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Is Processed Food Safe? The FDA Doesn’t Know

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With the FDA underfunded, under the gun, and unable to keep up with manufacturers’ constant tweaking of processed foods, consumers are left to their own devices. The simplest way to avoid the whole chemical soup is to opt for the freshest food possible, preferably grown sustainably and without chemicals.

Given the might and reach of the food industry, that is not always easy to do. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a regular target of the food industry’s venom, which reassures me they are on track with their advisories. They recommend avoiding these additives as much as possible: sodium nitrite, artificial sweeteners (Saccharin, Aspartame, Acesulfame-K), caffeine, Olestra and food dyes.

Their site includes links safety information on a long list of additives. They have also developed a mobile app, Chemical Cuisine, that makes it easy to ask questions as you shop.

Michael Pollan’s advice is probably easiest to remember: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”


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Photo 1 from jazzijava; Photo 2: from Helge Höpfner via Wikimedia Commons; Photo 3: Thinkstock

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6:05AM PDT on Sep 25, 2013

Thank you Cathryn, for Sharing this!

8:24PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

It's best to eat as little processed food as you can. It's not going to kill you but it can make you fat and sluggish.

9:46PM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

Right On!

3:44AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

The FDA works for agribusiness. We all have to do our own research.

2:13AM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

IS it safe? Is it good for you?

6:41PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

What is wrong with REAL food? We should not real dangerous chemicals.

1:27PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012


10:43AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Good to know.

3:48AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

Not good.

12:09AM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

No wonder the FDA stands for Full of Dumb Arses!

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