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Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries


Cindyz
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This is an excellent article. If this doesn't make you want to get away from all of the prepackaged, processed foods, I'm not sure what will! I know many are already on the real food/whole foods path. I just can't believe that all of these ingredients that are banned in other countries are allowed in our food.

 

I've found that moving our family to a real food/whole food/made mostly from scratch diet has not been more expensive (as long as I plan meals ahead of time), but it has been a lot more time consuming. However I have defnitely found that I feel more satisfied, I don't have the cravings and my son is eating more at meals.

 

Everyone should read this article and share it where you can!

 

http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/02/11/food-companies-exploit-americans-with-ingredients-banned-in-other-countries/

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Most Americans don't take a stand because I truly believe they feel they have no other option. When it's cheaper to get a bag of chips (the family size) than it is to get a pound of produce (even in season stuff) it becomes, do we feed the family/ourselves or do we not feed the family because the healthy stuff is so much more expensive. Until the government stops subsidizing corn and GMOs a lot of people don't have options because when I go to the grocery store, if I bought crap I would pay a heck of a lot less

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I'm guessing that a big issue is that in order to have ingredients banned the government has to have more control over what is allowed and what isn't. America isn't really big on giving over more control to government.

 

Unfortunately we'd rather allow the corporations to rule us, because that's what's happening. :(

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The BPA additive really scares me- it's in our canned food with infant formula and chicken noodle soup containing the highest levels. BPA is banned in many other countries, but the FDA still claims it's perfectly safe, despite research linking BPA with a litany of health problems, including cancer, ADD, infertility, thyroid problems, etc.

 

Our FDA is the problem, in my opinion. Many artificial additives are made with petrol. Our cheap food is not real food- it's chemicals disguised as food. My ds was reading that the Jamestown colony suffered a starving winter where colonists were forced to eat mice and eventually even their own boots. He was appalled that people would try to eat shoes. It's a dark and gruesome image, but when our FDA claims that products made with petrol are ok to eat (and feed our children) I have to wonder if they mean specifically if the person is starving?

 

Real food is too expensive for a lot of Americans, and that's a problem. This other stuff the FDA is claiming we are safe to eat is not real food.

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I wonder if the labeling required in the UK is such that they just aren't required to list those things that are less than 2% of the make-up. Most (not all) of the so-called dangerous ingredients on the US side were in that "contains less than 2% of....." category.

 

Also, I noticed at least one label that had a red text ingredient on the UK label, but it wasn't highlighted.

 

And I would love to see if this holds true for countries other than the UK, since the article implied that the US is alone in allowing these ingredients. I know, for ex, that corn syrup, MSG, and various soy oils are used here in Brazil, as are GMO products (though they are labeled as GMO).

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Our FDA is run by people who have a stake in companies not failing, either because they are former CEOs or because they own stock. I'm amazed by the fact that it is easy to find but people don't look. Food Inc changed my mind exponentially on our food system.

 

Oh and I love chips too and sometimes I buy junk food too but it's rare.

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I've never understood the argument that real food is more expensive. We've switched to a nearly all (yep, we still buy the chips sometimes!) whole foods diet and our food budget is pretty much the same. Granted, I don't buy organic, except when I can find it on sale, but it was pretty easy to cut out premade stuff, junk food, and all those packaged drinks of unknown origin without killing our food budget. It DOES take a whole lot more time, but that's a totally different issue.

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I've never understood the argument that real food is more expensive. We've switched to a nearly all (yep, we still buy the chips sometimes!) whole foods diet and our food budget is pretty much the same. Granted, I don't buy organic, except when I can find it on sale, but it was pretty easy to cut out premade stuff, junk food, and all those packaged drinks of unknown origin without killing our food budget. It DOES take a whole lot more time, but that's a totally different issue.

 

I would agree to a point. It really doesn't take more time depending on your family size. It actually takes me less time to make Mac and cheese from scratch than to open 5-6 boxes and sauce packets. There are things that take more time, but overall it is a wash.

