Food Industry is Conning the Consumer


– by Shenali D Waduge

The global food industry is huge and includes local and international regulation for food production and sale, food safety, R&D, financial services, education, food processing, agriculture, wholesale and distribution, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and marketing. Over years, the consumers have been fooled in many ways by these very industry groups and the extent to which they have gone to make profits is shocking.

What we thought healthy we now find out is not. What doctors advised to be included into our diets have ended up causing health issues and side effects, even doctors do not know what is inside the foods we eat while they themselves are clueless about the drugs that are given to us, serving sizes labeled once when weighed is false, foods that we thought were nutritious are now said to be made of GMOs or full of chemicals and fertilizers, fruits we loved to eat are sprayed with carbide, spices are mixed – there is nothing that those associated with the food industry have not thought of to manipulate so as to fill their purses at the cost of our lives.

Corporate and government elite dine on safe organic food while the masses are secretly poisoned by hidden genetically modified (GMO) food. President Barack Obama demands organic food and so do many world leaders. Even Monsanto’s own employees get organic food at the company canteen – why do the masses have to pay and eat poisons? This list gives some companies owned by Monsanto (please read). Even Kelloggs cereals are GMO – do we really know what is inside the food we eat whether it is in its natural form or even as processed food?

Facts on Food Industry

  • Worldwide food sales – US$3.2trillion (2004)
  • US consumers spends – US$1trillion annually on food i.e. 10% of GDP and employs 16.5million people
  • Annually 48000 Americans suffer food poisoning from contaminated food ($152billion on economy) and 3000 die of food poisoning annually.
  • UK employs 2million people with turnover of £70bn.
  • Agriculture accounts for twenty percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product

What food industry hides from consumers

Food can LEGALLY contain maggots, rodent hair and insect eggs. US FDA allows berries upto 4 larvae per 100gms, canned pineapple can pack up to 20% moldy fruit, cinnamon can carry up to 1mg of animal excrement per pound! If legal limits are allowed per unit – what if someone takes in excess!!! What kind of human beings think of putting insects, and excreta of insects and bugs inside food to be approved by Government authorities as well going so far as to give minimum gram requirement?

  • Did you know that French fries are beef extract with a fine layer of sugar coating – a 2002 MacDonald lawsuit in India is proof?
  • Blueberrys are nothing but cornstarch, oil and heaps of sugar and dye – frozen green peas cant be any different.
  • Ice creams, breads, cakes all contain wood pulp.
  • Salamis, sausages, hot dogs are made from carcasses of animals in slaughterhouses
  • The supposedly 100% natural fruit juice has preservatives, sugar, colouring
  • Many international fast food outlets use silicon dioxide (a nice word for sand) in their burgers
  • Buns and other bakery items are also said to contain L-cysteine – a multipurpose amino acid used as a dough softener and flavor enhancer which is derived from human hair and some L-cysteine comes from duck feathers.
  • US FDA allows rodent hair and insect legs if included “within given proportions”, FDA also accepts foods to contain certain amounts of insect parts, rodent hair, mammalian excreta – thus maggots are allowed if it doesn’t exceed over 20 in a 100g mushroom can!
  • In Britain a food scandal revealed that under the label of beef products, pork and horse meat were being served – We believe we are following our religious precepts but invariably we are eating what we thought we were not – what use are labels!!!
  • Should we be surprised that the world is facing an obesity crisis – high fructose corn syrup is used in beverages, cereals, meats and yoghurts – its excessive consumption leads to abnormal food habits and even cardiovascular and fatty liver diseases.
  • Castoreum is another ingredient used in yoghurt, ice creams, gelatin and puddings – it is a flavoring agent. Castoreum is extracted from North American beavers – from a gland located between their anus and external genitals.
  • Even milk powder is said to be contaminated with chemicals and plastic some of which had ended up in baby’s milk! This video depicts the lies and deceits of the supermarket industry.

Let’s face it nutritious foods are expensive. But those that paid extra to drink “non-fat” milk now discover there was nothing “non-fat” about it! It has become easier to captivate the consumers by pricing junk food at lesser price. Even if people want to shift to nutritious foods their financial situation stops them. This is where concerned individuals need to shift their focus on and see how best they can use the power consumers hold to stop the treachery taking place in the food industry.

Moreover fruits and vegetables themselves are losing their nutrients. Is it a surprise when both are contaminated with fertilizers or sprayed with chemicals like carbide to artificially ripen them causing loss of nutrient value as well as inducing cancers and other health hazards. Gone are the days that people can eat fresh vegetables because the chances of the fertilizers impacting directly to one’s body is more.

