Just like cars have manuals or clothes have tags – foods have food labels. Food labels are on every packaged food we eat, aiming to describe what exactly we are putting in our bodies. Everyone needs to get in the habit of reading food labels before buying and consuming foods, especially processed foods such as chips, sodas, ice cream, candy, or even juices. Ingredients such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), and Yellow 5, have been proven to cause cancer.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is genetically modified corn processed with modified enzymes which can cause tissue damage leading to obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. This ingredient is found in most foods that are generally labeled as “junk food.”
Did you ever wonder why certain foods can stay out in the open air for an unusually long time and not begin to rot? We have BHT to thank for that. Although it helps our foods appear fresh, they are actually injected with a compound that is used in jet fuels, rubber petroleum products, and embalming fluid like formaldehyde. There is a warning in the Material Safety and Data Sheets stating that BHT should not be allowed to enter the environment as it can cause liver damage and kill aquatic animals.
Yellow 5 is another very common color additive found in sodas, candy, cereal, and any other food that may have a yellow tint to it. Although the FDA approves colorants in our foods, almost all of them are derived from coal tar, which can potentially cause cancer.
There are many ways to avoid consuming potentially dangerous chemicals and one of those ways is to read and understand food label ingredients.