Do molecules leech into food from any packaging or plastic storage containers when you heat or cook food in the microwave? Some doctors believe so. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/07/22/microwave-plastic.aspx
I often wondered if the bottled water stored in the desert heat in the Middle East war zone contributed to the rise in military men and women cancer rates or if it was just a coincidence. Someone should definitely do an extensive study of their records and their whereabouts.
Every time I went to the hospital in the chemo ward, I asked everyone present what type of cancer they had. The common denominator was a thoracic area type of cancer, most people were very young, and the trace marker revealed that the cancer was generally environmental and not genetic. One twenty-something man had a bizarre and very rare appendix cancer.

If you think you are eating high fiber foods, you will be surprised to learn that they contain “fake” fiber, not naturally occurring fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Such “fake” fibers may be listed as “chicory root, maltodextrin, and polydextrose.”

A friend of mine, who was a big eater of peanut butter, was so disgusted when he found out what was in his beloved peanut butter that he stopped buying it commercially and started making his own from peanuts he cleaned and pressed himself. Insect parts are present during the manufacturing process and, according to nutritionists, “peanut butter can have up to 30 insect parts per 100 grams.”

Nanoparticles are not required to be listed on packaging but manufacturers use them to increase shelf life of food. They are so small that they pass through cell walls. Nobody really knows how nanoparticles affect our bodies.

Chicken which is now shipped to China to be rendered and packaged, and then shipped back to the U.S., is not as safe as people think. A 2012 study found what kind of drugs the chicken ingested before they were slaughtered: antibiotics residue banned in poultry, caffeine, acetaminophen (Tylenol), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and fluoxetine (active ingredient in Prozac), just to name a few.

According to experts, ninety percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is coming from other countries and we have no idea in what conditions it was farmed and packaged before it was shipped to our grocery stores. Videos from China have shown packing houses injecting fish and shrimp with silicone and/or contaminated water to make them look plumper and fresher. The FDA inspects “less than 2 percent of our seafood imports.” The EU, by contrast, inspects 20-50 percent of their imports.

Robert J. Davis recommended farmed salmon from a good farm because it has “more heart-healthy omega-3s than wild salmon.” But how do we know if the farm the salmon was raised on is a “good” farm?

Packaged sliced cheese, so popular with hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches crowd, are mostly not cheese, they are made of “milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate.” They are thus called “pasteurized prepared cheese products.”
If ice cream does not have at least 10 percent milk fat, it must be called “frozen dairy dessert.” Greek yogurt that is labeled “whey protein concentrate” or “milk protein concentrate” on the ingredients list is not “strained naturally to make it thick, things have been added to thicken it.”

Spices were added for centuries to food in order to disguise the rotting smell. Salt has been used for centuries to preserve meat. In processed foods, salt is the “miracle ingredient” because it preserves, helps exacerbate the sweet taste, and hides bad flavors coming from the manufacturing industrial line. Flour, sugar, and oils are mixed in large vats to which salt, flavoring, coloring, and other “fairy dust” is added to make the products look and taste close to something we would cook at home. They add sun-dried tomatoes, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and extra fiber in order to claim that the finite product is good for you and loaded with vitamins. Cereal’s nutrition is destroyed during manufacturing so vitamins and minerals must be added artificially.

Do manufacturers go overboard with their ingredients? The FDA lets them be their own safety testers and there are no mandatory guidelines. Melanie Warner said that “they don’t even have to tell the FDA what new additives they are using.”

Additionally, FDA inspectors often have a vested interest in companies that sell synthetic products to food manufacturers. Manufacturers self-police and FDA steps in only if customers complain.

If you like sourdough bread, you will be surprised to find out that “the bacteria came from rodent feces,” said Rob Dunn, biologist at NC State University.

According to Libby O’Connell, strange claims from Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, who invented graham crackers to reduce libido, blamed meat, white bread, and alcohol on “excessive sexual desire.” Very bland at first, graham crackers were turned into the sweet treat after this death.
Even though we complain about the price of food we buy in grocery stores, Americans spend the lowest amount of their income on food, about 5.6 percent of their disposable income. If we add restaurant meals we consume, we tend to spend about 15 percent of our disposable income when compared to other developed nations. Subsistence nations spend a lot of their income and their time to buy/find and prepare food.

If you are wondering about pasta, Kantha Shelke believes that whole wheat pasta has more starch than regular pasta because of the “grounding process.” Better yet, search for a pasta with a low glycemic index, especially if consumers are borderline diabetic.
If you cook with water from your own faucet, remember that there are additives in water as well, some bleach-smelling agent, and the infamous fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
In several countries in the world, excessive fluoride in the water is naturally occurring and people suffer from skeletal fluorosis, a bone disease that damages bones and joints, increasing the risk of fractures. Nausea, vomiting, and stomach lining ruptures can also occur. The thyroid gland can also be affected resulting in hyperparathyroidism and depletion of calcium.
“According to UNICEF, fluorosis is endemic in at least 25 countries. The number of people suffering from skeletal fluorosis globally is thought to be in the tens of millions. WHO estimates that 2.7 million people in China have the crippling form of the disease.” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154164.php
Chemicals are sprayed from airplanes on a daily basis now, part of the infamous geoengineering program, white trails visible in the sky for hours that never dissipate but spread out into a milky blanket; the media denies their existence but videos have surfaced of government officials discussing such aerial spraying all over the world. The chemicals sprayed are meant to mitigate the manufactured global warming. These chemical particles, invisible to the naked eye, eventually land on our soil, in our water, on trees, on grass, on our bodies, and in our lungs. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+CIA+Brennan+talks+about+chemtrails&view=detail&mid=51C4B7337867D35FBAE651C4B7337867D35FBAE6&FORM=VIRE

Organic food is not necessarily better and healthier in light of e-coli contamination from animal fertilizer; organic, even what is sold at Walmart, is very expensive for most people who live on a tight budget.
Fresh fruits and vegetables in season are the best and, if you are not sure what you eat from the store or from a restaurant, cook more at home and wash fresh produce thoroughly.

2 thoughts on “What’s in Packaged Food?

  1. Remember the short-lived late 80s TV show “Max Headroom”? Max did a commercial for a packaged hamburger and said something like: when you remove the plastic wrap, it loses half of its vitamins and minerals.

    • Paul, I remember the show, “Max Headroom,” but I do not remember the commercial. I was too busy with small children and a Ph.D. program to watch TV unless it was Saturday morning cartoons with my girls.

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