New recipes

Slideshow: 14 Foods Banned Around the World

Slideshow: 14 Foods Banned Around the World

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

You may be shocked to find out your favorite food is banned elsewhere in the world

14 Foods Banned Around the World

When you’re traveling the world, you want to try new things — even the questionable street food you’d never dream of ordering back home — but what happens when that becomes reversed? When your favorite dish or food item is banned in the country you’re traveling to?

Well, chances are that won’t be the case in most places, but many countries do have bans on specific food items for reasons that may surprise you. For instance, foie gras is banned in many countries around the world (and parts of the U.S.) because of the inhumane practice of over-fattening a duck’s or goose’s liver by force-feeding the bird. Another food that’s banned in various countries is farm-raised salmon. Although in theory this method seems sustainable and ideal, countries like Australia have banned the product because of the chemicals and antibiotics the fish are fed to keep the same color that wild salmon have.

Casu Marzu

Casu marzu is considered the world’s most dangerous cheese, and with reason. The name itself means “rotten cheese” and contains live maggots. These maggots can jump out at you and the health issues that can stem from eating this rotten cheese has led to it being banned by the EU.


Possibly the most upper-class-sounding food on the planet, White Beluga caviar comes from the eggs of the Beluga sturgeon, a critically endangered fish that exists only in the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, and the Adriatic Sea. It is banned through much of the world by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), because the countries with access to the seas that they come from (with the exception of Iran) fail to prevent their poaching.

Chewing Gum

Singapore, the hyper-clean, hyper-strict Asian city-state, is well-known for its food laws. Durian, the world’s stinkiest fruit, is banned on their metro, but probably their most famous ban is that against chewing gum. Chewing gum is banned in Singapore (though Singaporeans can be prescribed gum by a doctor) because vandals have an annoying tendency to stick it everywhere they go. And you know what? We’re okay with this ban. We’re sick of getting gum on our shoes, and Singapore is just about the cleanest city on the planet.

Chocolate Eggs

The United States banned Kinder Eggs, an Italian chocolate egg with a surprise toy embedded inside as part of a law designed to prevent little kids from swallowing a tiny plastic toy. The ban is actually fairly strictly enforced, but was recently circumvented by a New Jersey company that figured out how to separate the two sides of the chocolate with an inedible capsule that is visible from the outside.

Foie Gras

Foie gras is a prized dish among epicures. It’s a specially fattened duck or goose liver that is spectacularly buttery and tasty. Unfortunately, the way you specially fatten these birds is by force-feeding the animals, which has been declared by many countries and local governments to be inhumane and cruel. As such, Israel, Argentina, India, parts of the U.S., and much of Europe have banned foie gras. Some countries have invented methods to produce foie gras without force-feeding, but not all producers use these methods.


Fugu is so dangerous that chefs go through years of training before they can serve this dish, and even still there is room for error. Fugu is a pufferfish and, if it isn’t prepared and cleaned properly, a pinhead amount of the toxic chemical it contains will kill you if consumed. It is for this reason that fugu has been banned in Japan many times in history, but is now only allowed to be prepared by very few highly trained chefs. However, fugu is surprisingly not banned in America.


Garlic is not technically banned anywhere, but it is taboo among Buddhist monastics in China and some Hindus. There is a story that when the Hindu god Vishnu slayed a group of demons, the blood that dripped from their severed heads sprouted into garlic. Buddhism is a Hindu offshoot, so it’s likely that’s where the superstition came from.


Haggis is the second most famous Scottish product (behind Scotch, of course). It’s made of sheep heart, liver, and lungs, and is mixed with a number of spices and seasonings. It sounds awful but is actually delicious. It’s banned in the U.S. because of a rather arbitrary ban on the lungs of the sheep (though not the heart or liver).


Probably the silliest ban on the list, the French banned ketchup from their primary schools because they were afraid students would use it to mask their traditional French cuisine. The idea is that public schools are not only supposed to be feeding children, but teaching them about French cuisine, and ketchup is thought to overwhelm the traditional flavors. Ironically, students are still allowed to use ketchup on their French fries.

Mac & Cheese

Okay, so technically mac and cheese isn’t illegal anywhere, but certain types of food coloring are, including Yellow No. 6. This food coloring has been found to be harmful to children, and as such, any foods that include Yellow No. 6 are banned in Norway and Austria. One of those foods? Boxed mac and cheese. This is obviously a nightmare for many of us to hear — we’ve all had boxed mac and cheese during our childhoods, but fortunately Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese actually dropped their artificial dyes and preservatives a few years ago.


Ortolan is another force-feeding delicacy: The ortolan bunting is a French bird that will eat constantly if you put it in the dark. Traditionally, the birds are put in a box with a bunch of millet until they’ve eaten enough, and then they are drowned in Armagnac brandy. The eater then puts a napkin over their head, in order to keep their fellow eaters from seeing what they do next, which is eat the entire bird, bones and all. It’s probably pretty clear why this is banned.

Farm-Raised Salmon

Farm-raised salmon is more dangerous than wild salmon because the fish are fed chemicals and antibiotics to give them the desirable pink color — they would otherwise have more of a brown coloring, since the farmed salmon is fed mostly grains. For this reason, New Zealand, Australia, and Russia have all banned the bred fish.


Samosas are not a food you can mess up: fried pastries filled with meats? Yes, please. But Al Shabaab, the extremist Muslim group that controls much of war-torn Somalia, had banned locals under their jurisdiction from eating the pastry because unscrupulous vendors were selling samosas filled with rotten meat. Early reports claimed that the pastries were banned because their triangular shape was too much like the Christian Trinity, but that was obviously false.


Sassafras root was traditionally used to make root beer until it was discovered that an element of Sassafras oil can cause cancer in rats. The Food and Drug Administration banned the use of it in foods after this was discovered, though companies have found a workaround by removing safrole (the carcinogenic element of the oil) from their product. This is totally legal, and it is possible to buy some types of sassafras root beer on the market today.

8 Cruelest Foods You Eat

By the time that cheeseburger arrives on your plate, it's hard to think about anything but how tasty it'll be. But when you trace the origins of each ingredient&mdashthe beef, the fried egg, the splurge-worthy bacon&mdashsome uncomfortable truths emerge.

