Americans are getting serious about their food. We are slowly catching up to other countries who have already taken a stand on learning more about how food is made, too.
We still have a long way to go, though. In fact, some of the food we consume here is already banned in other countries. Here are some of them.
1. Farm-Raised Salmon
While farm-raised salmon is big business here in the US, it is illegal in Australia and New Zealand. Because the fish are basically mass produced, they are fed synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals.
While it may be safe for fish to eat, the stuff has not been approved for human consumption.
2. Processed Foods Containing Artificial Food Colors and Dyes
Norway, Austria, and other countries in the European Union have banned the sale of foods containing harmful dyes like red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2 which happen to be the most commonly used food dyes in the US. They have been linked to toxicity and hazardous health effects.
Kraft was put on blast for using yellow 5 in their famous macaroni and cheese recipe here in the U.S. It was never present in boxes sold in Europe.
Created by Procter & Gamble as a substitute for cooking oil, Olestra prevents the body from absorbing vitamins. It is banned in the UK and in Canada for its harmful side effects, including stomach cramps and leaky bowels.
4. Preservatives BHA and BHT
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are preservatives that are often found in long-shelf life products like breakfast cereals and chewing gums.
The UK has banned the use of BHA in baby food and both BHA and BHT are banned in Japan and parts of the European Union.
Artificial flavor and color isn't the only thing that shows up in soda in the US. Mountain Dew and other citrus-flavored soft drinks contain BVO, or brominated vegetable oil. The chemical was actually created to be a flame retardant and consumed in large quantities, can cause damage to your nervous system.
It is banned as a food additive in Europe and Japan.
6. Arsenic-Laced Chicken
Arsenic-based drugs can be used in some animal feed in the US because they can help animals grow quicker. They also can create pinker flesh in animals. It appears in commercial grade chicken feed since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated these products are safe.
In the European Union, arsenic-based feeds are banned as are the sale of chickens who have been fed from them.
7. Potassium Bromate
In the US, potassium bromate or brominated flour is a flour-bulking agent used in making rolls, wraps, flatbread, bread crumbs, and bagel chips. It helps to strengthen dough and reduce baking time.
However, the side effects associated with it (including kidney and nervous system disorders) was enough to have it banned in Canada, China and the EU.
Have you heard of these bans before - do you think the U.S. should ban them, as well?