Are you eating Beaver Butt?
Are you struggling to eliminate processed foods from your diet?
If you are, what I'm about to share, might be EXACTLY what you need to hear to cut them out for GOOD.
If you’re anything like me, understanding “why” a change is necessary significantly increases the chance of long-term commitment. Ask my poor husband. Unless a compelling case is made for WHY a change is advantageous, it's just not happening. So today I want to talk about a little-known loophole in our food safety system that just might change the way you eat forever.
But first, a little history.
In 1958, in an effort to create a safer food supply, Congress enacted a law entitled the Food Additives Amendment. And while it WAS a valiant effort, there was a giant oversight for ingredients granted GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status. As a result, there could be questionable ingredients lurking in even your "healthy" processed foods.
In fact, here are some SHOCKING truths about the limitations of GRAS status...
Thousands of chemicals are NOT tested for safety
Today there are over 10,000 chemically engineered food additives many of which are now being granted GRAS status despite their novelty and unsubstantiated long-term safety. It is estimated that the FDA has NEVER reviewed the safety of more than 3,000 food chemicals, and an estimated 1,000 chemicals are known only to the companies who use them.
The fox is in charge of the chicken coupe
In many cases, the FDA relies on food manufacturers to provide evidence regarding the safety of their additives rather than conducting safety trials of its own. A review conducted in 2013 and published in the American Medical Association of Internal Medicine looked at 451 GRAS notifications submitted by food companies. Of these notifications, they found 2/3 of the “safety assessments” were made by experts selected by the food company themselves. One-fifth of these assessments were also made by an employee of an additive manufacturer. Yikes.
Certain ingredients do not have to be labeled
There are over 5,000 substances that are NOT required to be labeled. That's right, even if you study the ingredient deck like the vigilant wellness warrior I know you are, you still can’t be 100% sure that what you're eating is safe.
GRAS does NOT equal safe
Oh and speaking of safety, one food additive, called carrageenan, was awarded GRAS status despite its link to ulcers of the colon and stomach cancer in animal studies. Despite recent conflict regarding this additive, the FDA has refused to remove its GRAS status. Shocking, but true.
This is a BIG one. Even if we had documented the safety of all of the food additives in our food supply (which we haven't), when additives are combined, there could harmful synergistic effects which have never been tested for. Even Michael Taylor, the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Food warns us...
“We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals...We do not know the volume of the particular chemicals that are going into the food supply.”
If the FDA can’t verify that food additives are safe in the combinations and amounts used today, who can? The answer is NO ONE. While I don't believe our government is “out to get us” or lax with their regulations to intentionally make us sick, I do think it’s time that we stop giving them unchallenged control over what we put into our bodies.
No one deserves that right but you.
And, no one is more dedicated to this cause than you.
As a food manufacturer, I KNOW there are creative ways to cut corners and still create what looks like a "premium" product. Take citric acid for instance. Most people think of lemons, oranges or limes when they see "citric acid" on a label. I did at first too. It wasn't until we created our 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks that I found out that MOST citric acids used today is not derived from lemons, but from GMO corn. And if it's used to preserve a beef stick, for example, it's then coated in health-damaging HYDROGENATED OIL.
The worst part?
Even though this "encapsulated citric acid" is derived from GMO and coated in an oil that is associated with diseases like heart disease and Alzheimer's, it can still JUST say "citric acid" on the label.
Moral of the story?
Eating anything that comes in a box or a wrapper is a gamble.
But because we don't all have time to cook every single meal at home, I highly recommend you take the following steps before you decide to purchase...
1. STUDY the ingredient deck.
If it contains ingredients you can't pronounce don't buy it. Also be wary of "natural flavors" which can contain over 100 different ingredients including MSG. There's also an approved ingredient called, Castoreum, made from beaver anal glands found in raspberry and strawberry flavored ice cream. Don't believe me? Just google it. I dare you.
2. Be a Skeptic.
I NEVER want to give the impression that there aren't companies out there who are making high-quality products. There definitely are. More and more of them pop up each day and Paleovalley is one of them. BUT, as a consumer, I think it's best to always assume the companies you're buying from are out to make money, rather than improve your health. Because most of them are.
3. Pick up the phone.
I can't even tell you how many food companies I've called to get the dirt on the ingredients included in their "natural flavors' or to inquire about their manufacturing processes, but it's a LOT. Ask them....
- "Where is your beef sourced?"
- "Is it grass fed and grass finished and NEVER fed grains/hormones/antibiotics?"
- "Do the farmers use pesticides?
- "How is your product processed? High heat? Cold pressed? Freeze dried?
- "What ingredients are you using under the term "natural flavors?"
No question is a stupid question. This is your health we're talking about. The companies you want to buy from will answer ALL of your questions intelligently and will be happy you called. If they're not, don't support them.
4. Never underestimate the GOOGLE MACHINE.
Today information is everywhere. If there is an ingredient you're unsure about, go to the Google Machine and type in "(the ingredient in question) + dangers." You'll probably be surprised by what you'll find.
5. Know (and use) your POWER.
Every time you make a purchase you are voting for SOMETHING. Food manufacturers who are out to make a buck and will hide harmful ingredients OR food manufacturers who care as much about YOUR HEALTH as THEIR PROFIT. It's your choice. Every time. Consumers are the ONLY ones who can transform our food system. So step into your power and use it wisely.
I sincerely hope this information was helpful! And if you're looking for a little Convenience WITHOUT the compromise, try some of our award-winning, citric-acid free 100% Grass Fed (and finished) probiotic-containing beef sticks or our Grass Fed Organ Complex.
Each is designed specifically to benefit YOUR HEALTH (and my family's health of course)!
P.S. Skip to the bottom because you’re in a hurry? I’ve been there!. The gist: many of the food additives in our food supply have NEVER been tested for safety. There’s also an ingredient allowed under the umbrella “natural flavor” made from beaver butt. Yes that’s a fact. So if you want vibrant health ( and to avoid dining on beaver butt) ditch processed foods with sketchy, unpronounceable ingredients and “natural flavor” on the label and stick to products made with YOUR health in mind like our 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks and our uber popular, Grass Fed Organ Complex. You’ll be glad you did.