That we're uneasy about the origins of our food is no surprise. After all, in our shrink-wrapped, pre-cooked, fast-food world, it's easy to ignore. Fortunately, though, awareness is growing where it matters: Big Food. In just this year alone, shocking cases of documented animal abuse have persuaded many of the biggest meat purchasers&mdashMcDonald's, Burger King, and Subway&mdashto make their chains more humane.

Still, we're a long way off from feeling good about what's for dinner, whether it's beef, chicken, or even eggs. Join us as we check in with the 8 Cruelest Foods You Eat&mdashplus, what's being done about them, and what to eat in the meantime.

These spiny guys can live as old as we do, but thanks to our appetite for lobster rolls, they usually don't. A recent study in the journal Animal Behavior showed that, contrary to previous thinking, lobsters and crab can feel pain and exhibit signs of stress. Lobsters also have a central nervous system, according to other research. But that hasn't persuaded many to stop eating them. Some high-end restaurants even offer live lobster sashimi, where you choose your lobster from a tank and it appears on your plate in seconds, slit down the middle and squirming.

What's being done: Not much, although boiling lobster is illegal in the Italian town Reggio Emilia. Domestically, Whole Foods no longer sells live lobsters. In 2005, the chain conducted an internal study on the crustacean and how it gets to stores. They were persuaded by numerous studies that show lobsters can get stressed, are able to learn, and are aware of their surroundings. Many are held in storage facilities for several months, and because there's no way to minimize that distress, Whole Foods decided to stop carrying them live.

What to eat instead: Nosh sustainable, ethically caught shellfish, though it sounds simpler to find than it is. (Origins can be fishy, so check out our feature on how to choose the best shrimp.) If you're worried about the ethics of eating seafood at all but want to get your omega-3s, choose a plant-based source, like super-healthy ground flaxseed.

The name hides nothing: This soup is made with fins that are sliced off sharks in open waters. The fish are then tossed back into the water, where they can drown or bleed to death. Many of the fins served in the United States come from endangered shark species, according to a recent study by Stony Brook University and the Field Museum in Chicago. More status symbol than tasty (or nutritious), shark-fin soup is a popular gourmet treat in Asia and is abundant in restaurants across the United States, too.

What's being done: Shark finning was banned in Hawaii in 2010, and it's since been made illegal in Washington, Oregon, California, and Illinois. Last July, China's Government Offices Administration of the State Council announced that the Chinese government would no longer serve shark-fin dishes at official events, according to conservation organization WildAid.

What to eat instead: Pretty much anything under the sun, but you might want to start with a seafood bisque. Just steer clear of these 12 fish that are bad for both you and the environment.

Many male calves are destined to become veal, since they can't produce milk. Just days after one of these calves is born, he can be moved to a crate so small that he can't turn around. There, he's typically fed milk or formula and is not allowed to exercise, which results in the pale fatty flesh for which veal is famous. Veal are usually slaughtered when they're just 5 months old.

What's being done: In 2009, The Humane Society of the United States recorded undercover abuse of calves at a Vermont slaughter plant. The USDA and Vermont Agency of Agriculture suspended operations there for an investigation, and a year later, the plant's owner pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges. But there's some good news: Veal crates are illegal in Arizona, California, Maine, Michigan, and Ohio. (For all the latest healthy food news, check us out here.)

What to eat instead: If you're craving the tenderness of veal, grab a meaty Portobello mushroom burger instead. Ours is topped with pesto and roasted red peppers and slapped on a whole-wheat bun for a cruelty-free 277 calories.

Foie gras, which means "fatty liver" in French, is a silky-smooth delicacy from goose or duck that's often served in elegant, high-end restaurants&mdashthe kind of thing you might splurge on as a treat. How it gets to your plate isn't quite so elegant, though. The short version is this: Workers restrain the birds and insert a long metal tube down its throat, through which they pump pounds of corn several times a day. After about a month of force-feeding, they're slaughtered, and their livers become your dinner.

What's being done: It's illegal to force-feed ducks in several countries, including the UK, Austria, Israel, Denmark, and Poland, but it's not necessarily illegal to sell the stuff. Stateside, the production and sale of foie gras is banned in California, but some restaurants have gotten around the ban by giving it away, reports Los Angeles Magazine. In 2006, it was banned in Chicago, but then-mayor Richard M. Daley called the ban "the silliest law" ever passed by City Council, and it was repealed in 2008.

What to eat instead: Get your rich pâté fix sans guilt with vegan walnut pâté. The animal-free version is made with herbs and meaty nuts, and it's cholesterol free. For even more feel-good recipes, check out our Recipe of the Day newsletter.

So you don't eat foie gras, shark-fin soup, or even meat? You still might not be eating cruelty-free. The innocent little egg sometimes comes from hens who live in cages so small they can't even spread their wings. It's not surprising that the eggs from these hens, claustrophobic and living in their own waste, are up to 21 times more likely to harbor salmonella, according to a 2008 study from Belgium.

What's being done: Thankfully, things might be looking up for chickens. Organic farmers and some trailblazing companies, such as Eggland's Best, already treat their chickens right. And now, congress is considering a new bill&mdashH.R. 3798, or the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012&mdashthat would give hens twice the amount of living space, prohibit excessive ammonia in the henhouses, and require labeling on egg cartons to list how the egg-layers lived. More than 8 million chickens are slaughtered each year in the U.S., according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, so this could be big for the little cluckers. (Check out more on happier hens here.)

What to eat instead: Organic is ideal for anything chicken-related, since poultry feed can have all kinds of bad stuff in it, from antidepressants to arsenic. Cage-free is nice, too, since those eggs don't come from chickens that are trapped in battery cages all the time. Seek out eggs with the "certified humane raised and handled label," which means that your eggs underwent a voluntary, thorough inspection by an independent animal-welfare group. Or buy from a farmer or brand you trust. Check out LocalHarvest to find some sustainable farmers near you.

Speaking of eggs, balut is a soft-boiled duck egg, where the embryo is almost fully formed&mdashfeathers, bones, and all. The egg is cracked open, the soupy liquid drunk, and the fetus dug out to eat. It's popular in the Philippines, Laos, and other Southeast Asian countries.

What's being done: Thanks to domestic foodie demand, this "snack" is available in the U.S. too. Dekalb Market in Brooklyn hosted its first ever balut-eating contest this summer&mdashand the winner downed 18 embryos in 5 minutes.

