Are the Foods at Your Grocery Store Trustworthy?
When you walk into a grocery store and pick out fruits, vegetables, and protein, you assume that the food you choose is safe to eat and you won't harm yourself. However, there are potential issues that may crop up in terms of different foods and you may not want to trust everything you eat.
Food Contamination Continues to Grow
There is a general lack of food safety that occurs from time to time such as contaminated beef or dairy products, according to the International Organization for Standardization. In addition, there is plenty of food fraud that takes place worldwide and it costs food retailers as much as $15 billion USD every year. For example, a horse meat scandal rocked the continent of Europe where beef, ready-made meals, and other meat products were contaminated with horse meat and pork. Consumer confidence was badly broken from this scandal. The Irish Food Authority began testing the meat products sold in large supermarkets, which is when this finding of horse meat was discovered. Before that, no meat products were tested in the lab. Reviews of the food system throughout the United Kingdom led to the creation of the National Food Crime Unit, which has been fighting food fraud. Essentially, these contamination issues show that you, as the consumer, may not be able to trust the food you eat. With the help of departments like the National Food Crime Unit and the Food Fraud Network, however, provide more safety for the future of food. Along with the horse meat scandal, some food contamination may occur in grains like corn, rice, barley, and wheat. Granary & Rice Weevil insects can be found in these grains and may be infesting macaroni and spaghetti products. You may also find this type of contamination in beans, cereals, apples, and pears. The larvae of these insects tend to develop inside whole grains. However, it is important to realize that these food products are often inspected to ensure no insects or larvae have infested the grains. Along with general food contamination, it is important to realize that certain foods are not what you expect upon purchase.
Different Foods that are Not What You Expect
There are a number of different products you eat that don't have the ingredients you might expect. For example, maple syrup bottles such as Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth's, and Log Cabin do not have the typical ingredients of syrup tapped from trees and boiled into a sweetener, according to the Eat This, Not That! magazine. Instead, these products are filled with artificial flavors, colorings, and high fructose corn syrup. The reason these type of ingredients are not safe is due to their higher risk of health problems such as fatty liver disease or even cancer. In addition, white chocolate has some cocoa butter, but lacks flavonoids and antioxidants. Essentially, the darker the chocolate you buy, the less sugar it will have and the healthier it will be. Another interesting fact is that Dean's Guacamole Flavored Dip actually contains less than 2 percent of real avocado! It is mostly made with tomatoes, skim milk, oil, and water.
Food Labels are Not Trustworthy
If you begin to read more about the food labels that are found in your typical grocery store, you'll find that they are much more geared toward marketing products than being truly trustworthy among their consumer base. The source Sustainable America discusses how standards for labeling have not been effectively tracked and many of the words found on food labels are more geared toward marketing such as the word "natural," which can describe any potential food product. There have even been controversies regarding whether or not foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should be labeled. In California, there have been calls growing toward adding these labels to their foods.
Why Researching Foods Before Consumption is Vital
We have uncovered that food labels are less trustworthy, there are potential contamination problems at grocery stores, and certain foods don't have the type of ingredients you'd expect. As such, it is vital for you to conduct proper research before buying and consuming some of the foods you'd find in your grocery store or restaurant.