DailyDirt: What's That In Your Food?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Processed foods are everywhere. They're quick and easy, as well as mighty tasty because they're designed to hit the perfect combination of salt, sugar and fat our bodies crave. Unfortunately, few things are actually perfect if you look closely enough. Common food packaging frequently lists ingredients that sound like a nightmare chemistry exam you haven't studied for, and preservatives aren't all that appetizing even if you can't taste them. Here are a few links on food additives that you may or may not think are scary. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.

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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), Aug 1st, 2014 @ 5:37pm

    First link is high on the bogosity factor...

    The FIRST one of "questionable" differences was

    1: Corn syrup, while the UK version just had more sugar. Both are equally damaging.

    2: Corn starch, in red, was also in the UK version

    3: The colorant, in red, was probably just the unspecified "color" in the UK version

    4: The fats were just all classed as "fatty acids" in the UK version.

    5: The artifical flavor, in red, was probbaly just the uspecified flavor in the UK version.

     

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      Case, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 5:10am

      Re: First link is high on the bogosity factor...

      And Partially hydrogenated oils == Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids

      So really, what #2 said.
      Did TD have some bioconservative revival and we're in for more "CHEMICALS!!!!!111111" vs. "natural sources" (which of course do not have any chemicals inside them) BS in the future?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 5:33am

        Re: Re: First link is high on the bogosity factor...

        So what you're saying is that it's all good, chill dude.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 6:50am

      Re: First link is high on the bogosity factor...

      There was also a rant asking how people could allow BHT in food, below an image that explicitly said it was in the food's packaging. Does it leach from the packaging into the food? That's important to know but the page completely overlooked it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 5:57pm

    Really? Linking to Foodbabe? The same woman who kicked off the ridiculous (and non-scientific) Subway bread scare, based entirely off misunderstanding the difference between compounds that are safe to eat and not safe to breathe? Water: Safe to drink, unsafe to breathe. Should we ban water? Techdirt is usually much better than this.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 12:39pm

      Re:

      I don't know much about Foodbabe's history (never heard of the site before) -- but the article linked to from here is truly, horrifyingly awful in its incompetence and misleading or false statements.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 7:55pm

    The additives are not there for your benefit.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      It depends on the additives. Some are actually there for a health benefit (usually, food safety). Most are there for other reasons, though, usually aesthetic.

       

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      Case, Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 4:54am

      Re:

      Well, if you prefer additives live Botulism or E. Coli, go ahead...

      And while the "rational" benefit of making something taste and look better than it naturally would is debatable, it's neither harmful nor a human invention -- every plant does it to attract seed carriers.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 11:52am

        Re: Re:

        There are many additives, the reasons for their inclusion varies. Some are for looks, some for shelf life, and others simply to keep costs down. Your either/or claim that additives are required or else suffer the ill affects of bacterium is incorrect.

        There are banned additives, but you claim they are not harmful. Go figure.

         

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          Case, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 3:14am

          Re: Re: Re:


          Your either/or claim that additives are required or else suffer the ill affects of bacterium is incorrect.

          Where I say you automatically get EHEC from eating preservative-free food? It's like other diseases, plenty of people got lucky and did not get Polio before vaccines became available -- but today, we're able to improve everybody's chances by quite a margin.



          There are banned additives, but you claim they are not harmful.

          Again, [citation needed]

          FYI, the original claim was "The additives are not there for your benefit", which should tell anybody who can read two things: First, we're talking about additives which are in food and not those which are banned. Second, we're discussing the typical biocon conspiracy that they just put bad stuff in our foods to twirl their mustaches and laugh manically.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 4:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To which you replied:

            "Well, if you prefer additives live Botulism or E. Coli, go ahead..."

            The either/or is implied.


            Maybe you were addressing a limited set of food additives. that was not clear. Then your latest post further limits the discussion to tinfoil hat mode.

            The point remains, those additives are not there for your benefit. They are there to increase profits - nothing else.

             

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              Case, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:01am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The either/or is implied.
              What is implied is a certain basic capability of the reader. Such as understanding that a paragraph talking about food-borne disease means we're talking about one kind of ingredients, "making something taste and look better" in another paragraph means it's about another category.

