The Novice Foodie

Just eating real foods, lifting heavy things and learning about it along the way


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REBLOG: PepsiCo removes controversial ingredient from Gatorade

It seems Pepsi Co is taking a step in the right direction. After hearing one teenage consumer’s concerns about brominated vegetable oil in Gatorade, the company has announced that it will remove the ingredient from their product. In a previous post, I mentioned that many ingredients allowed by law for use in food in the US are banned by other countries. This is one of them.

Pepsi Co will instead use sucrose acetate isobutyrate, “an emulsifier that is “generally recognized as safe” as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration.” A quick google search for the term suggests this ingredient is used in lacquers and printing ink and in a study was found to cause liver problems in dogs.

It would appear that the company just switched out one bad ingredient for another. But the good point here is that action was taken in response to consumer concern. In the article, the promoters of this effort have been trying to get the substance out of many products for some time now, and have been turned down by the FDA due to “budgetary constraints.” Going directly to the company seems to offer the best shot at success.

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REBLOG: Artificial Intelligence

…If you eat a Nutri-Grain strawberry cereal bar in the United States, it will contain Red 40, Yellow 6 and Blue 1. But that same bar in the UK contains only the natural colorings beetroot red, annatto and paprika extract.

This is the third piece I’ve read today in my daily perusal that has brought up the dangers of artificial ingredients in foods. It is a pretty good round-up of some reasons why artificial flavorings are bad.

We hear a lot about how “X ingredient is derived from coal tar,” or how “red bugs are in our Frappuccinos,” and we read them and publish them for the shock factor. That part sticks with you. But the next time I’m reading a food label at the grocery store, I don’t usually remember what said scary ingredient’s alias name is. Naturally, I know to avoid ingredients I can’t pronounce. And the less the better. But Red 40, soy lecithin, potassium phosphate, and monocalcium phosphate are all unfamiliar words. But what are they really, and are they truly necessary to avoid?  A dictionary-like resource that is more credible than Google but more accessible than a textbook would be helpful. One that offers details like how partially hydrogenated oils are code for trans fats.  And maybe that exists, but I don’t think many people know about it, utilize it, or can find it in a single, comprehensive place.

Which brings me back to the quote from the first article–why have other countries figured out how to make comparable products without all the fake stuff and we haven’t? Just the other day I went to a World Market store and noticed a bunch of familiar-looking candies with slightly different packaging and wondered if their ingredients were slightly different, too, as the aforementioned blog post seems to suggest. If I learned anything from dabbling with the Paleo diet, it’s that there is an indefinitely healthier substitute for just about anything. (more on that later). I think the most important thing we can do is educate ourselves about these artificial ingredients and what dangers they posses, and realize that there are other options that can be used to create comparable end products anyways. Maybe you’ll have to dish out a little extra cash, but really, what’s more important than your health?

cost of health

You’ll probably end up spending more on pills and medical bills that if you had just eaten healthier in the first place!