What to eat instead: Regular eggs (organic, cage-free, preferably my-farmer-sold-them-to-me eggs, that is) will give you a protein fix without the feathered fetus.

How well is your cow treated before it turns into your burger patty? Not great, you think, since you know how lax the laws are regarding factory farms. But how bad can it get, really? Very, according to the animal-rights group Compassion Over Killing, which recently released an undercover video taken at Central Valley Meat Co., a California slaughterhouse that supplies beef to the USDA National School Lunch Program, In-N-Out Burger, Costco, and McDonald's. Workers there illegally shocked the cows repeatedly with electric prods, sometimes as many as 40 times. Many of the cows there died slow, agonizing deaths, and some captured on video weren't even dead when they got to the slaughtering stage.

What's being done: Since the video came out, the aforementioned companies severed their ties with Central Valley Meat Co. The USDA closed the plant down for a few days to address mishandlings, but then continued their lunch program contract with the company, reported Food Safety News.

What to eat instead: If you're set on meat, go local and humane. Get your beef at a farmer's market, where you can ask the farmer about their breeding&mdashand slaughtering&mdashpractices.

Want to know the secret to beating bacon cravings at brunch? Consider where your pig came from. Even though they're some of the most intelligent animals alive, most breeding pigs are kept in gestation creates: tiny spaces about 2 feet wide in which pigs can't even turn around, according to the Humane Society. They stay pent up most of their lives to endure constant impregnation.

What's being done: Gestation crates are banned in Sweden and the U.K. Stateside, they're banned in Florida, Oregon, Maine, and Rhode Island, with phase-out plans in several other states. The three largest fast food chains in America&mdashMcDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's&mdashrecently announced they'd be phasing out the practice for pigs. Most recently, Qdoba, Jack in the Box, and Subway pledged to eliminate gestation crates by 2022.

What to eat instead: This little piggie went to market&mdashthe farmer's market. It's the very best way to learn what happens to your meat, from pig's pen to pork chop.

10 Foods Banned Around The World

This infographic from Mercola shows you the top 10 banned foods in the world, where they’re banned, and why.

We’ve also broken the information into smaller sections so that you can gain a clear understanding. You will also discover some healthy alternatives that you can substitute. We also highly recommend that you watch the video that we have included at the end of our post.

Spoiled For Choice

It’s easy to understand why Yeltsin was so impressed by his trip to Randall’s Supermarket. No other country on earth makes so many different types of foods available to its citizens.

By some estimates, there are over 600,000 different food items available in America’s groceries! (1)

We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to feeding ourselves and our families. But could many of the foods available at your local grocery store be spoiling your health?

Many of the foods sold in the U.S. are banned in other countries because they contain harmful additives, hormones, chemicals and other dangerous ingredients.

Americans today are less healthy than they were when Yeltsin visited Randall’s Supermarket in September 1989.

Today, according to National Institutes of Health, about 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese. And one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese.

  • In 2012, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes . And 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes. [CDC]
  • About 2,150 Americans die each day from heart disease , one every 40 seconds. [American Heart Association]
  • Sodium is a leading dietary contributor to heart disease. About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet . [Time]
  • Roughly 70 million Americans suffer digestive disease and discomfort like gas, bloating, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. [NIDDKD]
  • In 2016, there will be an estimated 1,685,210 new cancer cases diagnosed and 595,690 cancer deaths in the U.S. [American Cancer Society]

Health is deteriorating in America. And because diet is arguably the #1 factor in our health, you have to wonder how much of America’s current health problems are caused by toxic foods that are banned in other countries.

Let’s look at 5 shocking foods banned around the world that millions of Americans eat every single day.

5 Foods We Eat In America That Are Banned Around The World

1. Farm-Raised Salmon

Fish is often thought of as being one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But the truth is, a majority of the fish available in grocery stores and restaurants is frighteningly unhealthy. Take farm-raised salmon, for example.

Farm-raised salmon is much fattier than wild salmon, and contains as much as 50 percent less omega-3s and protein. Farm-raised salmon also has much higher levels of cancer-causing PCBs, dioxins, toxaphene, as well as, mercury.

But the scariest thing is what they do to farm-raised salmon to trick you into thinking it looks delicious.

Wild salmon is naturally an appetizing pinkish-red color. But because farm-raised salmon is fed an unnatural grain diet and pumped full of antibiotics their flesh turns a sickening shade of gray.

Food manufacturers know you wouldn’t buy fish that’s the color of an old, wet newspaper so they feed these fish synthetic astaxanthin made from petrochemicals, which is banned for human consumption in countries around the world.

Where it’s banned: Farm-raised salmon fed on petrochemicals is banned in Australia, New Zealand and Russia.

2. Ractopamine-Tainted Meat

An estimated 80 percent of farmed pigs in the U.S. are fed ractopamine, a growth-promoter drug that increases weight gain and reduces overall fat content in meat. It’s also widely used on cattle and turkey farms.

Ractopamine allows farmers to fatten up their herds on less feed, saving them money. But not every farmer is impressed with this powerful drug.

Bryan Karwal, a hog farmer in southwest Iowa, had tried ractopamine in the past but now no longer uses it. “I can tell you, it does change the pigs”, Mr. Karwal said. “It makes them really hyper — when I tried using it, I once went into a barn and my pigs were all standing on top of each other in a corner”. [source: New York Times]

FOX News reports that consumption of ractopamine has been linked with hyperactivity and cardiovascular problems in humans. Due to these potential health risks, in February 2013, Russia issued a long-term ban on U.S. pork and red meat due to traces of ractopamine.

Where it’s banned: In addition to Russia, the European Union, China and Taiwan are among the many countries who have put a ban on meat from ractopamine-fed animals.

3. Olestra a.k.a Olean

Olestra (sometimes marketed under the brand name “Olean”), created by scientists at Proctor & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free substitute used in fat-free snacks. Ironically, in a 2011 study conducted by Purdue University, rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight!

Time magazine named Olestra one of the 50 worst inventions ever. And no wonder.

