06/21/2012 07:50 EDT | Updated 08/21/2012 05:12 EDT

The Surprising Truth About What's in Your Food

If my parents or grandparents were around today they would not recognize the food we consume on a daily basis. It would look and taste different from anything they were used to. About 30 years ago fast, processed or packaged food were the anomalies. We ate most of our meals at home, prepared from scratch. But today fast and processed food is a daily occurrence due to the availability and the lack of time in our lives. According to the National Restaurant Association, nearly half of the money North Americans spend on food is in restaurants and a third of the calories North Americans consume come from restaurants.

The problem is that much of the food we eat has not been created in a kitchen but rather a laboratory. You may find the truth hard to swallow!


Processed Salami

This meat comes from the slaughterhouse leftovers of a pig or cow using a process that removes the muscle and meat so nothing is wasted. Add about 15 more ingredients made up of mostly salt and spices and voila you have Salami! What's wrong with just a grilled piece of pork or beef instead?

Fake Bacon Bits (imitation)

These store bought packages of what you love to add to your Caesar salads are made up of soy bits seasoned with bacon and a hickory-smoked flavour. Not much bacon in this artificial ingredient! More like trans-fats, artificial colouring, salt and sugar. You could easily cook up a batch of crisp bacon, crumble it and freeze for later use.

Wendy's Frosties

You'd think a frosty should have milk, ice cream and ice. Think again! Wendy's Frosties have around 14 ingredients with sugar and corn syrup leading the pack. The rest of the ingredients are a group of thickening agents consisting of guar and cellulose gum and carrageenan. Also remember that if a flavour like coffee, chocolate, caramel or strawberry is added, this consists of another 10- 20 ingredients! Keep this as a "once in a blue moon" kind of treat.

Multi- or 9-Grain Rolls

When we order a subway sandwich we feel good about ordering the multi-grain bun. But don't fool yourself, the main grain is enriched wheat flour lacking nutrients plus high fructose corn syrup to boot. Add another 15 ingredients to this bun that's mostly made of preservatives and caramel colouring to give it the look of whole wheat! I suppose it's still a better choice than white, but marginally.

Baskin-Robbins Oreo Sundae

This addictive delicious sundae may not be so tempting when you discover there are close to 80 ingredients included of which few are natural. It's loaded with trans-fats consisting of soybean, palm and coconut oil. Sugar shows up over 10 times in the ingredient list and to boot you're inhaling over 1200 calories with sugar showing up a staggering 11 times on the list of ingredients.


In the movie theatre you feel you are making a healthier choice by forgoing the buttery salty popcorn and instead nibbling on the rainbow coloured "Skittles." These brightly-coloured nuggets consist of sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm oil plus nine artificial colours! Maybe the popcorn is not so bad, just forget the extra pumps of butter.

Fast-Food Burger

"Where's the Beef"? You'll have to look pretty hard to find unadulterated meat in chain restaurant burgers. These inexpensive burgers usually come from slaughterhouse trimmings, also used to make pet food! To eliminate any chance of E. Coli ammonia is used to "clean" the meat. Perhaps in small amounts but it's still the stuff we use to clean our homes. Now that sounds appetizing! Get freshly ground beef at your butcher and have a great, tasty and safe barbeque.


What's in This "Food"?