What should keep you up at night about the food you consume?

Sep 06, 2012 Published under Food Industry, Health

A meta study by the Stanford School of Medicine recently found that eating organic food does not provide health benefits over consuming non-organic foods. It benefits the environment and arguably provides taste benefits, but may not impact the overall health of the consumer.

That said, buying and eating organic foods matters more on certain foods than others. Peaches, for example, tend to absorb more pesticides than most other fruits or vegetables.

More importantly, standards vary greatly by country. US produce is far less exposed to pesticides and harmful chemicals than food in China, which suffers from extreme disregard for health regulations relative to food growing and processing. Indeed, Chinese-made foods have caused enormous damage to people over the last decade, from the baby formula epidemic that caused countless deaths, to chronic substitution of claimed raw materials with cheaper, harmful substances.

What most troubles me about lax Chinese food standards is that many unethical manufacturers and importers go out of their way to hide their Chinese origin so many consumers are unaware that what they are feeding their children comes from China. I spotted some little candy bags a few months ago that were made in China but it was nearly impossible to find the ‘Made in China’ statement. Certainly the parents who were giving these out at their kid’s party had assumed the product was made in the US.

Apple juice companies have recently started agglomerating dozens of countries as the possible source of their juice, hiding China within lists that start with more marketable countries, like Argentina, even though most of their juice comes from China. And ‘Mrs Mays’ – a brand that was recently purchased by Dole – prints its Made in China notice in letters so tiny you’d need a magnifying glass to find it – on the lower back edge of their packages.

One area that truly should alarm us all is the abuse of farm animals and the use of antibiotics even on healthy chickens and cattle, to fatten them up and to prevent diseases given the dire conditions in which these animals are held (including tiny quarters where they are immobilized). It is beyond inhumane and harmful to our short- and long-term health. So organic meat may very well make sense.

We live in a day and age where our children, and even we, do not know what food looks like in nature. For decades, manufacturers have over-processed ingredients beyond recognition and added fillers that do not exist in nature. Our bodies are asking us, above all, that we go back to real food. Or as we say and make at KIND, to ingredients you can see and pronounce!

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