 

 

I completely agree that our budget did not rise significantly and if anything might be less. It is hard to compare as everything has risen. The only way to make a true comparison is to do a shop the way I used to and I am not interested!

 

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For us, I notice that several of our staples, mainly meat is quite pricey. We don't do grains/legumes because of the inflammation issues in both dd and I and also my IBS is irritated by legumes. Also for us things like sweet potatoes, onions and such, even not brand/farm or style (think red/yellow/sweet/white for onions) it's still difficult to find a good sale for us where we are. We have a couple options--Publix and Bi-Lo. Believe it or not I have found better prices at Whole Foods but that is a 30 minute drive from me--so it becomes pay a little bit more or pay $3.40 or more per gallon for gas. I used to be able to spend $150/2 weeks at the store for a family of three. Now going and getting meat and veggies--either fresh or frozen I am spending at least that per week, but it's usually more. I don't coupon because we only shop the perimeter unless there is a good coupon for frozen vegetables (rarely, usually it's like buy 6 bags and save .55 or something and my store doesn't put that brand on sale until the coupon expires and store brand is cheaper). We still buy beer for dh and/or a case of coke once in awhile but we rarely go up and down the aisles anymore.

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The BPA additive really scares me- it's in our canned food with infant formula and chicken noodle soup containing the highest levels. BPA is banned in many other countries, but the FDA still claims it's perfectly safe, despite research linking BPA with a litany of health problems, including cancer, ADD, infertility, thyroid problems, etc.

 

Our FDA is the problem, in my opinion. Many artificial additives are made with petrol. Our cheap food is not real food- it's chemicals disguised as food. My ds was reading that the Jamestown colony suffered a starving winter where colonists were forced to eat mice and eventually even their own boots. He was appalled that people would try to eat shoes. It's a dark and gruesome image, but when our FDA claims that products made with petrol are ok to eat (and feed our children) I have to wonder if they mean specifically if the person is starving?

 

Real food is too expensive for a lot of Americans, and that's a problem. This other stuff the FDA is claiming we are safe to eat is not real food.

 

 

This, 100 times over. And the crazy, broad power of Monsanto.

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I've never understood the argument that real food is more expensive. We've switched to a nearly all (yep, we still buy the chips sometimes!) whole foods diet and our food budget is pretty much the same. Granted, I don't buy organic, except when I can find it on sale, but it was pretty easy to cut out premade stuff, junk food, and all those packaged drinks of unknown origin without killing our food budget. It DOES take a whole lot more time, but that's a totally different issue.

 

This gives me hope- I really haven't compared since having children 10 years ago because my Dh and I focused on a whole-foods real food diet then. But, I do know that GMO foods are easier to get inexpensively at Walmart, Costco, etc, where non-GMO foods (even fruits and veggies) and meats raised without antibiotics and additives are harder to find and cost more (though Costco does carry a few of these items). The dirty dozen bought organically to avoid chemicals also costs quite a bit more than non-organic, usually. I know if bought in season it helps combat this.

 

So once you remove the foods from your diet that contain chemicals, GMOs, artificial additives and high fructose corn syrup, and buy foods that are not injected with hormones and sprayed with pesticides, you find you don't spend more? That's awesome and definitely something to aspire to! Our grocery bill is our biggest bill. It's worth it to us, but there are times when I wonder if I could do more (I already meal plan and make nearly everything from scratch).

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I've never understood the argument that real food is more expensive. We've switched to a nearly all (yep, we still buy the chips sometimes!) whole foods diet and our food budget is pretty much the same. Granted, I don't buy organic, except when I can find it on sale, but it was pretty easy to cut out premade stuff, junk food, and all those packaged drinks of unknown origin without killing our food budget. It DOES take a whole lot more time, but that's a totally different issue.