After being approved by the FDA in 1996, Olestra became (in)famous for its negative gastrointestinal side effects, including cramps, intense diarrhea and oily anal leakage. (2)

Where it’s banned: Although both the U.K. and Canada have banned Olestra, it’s still used today in the U.S. in foods like fat-free potato chips, french fries and corn chips.

4. Artificial Food Coloring

What busy parent (or cash-strapped college student) hasn’t whipped up a box of macaroni and cheese for a quick dinner? Who hasn’t grabbed a handful of cheese crackers as a snack? How many times have you slurped up a wiggly biteful of Jell-O?

Many of the most popular foods on grocery store shelves contain artificial colors like blue #1 and #2, yellow #5 and #6, and red #40.

These additives have caused concern around the world after research showed they can cause behavioral problems, cancer, birth defects, and other health concerns.

Countries like Norway and Austria quickly issued bans on these artificial dyes, and the European Union requires a warning notice on foods containing dyes.

So what did super-rich U.S. food companies to ensure they didn’t lose sales in Europe? They switched from using artificial food coloring in their products to safer, all-natural food colorings.

If these massive companies are willing to make their foods safer for Europeans, why not do the same for their fellow Americans? (Hint: It’s not as profitable.)

Where it’s banned: Artificial food coloring is banned in Norway and Austria, and countries in the European Union require a warning notice on foods containing these ingredients.

5. Azodicarbonamide

According to the FDA, azodicarbonamide is “approved to be a bleaching agent in cereal flour” and is “permitted for direct addition to food for human consumption”.

What the FDA won’t mention is that this industrial chemical is used to make yoga mats, flip flops and foam insulation, and has been linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses. (3)

No wonder so many other countries don’t want anything to do with azodicarbonamide.

It’s been banned in Australia, the U.K., and most countries in the European Union. In Singapore, if you used azodicarbonamide as a food ingredient you’d be looking at a 15 year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.

In America, however, you’ll find azodicarbonamide in nearly 500 different foods including breads at Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Arby’s, frozen pizza, bagel chips, supermarket breads and pastries, cinnamon rolls and hundreds more.

Where it’s banned: Azodicarbonamide is banned in Australia, the U.K. and countries across Europe. Using it as a food ingredient in Singapore is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

5. Chocolate soufflé

The word soufflé comes from the French verb ‘to blow’ and, and the name suggests, this is a light, airy dessert. The dish dates back to the early 18th century and nowadays is a staple on dessert menus around the world. The crispy chocolatey crust is perfect for letting the creamy chocolate ooze out for a rich surprise. However, it doesn’t have to be sweet. In fact, cheese soufflés are just as delicious if you’re looking for something a little saltier.

Make your own

  • Make hot chocolate soufflé or try a flourless, gluten-free version
  • Madame Le Figaro’s soufflé au chocolat for two (in French)
  • Try a savory soufflé au cantal (French recipe)

Make your own

  • Quick and easy French-language recipe
  • Try it with wild mushroom and artichoke
  • This flamiche recipe uses leek and tarragon
  • Try the southern France version pissaladière

16 Fugu

This fish has the distinct displeasure of being called one of the most dangerous fish in the world. If prepared incorrectly and consumed, one’s demise is certain. It's eaten in Japan and Japanese-inspired restaurants around the world. It contains tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide. A pint-size amount is enough to have you pushing daisies. This is why it's illegal to sell or prepare fugu in the United States unless you have a license. Chefs who prepare fugu have undergone three or more years of rigorous training. The chefs reduce the amount of tetrodotoxin in fugu before cooking it. Many other countries such as Japan also regulate the sale, preparation, and consumption of this potentially deadly meal.

9 of the oldest food recipes from history still in use today

Image Source: The Great Courses

Food is so much more than just a source of nourishment and subsistence. Its richness colors culture, history, and even literature. Its coalescing prowess brings people together into communities by creating a sense of familiarity and brotherhood. Some might go so far as to say that food is one of the major forces forging a national identity. It gives individuals a feeling of belonging that is at the core of nationalism. It serves as a hobby, a passion, a profession and sometimes even as a refuge.

It is interesting to see how food preparation has evolved through history, from the Paleolithic man’s roast meat cooked over the open fire in shallow pits to the modern art of molecular gastronomy. Some ancient recipes, however, have miraculously stood the test of time and continue to be in wide use even to this day. Below are ten of the oldest food recipes (still surviving in their ‘modern’ entities) known to historians:

Note: The list focuses on the oldest enduring recipes that are more intricate than just bread, rice, meat roasted over the fire or dried in the sun, noodles or for that matter soups. Most of us know that bread was one of the first foods prepared by man, some 30,000 years ago. Although there are many recipes of flatbread, leavened bread and others that are more complicated than just toasting a flattened gruel mixture over the fire, they largely belong to the category of staples much like rice, kebab, and noodles. Here, we are more concerned with specific recipes or at least family of recipes that use spices and herbs to enhance flavor and have slowly evolved over time thanks to advancements in cooking technologies.

1) Stew, circa 6000 BC –

Much like curry, the stew is a beautiful mess of vegetables, meat, poultry and a myriad of other ingredients, cooked slowly over gentle heat. The resultant food concoction is a riot of color, flavors, and aromas that are much more sophisticated than the plain old soup. Although water is the most common stew-cooking liquid used, some recipes call for wine and even beer. While curry focuses more on building a depth of flavor by adding different spices, stew recipes are generally simple and rely on only basic seasoning. The practice of simmering meat in liquids over the fire until tender dates back 7,000 to 8,000 years – which makes it one of the world’s oldest food recipes. Archaeological findings indicate that many Amazonian tribes used the hard exterior shells of large mollusks as utensils for making stew in. To prepare a similar Scythian dish (approx. 8 th to 4 th centuries BC), wrote ancient Greek philosopher Herodotus, one has to:

… put the flesh into an animal’s paunch, mix water with it, and boil it like that over the bone fire. The bones burn very well, and the paunch easily contains all the meat once it has been stripped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself.

The Old Testament is rich with references to this type of food preparation. In Genesis, for instance, Esau and his brother Jacob paid off the dowry that Isaac incurred when he married Rebecca by offering a pot of meat stew. There are also several mentions of lentil and grain-based stews. Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, the extant 4 th century BC Roman cookbook, contains a number of detailed recipes about fish as well as lamb stews. The earliest mention of ragout, a French stew, lies in the 14th-century book by chef Taillevent called Le Viandier.

