Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Today I realized that food manufacturers are like Leviathans


Earlier I was reading an article about how Lisa Leake (www.100daysofrealfood.com) is petitioning Kraft macaroni and cheese maker to remove the artificial dyes from their product.  If you aren’t already aware,  artificial dye is a carcinogen that has been linked to many diseases such as Cancer, ADHD, auto-immune disorders and more.
Throughout Europe, several countries have banned artificial dyes and require foods using any still-approved unnatural colors to display warning labels on packaging.  American companies like Kraft have stopped using artificial dyes abroad while they continue to sell foods with the questionable ingredients to the U.S. market in lieu of their obvious capabilities to use natural alternatives.
I’m really shocked at the amount of people who responded to the article I read saying, “Well,  I ate this junk when I was a kid and I’m still alive!”  or  ”If you don’t like it,  don’t buy it!”
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This kind of reminds me of Supernatural Season 7 where the Leviathans are lacing hamburgers with an additive that is turning  humans into these overweight, complacent drones that line up for the slaughter… only in  this scenario the Leviathans are the food manufacturers.
But getting back on track,  I don’t understand the apathy of your average consumer,  at all.  We as a nation are NOT okay.  Disease of every kind is on the rise.  You know what,  I also grew up eating processed foods and I’m still here.  However,  my mother passed away from Cancer at 48.  My father at age 59.  Can I,  or anyone,  really say that this lifestyle isn’t contributing to the rise of so many deadly diseases?
You personally might be okay, but how many of us can say that all of our friends and family are as well?  It’s not uncommon for someone to take medication on a daily basis for things that have been linked to diet and they just assume it’s “something that happens”.  I speak to people all the time who have ailments like GERD, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, neuropathic pain, chronic illness, irregular menstral cycles, asthma-  they take a pill,  and never question what causes it to happen.
And yes,  if you don’t want to eat processed foods or dyes the simple solution is to not buy those products-  however,  not everyone is aware of the dyes being present or educated about them.  Don’t we have the right to an informed choice?  What is the big deal about requiring the company properly label the product?
Personally, I don’t have the time when I’m at the grocery store to flip over every package and look at the ingredients list.  I want to be able to shop without having to worry.  I also don’t have the budget to buy only organic foods.  I don’t believe that people should be forced to eat carcinogens simply because they are poor.
Probably the most important point I can make is that no one is talking about shutting Kraft down or boycotting processed foods-  we simply want these foods to be safe.  Taking the dyes out of the product is not going to change the flavor of it whatsoever,  or even the appearance.  Kraft can follow the lead of many other brands and use turmeric or annatto for color,  which is safe as well as tasty.
To me,  it’s just common sense to stand behind the proper labeling or removal of dyes in foods.
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