 

Calorie for calorie, $10 worth of apples sates fewer people than $10 of fat and sugar. Those like you and me with a food budget which is adequate for 3 meals a day can do fine switching to more whole and healthful foods- though we will spend more on organic and non-gmo etc. A family with a very meager budget will get through the day with more calories a person if they direct those dollars to fat and sugar. Also consider that many families who have this meager budget are living without full or any kitchens. Further, the fat and sugar are addictive and many families learn to eat that way out of habit and cravings. This is why overweight people can be hungry and malnourished.

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Americans have been taught to believe that bans liken these are "unnecessary big government regulations."

 

And we also are on the whole unwilling to pay much more than bottom dollar for our nutrition, forgetting both that you get what you pay for and you are what you eat. The consequence of this diet is widespread obesity, sickness and premature death. But it's our choice, by gum! You can't take away our choices! :glare:

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I don't know... I lean strongly Libertarian, so I'm about as against big government as you get. And I'm perfectly okay with regulations banning the most harmful food additives, and requiring labeling regarding things like GMO ingredients. Maybe that's not true for everyone, I don't know. I guess I see that it's mainly two things: one, there are a lot of companies making a lot of money from these ingredients. And two, a lot of people are just really uninformed about what really goes into these foods. I also fault the FDA... when several of the head people there have worked for these big agribusiness companies, you have to wonder.

 

I like junk food as much as the next person, but we are trying to make some small changes. I'm reading The Omnivore's Dilemma right now (well, the kids' version, and I think I'm going to share it with my son)... it discusses things like factory farming, corn hybrids, government subsides, agribusiness, etc. I knew some of it previously, but many facts have really shocked and disgusted me. I'm a midwestern girl, born and raised, so I'm not against agriculture or farmers. The problem is that the way the system is set up, small family farms and healthy local foods lose.

 

We don't teach enough about nutrition... when we tell kids to get a diet soda or sports drink instead of regular soda, I don't see how that's helpful... yet, that's one of the tips sometimes touted when childhood obesity is discussed. How about lots of water, with an occasional milk and 100% fruit juice, instead?

 

So we still buy tortilla chips, but I've been getting an organic variety. I'm trying to cut down my soda and drink water, tea, and sparkling fruit juice. I'm pickier about the beef I buy... I've been buying the Laura's brand with no hormones or antibiotics.

 

It would be nice if enough people had their eyes opened to make changes. For now, we have to vote with our dollars.

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Great article. And yes, it's appalling.

 

We started down the whole foods path about 2.5 years ago when we made several changes to DS's diet (which created a positive ripple effect for our entire family). We eat mostly non-processed foods now, and the few processed foods I do buy are often organic and always free of artificial additives, HFCS, MSG, etc. Since we've been on this journey towards a healthier diet, I've been shocked and disgusted at what I've learned about the U.S. food supply and what is allowed to pass as "food" in this country.

 

I don't know... I lean strongly Libertarian, so I'm about as against big government as you get. And I'm perfectly okay with regulations banning the most harmful food additives, and requiring labeling regarding things like GMO ingredients.

 

Same here. Generally speaking, I'm in favor of shrinking our government, not expanding it. However this is one area where I could support additional regulations and oversight. But before additional regulations and oversight would produce effective change, a major overhaul would be necessary. Food safety in the U.S. is managed by multiple agencies, each with their own specific focus and agenda (and probably each influenced by different political lobbies and interests). This article states that "

food safety and quality in the United States is governed by no less than 30 federal laws and regulations administered by 15 federal agencies."

http://usgovinfo.abo...fety-System.htm

 

No wonder we have issues.

:blink:

 

As others have said, our best bet is probably to vote with our dollars and spread the word. I've also recently joined a new anti-GMO meetup group in my town which is part of a larger grassroots effort to raise awareness about GMOs and promote truth in labeling (at the state level - but it's a start).

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I had a conversation with another mom at dance class. I said I wished the US would ban a lot of the additives that are so bad for our health.

 

She said she didn't want additives banned because it would take away our freedoms. I wish I knew how to post a very confused smiley face because I just don't get it.