In the 16th century, the Aztecs partook in a gruesome practice of preparing stews with actual human meat and chillis, also known as tlacatlaolli – though if the concoction was actually consumed is up for debate. An important written record of this practice can be seen in a 1629 treatise by Hernando Ruiz de Alarcón. Pottage, sometimes referred to as a thick stew made with a variety of things like vegetables, meats, grains, and fish, has been continuously consumed all over Europe from the Neolithic Age. It was widely known as the poor man’s food, thanks to the easy availability of its ingredients.

2) Tamales, circa 5000 BC –

Soft parcels made from masa (a type of dough) and filled with fruits, meats, vegetables among other things, tamales are a popular Mesoamerican dish that has a long, enduring history. First prepared somewhere between circa 8,000 and 5,000 BC – thus boasting their legacy as one of the oldest food items, tamales were later widely consumed by Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and later Mayas. Steamed gently inside corn husks or banana leaves, they were commonly used as portable edibles by travelers and soldiers back when preserving food for long duration was difficult.

Historically, the dough-based food was served at festivals and feasts, and usually contained a variety of fillings, including minced rabbit, turkey, frog, fish, flamingo, eggs, fruits, beans and so on. Many pottery fragments dating back to circa 200 – 1000 AD have been discovered in the region bearing the Classic Maya hieroglyph for tamales. Today, tamales are eaten all across Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the United States and the even Philippines.

3) Pancakes, circa 3300 BC –

Around the world, pancakes are a quintessential breakfast food, often consumed with fruits, chocolate, syrup and a variety of other toppings. It refers to any flat, thin cake made from a starchy batter and cooked in a frying pan or griddle. Depending on the place of origin, pancakes can be very thin and crêpe-like (as in France, South Africa, Belgium among others), made from banana or plantain (like kabalagala in Uganda) and even fermented rice (such as dosa in South India). Tracing the history of pancakes, however, leads us back to Otzi the Iceman, who was alive sometime during circa 3,300 BC. His naturally-mummified corpse, the oldest in all of Europe, was discovered in 1991 in the Italian Alps.

Analysis of the body, according to historians, has uncovered a wealth of information about the Neolithic diet. At the 7 th meeting of the World Congress on Mummy Studies, researchers revealed that Otzi’s last meal likely consisted of alpine ibex and red deer meat, along with einkorn wheat pancakes. They argued that the traces of charcoal found in the 5,300-year-old man’s stomach, in turn, suggest that the food was cooked over open fire. In essence, the seemingly ubiquitous pancakes are one of the oldest food items known to us.

Pancakes were widely consumed by ancient Greeks, who called them tagenias or teganites derived from the word tagenon (meaning ‘frying pan’). They were cooked on clay griddle over the open fire. In works of 5th-century BC poets Magnes and Cratinus, we find the earliest mention of these pancakes, which were made using wheat flour and olive oil and served with curdled milk or honey. Much like the modern version, tagenites were commonly eaten for breakfast.

The 3rd-century philosopher Athenaeus talked in his book Deipnosophistae of a similar food (known as statitites), featuring spelled flour and adorned with sesame, cheese or just honey. Ancient Romans enjoyed similar creations, which they called alia dulcia (meaning “other sweets” in Latin). Interestingly, the 4th-century Roman cookbook Apicius actually contains a detailed recipe for a pancake-like griddle cake, prepared from a mixture of egg, flour, and milk and drizzled with honey. The first use of the English word “pancake” quite possibly took place sometime during the 15th century.

4) Curry, circa 2600 – 2200 BC –

Image Source: Shahid Hussain Raja

Nothing is more quintessentially Indian than curry. Originating in the Indian subcontinent, this aromatic food is a medley of colors, spices, and herbs. Spices commonly used in curry include cumin, turmeric, pepper, coriander, garam masala and so on. Interestingly, curry powder is primarily a product of the West, first prepared in the 18 th century for officials of the British colonial government in India. They can be vegetarian (using lentils, rice or vegetables) or fish, poultry or meat-based. Ever since the recipe was brought to the United Kingdom some 200 years ago, curry has become one of the most recognized icons of British culture. According to the National Curry Week, such is the popularity of this dish that it is consumed regularly by over 23 million people across the globe.

Etymologists believe that “curry” originally came from kari, a word in Tamil that means sauce or gravy. The history of this preparation goes back more than 4,000 years to the Indus Valley civilization, where people often used stone mortar and pestle to finely grind spices such as fennel, mustard, cumin and others. In fact, excavations at Harappa and Mohenjodaro have unearthed pottery fragments with traces of turmeric and ginger, belonging to the period between 2600 – 2200 BC, thus making curry (or at least the predecessor to curry) one of the oldest food items in the world. As pointed out by historians, the curry was often eaten with rice, which was already being cultivated in the area.

Sumerian tablets that have survived also talk of a similar food recipe for meat in some kind of spicy gravy and served with bread, as early as 1700 BC. The Apicius cookbook of the 4 th century AD contains many meat recipes that were cooked in a similar fashion, with the use of ingredients like coriander, vinegar, mint, cumin and so on. Authored in the 1390s, The Forme of Cury is significant for possessing the earliest reference to the word “cury”, though it was taken from the French term “cuire” for cooking. With the arrival of the Portuguese in Goa in the 15th century as well as the Mughals in India in the early 16th century, the curry recipe underwent multiple revisions.

In a way, the dish’s evolution represents the many cultural influences that have colored the history of the Indian subcontinent. In case you are wondering, the oldest surviving curry recipe in English can be found in the 1747 book by Hannah Glasse called The Art of Cookery.

5) Cheesecake, circa 2000 BC –

Dessert lovers like us often find themselves dreaming about the rich and decadent cheesecake. This creamy and delicious food recipe usually features a thick, luscious layer of sweetened cheese and a buttery biscuit base or crust. While the all too famous American version requires cream cheese, which was invented only in 1872 by dairyman William Lawrence, cheesecakes were originally the brainchild of ancient Greeks, who used a simple mixture of honey, flour, and soft cheese to make a light, subtly-flavored cake often served at weddings and other festivities.

