Pick Your Poison

Pick Your Poison

Ever since Morgan Spurlock went live with an inexplicably well-preserved jar of fries in Super Size Me, more of us than ever before are holding a magnifying glass up to what we eat. And unfortunately for us, it’s not only the fast victuals that boast the shelf life of the undead.
Banned antibiotics, allergy medications and antidepressants are just a few of the ingredients pumped into our poultry, and for those of you with a fondness for cheese – there’s more cow in there than you think! From feathers in our bread to fish bladders in our ale, does anyone really know what they’re eating anymore?
Don’t even get me started on bread, recent research has showcased a laundry list of ingredients, bleach being just one of them! And would you believe me if I told you L-Cysteine (an amino acid used to prolong the shelf life of commercial produce) is human hair gathered from the floors of barbershops and salons? The easiest way to avoid this is to buy from a bakery, or better still, bake your own.
A celebration often calls for a round of beers, yet would you be as happy to say cheers to a pint produced from the swim bladder of a fish? ‘I didn’t think so’.  And how about ice-cream – a delicacy to most on a hot summer’s day. However, if I were you, I’d steer clear of vanilla, strawberry and raspberry assortments – you may in actual fact be dining on beaver’s urine and anal secretions. Despite this, such an additive is FDA-approved, which gives it the right to don the label of a ‘natural flavouring’.
Next time you stop by your local fast food joint, think again about an order of chicken nuggets. With only fifty percent ‘actual’ chicken to their name, they’re more synthetic than in a silicone breast implant.
Would you ever order boiled beetle shells from a menu? What about food produces that contain ‘natural red dye’? The ‘natural’ part is derived from female cochineal insect shells boiled in a concoction of sodium carbonate and ammonia solution. Despite how it sounds, dining on bugs is a lot more appealing than dining on petroleum – just another of the products used to create artificial colourings.
There’s nothing quite like warm toast smothered in peanut butter, yet with each jar containing on average five rodent hairs, it’s a wonder it’s so popular. How about sipping on a pint of antifreeze? If your drink of choice contains propylene glycol, then truth be told, you’re doing just that.
As a society, we are three stone heavier than we were in the 60’s. However, this weight surge isn’t due to consuming more and exercising less, it’s down to our unconscious sugar addiction.
In the 1800’s obesity was a rarity, in fact it was such a marvel, Daniel Lambert (the first known obese man) charged passing individuals a shilling just to see him! Some two hundred years on and we’re in the midst of an obesity crisis, and fifty-four stone plus is no longer a prodigy – despite what you think, we’re all getting bigger – a change that has been concealed by bigger car seats, elasticated trousers and ample changing cubicles. What’s it all down to? The answer is quite simple – the sheer amount of hidden sugar in today’s store-bought food is a phenomenon in its own right.

“Next time you stop by your local fast food joint, think again about an order of chicken nuggets. With only fifty percent ‘actual’ chicken to their name, they’re more synthetic than in a silicone breast implant.”

Label trickery is rife today. Cereal assortments often promoted as whole grain, fibre and wheat in actual fact contain more than half their weight in sugars!

Food is no longer a passion it’s a convenience. From the perfectly sculpted cucumbers to the six-week old giant prawns – pumped with growth hormones to speed up their cycle – the food we eat today is no longer real, it’s genetically modified, with low fat options (although promoted as a healthy alternative) standing solely as a money-making machine.
Ironically, the so-called ‘salubrious’ supermarket selections are often the ones to watch. Dairy intolerant individuals keen to swap milk for soya may not be so keen to learn that this widespread alternative to cow’s milk is actually created using casein (milk proteins).
Processed meats – another food fad – many of which claim to be a low fat and convenient. Yet instead of flying the flag for sodium nitrate (one of their main ingredients), they hide these details in a small corner on the back of the packet.
And those of you that believe gluten to be the route of all evils, have you ever actually tried making your own bread? Unless you’re celiac, I’m almost 100 percent certain it’s not the gluten you’re allergic too, but the preservatives. Today’s inorganic supermarket produce has been linked to diabetes, near-obesity, illness and high cholesterol
On that note, anymore for anymore? If you’re happy to continue dining on a menu of sulphites, preservatives and arsenic then be by guest. If not, I suggest you take full advantage of Jersey’s locally grown produce – good honest food.

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