 

I welcome the government taking away my freedom to purchase foods that will poison my family.

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The blog looks good. I'm looking at gardening this year or next and might get some biddies since the last person left us a coop. I wonder what my budget will look like. I know how much it costs now to feed my large family. I would love to do a blog like this, but for a large family and following the liturgical calendar...oh, and we have some celiac and allergy issues.

 

ouch...that could get expensive...

 

(let me tell you...it does cost more to get all natural ice cream than it does the air fluffed, watered down, corn syrup stuff. Oh, and a bag of apples in my house can be gone in 30min...kids just went through two packages of clementines today from Walmart)

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We see it often here, sadly. And my kids know the difference. They can taste it. One of the special treats available for kids in the area is Fanta. They all drink it at parties. But woe to the parent who makes the mistake and buys it at the Commissary!

 

American Fanta:

carbonated water

high fructose corn syrup and/or sucrose

citric acid

sodium benzoate

modified food starch

natural and artificial flavors

sucrose acetate isobutyrate

sodium polyphosphates

coconul oil

yellow 6

brominated vegetable oil

ascorbic acid

red 40

dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate

 

 

 

European Fanta:

Water.

orange juice.

carbon dioxide.

acidifier citric acid,

natural flavors.

stabilizing gum acacia.

antioxidant ascorbic acid.

 

UK Fanta has more ingredients, including carrot juice, lol. But our kids are starting to be able to tell the difference. Boxed food is starting to smell putrid. Dh bought a 'veggies in butter & seasoning" bag at the store last week to add a little variety. It gave all of us stomach problems and looking at the ingredient list, I see why. The 'butter' was a complex combination of about 3 different oils in various states. We use real butter and olive oil to cook with. LOL, we have 6 different kinds of olive oil in our kitchen right now and I know the orchards they all came from.

 

 

But our diet has been changing over 15 years. We used to think nothing of popping open a box of Hamburger Helper, with just-add-water scalloped potatoes and veggies on the side. It has taken 15 years of being exposed to other foods and learning how to cook well with fresh ingredients before our taste buds changed enough to make most prepackaged food taste nasty. Most Americans are like us - they've grown up on 'convenience' foods and don't realize that it changes the way we taste things, as much as smoking or an overly salted/sugared diet would. It takes a while to change that. It also changes the food budget. To get real food here, we spend about $800/mo on our family of 4. On the island we left, we spent about $400/mo, and that's being generous. It was much easier for us to eat well there than it is here. When I lived in the states in between I had a harder time finding real food. Even Trader Joes was questionable with some choices they put out.

Americans can't change to what they are constantly being bullied into accepting. There does need to be some sort of regulation that defines FOOD, as much as other nations have. And we need an honorable government that would be willing to step up and put their foot down. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening. We'd rather wring our hands at the effects - the medical and economic - than hit the root.

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We see it often here, sadly. And my kids know the difference. They can taste it. One of the special treats available for kids in the area is Fanta. They all drink it at parties. But woe to the parent who makes the mistake and buys it at the Commissary!

 

But our diet has been changing over 15 years. We used to think nothing of popping open a box of Hamburger Helper, with just-add-water scalloped potatoes and veggies on the side. It has taken 15 years of being exposed to other foods and learning how to cook well with fresh ingredients before our taste buds changed enough to make most prepackaged food taste nasty. Most Americans are like us - they've grown up on 'convenience' foods and don't realize that it changes the way we taste things, as much as smoking or an overly salted/sugared diet would.

 

I remember Fanta fondly. :) I was born in the U.S. but spent most of my first 18 years in Germany and drank a lot of Fanta in my day (my mom is German - we weren't in the military). I never realized how different the U.S. version is from what I grew up with. Wow.

