5 Everyday Ingredients That Are Popular in American Foods but Outlawed Around the World

So much for "an apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Hold on a minute before you put those apples and potato chips in your supermarket cart. Do they contain poisonous ingredients? There's a good chance the answer is yes. If you do even a little digging, you’ll quickly find that many of your favorite foods contain a laundry list of chemicals and ingredients widely sold in America, but banned for human consumption in other countries. The list ranges from artificial food coloring and certain cereals, as Delish reports, to fresh fruits you thought were good for you. Here, some of the foods you might want to reconsider:

1.  Certain Fat-Free Potato Chips (And Fries!)

The culprit? Olestra, a common fat/oil substitute used to fry some of your favorite low-cal and spud-based snacks. Currently banned in both the UK and Canada, Olestra has been known to cause vitamin depletion and, so much more alarmingly, “oily anal leakage.” So yea, maybe just grab some carrots instead?

2.  Various Breads, Boxed Pasta, and Baked Goods

Flour, if you didn’t know, will whiten naturally. But this is 2016—nobody (apparently) has time to sit around and wait for that. That’s why U.S. food companies started using a chemical known as azodicarbonamide to bleach flour faster. Aside from bleaching flour, azodicarbonamide is also handy for making sneaker soles and yoga mats (fun!) and has been linked to asthma. Did we mention that if you use it in food in Singapore, you could face up to 15 years in jail? Great stuff.

3.  Apples, Apple Juice, Applesauce Containing DPA

Shape.com reports there may be a danger to eating the chemical DPA, a chemical used to create a protective shield for apples to keep them from browning during long months of storage (which in turn is why you can snag apples all year long). The European Food Safety Authority deemed DPA poisonous in 2014, after an investigation showed that the chemical could cause the formation of nitrosamines, which in other studies has been linked to cancer. So much for keeping the doctor away.

4.  Farm-Raised Salmon Containing Astaxanthin

Not-so-fast, fish lovers: Delish reports that salmon raised on farms may grow up consuming a less-than-ideal (way, way less than ideal) diet of grains and drugs which leaves the fish with nasty gray-colored flesh. To compensate fish farmers often feed salmon astaxanthin which, in addition to not being approved for human consumption, helps restore the color of the fish. So you’re possibly dying, but at least your fish looks pink. (Bonus: there’s a great chance those salmon are also full of antibiotics/mercury. Talk about a 2-for-1.)

5.  GMO Papayas

It turns out a majority of the papayas in the U.S. have been genetically modified to resist a certain virus known for plaguing the crop (ringspot). The problem is that while we don’t know exactly what effect genetically modified crops have on humans, the effects on animals are…less than great (which is the most positive way one can describe effects like intestinal damage, organ damage, tumors, birth defects, premature death and sterility). The implications are apparently enough cause for Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg to ban genetically engineered foods.

America has made no such decision

 

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