Archaeological excavations in the last century have uncovered broken pieces of cheese molds dating as far back as 2000 BC, thus making cheesecake one of the oldest food recipes. Some historians believe that the very first “cheesecakes” might have been prepared in the Samos, a Greek island that has been continuously inhabited for more than 5,000 years. In fact, the dessert was offered to the athletes participating in the first Olympic games of 776 BC. The earliest written mention of this recipe can be found in a 230 AD book by the ancient Greek author Athenaeus.

Following the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC the cheesecake recipe was adopted by the Romans and, turned into something even more delectable by the addition of eggs as well as crushed cheese. The baked food item, called savillum, was often flavored with lemon or orange zest, something that continues to be done even to this day. Historical records show that the oldest extant cheesecake recipe can be found in the pages of Marcus Cato’s De Agri Cultura. Later on, it made its way to Europe and, is rumored to have been one of Henry VIII’s favorite desserts.

6) Pilaf, circa 1000 – 500 BC –

Although the bread was one of the oldest food items man prepared nearly 30,000 years ago, the more complicated varieties like stuffed bread or pastry started appearing much later. By comparison, rice has a long history of being used in rich, flavorsome and more intricate preparations. Pilaf, for instance, is an ancient food recipe made by cooking rice, vegetables, and meat in a broth seasoned with a number of different spices and herbs. Common ingredients include chicken, pork, lamb, fish, seafood, carrots and so on. Called by different names, depending on the country of origin, pilaf is widely consumed across the Middle East, Central and South Asia, the Indian subcontinent, East Africa, the Balkans and so on.

Etymologically, “pilaf” comes from the Persian polow, while the term pulao (Indian version) has its roots in the Sanskrit word pulaka (meaning “ball of rice”). While the rice was first domesticated in China over 13,000 years ago and later in India, people of ancient Persia started cultivating it as a crop between 1,000 and 500 BC. This paved the way for the first pilaf recipe, which soon spread over other parts of the Middle East as well as Central Asia. In 328 BC, when Alexander the Great conquered the Sogdian city of Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan), he actually feasted on pilaf. Soon, the recipe was taken over to Macedonia and then to different parts of Europe.

Around the same time, a similar rice preparation called pulao sprung in India. In fact, some of the earliest mentions of this dish can be traced back to the epic text of Mahabharata (as early as 400 BC) as well as certain ancient Sanskrit scriptures like Yajnavalkya Smriti (3rd to 5th century AD). The arrival of Muslims in India (as early as 7th century AD) further enriched one of the world’s oldest food recipe, with the addition of saffron and other aromatic spices. This is basically what is called biryani, a type of Mughlai preparation in which the rice, meat, and vegetables form distinct layers. The Spanish paella is believed to have descended from the original pilaf recipe, as well.

7) Kheer, circa 400 BC –

For the uninitiated, kheer is a wonderfully rich and creamy milk-based dessert belonging to the Indian cuisine. Often served at festivals, wedding ceremonies and even temples, it is believed to be the predecessor of European rice pudding. In the Indian subcontinent, it is known by many names, including payasam, payesh, phirni, and fereni among others. In fact, payasam actually comes from payasa meaning milk. Similarly, the word “kheer” is a modified form of the Sanskrit word ksheer for milk or kshirika (meaning a dish prepared with milk). Coming to its recipe, kheer is prepared by cooking rice, vermicelli or broken wheat in sweetened milk enriched with ghee and aromatic spices like cardamom and sometimes even saffron. For special occasions, it is sometimes garnished with cashews, almonds, and pistachios.

Some historians believe that kheer is one the world’s oldest food items, and was possibly one of the concoctions of ancient Ayurveda. The earliest mentions of this food recipe date as far back as 400 BC in the epic texts of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Firni (or fereni) is a close variant of kheer that was created by the people of ancient Persia. Unlike kheer, firni is made from roughly ground rice, which is then boiled in milk until completely mushy. Served cold, this dish is usually infused with cardamom, saffron, and rosewater. In fact, the Persians were the first to add rosewater into rice pudding something that was later adopted by Indians. In the 1999 book Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson writes:

The Persian version of the food, sheer birinj, according to Kekmat…was originally the food of angels, first made in heaven when the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the 7th floor of Heaven to meet God and he was served this dish.

During the reign of the Cholas in Southern India (between 300 BC and 1279 AD), kheer was commonly offered as food to the gods at any kind of religious ceremony. Historical records show that payas, a version of kheer first made in the Indian state of Orissa has been a popular sweet dish in the city of Puri for the last 2,000 years or so. According to some experts, the Bengali payesh is an equally old recipe. In fact, it is believed that spiritual leader Chaitanya actually took with him a pot of gurer payesh (jaggery-sweetened payesh) on his trip to Puri in the 16th century.

Shola (or sholleh) is a similar rice pudding that first appeared in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iran, and was later taken to Persia by Mongolians in approximately the 13 th century AD. Although rice as a grain was known to Greeks as well as Romans and was often imported from Egypt, western Asia, and other places, the birth of modern-day rice pudding occurred only after rice was introduced as a cultivable crop in Europe sometime between the 8 th and the 10 th centuries. Baked rice pudding, flavored with nutmeg, was first made in the 16 th century and quickly began a popular sweet treat. The 1596 book The Good Huswifes Jewell by Thomas Dawson features one of the oldest food recipes of baked rice pudding and it goes as follows:

To make a Tart of Ryse… boil your rice, and put in the yolks of two or three Egges into the Rice, and when it is boiled put it into a dish and season it with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, butter, and the juice of two or three Oranges, and set it on the fire again.

8) Garum, circa 4th century BC –

Fish sauce is synonymous with East and Southeast Asian cuisines, especially places like Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Korea and even Japan. As its name suggests, fish sauce is prepared by fermenting fresh or dried fish with large amounts of sea salt. Anchovies are one of the most common types of fish used to makes Asian fish sauces. There is a multitude of regional varieties, each featuring different sets of ingredients as well as distinctly-unique tastes. In addition to being used as a condiment, fish sauce is often mixed with herbs and spices and turned into dipping sauces. In fact, written records confirm that sauces made from fermented fish have been in use in certain parts of China for the last 2,000 years or so.

