It’s shocking to learn that some of the ingredients we consume on a daily basis as Americans are so unhealthy that they are considered unfit for consumption in other countries. From the additives in our cereals to the chemicals embedded in our meats and sodas, it’s no wonder the American obesity problem has ballooned into a full-fledged epidemic. What’s more shocking is the fact that, at this point, it’s more difficult (and more expensive) to find food in its organic, unaltered state than it is to find food tainted with harmful, artificial additives. Thankfully, Delish has compiled a handy list of the American foods banned in other countries, which doubles as a list of toxic ingredients to avoid at all costs:
Where they’re found: Cereals, baked goods, candy, sports drinks, soda, macaroni and cheese, and more.
Why they’re bad: Although food dyes add a vibrant pop of color to your food, they are reportedly made from chemicals extracted from petroleum, according to Delish. Petroleum is also used to make gasoline, diesel, and tar.
Why it’s bad: Farm-raised salmon are fed an unnatural diet of grains, antibiotics, and other drugs designed to fatten up the fish. Unsurprisingly, this lethal combination leaves the salmon with gray-toned flesh, which manufacturers then correct using pink synthetic astaxanthin—another petrochemical. Consider buying wild-caught salmon to get your dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Where it’s found: Sports drinks and citrus-flavored sodas.
Why it’s bad: While we’ve already discussed the harmful effects of vegetable oils, brominated vegetable oil is basically a citrus flavor intensifier and a toxic, poisonous chemical. “[It’s] corrosive to the body, having been linked to organ system damage, birth defects, schizophrenia, and more,” reports Delish.
Head over to Delish for the full list of banned ingredients, and shop the Simply Organic cookbook to avoid toxic food additives altogether.