I'm almost to the point where I make all of my own food. Why? Masochism? Paranoia?
I'll let you be the judge, but the more I see the less I feel I can trust anyone in the food industry. An excellent example of this is actually not fast food and mac and cheese, but ingredients that seem to target the health-conscious. Below I've listed some examples of foods that should be healthy, but, unfortunately for those seeking to optimize their health and well-being, these foods have actually been perverted and corrupted into Frankenfoods.
Furthermore, if you consider how these foods are advertised and labelled, you can't help to wonder if there's not a little bit of camouflaging going on. Examples abound, but here are a few notable ones:
1) Yeast. Nutritional yeast and even brewer s yeast are very healthy foods known for being high in B vitamins. What does the food industry do with yeast? They place it into concentrated salt solutions that dry and shrivel the yeast cells and heat what remains at high temperatures. Why on earth would they do this to this otherwise healthy good? The answer is to create a monstrosity called "autolyzed yeast extract", Autolyzed yeast extract which is rife with not just one of the major excitotoxins, but both: monosodium glutamate and aspartate. Concentration levels are very high, usually in the 10-20% range by weight. This is particularly dangerous for children, but even adults can get themselves in trouble as well. If you buy processed foods, you'll see this over and over again. Read my link the Danger of Excitotoxins for what this does to your poor hypothalamus.
2) Soy. Soy is considered by many to be one of the supremely healthy foods and is a staple of many vegetarian and vegan diets. Soy is admittedly controversial, but it definitely has numerous studies showing cardiovascular benefits, anticancer properties and even nitric oxide stimulation. Regardless of your feelings about soy, and I am very cautious because it may shrink the brain in males, consider what the food industry does with this food. In order to extract the oils from soy during processing, hexane is used. Hexane is a nasty industrial toxin with carcinogenic properties and contamination of soy products has been widely reported of late. Bon appetit...
3) Whey. Whey is the king of proteins used by bodybuilders and athletes the world over. It boosts immunity, increases glutathione and has an excellent amino acid profile. But is it really all goodness and light? Not once the food goons get done with it! For reasons unknown, whey is almost always processed with a process called hydrolyzation, i.e. heating at high temperatures. (For more details, see my link on Whey and Excitotoxins.)
This leaves the consumer with a toxic mixture of excitotoxins, including abundant free glutamine and aspartates. Furthermore, it also insures the anhilation of its glutathione boosting properties. Again, I cannot imagine why anyone would even conceive of doing this, yet most bodybuilders have no idea that, in their efforts to improve their health and muscle mass, they may be taking out their neurons. This isn't just an issue for the muscle heads by the way: hydrolyzed whey, soy and vegetable proteins are put in many processed foods, leaving the public vulnerable to excitotoxin exposure.
4) Toothpaste. Okay, this isn t a food, but health-minded people put this in their mouth several times a day and some is swallowed and aborbed. Many health-conscious people know that gum disease is associated with cardiovascular disease due to increased inflammation levels. So we all break out our toothpaste and begin the war against all that is orally evil never suspecting that the cure is likely worse than the disease.
Yes, indeed, toothpaste is full of questionable and even downright toxic ingredients. Let s look at some of the ingredients in Colgate Total Plus Whitening Toothpaste as of 3/17/2011. We ll start with Triclosan. This is the potentially dangerous pesticide that I cover in my links on The Dangers of Antimicrobial Soaps and Toothpaste Dangers. CAUTION: Be cautious about using baking soda as an alternative toothpaste: some experts believe it can damage enamel over time.