We’re Not Trying To Scare You But…This Is Scary: Creepy Facts About Foods You Eat Every Day

February 5, 2013  |  
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Shutterstock

Tease the “tree-huggers” lined up at their co-ops, or tending to their plot of the communal garden every day, but they could be onto something. Alarming processes and protocol aren’t only reserved for fast and processed food. There are dark secrets in almost every corner of the mass-market food industry. Surprised? See what’s going on with your food behind your back.

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Your produce can carry excrement

The FDA has deemed certain defects as harmless and allows them in the produce you buy in major stores. Just a few examples: Cinnamon can contain up to 1 milligram of animal excrement per pound, Berries can carry up to 4 larvae per 100 grams and canned pineapple can pack in 20% molded fruit.

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Shutterstock

Eating healthy is expensive…very expensive

Researchers finally crunched the numbers to find out just how much more it costs to eat healthy, versus unhealthy. The results? Shocking. Two thousand calories of junk food will cost you about $3.52 a day. The same number of calories from nutritious food costs you about $36 a day. The worst part is 81% of that price you’re paying isn’t for the actual food, but for marketing, manufacturing and packaging.

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You’re not entitled to knowing where your salad comes from

When it comes to fresh produce, grocers must inform you where the food came from. But with mixed produce—like prewashed and packaged bags of “mixed greens”—you’re not entitled to any of that information. This poses a real problem considering the CDC named leafy greens one of the top foods to carry food borne illnesses. But if you hear an announcement of an E. Coli outbreak in spinach from a certain country, you have no way of knowing if that spinach made it into your mixed green bag.

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Fruits and veggies aren’t as potent as they used to be

The USDA reports that fruits and vegetables today contain significantly fewer nutrients than they did two generations ago. Researchers examined 43 types of produce and found an average 15% drop in iron and a 20% drop in Vitamin C.

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Shutterstock

Calorie counts aren’t always honest

Out of 42 sit-down and fast-food chains analyzed, researchers found that nearly 20% of them were under-reporting the calorie content of their food by 100 calories or more. That’s alarming considering that regularly eating 100 more calories than necessary could add up to a 10 lb. weight gain in just one year.

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Chicken isn’t the diet choice anymore

You know you should avoid red meat, so instead you buy a mega pack of chicken drumsticks. But due to common farming practices—like cramped environments and poor diet—chicken today contains 266% more fan than it did 40 years ago. Adding insult to injury is the fact that it contains 33% less protein. Aren’t these the opposite things you hoped to get from chicken?

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Shutterstock

Milk may cause cancer

The hormone rBST, fed to cows so they can produce twice as much milk as they did 40 years ago, has been linked to a multitude of different cancers including prostate, breast and colon. Look out for the rBST-free label on dairy products. It’s pricier, but worth it.

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Shutterstock

Peaches can carry 9 different pesticides

Due to its breakable, porous skin, peaches are often drenched in up to as many as 9 pesticides to prevent insect takeover, bruising and blemishing. Apples, celery, strawberries and spinach are also culprits. Wash with both water and soap before consuming these produce.

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Trans fat is hiding

Some sub-par FDA regulations let food processors slap that “0 grams of trans fat” label on their foods, even when that food contains up to .49 grams per serving. That can translate to 5 grams of trans fat after you’ve polished off that bag of chips.

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Calories are easier to come by today

USDA data reveals that the food industry provides 2,700 calories to every person, every day. Forty years ago, the average person only got their hands on about 2,200 calories per day. That’s 52 added pounds of fat per year, per person.

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

Food dye can hype your kid up

Researchers found that commonly used food dyes, such as Yellow #5, Yellow #6 and Red #40 can make kids hyper active. And, of course, kids foods are the most dyed foods in the super market.

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Shutterstock

Poisonous poultry

A study by Consumers Union found 12% of tested chickens from super markets carry Salmonella, and almost 50% carry Campylobacter—one of the top causes of food poisoning in the US.

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Shutterstock

Your meat is being gassed

Most producers of ground beef employ a company that runs meat through pipes, exposing it to ammonia gases, to eradicate bacteria. Not only does evidence suggest this process isn’t 100% effective, companies are not disclosing that your meat is exposed to the poisonous gas.

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Shutterstock

Aluminum carries BPA

You’ve switched to BPA-free water bottles, but did you know aluminum cans are lined with the chemical? BPA, once in your body, has been linked to behavioral problems, reproductive issues and obesity. There’s yet to be a replacement found for aluminum cans so just avoid them when you can.

