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Archive for July, 2013

The familiarity of your Grocery Store Landscape can make you think it’s a reasonable representation of “food”… but if you live in the USA, that’s not necessarily the case.

Would you like to globalize your perspective on “normal food”? Let’s take a look at 8 foods that are common here, but are banned in other countries:

1) Artificial Food Dye (aka “post-Froot-Loop milk”: Found all over the place (cake mixes, sports drinks, cheese, candy, packaged mac & cheese), dyes are linked to brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children. {Banned in Norway, Finland, Austria, France, and the U.K.}

2) Olestra (aka. Olean, aka. “fat substitute that can cause anal leakage”!): Found in fat-free versions of potato chips & french fries, Olestra prevents your body from absorbing nutrients and, in excess, can cause a bathroom-bound water slide. {Banned in the U.K. and Canada.}

3) Brominated vegetable oil: Found in brightly-colored beverages (because it causes food dye to stay dispersed in liquid), bromine is a flame retardant linked to organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss. {Banned in >100 countries.}

4) Potassium bromate (aka. bromated flour): Found in bread products, like wraps, rolls, bread crumbs, bagel chips, flat breads, bromated flour decreases baking time and reduces costs, but may cause kidney damage, cancer, and nervous system damage. {Banned in Europe, Canada, and China.}

5) Azodicarbonamide (aka. chemical used to bleach flour and plastic): Found in breads, frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, and packaged baked goods, azodicarbonamide can induce asthma. {Banned in Australia, the U.K., and most European countries.}

6) BHA & BHT: Found in cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat & dehydrated potatoes, these preservatives are known to cause cancer in rats. {Banned in the U.K., Japan, and many other European countries.}

7) Synthetic growth hormones, rBGH & rBST (aka. growth hormones injected into cows so their bodies think they’re pregnant and will produce milk): Found in dairy products, rBGH & rBST potentially cause infertility, weakened muscle growth, and a whole array of cancers. {Banned in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the EU.}

8) Arsenic (aka. poison!): Found in industrial poultry (added to chicken feed to make meat appear pinker and fresher), arsenic is linked to… death if you ingest enough. Plus, think about the health of the chicken that you’re eating… {Banned in the EU.}

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries

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Last night at Kids’ Night, I had the pleasure of edutaining (educating & entertaining) a constant stream of bright-eyed, curious, enthusiastic and well-mannered kids!

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My table at 16 West Beverly, home of Virtually Sisters, was eventually covered with dirt because of the kids who wanted to hold a worm… Using a lesson thought up by Pat, the creator of this summer’s nutrition education series at the Boys & Girls Club, I showed the kids a picture of the components of a cheeseburger and we worked backwards to the source of the ingredients. Guess what…{Spoiler alert}… it’s worms! 

After the kids learned that there’d be no food without worms, I figured they’d want to thank some. (One little girl even took 2 of them home to put in her garden!) So before I left for the event, I plucked a few willing participants out of my worm compost bin. (At Staunton’s newest shop, Harmony Moon on New Street, Sally had a demonstration with live bees, another insect that we rely on to pollinate our food.)

The kids also played a game of Tic Tac Toe, in which they had to guess a fruit or veggie by touch only (quite a challenge!) All the kids, and even many of the parents had a great time testing out their produce-sensing abilities.

I was very impressed by the kids. Staunton has some good eaters who, very surprisingly, love broccoli!

 

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