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New Developments in the War on Food

December 19, 2013

This is not a post about GMOs. I’m starting to sound like a one-note Johnny on the matter. But there is something else I would like to talk about regarding the War on Food.

However, I would be remiss not to mention the news that Whole Foods announced they will be removing Chobani yogurt from its shelves based on its use of GMOs. Except there are no GMOs in Chobani. Whole Foods is rejecting the brand because the cows that make the milk which is used in Chobani are fed a diet that includes GMO grains.

Yikes. I have no love for the current GMO crops available on the market today, but Whole Foods’ decision seems arbitrary at best. Really, it feels like a spin job to explain to consumers why the store is jettisoning a widely popular product from its shelves to make room for more expensive/profitable products.

Mr. Dave will likely want to talk more about how GMOs as a technology aren’t inherently evil, and he does have a point. But any reduction in acres of GM corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beet and alfalfa planted is surely a good thing.

That’s all old news. Earlier this week I was reminded of a troublesome food additive. So, I thought, I would share an investigative report on the matter with you.

“War on Food,” you say?

Food just seems to be getting worse and worse as food manufacturers think of sneakier and sneakier ways of increasing corporate profits. Healthy fats were replaced with partially hydrogenated oils. rBST was injected into cows to increase production. Antibiotics were fed to livestock to speed their growth. High fructose corn syrup replaced more expensive cane sugar. Pink slime was mixed into ground beef. The flavor of all natural orange juice is enhanced in a laboratory. Even ice cream brands that once prided themselves on using kitchen cabinet ingredients now sell something that can’t be called ice cream.

Well, I have a new word for you today. It’s a long one. Dimethylpolysiloxane.

This issue came to me via The Food Babe. She takes a little bit more of an alarmist approach than I might, by declaring that people are eating Silly Putty. Personally, I’m not so concerned with “toxins” as I consume them all the time. They’re delicious.

So, what’s my complaint with the widespread use of this anti-foaming agent? Well, it touches on two significant issues I have with the current war on food.

1) It’s completely unnecessary
Fryer oil is spiked with dimethylpolysiloxane to help prevent it from boiling over. But The Food Babe points out that while McDonald’s uses this in America, they are able to do without it in the United Kingdom. Very much like how Kraft can make a version of their Mac & Cheese without synthetic dyes in Europe, but has resisted walking away from FDC Yellow #5 in the U.S. The difference is that foreign governments don’t seem to let for-profit enterprises interfere with their food policy.

2) It’s hiding in plain sight
Soda fountains aren’t a bastion of healthful choices. But while you are probably aware that you’re about to ingest mass quantities of High Fructose Corn Syrup and maybe a little caramel coloring, you may be surprised to learn that fountain soda also contains Dimethylsiloxane. But go and try to find an ingredient label on a soda machine. The Food Babe was able to come up two different ingredients lists for Diet Coke, and in addition to the anti foaming agent, she also found Sodium Saccharin. Yikes. I didn’t think that was even still on the market.

There’s bad stuff in almost everything. Danger lurks around every corner. But you can’t live your life in fear. You can’t live in a bubble. And nobody lives forever.

Still, I’d like to think that the US Government has our backs on matters of food integrity. Mostly because it seems like companies are just getting away with too damn much. Luckily, it seems like consumers are starting to wake up to the world of food that now surrounds them, and we are not amused.

 

One Comment leave one →
  1. -R. permalink
    December 19, 2013 11:29 am

    Not to mention the poop (literally: feces) found in/at soda fountains:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/01/08/soda.fountain.bacteria/

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