              They are there to increase profits - nothing else.
              Most additives are far more expensive per kilo than the base product. If the evil corps could sell the same stuff without those additives, they'd make a larger profit.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yes, everyone is clairvoyant and easily discerns your meaning no matter how convoluted or misconstrued, if they do not - well then it is certainly their fault and they lack a remedial level of reading comprehension.

                Additives like high fructose corn syrup are less expensive than real sugar. So yeah, you must be right - they are there to give you free stuff that has been throughly tested to ensure it does no harm to lifeforms as we know them.

                Eat up, it's all good!

                 

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                  Case, Aug 5th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


                  Additives like high fructose corn syrup are less expensive than real sugar.

                  People want (quite literally) dirt cheap food, people get what they want. Everybody who does not want it doesn't buy it. Sounds like a win-win to me

                   

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              John Fenderson (profile), Aug 4th, 2014 @ 10:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "They are there to increase profits - nothing else."

              This is true for every aspect of everything that is sold, therefore meaningless. For example: adding something to your food product that ensures it won't sicken or kill people is done to increase profits (people won't buy it if it kills them). But the path to increased profits is to benefit people. So it's put there to benefit people.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2014 @ 5:25pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Yes. But everything has meaning.

                The path to increased profits does not care about your wellbeing and tort reform is a corporate goal.

                 

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 8:42pm

    Large food companies regularly re-formulate their products to tailor them to local markets

    I HATE, HATE this practice. I'm from the poor part of Europe, and the so-called 'western' companies sell their hight priced products with crappy, below standard, and just really cheap ingredients, while claiming you are buying the same product you see in the UK, or Germany, or France. I consider this a criminal scam, and a really unfair unethical practice, they take our money and then treat us as nothing but animals who will eat all the things they can't sell in their precious regulated western markets. Scum, all of them.

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 1st, 2014 @ 10:31pm

    " And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

    These reports and statistics scream the word HELP!"

    I know, 41%? That's failing? How do we get that closer to 100%?

    USA! USA! USA!

     

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    Groaker (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    I love it when you talk dirty.

    Really, everyone is allowed a foul up a year, and this piece is TechDirt's.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 7:48am

    And the water here is chock full of dihydrogen monoxide! !!!!!

    HIDE YOUR CHILDREN!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 7:55am

    Yes because feeding pink slime to our children is good , soon they'll be recycling human cadavers "Jim's Morgue & Restaurant"

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 11:48am

      Re:

      Soylent Green

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 12:14pm

      Re:

      Must have missed the scientific study where LFTB was shown to be harmful to health. Do you have a link to one?

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re:

        I must have missed where the AC claimed it was harmful to health. He was just saying it's not good. It would be 100% possible to use human remains as a food ingredient without being harmful to your health, but it wouldn't be a good thing anyway.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 1:19pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I guess it depends on what you consider "good". Human remains probably have nutritional value and could likely be used as a healthy source of protein.

          On the other hand it is incredibly gross and there would be ethical concerns. But a lot of people would argue that eating animal meat is incredibly gross and has ethical concerns. LFTB or "pink slime" is just kinda gross to think about. Much like sucking the heads when people eat crawfish. But I don't see how it is any worse than eating "pure" ground up animal flesh. Especially since it is just processed animal flesh itself.

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 6:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I guess it depends on what you consider "good"."

            Obviously. And lots of people don't consider it "good" at all, as evidenced by all the places where it's use is prohibited.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 11:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Many people consider monkey brains to be good eatin'.

            That spongiform encephalopathy makes it double plus good.

             

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    Sheogorath (profile), Aug 2nd, 2014 @ 12:14pm

    Given the fact that organic eggs contain the cancer causing chemicals formaldehyde and benzene which are more commonly found in cigarettes and petrol, I'm not gonna worry too much. Dihydrogen monoxide, on the other hand...

     

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    RonKaminsky (profile), Aug 5th, 2014 @ 9:19am

    A new low for Techdirt

    Boy, this post is terrible. Yes, I know it's "filler", but still...

    (mock mode)

    > but there's an FDA-approved extract from a cyano­bacteria that's blue

    Cyanide bacteria? No way I'm going near that blue stuff!

    (end mock mode)

     

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