It is well known that different countries have different food cultures. And because of the same reason, the same food products tend to have slightly different ingredients according to the taste and habits of people living there. But what if the ingredients are of cheap quality and harmful in your country? That is what we are going to tell you in this article.
This difference becomes much noticeable while traveling from a country to another. You will be surprised if you just sit back and compare the list of ingredients of the same product manufactured in two different countries.
Here, we are specifically talking about the US and the UK. But you don’t have to do this comparison, as Vani Hari, who is a famous Food Critic and an author has done the same for you. She is popularly known as Food Babe and she has posted a comparison between the list of ingredients used in the same product in United States and United Kingdom. Food babe’s post is going viral on internet.
1. McDonald’s French Fries
The post shows that the fries made in McDonald’s US has many more ingredients than just vegetable oil and salt. Which makes the UK version of McDonald’s French fries a bit healthier. Similar is the case with Quaker instant oatmeal that people love to have for their breakfast. Basically, the UK version is healthier than the US due to the use of lesser ingredients.
This arises a very obvious question that whether these differences affect the health of Americans?
This comparison post is shared by a Facebook user Kacey Birch which has gone viral and got more than 8,500 likes, 6,200 comments, and 128,000 shares.
2. Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packets
In an interview with Bored Panda, Hari has shared many information about the products and their nutritional value and also the reason behind the huge differences.
According to her, “Europe takes a “precautionary principle” approach towards food additives that are potentially risky. The ban or add warning labels to these additives for their citizens. The US does not take this approach. It does not remove additives from our food supply until they have been proven dangerous – which can take a very long time and a lot of red tapes.”
Hari asked, “Big Food companies will tell you that the European regulators are just being overly cautious, that all of the ingredients they put in their American products are perfectly safe. But are they really?”
“If a company can get away with using cheaper ingredients, they will. Given a choice, they’ll always opt for the cheaper flavor enhancer, and the cheaper color additive, and the cheaper preservative, even if these cheaper alternatives potentially have a negative impact on our health” She added.
Food Babe explained, “As I discuss in my book Feeding You Lies, the statistics on the health of Americans is downright grim. The U.S. spends 2.5 times more on health care than any other nation and when compared with 16 other developed nations, we come in dead last in terms of health. More than two-thirds of U.S. citizens are overweight and more than 18% of children are obese. After smoking, obesity is America’s biggest cause of premature death.”
4. Heinze Ketchup
“While there are many causes behind these dire statistics, undoubtedly one of the primary causes is the American diet, which is full of risky ingredients that are not used to the same extent in other countries. American food is overloaded with bad fats, way too much cheap refined sugar, and heaps of synthetic additives,” she said.
5. Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Cereal
Talking about the nutritional value, Hari said that while dieting, people blindly believe what is written on some food packages claiming that it is “diet-friendly”, “zero calories”, “100% natural” or “sugar-free”. It is a huge and very common mistake done by health-conscious people.
The good idea is to read the ingredients list. This will give you a real idea about what the food contains. If the ingredients list shows any preservatives and additives, find out if they’re really necessary and what is the possible effect of these additives on human health. If you can not figure out these things then, simply put back the packet on its place and pick another one which has real food inside.
6. Mac and Cheese
Vani Hari is a well-known personality in the food industry. She has over 1.2 million followers on Facebook and 283,000 on Instagram. She has influenced the food industry up to some extent. She convinced Kraft to discard the use of orange food color in its mac n’ cheese and also made Subway to cut-off the use of azodicarbonamide in its bread.
She said, “When I first saw Kellogg’s new Baby Shark Cereal my heart sank. My daughter, who is 2 years old, loves the Baby Shark song — and I knew when she saw this she would beg me for a box! These ingredients do not belong in our food — especially for children. This is why I launched a petition two weeks ago asking Kellogg’s to remove the artificial colors, artificial flavors, and BHT from their cereals in the U.S. as they do in other countries. It has surpassed 40,000 signatures and climbing.”
7. Mountain Dew
Talking about the Kellogg’s cereals, she explained, “In 2015, Kellogg’s announced plans to remove artificial colors and flavors from their cereals by the end of 2018. Over 4 years later, Kellogg’s continues to sell several cereals made with artificial ingredients such as Froot Loops and Apple Jacks, and is launching new limited-edition cereals targeting young children made with these additives”.
Hari further added, “Why is Kellogg’s creating brand new cereals with artificial ingredients if they truly want to remove these chemicals from cereals? Kellogg’s makes Froot Loops and Unicorn Cereal in other countries without artificial colors or BHT, so they already have the formula. We deserve the same, safer cereals that other countries get”.
Now, there are supporters as well as critics on the internet. This post has also received mixed reactions from the readers. Some of the internet users accepted the facts in this post, while others have criticized Hari’s idea of comparing the ingredients of US and UK products. That’s all about it. Don’t forget to tell us about your views on this topic in the comment section below.