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  • Britt

    Good job Madame Noire! Discouraging healthy eating habits for the most overweight racial demographic in the U.S. by posting articles like these. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

  • kittyluv00

    Damn…Adam n Eve really screwed us on this one…

  • kittyluv00

    Damn…Adam n Eve really screwed us on this one…

  • quincyjrue

    maaannn…they be tryin to kill us. but i know how to contain poison levels at a low! email me 20 bucs if you wnat to know the answer.

  • StayHating

    1. If almonds aren’t prepared correctly it will kill you
    And 2. If you eat too many apple seeds that will also kill you
    Both contain cyanide

  • lissa92

    That’s why we suppose to pray before we eat cause ain’t nobody checking for aLl this ish we eating to stay alive but still we need to eat healthy.

  • APHRIKA

    I usually don’t comment on articles but I feel compelled to do so with this one. I live in the Bronx with my family and we are Nigerians. Thankfully for us, we never really eat out much so we stick to our African dishes. My mom spends less than $20 cooking meals for the whole week for all 5 of us…not because we don’t have the money but because we shop at our local WEST INDIES/ ASIAN/CARIBBEAN OWNED STORES…these stores are local, and they give you fresh produce and items from outside the US that are much healthier than the stuff we could get from KeyFood, C-Town, BostonMarket and all those other places. We have never gotten any food poisoning from any of the food we buy from them. No one in my family is obese, no one has any health problems that could have been caused by food. We don’t have skin issues or all that other nonsense and we rarely go to the ER or go for surgeries and we’ve been in this country for over 10 years. THE POINT IS…WE LIVE IN AN URBAN AREA AND SAVE SOO MUCH ON FOOD, STILL EAT HEALTHY AND ARE BLESSED WITH THE FACT THAT WE HAVE DELICIOUS NIGERIAN RECIPES TO KEEP US AWAY FROM THE CHINESE RESTAURANTS AND KFC! Do your research my people…do your research, eating healthy is not EXPENSIVE and eating healthy is not difficult! #GETITTOGETHERBLACKPPL #GETITTOGETHER

    • dalia

      Plus our food is very healthy. We use a lot of veggies in our dishes i.e. egusi, vegetable soup, okra soup!

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    Whatever, none of my food has gotten me seriously sick at this point. . .

  • Chelly

    I am a registered dietitian in a clinical care setting. The fact that it is so cheap to get calories from processed food should be exactly why you should avoid it. We eat far too many calories as it is (3500 is average for Americans and it’s even higher for black people). Newer studies, the one cited here is old, look at nutritional value/dollar instead of calorie/dollar. When viewed this way, it is much less expensive to eat healthy. If you can’t afford to eat all whole foods and still reach 2000 calories/day, try consuming mostly whole foods and supplementing the rest of the calories with less nutritious higher calorie food.

    And when the long term costs of eating unhealthfuly are included, via diabetes, heart disease, stroke (all conditions we, black people, are even more prone to) the less money for more calories is catastrophically more expensive and not just monetarily. I see this day in and day out at my job.

    So please, medame niore, don’t drive people away from healthy eating. The small minded political message in the last article I read was strike one, this message is strike two, im about ready to give up on you guys altogether.

  • NeaJ

    I’m so sick of all these studies & articles saying certain things are bad & can kill you but there’s others studies & articles to the contrary. I have an idea: why don’t we all just starve to death!! Cause that’s what it’s coming down to. Ugh!! I need some fried chicken. BRB!!!

  • HEALTHNUT

    Eating healthy is NOT EXPENSIVE- keep eating that crap and your healthcare will be expensive down the line- People please self- educate yourselves and ALWAYS QUESTION THE AUTHORITY- Stay away from genetically modified crops and frankenfood (there was a recent press release on the FDA approving genetically “man made” salmon- they inject the fish with genes from other plants- totally not natural)

    People in this country are blissfully ignorant when it comes to their food supply- if it has an expiration date, then chances are its not GOOD FOR YOU! Stay away from processed foods- buy ORGANIC OR EVEN BETTER- SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY-

    It pains me to see how these huge corporations have infiltrated our communities (McDonald’s, KFC, Subway-the biggest fraud of them all)- and our sickening our people- your diet is a direct connection to your health- period.

    Poor article- two thumbs down.

