Are you the person who eats cereal without looking at the ingredients, or eats fruits and vegetables without washing them? Then you may want to think twice in doing so. What is actually in the food we consume? “CDC estimates that each year 1 in 6 Americans get sick from contaminated food or beverages and 3,000 die from foodborne illness”(“CDC and Food Safety”). As a result, “Our food contains chemicals that may result in serious health risks, especially for young children. Some of these chemicals are purposefully added to food or packaging to add flavor, color, preserve, package, process and store our food”(“Reducing harmful chemicals in our food”).
Due to a flawed law, many companies are still adding some additive chemicals that are not approved by the FDA. A loophole is a law created decades ago, it allows additives to be considered “safe” without being inspected or acknowledged by The Food And Drug Administration. But some countries care about what they’re putting in their food.
Countries outside of the U.S. banned certain chemicals that the U.S. still puts in their food today. Brominated vegetable oil and Olestra are just a few out of the many that are banned outside the U.S. Brominated vegetable oil is found in Mountain Dew to allow the citrus flavor to last longer. This additive has harmful effects. “BVO “contains bromine which can be linked to skin irritations, headaches, memory loss, and impaired balance(“5 American Food Ingredients That Are Banned In Other Countries”). As of now, it’s banned in Europe, India, and Japan.
Olestra is another one that shouldn’t be forgotten about. It’s an additive that’s found in chips such as Pringles, and Doritos to replace fat in calorie-free. “ it turned out that olestra causes unfavorable side effects, which is why it is not used in Canada and the European Union”(“5 American Food Ingredients That Are Banned In Other Countries”). Olestra can cause GI issues such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and gas. The symptoms can become severe and unpleasant.
If you’re a chocolate lover then you may want to think twice about taking another bite of chocolate. Fun Fact: Did you know there are insects in chocolate ? “ The average chocolate bar contains eight insect parts. Anything less than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate (two chocolate bars’ worth) is deemed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration”(“Chocolate allergies linked to cockroach parts”). This is absolutely disgusting.
Why does the U.S. allow this to happen? There are many reasons why these loophole additives are legal. Mainly because the additives help preserve food. Often we forget what’s actually in our food. This is a concern and the loophole additives should be banned. We shouldn’t have to be scared to eat certain foods because of the leading health risks.
Brooke Bradham, Staff Writer
Senior Brooke Bradham is a staff writer for the 2022-2023 Colonel Newsmagazine. She likes the Hunger Games, dogs, and likes to bake.