One thing that has long puzzled historians is that the origins of fish sauce took root not in Asia, but actually in Europe. Between the 3 rd and 4 th century BC, ancient Greeks started to make a fish sauce preparation known as garum, which was later adopted by Romans and even Byzantines. Named after an ancient type of fish garos by Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, this condiment was made by combining fish innards and blood with salt and letting it ferment until it releases a pungent smelling liquid. Like modern-day soy sauce or ketchup, this curiously concocted food item was added to dishes at the end of cooking.

With the arrival of Romans, a slightly different version of the garum, called liquamen, came into use. According to some historians, it differs from garum in that it was made by fermenting an entire fish and not just the insides. In that respect, it can be considered a predecessor of present-day Southeast Asian fish sauce. By 4th century AD, liquamen became extremely popular across the ancient Roman Empire, often taking the place of salt in recipes. The Apicius cookbook, for instance, contains several food recipes that require liquamen or garum for enhancing the flavor. Claudio Giardino, an archaeologist from Italy, stated:

According [to] the Roman writers, a good bottle of garum could cost something like $500 of today. But you can also have garum for slaves that is extremely cheap. So it is exactly like wine.

Archaeologists have discovered remnants of huge garum factories along coastal regions in Spain, Portugal and even the northern parts of Africa. In fact, jars containing garum remains in few of these factories actually helped researchers determine the date of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the consequent destruction of Pompeii. A modern version of garum, made from anchovies and currently in use in Italy, is Colatura di alic.

9) Isicia Omentata, circa 4th century AD –

Burgers are emblematic of the modern fast food phenomenon. Sandwiched between two soft slices of the bun and embellished with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and even pickles, this sumptuous meat patty is loved unanimously across the globe, ever since it was introduced in the United States in the 1900s. It was widely popularized by street vendors and was one of the first American fast food items. Although the origins of this iconic recipe remain murky to this day, some historians believe that it can be traced back to isicia omentata, an ancient Roman beef preparation that dates back to the circa early 4th century AD – thus potentially being one of the oldest food items in the world.

The 1,500-year-old food recipe, which has survived in the extant ancient Roman cookbook Apicius: De Re Coquinaria, involved mixing the minced meat, condiments, pine nuts, white wine, and the famous Garum fish sauce, and cooking the resultant patties over an open fire. Speaking about the dish, UK-based food historian Dr. Annie Gray said:

We all know that the Romans left a huge mark on Britain, fundamentally altering the British diet forever. Street food became available en masse, and many of our favorite foods were introduced, including Isicia Omentata, what can be seen as the Roman forefather to today’s burger. This ‘burger’ was decidedly more upmarket than many of today’s offerings and is richer and more complex than the plain beef version most common today.

And in case we have not attributed or misattributed any image, artwork or photograph, we apologize in advance. Please let us know via the ‘Contact Us’ link, provided both above the top bar and at the bottom bar of the page.

How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Could these banned ingredients be contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates here in the U.S.?

The health of Americans is downright grim according to a report just released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council. It declares “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” The United States spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation, however, when compared with 16 other nations we come in dead last in terms of health and life expectancy for men and near the bottom for women.

Here is the breakdown for you:

  • More than two thirds of United States citizens are overweight – 33% being obese.
  • 32% of children are either obese or overweight.
  • 43% of Americans are projected to be obese in 10 years.
  • After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death and is linked to 70% of heart disease and 80% of diabetes cases.
  • And 41% of Americans are projected to get cancer in their lifetime!

These reports and statistics scream the word HELP!
Recently, I spent some time down in Mississippi volunteering in the most obese county in the nation. I found that while social and economic factors do play a part in this epidemic, the main culprit was the lack of nutrition education. The victims of obesity are likely the same victims of systematic brainwashing from Big Food marketers, relying on diet soda, low fat products, or looking only at calories on product labels. Basically, they are doing what the food industry has been teaching them about losing weight versus finding out the truth about real food.

And that’s the problem – the food industry is the one leading our conversation in this country about food and nutrition, educating the mass public about what to eat and what not to eat. Coca-Cola recently even went as far as creating a special campaign to combat obesity – yes you read that right – a sugar filled soda company trying to stop obesity. (You can read my reaction to that here).

Unfortunately, the doctors in this country are not exactly leading the discussion either, since nutrition is not currently a focus in medical school. And the government has their hands tied by big food industry and chemical company lobbyists that basically control what the FDA approves, deems safe for human consumption, and our overall food policy.
So who is going to finally tell us the truth about our food?

The food industry does not want us to pay attention to the ingredients nor do they care about the negative effects from eating them. They certainly don’t care about the astronomical medical bills that are a direct result of us eating the inferior food they are creating.

The HELP we need starts here. We as a collective nation must stop this trajectory of sickness and rising health care costs, by understanding the ingredients we are putting into our bodies. We must challenge the U.S. food industry to discontinue the use of banned ingredients that are not allowed elsewhere in the world. We deserve to have the same quality food without potential toxins.

Food is medicine, and plain and simple, if our food is sick (filled with GMO’s, chemicals, additives, artificial ingredients, and/or carcinogens), collectively we as a country are going to continue to be sick.

Using banned ingredients that other countries have determined unsafe for human consumption has become a pandemic in this country. To prove this point, I found the best and easiest place to look for evidence was just across “the pond” in the United Kingdom, where they enjoy some of the same types of products we do – but with totally different ingredient lists.
It is appalling to witness the examples I am about to share with you. The U.S. food corporations are unnecessarily feeding us chemicals – while leaving out almost all questionable ingredients in our friends’ products overseas. The point is the food industry has already formulated safer, better products, but they are voluntarily only selling inferior versions of these products here in America. The evidence of this runs the gamut from fast food places to boxed cake mix to cereal to candy and even oatmeal – you can’t escape it.

Some of the key American brands that are participating in this deception are McDonald’s, Pringles (owned by Kellogg’s), Pizza Hut and Quaker (owned by Pepsi), Betty Crocker (owned by General Mills), Starburst (owned by M&M/Mars), and Ritz Crackers (owned by Kraft). In the examples below, red text indicates potentially harmful ingredients and/or ingredients likely to contain GMOs.

