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What's in your food?
  • Another eye-opening investigation by Joanna Blythman. I'm really shocked.


  • Did you see that report about a woman, opened a bag of Asda salad and found a dead rat's head in it?

  • Liz said:

    I'm really shocked.

    I'm not. Processed food is full of all kinds of gunk we'd never buy to put in things if we were making them ourselves.

  • I'm not shocked by the presence - I'm shocked that the 'natural' colourings and additives are anything but, and that they are removing names that put people off and replacing with probably just as harmful (nobody knows what) chemicals which can be passed off as 'natural' and in some cases doesn't have to be mentioned.

    And adding stuff to fruit that can make it last weeks longer. Which they don't have to mention. I'm outraged by that one fact.
  • Makes very interesting, but depressing reading. I try to eat a healthy diet and I cook from scratch as much as possible. But the fact that fresh food gets tampered with makes it nigh impossible to avoid the nasties.
  • I agree it's worrying that there might be 'stuff' not mentioned on the ingredients label. That makes it a lot harder for people to make informed choices.
  • The only way to have pure, unadulterated food is to grow it yourself. Makes you wonder how much this 'invisible' stuff is responsible for illness.
  • If we were still hunter-gatherers I'd have lost most of my children to starvation, cold, predation or disease, and I'd have been dead by 40.

    I do the best I can in this modern world. Buy fresh food when possible from a reliable source, avoid as many additives as possible, and try not to stress too much about what I can't fix.
  • Tiny Nell said:

    The only way to have pure, unadulterated food is to grow it yourself. Makes you wonder how much this 'invisible' stuff is responsible for illness.

    My friend grows most of her vegs organically, so that's about as good as it gets. She keeps chickens and although they are free to roam during the day she still feeds them twice a day on food she buys by the sack load... so even her delicious free range eggs are probably adulterated in some way.

    I definitely think that our health - and children's health in particular - is being compromised. How many children in your class at school suffered from allergies or asthma? I don't recall a single one!

    However, Lizy sums it up well - avoid as many additives as possible and try not to stress about what we can't fix... way to go really.
  • Turning a blind eye, or thinking that not thinking about it is the only way to survive, are sure-fire ways to ensure this will happen and spread.

    We can afford to buy organic, I have time to make my meals. Many don't, or don't have the necessary training or upbringing or intelligence or knowledge or energy to do that.

    This needs to be fought for them.
  • After reading that article, I don't know how you fight it though!
  • I often wonder, too, what effect packaging might have on the food contents - the plastic bottles that milk comes in, for example. We buy organic milk, but it's possible that it gets infiltrated by chemicals from the plastic. Even the water that comes from our taps is tampered with first.

    And who knows what we are breathing in when we are out and about...

    All we can do is try our very best to be the healthiest we can, but we'll all die eventually. O:-)
  • What puzzles me is, that with us all being poisoned with every mouthful we take, life expectancy has gone from thirty-something in the 1850's (seventeen in Walsall) to around eighty now.

    *Exits in search of additives*
  • It's a case of supply and demand, SM.

    Make you ill, sell you drugs to make you better.
  • In the 1850s, they had no antibiotics. And very few inoculations. Parents and grandparents died of the illnesses their children brought home.

    We get organic milk in waxed cartons, Nell.
  • Life expectancy has gone up, Snailmale - but perhaps it could be higher still, or perhaps we could be healthier for more of it. Cancer rates and dementia seem to have increased and it's possible that consuming chemicals is part of the problem.
  • The likelihood of getting cancer of any type in 1930 was 1 in 62 for a man and 1 in 93 for a woman.

    Now it is 1 in 3.

    That is a gobsmacking statistic.
  • It is.

    But how many of those cancers are in people who, if they had lived in 1930, would have already died of something else?
  • They also died younger then - and, presumably, many cancers that we now know about, they didn't then.
  • I think if cancer was untreated then they would have done an autopsy just as easily and found out cause of death, Nell. It's not like new parts of the human body have been discovered between now and then.

    But yes, in those days the age women died at was 60. Now it's 80.

    I still think it's gone up a lot though, and also, a few years ago it was one in 3 and now they are saying it's 1 in 2, the other night on the News.
  • I agree - in some cases people are getting cancer because they haven't already died of something else, so there seems more of an increase than there would be if life expectancy hadn't risen - but that's not the whole story.
  • Kind of reminds of when one of the scientists (who was in charge of fieldwork I was part of) told me about an event he went to. He asked another scientist there what his job was - "oh, I make the small polyballs that are put in 'smash'" and another person revealed that she made and added that "artificial floating bits" in the fruit mixers you get in pubs/clubs, so they "look more like real juices".
  • I had one of those private Well Woman thorough health checks recently. My health is good: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, resting heart rate, lungs, BMI, 'lady tests' etc, etc were all good - some were excellent.
    So, although it's horrible to think that I'm unwittingly eating man-made stuff - in the great scheme of things, I'm doing something right - and now that I'm aware of the hidden additives, I'll be even more vigilant.
  • My particular problem, prostate cancer, is mainly, though not exclusively, a problem for old men. I am likely to die with it, rather than from it, and my consultant told me that most men around 80 will have it to a greater or lesser degree but might never know. This wouldn't have been a problem a few years ago
  • Yes, I've heard that too, Snailmale. Apparently most men do develop prostate cancer if they live long enough... it's the young 'uns they have to catch early - which is presumably what happened to you?
  • The same goes for breast cancer according to my oncologist and, I discovered this weekend, gallstones too, but again in most cases both conditions will have no symptoms, so you'd probably never know and it would be, as SM says, something you die with, not from.
  • Everything we eat is made up of chemicals. The problem with chemicals put into food is that they have combined many natural ones changed the structure of many natural ones, recombined them, and now our bodies cannot break them down.

    We know what to do with some chemical poisons - they are broken down into component parts, breathed out, excreted in urine or faeces.

    In the 1800s people died of food poisoning, infection, diseases like flu more often than now, lack of simple cleanliness. We've eliminated much of what killed them.

    These new chemicals often have no way of leaving our bodies and build up in our cells - causing the likelihood of cancer etc.

    I truly believe that if we weren't exposed to all these nasties our life expectancy would be longer for more people, but that isn't all - healthy, longer life as well.

    There are places up mountains and in seclusion where if you do not die of infection or accident, life expectancy is very long indeed.

    We should, really, considering how much can be done to mend us, all be living long, healthy lives.
  • My daughter is studying cancer at the moment. She says it's an unbelievably complex disease.
  • Just to play Devil's Advocate, Liz - the Fijians - many of whom live almost totally on unadulterated food, have a low life expectancy... for men it's in their fifties.
  • Could it be genetic? Do they have a small, closed population without much input?

    I know, Nell. And there are ones you can 'catch' as well, as they are virus linked. And ones that you get because you have a genetic predisposition. Or a mutation.

    Still think eating plastic goes a long way to tipping the balance in the wrong direction.