Monday, June 21, 2010

Blind Faith: Trusting what’s printed on nutrition labels

People count calories, they compare fat content, they raise an eyebrow at sodium percentages and many shudder at reading the phrase high fructose corn syrup. That’s a good thing because people are reading and comparing and trying to control what they put into their body. There’s only one problem, none of us really know if what we’re reading on a label is really what is in a can, a box, or a bag.

Every single day we put Blind Faith into effect and I don’t mean by putting the Blind Faith album from the 60’s into their stereo or MP3 player of choice. I mean that we trust that something doesn’t have fat, something really is low sodium and that the product we consume doesn’t contain something that could make us sick. It’s not that a cereal box has rat droppings, but who’s to say that a cereal contains what it says on the side of the box. Who guarantees that the salmon we’re eating really isn’t halibut.

Recently a group of students ran DNA* studies on cafeteria food and found that what they were being offered as beef was something else. I won’t get into specifics because the technology is still in development and there are questions to the validity of the results. That being said, what guarantee do we have that it isn’t right, and that instead of beef we’re not eating dog? Truth is we have no idea what we put into our bodies. Sure we read labels, but many are misleading and others go through the traditional routes of saying natural flavor, artificial flavors, but don’t really go into specifics. If you don’t believe me, just read a couple of nutritional labels and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

So next time you’re not feeling too good stomach wise, ask yourself a very simple question… what the hell have I been eating?

(*NOTE: if you want to see an article on what I’m talking about in regards to the DNA food testing, click the title of the post. Not the event I referred to, but scarier, especially if you love sushi.)

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