Food is a big deal.
It’s not just fuel for our bodies—it’s fuel for our minds, too. We spend a lot of time thinking about what we’re going to eat, how it’s going to taste, and whether or not it will make us feel good. But what happens when we find out that some of the things we thought were healthy are actually bad for us? Or that something that tastes amazing can actually make us sick? Did you know that some of the most popular foods on the market are made with ingredients that are banned in other countries?
The truth is out there—it’s just up to you to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite foods.
We’re here to help you cut through the noise and get straight to the facts about food so that you can make the right choices for your body and your health.
McDonald’s Once Sold Bubblegum-Flavored Broccoli
The fast food giant offers a variety of salads and fruit options for customers, such as their strawberry smoothie, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the company used to sell far less health-conscious food.
In the 1980s and 1990s, McDonald’s experimented with several unusual menu items intended to attract children and adults alike — including bubblegum-flavored broccoli.
They also tried other bizarre menu items, like honey mustard and ketchup chicken nuggets, as well as McPizza and McHotDog. The company even sold a burger with a grilled cheese sandwich bun and bacon on top of it!
Peanut Butter Is Mostly Fat, and Not Very Much Peanut
Peanut butter is a staple in many diets. It tastes great, lasts for a long time, and is relatively inexpensive. But is it the healthy food that you think it is?
It turns out that peanut butter isn’t as good for you as some would have you believe. Peanuts are high in fat, making your cholesterol go up. And while it’s true that peanuts have some protein in them, they don’t contain enough to make them a good source of protein like meat or fish would be.
The main ingredient in peanut butter isn’t even peanuts — it’s oil! Oil can be used in many different ways besides making food taste good, but if you want to avoid adding extra calories to your diet, then using oil as an ingredient should be avoided whenever possible.
Yams & Sweet Potatoes Are Not the Same Thing
Yams and sweet potatoes are both tubers, but they’re not the same thing. Yams are grown in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, while sweet potatoes come from the Americas. Yams tend to be darker, have a drier texture, and a more bitter taste than sweet potatoes.
Yams are higher in calories — about 200 more per cup — than sweet potatoes because they’re richer in starch and have less water weight. But if you’re watching your weight or counting calories, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A cup of boiled yams contains about 370 calories versus 340 for boiled sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are sweeter than yams and have a higher vitamin A content (they’re also higher in beta-carotene). They also contain more potassium than yams do (1 cup of boiled sweet potato has almost twice as much potassium as 1 cup of boiled yam).
McDonald’s Uses The Same Food Coloring in Their Yogurt That Is Also Used in Fireworks
This is true. They use one of the most common food dyes called Red 40, which is made from petroleum. It also makes them think firecrackers are made of fruit!
The FDA has approved Red 40 as a safe food additive, but many people are still concerned about it. The dye has been linked to allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that children who ate more than 20 mg per day of red dye were twice as likely to be hyperactive.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents avoid giving their children any food or beverage containing artificial colors, especially if they have an allergy or sensitivity to these additives. It may seem harmless enough for an occasional treat or meal out, but over time these little extras can add up if you’re not careful!
Most Restaurants Don’t Use Organically Grown Vegetables, but Genetically Modified Ones Instead
Many restaurants use genetically modified foods in their meals. They do this because they are cheaper and easier to grow than organic food. Some examples of genetically modified foods are corn, soybeans, and sugar beets. These foods can be found in packaged products like cornflakes or mayonnaise.
Genetically modified crops have been around for about 20 years, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the FDA began to require food companies to label their products with this information.
Around this same time, many countries around the world were starting to ban GE foods because of concerns about their safety for human consumption as well as how they affect the environment when released into nature through runoff water from fields where they are planted.
In China, You Can Buy Cocaine-Laced Chicken Wings
A few years ago, China’s biggest meat producer was caught selling chicken wings doused with a drug called clenbuterol — which is banned in many countries, including China — that speeds up heart rate and reduces fat deposition in animals. It causes symptoms similar to asthma and heart disease in humans, including high blood pressure and arrhythmias.
A Pizza With a Side of Heroin
In June 2014, federal officials busted up a ring selling pizzas topped with crushed-up pain pills and heroin to customers who called in orders from their homes or drug dens. The operation was run out of an apartment complex in Brooklyn, New York; it allegedly sold more than 400 pizzas in six months at $10 each — and also netted thousands of dollars in cash from sales of other drugs, including cocaine and crack cocaine. Two men were arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics by mail.
Some foods have hidden ingredients, like plastic. Other foods don’t live up to their claim, like the reputation of chocolate. Then there are those dangerous foods, such as those that should be eaten with a mask! The food you eat plays a vital role in your overall health, so educating yourself and others can help everyone make better choices.