  • Chicken today contains 266% more fat than it did 40 years ago and has 33% less protein (London Metropolitan Univ) – modern farming practices and unnatural diets for the bird.
  • 42% chicken in supermarkets are contaminated – salmonella, campylobacter
  • Milk contains hormones that may cause cancer. In 1970 a typical dairy cow produced 10,000 pounds of milk per year, today that same cow is producing 20,000 pounds. The change is due to what the cows are being fed – a hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) which is linked to cancer (prostrate, breast, colon).
  • Fruits like apples, celery, strawberries, peaches and spinach are soaked in chemicals before being shipped. Wash in water and mild soap before eating!
  • Eating Transfat – food processors are allowed food to contain 0.49gms per serving. If you eat an entire bag of chips you will be consuming the entire trans fat even if the bag says “O gms trans fat” – partially hydrogenated oil is the main source of trans fat.
  • Dyes alter kids behavior – Yellow#5, Yellow#6, and Red#40 causes hyperactivity. Foods marketed for children unfortunately all have heavily dyed foods.
  • Fastfood burgers are made with slaughterhouse trimmings, fatty cuts of beef (reserved for pet food/cooking oil), hundreds of pieces of different cows which may contain bacteria so USDA allows a company called Beef Products to pipe the raw beef through pipes and expose it to ammonia gas.
  • Aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass jar lids, lining of food-containing tins and cans have bisphenol a (BPA) – BPA is similar to estrogen and results in behavioral problems and even obesity. Look for BPA free bottles/cans.
  • Coloring = crushed bugs: carmine is a red food coloring used in red colored candies and juices which is crushed abdomen of female dactylopius coccus in other words – a Beetle.

How Food Manufacturers Trick Consumers

We think we know the ingredients: Foods have ingredient lists – consumers read them and think they are buying healthy products or quality products but do consumers really know what they are eating?

Trick 1: Distributing sugars among many ingredients so sugars don’t appear on the top 3.

Manufacturers uses a combination of sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids, brown sugar, dextrose  etc so that the % is distributed. By shifting sugars further down the ingredient list manufacturers deceive consumers.

Trick 2: Using great sounding names (especially used for personal care products like shampoos, creams etc) You will use gracious use of “herbal”, “natural” etc. It is called “label padding” and used in junk foods as well.

Trick 3: Hiding dangerous ingredients using innocent-sounding names.  Sodium Nitrate is highly cancerous. Carmine food coloring is made from smashed bodies of red cochineal beetles. If labels had “insect-based food coloring” no one would buy it – so carmine is used! Yeast extract is monosodium glutamate (MSG) – a chemical taste enhancer to boost flavors of overly processed foods.

Trick 4 – Fooling us by the name of product – Just because companies label “guacamole dip” it contains no avocado instead it is hydrogenated soybean oil and artificial green coloring chemicals. The same is being done to green peas. “Cheese” crackers don’t contain real cheese, “creamy” doesn’t contain cream, “fruit” doesn’t contain fruit…

Trick 5 – Ingredient lists exclude chemical contaminants, bisphenol-A, PCBs and other toxic substances.  The consumer are fooled because requirement for listing food ingredients was a joint creation by governments and private food industry. Initially the food industry refused to list any ingredients citing “proprietorship” then they moved on to fooling people with bogus labels. For decades the consumers are fooled about the chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals that they consume on a daily basis.

Trick 6 – false serving sizes because food containing 0.5gms or less of trans fatty acids per serving is allowed so the labels carry ZERO trans fat. How can 0.5=0 ? Companies also reduce the serving sizes so that they can claim Zero.  If a biscuit has 0.5 trans fat –if a person eats 10 biscuits he will consume 5gms of transfat.

Tips to read ingredient labels

1. Ingredients are listed in order of their proportion. The 1st 3 ingredients are the most important.

2. If ingredients contain difficult chemical-sounding words – don’t purchase it because it is likely to contain chemicals.

3. Don’t fall for the “herbs”

4. Ingredients lists DO NOT NEED to list chemical contaminants therefore pesticides, perchlorate (rocket fuel) can be inside foods but are not listed. Therefore, people need to start moving away from processed foods.

5. Companies are permitted to use “wheat” in flour that is processed, bleached. Therefore look for “whole grain wheat flour”.

6. Brown products are not healthier than white products. Brown sugar is a gimmick because brown coloring and flavor is added to white sugar.

And for the tobacco smokers who may not know that 90% US tobacco smoke is GMO which means they are smoking pesticides!

The bottomline is that health authorities cannot and are unable to protect the consumers from the tricks and deceits committed by the food industry. It is for consumers themselves to realize the poisons they are consuming and also educate their children about the dangers. It is also wise for households to start growing organic foods or start growing organic vegetables and sharing amongst each other as well as exerting pressures by stopping purchasing items so that when the industry feels the pinch they would get the message and stop their conniving and deceitful ways. When prices are purposely raised under fictitious demand scenario – buy the vegetables that are fairly priced.

It is also a good time for people to think of their own food habits and to realize that the world will face a food shortage and therefore we need to adjust our ways and a good start would be to think of curtailing the consumption of meat which will invariably put an end to the business of killing meat so that we can return to a more pro-agriculture drive to rebuild the planet that we are ruining some knowingly and others unknowingly.

It is also a good time for aspiring entrepreneurs to start a FRESH food drive to counter the Fast food menace but to ensure that the foods sold are not the same as fast food under a new name – the people have been fooled enough.

Consumers are powerful in many ways and a united effort will certainly help curtail some of the crimes being committed. If consumers refuse to purchase what the food industry is selling using deceitful ways – the food industry will get the message and hopefully change.