Just when you think you’re on the right track to healthy eating, you find out that your food is hiding something. The food industry has several secret ways of making their products look more appealing. The shiner the fruit, the better, right? Staying up-to-date on their tricks can help you choose the right products at the grocery store.
Here are six ways the food industry tricks you into eating fake, dyed and toxic food:
1. Some Oranges Are Dyed
Oranges that grow early in the season might not be orange enough to attract consumers. That’s why some Florida oranges are sprayed with Citrus Red No. 2. It’s an artificial dye that is toxic to rodents. If your oranges are dyed, it should be on the label, so make sure you avoid using orange zest or peel if they contain this substance.
2. Produce Often Has A Wax Coating
Some produce is waxed after harvest to help it survive its journey to grocery stores. There are several different types of waxes that may be used. Some are natural, while others are petroleum-based. Produce coated with wax isn’t labeled, but organic produce doesn’t contain petroleum-based waxes.
3. Chicken Is Given A Chlorine Bath
Poultry producers are permitted by the USDA to put the poultry into an antimicrobial wash. This wash uses chlorine and other chemicals to kill pathogens. Workers in these plants have reported health problems the chemical washes, including asthma and other respiratory problems. There’s no telling how much of the chlorine residue remains on the chicken when you eat it.
4. Farm-Raised Salmon Is Colored Pink
Wild salmon have a balanced nutritional profile, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The antioxidant astaxanthin is what gives salmon its pink color. Farmed salmon are fed an artificial diet of grain products, including corn, soy, artificial coloring and synthetic astaxanthin. This synthetic antioxidant is added to their diet to turn their flesh pink, in order to mimic natural salmon. Without it, farmed salmon would be a grey color.
5. Many Foods Are Dyed
The wheat bread or roast beef deli meat you’re eating may contain caramel color. Your pickle spears may be dyed yellow to look more appealing. A recent report revealed that nine of the food dyes currently approved for use in the United States are linked to health issues, ranging from cancer and hyperactivity to allergic reactions. Red #40, Blue #2 and Yellow #5 are used in candies, beverages, baked goods, cereal and more.
6. Olive Oil Is Often Mixed With Cheaper Oils
According to the USP Food Fraud Database, even extra virgin olive oil is often diluted with other less expensive oils. The olive oil in your kitchen cupboard may actually contain hazelnut, soybean, corn, palm or sesame oil. These oils won’t be listed on the ingredient label, which makes it hard to determine if your olive oil is pure. Do some research to make sure you’re buying the good stuff!