A "Stealth Food" is even worse than it looks. A "Stealth Food" might even claim to be good for you. A "Stealth Food" is a chemical wolf in cheap clothing. Your supermarket shelves are full of Stealth Foods. Want to add to the list? Email your favorites to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
PAST WINNERS OF THE DOCTOR YOURSELF “STEALTH FOOD” AWARD for SNEAKY JUNK FOOD:
RICH CHOCOLATE OVALTINE
But the Doctor Yourself Tarnished Silver Award for STEALTH FOOD goes to OVALTINE! Yes, "Ovaltine," the health food of my youth, can no longer be trusted: "Rich Chocolate Ovaltine" in fact contains not one but all THREE chemical colors: Yellow #6, Red #40, and Blue #1!
When I called them up (you can too:
1-800-442-0099) to say that it is just a tad inappropriate for a product with
a long reputation for quality to have THREE artificial colors on it, they
couldn’t have cared less. “Rich Chocolate Ovaltine,”
made by Himmel Nutrition, Inc.,
Do you recall ever hearing anything in the media about this?
YOUR KIDS' TOOTHPASTE
If you question this, ask yourself: How many drops of rat urine would you accept in your next glass of lemonade? Twelve? Five? Two? Even half a drop of rat urine? Yet no case whatsoever can be made that rat urine causes cancer. Sanitation an issue, you say? OK, we'll boil the rat urine first. Now how many drops would you accept in your next glass of lemonade?
Where am I going with this? We accept a dose, albeit a small one, of a known carcinogen (saccharine) while we would not accept a small dose of sterilized rat urine. Maybe you are thinking, “But I don’t even use saccharin.” But maybe you do: read the ingredients list on your toothpaste: saccharine is almost always in there. “But I do not eat toothpaste!” you might say. Maybe you don’t . . . but your kids do. CHILRDEN UNDER SIX INVOLUNTARILY SWALLOW AS MUCH AS A THIRD OF THEIR TOOTHPASTE. If they brush every day, that’s 365 small doses of a carcinogen a year. Any dentist will tell you that saccharin chemically does nothing to prevent tooth decay. So it should be taken out.
Wish to be heard? Call the toothpaste manufacturers and tell them to take saccharin out of their products, or you will not buy them.
Start with the two biggest sellers:
Colgate: 1-800-468-6502 and Crest: 1-800-492-7378
Additional phone numbers for other brands are welcomed.
TO VALENTINE’S DAY
But there’s more! When I taught junior high, I wondered where the girls’ rather weird colored hairdos came from. The girls 'fessed up: they dyed their hair with Kool Aid.
Not a new idea, it turns out. In The Wizard of Oz movie, the animals used to portray the “Horse of a Different Color” were colored, from fetlock to mane, with a mixture of Jell-O powder.
In summation, I concede that artificial colors
are great for dying horses’ hair and painting pictures. But I am
not convinced that we should voluntarily EAT paint. So read every label
and vote with your dollars. Then send the only message that carries any
weight in the food industry: DO NOT PURCHASE ANY FOOD THAT CONTAINS AN
ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLOR.
“CELESTE” PIZZA FOR ONE
Mama won’t come to a toll-free
phone, evidently, but you can write “her” at Mama Celeste
Consumer Affairs, 1000 St. Louis Union Station,
And while you are at it, you might want to read up on each of the no fewer than SEVEN artificial preservatives in this “Pizza for One (TM).”
Pizza for One? How about “Chemistry 101”?
Let’s all write to the American
Candy Company (makers of FROOPS POPS) and tell them how much we admire their
work: American Candy Company,
The Doctor Yourself Award for STEALTH FOOD Manufacturer of the Decade goes to GENERAL MILLS, INC.
Good ol’ CHEERIOS. I ate them when I was a kid, and you did too, I’ll bet. Today, regular Cheerios are even better, as they are lower in sugar than in the old days. Of course they contain a lot more salt, but pobody’s nerfect. And the other flavors of "Cheerios" (so-called “Honey” Nut, and “Apple” Cinnamon) have lots of sugar. And precious little honey or apple. But FLEA POWDER CHEERIOS are the flavor you probably have not heard about . . . even though you may have already tasted them back in 1994.
Yes, FLEA POWDER. The chemical chloro-pyrifos-ethyl (which also kills ticks and termites) was sprayed on oats used to make no less than 16 different General Mills, Inc. cereals. Not 16 boxes, but 16 varieties, amounting to 160 MILLION BOXES, including TRIX, BOOBERRY and LUCKY CHARMS (“Ooh, now look at what they ‘ave in wit’ me Lucky Charms: pink dead fleas, yellow dead ticks, and blue dead termites!”)
Of course there are precious few insects in
General Mills’ cereals, because they check for them. But in 1994
General Mills (with annual sales of about 9 BILLION dollars) did NOT check
for pesticide residues. L.
The Post continues, “By the time the company found out about the illegal spraying, 110 million boxes were on the shelves in grocery stores and consumers’ homes.” “People had already fed it to their children,” said FDA’s Mr. Lake.
So what happened next? A massive product recall? A series of Saturday morning cartoon-time TV announcements to not buy, and not eat "Cheerios" that you already bought? No such luck. “We didn’t want to raise an alarm for no good reason and scare people, but we didn’t want to fail to warn them either.” said Dr. Lynn Goodman, assistant administrator for pesticides and toxic substances at the Environmental Protection Agency. Well, certainly no one was alarmed, for there was no recall at all. The Post continues, “The two government agencies decided not to press the company to recall the cereal. ‘We were concerned that a recall would have been very disturbing to parents . . . We did not want to cause a public panic.’”
Well, THAT certainly makes me feel better!
General Mills now checks for pesticides. Good. But who checks General Mills? If a company can sell 110 million boxes of contaminated cereal, and nothing at all happens, what does this say about our government’s real interest in food safety?
(The full text Washington Post article,
expertly written by Sharon Walsh, appeared August 21, 1994. Your public
librarian can get you a photocopy through interlibrary loan.)
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
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