Having a pre-made box of flour, baking soda and sugar all ready to go saves time for some people when it comes to making a cake, but does saving time have to come at the expense of chemically derived and potentially toxic ingredients?
The United States version of Betty Crocker Red Velvet cake not only has artificial colors linked to hyperactivity in children, food cravings, and obesity, but it also has partially hydrogenated oils (a.k.a. trans fat). Trans fat has been shown to be deadly even in small amounts. “Previous trials have linked even a 40-calorie-per-day increase in trans fat intake to a 23% higher risk of heart disease.” This could easily be the amount of trans fat in one serving of Betty Crocker icing alone.

Sodium benzoate is an ingredient that Coca-Cola actually removed in their Diet Coke product overseas, but you’ll still find it in their product Sprite, cake mixes and loads of other products across the USA. The Mayo Clinic reported that this preservative increases hyperactivity in children. Also, when sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it can form benzene, a carcinogen that damages DNA in cells and accelerates aging.

Fast Food giants like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut are just as guilty as General Mills’ Betty Crocker.
Look closely at the ingredients in McDonald’s french fries above. Do you see how the french fries in the U.K. version are basically just potatoes, vegetable oil, a little sugar and salt? How can McDonald’s make french fries with such an uncomplicated list of ingredients all over Europe, but not over here? Why do McDonald’s french fries in the U.S. have to have TBHQ, trans fat and “anti-foaming” agents? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked – I didn’t think Americans liked foam with their fries either!
The anti-foaming agent – dimethylpolysiloxane – is a type of silicone used in caulks and sealants and as a filler for breast implants. It’s also the key ingredient in silly putty.
Thanks FDA for allowing companies to put silly putty in our french fries. Seriously – this is out of control.

McDonalds Strawberry Sauce in the United States includes high fructose corn syrup, red #40 and sodium benzoate, while the citizens of the U.K. get off scot-free. Instead, they get 37% real strawberries in their product and no additional flavoring or harmful preservatives.

Pizza Hut does a huge disservice to us (and their workers) by using Azodicarbonamide in their garlic cheese bread. This ingredient is banned as a food additive in the U.K., Europe, and Australia, and if you get caught using it in Singapore you can get up to 15 years in prison and be fined $450,000. The U.K. has recognized this ingredient as a potential cause of asthma if inhaled, and advises against its use in people who have sensitivity to food dye allergies and other common allergies in food, because azodicarbonamide can exacerbate the symptoms. However, Pizza Hut and many other fast food chains like Subway and Starbucks use this ingredient in their U.S. bread products.

Natural and artificial flavors and hidden MSG (in the form of autolyzed yeast extract, in this case) are commonly found throughout products in America but not elsewhere. Junk food companies intentionally add this combination of ingredients to create sensory overload by exciting your brain cells to remember the food you are eating and make less nutritious ingredients taste better to you.
I’m not saying that the food industry has completely eliminated these same tricks abroad – but when you look at the U.K. version of garlic cheese bread, the ingredients look pretty basic. Many of the ingredients you could use at home to make garlic bread. I’ve never found TBHQ in the baking aisle at the grocery store, have you? TBHQ, by the way, is a preservative derived from petroleum and used in perfumes, resins, varnishes and oil field chemicals. Laboratory studies have linked TBHQ to stomach tumors. This preservative is also used by Chick-Fil-A in their famous chicken sandwiches.

Reviewing the ingredients in Pringles really got me worked up… ever wonder why you can’t stop eating chips after having just one? MSG is the culprit – and in the U.S. version of Pringles, it’s added twice! Once in its known name and again in a hidden source, called “yeast extract.”

This begs the question “Why are Americans so addicted to processed food?!” The food industry has designed it that way on purpose to line their pockets with profits, at the expense of our health.

The U.K. Ritz Crackers ingredient list resembles items that you’d find in every household around the country – but the United States version goes the extra mile to include trans fat, HFCS and natural flavor. Natural flavor can be also be a hidden form of MSG, which, again, is an additive that will likely make you eat more than you would otherwise.

In the United States, Quaker Oats has several different flavors of oatmeal that contain different fruit flavored, artificially dyed pieces of dehydrated apple but that don’t actually contain any of the fruit shown on the package. But in the U.K. – they don’t even attempt to sell that garbage. They instead have a product called “Oats so Simple” that actually has REAL strawberries in it – light years ahead of our version that includes trans fat, artificial food coloring, and artificial flavors.

There’s only one difference in Rice Krispies between the U.S. and U.K. version – but it’s a big difference. It’s one ingredient that is banned virtually in every other country, except here in the United States. That ingredient is called BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) or BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and is a very common preservative used rampantly throughout packaged food in the U.S.

Test studies published by the IPCS (International Program for Chemical Safety) “show tissue inflammation, enlargement, and/or growths in 100%, and cancer in 35% of [animal] subjects” as reported in this article. How can the U.S. allow this chemical in our food – much less in cereal aimed and targeted at our kids?

And speaking of targeting our kids – food companies have found a way to naturally color candy all over Europe, but our candy here is still full of artificial substances made from petroleum and GMO sugar. Looking at the ingredients in Starburst Fruit Chews provides a great example of this disgrace.

I saved the most startling fact for last. One very cautionary set of ingredients that are included in almost all of the American products but not the U.K. products are GMO’s, in the form of either corn or soy.

There have been no long term human studies on GMOs and preliminary studies on animals show horrific consequences. For instance, a study showed GMOs caused toxic and allergic reactions, sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ studied in lab animals. Another study revealed that female rats fed GMO soy for 15 months showed significant health issues in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. A 2009 French Study concluded that Glyphosate (used on GMO soy) can kill the cells in the outer layer of the human placenta, the organ that connects the mother to her fetus, providing nutrients and oxygen and emptying waste products. A Russian study conducted on hamsters that were fed GMO soy diets for two years over three generations found that by the third generation, most of the hamsters lost the ability to have babies, showed slower growth, and suffered a higher mortality rate.

In the U.K. food companies are required by law to list if a certain ingredient is derived from a genetically modified or genetically engineered material on the label. Out of all the products I researched, I couldn’t find one product with this label. (See example from GMO-Compass and BBC above of what it would look like if I did.)

This was very telling considering that not only have food companies taken out all sorts of hazardous chemical ingredients abroad – but they also have willingly reformulated their products without GMOs.

Cauliflower Pasta with Pecorino, Grated Egg, and Pine Nuts

Recipes you want to make. Cooking advice that works. Restaurant recommendations you trust.

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Ad Choices