The FDA has decided that partially hydrogenated oil and major source of the Trans fats that are used in foods is no longer recognized as safe.
Hydrogenated oil is made by adding hydrogen to liquids to make solid fats like margarines and shortenings that are used in a lot of snack foods. It keeps costs down, it increase shelf lives and it’s insanely bad for you!
A study from the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) states that it contributes to 10-20,000 heart attacks and 3-7,000 deaths from coronary heart disease every year. For every 2 percent of your daily calories that comes from Trans fats, your risk of coronary heart disease increases by a whopping 23%! So it’s probably a good move to eliminate them, but it also feels like a strangely specific move. Just think about it. There are a lot of things that are less “food-like” going into our food every day and the FDA doesn’t seem to be jumping into action on them. Here are some of the most disgusting things that are in your food if you’re an American. If you are not an American, they’re just sweet reasons to feel superior.
Yellow No. 5
This dye is also known as tartrazine which is also known as coldstart. Sounds yummy right? This dye Is super flammable and used in medicated lice shampoos and it’s also used to color cheeses and candies. Until recently, Kraft used it in the U.S. version of their mac and cheese until a petition signed by 350,000 people prompted them to announce that they are removing it. But only from the products that are marketed to kids.
Have you ever squeezed a chicken nugget? If so, have you found it pleasantly squishy yet firm? That is because of the breast implant filler that’s in them known as dimethulpolysiloxane. This is also found in in silly putty which is a toy based on silicone polymers. Yeah, talk about fun picking up the comics and newspaper with your chicken finger.
This is used in food colorings, candies, and sodas. It’s a thickener in beers and salad dressings and also in antifreeze and brake fluids. Yikes! So far, contested studies on both sides can’t seem to figure out whether it’s safe, though it seems to be. It also seems to be gross!
Have you ever smelled a burnt burger and it smelled clean? As in, cleaning-product clean? That would be the ammonia gas. In a lot of restaurants, beef patties are made by some really nasty meats, but a company called Beef Product Inc. has patented a process where they take the meat leave-ins and they run them through a tube filled with ammonia gas to kill all of the critters in it. It used to be used in all of McDonald’s beef until a public outcry; it’s still used in a lot of school lunch programs.
If you haven’t had your grossed-out factor filled out yet, there is Bisphenol A (BPA) plastic. Bisphenol A isn’t exactly used in food; it’s a chemical that is used to hardened plastic. It’s been linked by certain studies to cancer, heart problems, and brain behavioral problems in children which was kind of a bummer since it was used in baby bottles and water bottles and thermoses. Now while a lot of companies are removing this from their products, it’s still used in a lot cans and packaging.
So there you have it. The elimination of partially hydrogenated oils is a great step, but one can also say, “Hey, at least the vegetable oil starts as a food product.” One cannot imaging there is much nutritional value in ammonia.