nutrition facts

OK, so you’re a healthy person and you read every label of every food product before you buy it. You care about the environment, you care about animals and basically, you know exactly what you put into your mouth and what effect it has on your body and the world around you. Or do you?

Here are 9 disturbing facts that food labels do not reveal and will probably make you rethink some of the choices you are making when it comes to your eating habits.

1. Many foods such as breakfast cereals (yes, even the so-called “healthy” ones!) contain a chemical substance called BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), which is believed to cause cancer and liver damage. If this doesn’t scare you, let’s put things in perspective. BHT is also used for industrial purposes such as in the manufacturing of rubber products and as an ingredient in jet fuel. The Material Data Safety Sheet (MDSS) also recommends that the substance should be kept away from the environment. Now just imagine what it might do to your body!

2. You were probably adding some milk to those cereals, right? You might want to rethink that as well. In a single bowl, you might find milk from hundreds of different cows. These cows have been injected with hormones and fed with a manufactured blend of genetically modified grains and other artificial inventions. Did you ever wonder why all milk of the same type taste the same? Before packaging it has been standardized, pasteurized and homogenized beyond recognition. These days, there is no way of knowing by taste where the cows come from and what they have been eating.

3. Are you a dedicated follower of the organic food movement? Then you better be careful, because you are at greater risk of contracting deadly bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli. Many organic farmers only use natural animal manure as a fertilizer and are reluctant to apply any human food processing methods such as pasteurization. This enables foodborne bacteria to spread relatively freely.

4. Before your next meal or drink, beware of the color of the product you are about to consume. If it’s red or pink, it may have received its color from crushed insects. The South- and Central American cochineal insect feeds off the red flowers of the prickly pear cactus, which gives them a highly concentrated red color. The insects are basically harvested, killed and dried before being used in a wide range of edible products.

5. Speaking of colorants, have you ever thought about the color of salmon? You should, because in fact, only wild salmon has a naturally pink color that comes from eating krill. Farm-raised fish have to settle for consuming color-filled pellets to get that beautiful salmon pink hue.

6. It is not only the complicated, unpronounceable ingredients that can be bad for your health. For example, many meat products contain Sodium Nitrate which can actually cause fatal conditions such as cancer, brain tumors and leukemia. So when you spot this ingredient, keep in mind that it involves more than just some extra salt.

7. Do you enjoy a beautiful, fresh peach as a healthy snack once in a while? Then you should keep in mind that the more healthy and fresh it looks, the more chemicals it may contain. Peaches are difficult fruits to grow, store and transport as they are prone to bruising, damaging and getting attacked by insects. Therefore, peaches bought in conventional supermarkets may be layered with up to nine different pesticides.

8. Even though it is now illegal to use growth hormones when breeding chickens, they are not all natural. About six weeks is a common life period for broilers as they are selectively bred for an extremely speedy growth. Organic or free range chickens are normally between 12 to 16 weeks old at the slaughter time.

9. Fluoride may lower your intelligence. Studies have indicated that this substance, which can be found in toothpaste as well as tap water, can lower the IQ in humans – especially for children and young people with developing brains. For decades, governments around the world have recommended cities to add fluoride in their tap water for increased health because of the positive effects it has on your teeth. However, the substance travels through the gums of the mouth and reaches the brain where it can cause quite some damage.