Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, and one of the country’s founding fathers, believed that we deserve equality.
“We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said Jefferson, which is also the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence from 1776.
But there’s one thing in particular which is not created equally today, and that is the U.S. food supply. We may be born equal, however, the combination of major U.S. corporations and government don’t appear to have the best interest of their citizens in mind, when it comes to our healthy foods.
By consuming certain foods, we aren’t equal to those from other countries. In Europe and Australia, for example, certain foods are banned simply because of what is in them.
Let’s take a look at five “healthy” foods that you can find in supermarkets in the U.S., but are banned in other places worldwide.
1. Genetically Engineered Papaya
In the European Union, you won’t find Hawaiian papayas, since they are usually genetically modified to be ringspot virus-resistant. The dangers of GMO foods on humans are not clear-cut, but when tested on animals, the results are tragic.
When exposed to GMOs such as corn or soy, rats have been shown to suffer massive tumors. If we’re eating banned foods like this one, can we really call them healthy foods at all?
2. Farm-Raised Salmon
Farmed-raised salmon are banned in Australia and New Zealand. In the U.S., we are eating fish, such as Atlantic salmon, Alaskan salmon and the sockeye, which are consuming antibiotics and genetically engineered grains.
They are also being fed synthetic astaxanthin, which give the salmon its pinkish orange color, whereas wild sockeye gets its red color from natural astaxanthin and carotenoids. Do you want to be eating artificially-fed so-called healthy foods?
3. Chicken Laced With Arsenic
The European Union has also banned arsenic, found in poultry, since 1999. When chicken looks pinker, it’s perceived as fresher, but it’s completely unnatural, as the chickens are eating arsenic-based animal feed. This also allows them to grow quicker.
If you want to eat healthy foods, then it’s best for your health to buy organic chickens.
4. Bread With Potassium Bromate
Potassium bromate (also known as bromide) can be linked to various diseases, including cancer, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort, and damage to kidneys and the nervous system.
When at the grocery store, avoid rolls, flatbreads, wraps, bagel chips, bread crumbs and other bread products that contain potassium bromate.
This chemical is banned north of the border in Canada, and also across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in Europe and China, yet somehow in the U.S., bread is usually at the top of the list of healthy foods.
5. Processed Foods Containing Azodicarbonamide
Do you remember throwing in a T.V. dinner to save time after work? Well, that zapped Swanson’s Hungry-Man contains azodicarbonamide, a banned substance in the U.K., Australia, and most of Europe.
It’s the same chemical used in the soles of your sneakers and your yoga mat. You can also find azodicarbonamide in boxed pasta mixes, breads and packaged baked goods.
This chemical is also linked to asthma—but that doesn’t matter to U.S. food producers, since bleaching its flour faster is more important than your health, apparently.
We often think that the foods we find in supermarkets are always going to be healthy foods—but would you eat banned foods, even if they’re just banned in another country? I believe we need to be aware of what we’re eating and what we’re putting in our bodies.
Goyanes, C., “13 Banned Foods Still Allowed in the U.S.,” Shape web site, July 25, 2013; http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/13-banned-foods-still-allowed-us.
Mercola, J., “10 Foods Sold in the U.S. That Are Banned Elsewhere,” Care2 Healthy Living web site, Aug. 14, 2013; http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-foods-sold-in-the-u-s-that-are-banned-elsewhere.html.
Perez, A., “8 Foods We Eat In The U.S. That Are Banned In Other Countries,” BuzzFeed Food web site, June 19, 2013; http://www.buzzfeed.com/ashleyperez/8-foods-we-eat-in-the-us-that-are-banned-in-other-countries.