Ultimately a supermarkets primary goal is to generate revenue not provide an educational service to its customers. It is important that people arm themselves with information so they can make correct decisions when shopping.
Shopping at privately run or community markets are always a better choice than big corporate chains. Farmers markets and ideally even the farms themselves are the safest and most efficient way of getting whole foods that are grown with care and respect.
When stuck with supermarkets choosing fresh produce, though inferior to its organic locally grown alternatives, is still going to be a wiser choice than packaged/processed "food".
Just to open some eyes, here are some things that you can find in supermarkets that would be better left in the science lab:
Flame retardant soft drinks- thats right, BVO or bromine vegetable oil was first used to keep plastics from catching fire. And we're not talking about Pamela Anderson...It has now found another use in juices, soda and sports drink as a way of keeping artificial flavouring chemicals mixed in with the rest of the liquids so they don't separate. You will find this in drinks like Mountain Dew, Powerade and Fanta (side note: Fanta was created in 1941 in Germany when Coca Cola had trouble importing their syrup into Germany during the war due to trade embargos. The head of the German branch of Coke came up with a new drink to sell that was made up of the "leftovers of the leftovers" of other products including whey and pomace)
Petroleum laced candy- All the bright and shiny colours you see on candy in stores is usually made up of petroleum derived materials. Orange and purple dyed foods have been shown to impair brain function and other dyed colours are linked to ADHD and behavioral problems
Titanium Dioxide- Some salad dressings contain this which is a component of titanium, a mined substance which is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead. The chemical is found and paints and sunscreens ( a whole other topic) but has been found in salad dressings as a way of making an overly processed item appear brighter and whiter.
These few things barely scratch the surface in what is done by big food companies. The question is why do they do it? The short answer is chemical additives can help with some flavouring profiles but ultimately they give products a form of preservation allowing them to stay on shelves almost indefinitely. Longer shelf life means less wastage and a narrowing of costs by companies in a way to maximize products.
Companies have the right to make their money, just don't let them do it at the expense of your health.
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