Quinoa to Salmon to Seltzer: Here's Why Everything We Like to Eat or Drink Is Evil in Some Way

Quinoa to Salmon to Seltzer: Here's Why Everything We Like to Eat or Drink Is Evil in Some Way

Might want to open your fridge, throw everything out, and start over.

By Drew DiSabatino

If there’s one thing people love more than a food trend, it’s telling others why they shouldn’t be eating something. “I saw a study about how avocados cause global warming." (They don’t...as far as we know, anyway.) “I heard tomatoes contain lead.” (They don’t—or do they?) “I saw a Facebook post that said hot dogs cause hot flashes.” (Uh, unclear.)

It’s all getting pretty overwhelming —the many ethical, moral and safety considerations we have to give our food these days— and so the folks over at Grub Street have put together a handy list compiling all the arguments one could make against eating various popular food items. The list is terrifyingly comprehensive. Just about every food or drink we tend to buy is on there. But the article includes alternative strategies for each of the items listed, so there's a ray of hope. Check out the extensive article, and meanwhile here's a tiny sample of the horrors you're in for:


Those beautiful orange-pink fish have a serious drug problem. According to the article, a recent test of salmon in Puget Sound found that polluted wastewater caused salmon to pick up traces amounts of cocaine, caffeine, Prozac, Advil and other drugs. Do you really want to eat drug-infused fish? Just say no.


Potatoes are being grown by “the man.” Or, perhaps we should say “the men” when talking about the billionaire Koch brothers. When the Kochs aren’t funding enormous political machines, they’re selling Koch Advanced Nitrogen fertilizer to farmers growing your spuds and many other plants.


The quinoa situation is confusing. News reports in recent years have told us that our obsession with quinoa has inflated its value and damaged South American communities. But then it turns out, according to Slate and other sources, that those reports might be false—except that the widespread and expanding quinoa cultivation is having a negative effect on the environment. For shame, bulk food sections.

Energy Bars

You’re not getting energized; you’re getting dumber. A study at UCLA found corn syrup in energy bars caused brain activity in rats to slow down, making them unable to complete mazes they had previously solved. Keep eating energy bars and you may get worse at mazes too. Then where would you be? (Literally.)


It’s giving you bowel cancer. There’s not much that could get you to stop eating bacon, you might say. But the idea that eating two slices a day can increase your risk of bowel cancer by almost 20 percent maybe, and we know it’s only maybe, should be good enough reason to cut back?


Nope, even plain seltzer is not so innocent. It contains carbonic acid, which likes to destroy that lovely tooth enamel of yours, which in turn leads to cavities. If you prefer a citrus flavor of seltzer water, the effects are even worse. Think before you drink.

Some other honorable mentions on the list: Terrorism-supporting bananas, wood-filled parmesan cheese, human-DNA-filled hot dogs, anti-LGBT spaghetti and both sugar and sugar substitutes.


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