These days, it actually takes some effort to find food at the grocery store that contains fewer than five ingredients. Processed foods contain so many ingredients that it might be better to just avoid them altogether. But even when you think you're getting "whole foods," they may actually contain hidden ingredients. When did food get so complicated? Here are a few things that will make you think twice before you decide to eat something.
- Potentially harmful ingredients that have been banned in other countries around the world are still legal in the U.S. What's worse is that many food companies have already reformulated their products to be safer for the foreign market, but they continue to sell Americans the "original" versions. [url]
- Olive oil, milk, honey, and saffron are the most commonly adulterated foods. The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has created a database of more than a thousand cases of food adulteration from 1980-2010, noting what the foods were mixed with, and providing links to press reports and scientific papers on each case. [url]
- Some people choose to eat organic food because they think it's more nutritious, but studies seem to suggest that the health benefits are minimal. Buy organic if you have deep pockets, want to avoid ingesting small amounts of pesticides, and want to support more environmentally friendly agriculture, but don't be fooled into thinking that it's necessarily more nutritious. [url]
If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post