    • Candacey Doris

      Here’s the thing, most poor people live in the cities. Where local farmers DO NOT EXIST!. Therefore to eat organic they have to trek to their local health food store and shell out the big bucks. You and i may be able to get around that, but it’s not that easy.

      • Chelly

        I agree Candice. This is absolutely a huge issue. But, public health is trying to work on eliminating food deserts. I am optimistic.

      • healthnut

        There are plenty of URBAN FARMERS MARKETS and Local farmers that will deliver- its a matter of people wanting to take the initiative – its much easier for people to walk up the block to get a #5 or #9, hence the reason why these fast food businesses flourish in these neighborhoods- Anything is possible- If those same people that live in poor cities will get their behinds up to get the newest sneakers and jewelry, then they can put that effort in to better eating-

        No excuses.

        • hollyw

          It’s not a matter of people “wanting” to take initiative, rather poor people often faced with the dilemma of pressing concerns, I.e. what can I afford this month? vs What I’m willing to pay for in the future. Most people on welfare (w/o judging why they’re on it) cannot afford for their family to eat organic every month.

        • Candacey Doris

          Tell me where in Queens you see and urban farmer’s market! Maybe in long island, but i guarantee if you’re finding organic in NYC, Detroit, etc then you’re getting something trucked in and paying for the privilege. I’m not going to disagree that people should spend the money on the food rather than the clothes though. Can’t tell you how much i see some fool with new 22’s on his car and his child wearing raggedy clothes or eating happy meals.

    • Ms_Sunshine9898

      I disagree. During one of my worst struggles living on my own for the first time I had $20 for groceries. That’s it. I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 at the local dollar general. I bought several packs of tuna in water for about $1.25 a piece, canned corn, oatmeal, a loaf of bread, and other ridiculously cheap items. Even a six pack of ramen noodles for about 75 cents. All of this under $3 a piece. That $20 got me more to eat for 2 weeks than anything I found perusing the sale items at grocery store. Some of the food wasn’t the healthiest, but it was food when all I had was $20 in my pocket and that gonna have to buy me enough to survive for another 3 weeks until I got paid again. Sorry to bust your bubble but the struggle is real . . .

      • Guest360

        PREACH!!! As a college student living in ATL, the struggle is real. I’ve got $20 in my bank acct right now and about $10 worth of cash in my wallet. All of which has to last me the next 3 weeks. You better believe I’m buying $0.50 ramen noodle packets, oatmeal, cereal, milk, bread and peanut butter and jelly to get me through. Thank god for campus events that give out free food or I’d be starving myself over the weekends lol. It’s all well and good to say “go to your local farmer’s market” but when you’re living in the city and can’t find one of those, what do you do? It’s gotten to the point that even regular grocery stores cost an arm and a leg and it’s money I just don’t have right now. By all means. Point me to the nearest and cheapest farmer’s market (where I don’t have to take MARTA to get to it cause that costs money too lol) and I’ll gladly go. But if not, I’d suggest you keep your “no excuses” B.S to yourself. Just sayin’……

        • healthyhappy

          Sounds like you have nothing but lame excuses. You CAN catch the bus to Dekalb Farmers Market (google it). Cheap quality produce, you can even buy spices for very little. When I lived in Atlanta without a car. I did it, because it’s cheaper than being sick. I didn’t have a lot of money either, plus I was supporting a child I worked full time and I was a student. I was not about to feed him or myself that garbage you put in your body. You sound really lazy. What’s your excuse going to be when you start having health problems or worse cancer?

          • York

            In general, I find that people will find any excuse to eat junk! I know folks in poorer neighborhoods that have built their own small gardens, or at least buy canned fruit. There really is little excuse when it comes to your health.

          • Ms_Sunshine9898

            Instead of giving her H#ll for asking what do you do, the least you could do is point her in the right direction without the self-righteousness. . .

          • Guest360

            With what money dear? Catching the bus costs money, both going there and coming back. I mean if you’re willing to come out to Fulton and drive me to Dekalb for free and drop me back off at my dorms, I’d very well appreciate it. But if not, shove your opinions and self-righteous indignation. People do the best with what they have and until you’re in their position, you don’t have the right to judge.

            • healthyhappy

              Call it whatever you’d like. I stand by that statement. My intent was not to be self-righteous, You only took it that way because you are still lazy and full of LAME excuses. I have been in your position dear. You seem a little angry, perhaps it’s your crappy diet. Good luck to you!

          • notagoodtime

            how about you shut up and let her eat whatever the heck she wants to eat ?