In the United States, 90% of the nation’s food budget is spent on processed food. A recent government report says that over 40% of the food products found in the average supermarket contains trans fats, and there is no safe recommended limit for trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oil.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest estimates that banning trans fats from all foods would save at least 30,000 lives each year in the US alone.
Again, you need to become a keen label reader. The more ingredients on a label that you don’t recognize, the more chance is that it’s some chemical junk. If in doubt, look it up, and check what effects it might have. Isn’t a few minutes taken now, better than losing years later due to illness, that could have been avoided?
In the United States food is imported from around 150 countries. Much of it is processed in those countries before it reaches the US, and there are almost 200,000 foreign processing plants involved.
In 2007, the US FDA checked less than 100 of them.
OK, so that’s overseas. What about here in the US itself. That’s got to be a whole lot better hasn’t it?
FDA Inspectors get around to each US food processor about once every ten years.
Makes you think about a couple of things. Firstly, how come there aren’t many many more cases of contaminated food cases, and secondly, isn’t it a good idea to cut back on the consumption of as much processed food as possible?
The United States has long had a reputation for being a nation full of overweight junk food eaters. Of course, that’s not true, and the US isn’t really far ahead (if at all) of nations like the UK, in the amount of take-out junk food they consume, and the amount of processed food that they buy.
However, what might surprise some are the concerns being raised in countries like India. As the average consumer in India gets more disposable income they too, are turning more and more to Western style junk.
In Madurai, in southern India yesterday, the Health Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss said, “The union health and family welfare ministry would continue its war against junk food, alcohol, tobacco and drugs as they are mainly responsible for making India “the capital of diabetes, heart ailments and obesity”.