 

This thread makes me wonder about something else. I'm 41, and most of the women in my group of friends are in their late 30's to late 40's. As we're all getting older, many of my friends are being diagnosed with moderate to fairly serious health issues. I'm pretty much the healthiest person I know. I wonder whether growing up in Germany, on a typical German diet (not super-healthy, but free of many of the additives and other nasty stuff my friends were exposed to on the standard American diet) has something to do with that. When I moved back to the U.S. at age 18, I didn't pay attention to my diet at all and ate all kinds of junk for a long time (much bigger selection of junk food here than what I was used to!). I didn't clean up my diet until about 2 years ago. But maybe that good dietary foundation I had as a child has helped me stay healthy longer.

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I wonder if the labeling required in the UK is such that they just aren't required to list those things that are less than 2% of the make-up. Most (not all) of the so-called dangerous ingredients on the US side were in that "contains less than 2% of....." category.

 

 

FWIW, Wikipedia states that ingredients under 2%still have to be stated in the UK, but they don't have to be stated in size order. No time to find the original legislation......

 

There's a large anti-GMO feeling, so I suspect food companies are wary of using GMO ingredients and having to report them. I did check the government website for GMO, and GMO soybeans are imported into the UK for animal feed. I don't know if there's a requirement to label the resulting meat.

 

Laura

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I wonder how much the politics of food/diet in the UK & the rest of Europe is influenced by government footing the bill for the resultant health problems.

 

 

:confused1: :confused1:

 

I would think the crappy additives in America are more a result of the crazy food setup with Monsanto and big companies that hold large political sway there.

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She said she didn't want additives banned because it would take away our freedoms. I wish I knew how to post a very confused smiley face because I just don't get it.

 

 

 

DD is reading Lord of the Flies, and we are discussing how those in charge often use fear to solidify their power.

 

"Nanny state!" "Govt is trying to tell you what you can eat!" "Do you want the govt in your kitchen and in your private life?"

 

I would agree that educated and aware anti-big-govt folks can see the difference between big govt and safety issues. But the lobbying/big corporations make sure there is enough fear mongering out there to distract anyone who doesn't choose to educate themselves enough to see the truth.

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If the government wanted to ban non-food additives, I'm certain that a concern for freedom wouldn't get in their way, given the track record of both parties.

 

Of course it is not actually about freedom. It's about the profits that result from these additives. By construing it as a freedom of choice issue, food marketing and lobbying companies get the public to be mostly agreeable to not banning additives that are bonafide health risks. Or at least to be neutral/unconcerned.

 

I have no doubt that some part of the rising cost of healthcare in this country is the declining quality of food and daily menu choices people make. Eating cheap foods with lots of additives is only cheap at the time you buy them.

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So many Americans truly, deeply believe that the government would not allow you to consume anything bad for you that you cannot get many people to care about this issue. I didn't read every response, so I don't know if someone else pointed out that processed food costs MUCH more in other countries than it does here. A McDonald's in Europe is significantly more expensive than here. Politicians know they are on thin ice with Americans and will not do anything overt to raise the cost of food beyond what it is driven up by gas prices.

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So many Americans truly, deeply believe that the government would not allow you to consume anything bad for you that you cannot get many people to care about this issue. I didn't read every response, so I don't know if someone else pointed out that processed food costs MUCH more in other countries than it does here. A McDonald's in Europe is significantly more expensive than here. Politicians know they are on thin ice with Americans and will not do anything overt to raise the cost of food beyond what it is driven up by gas prices.

 

 

I don't know how accurate this map is, but it shows McDonalds costing about the same in the UK (whence came the blog comparison info) and the US.

 

Laura

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I have eaten at McDonald's in Europe, not UK, but Turkey and Austria and the prices were MUCH higher, more than double.

 

That makes sense - those colours are different on the map. I was confused because the UK is part of Europe (as island nations are normally categorised by their nearest continent, and by its membership of the EU), so I thought you were saying that the fries mentioned in the comparison blog would have been more expensive.

 

That takes us back to the UK example though: McDonalds seems to be able to sell both recipes for roughly comparable amounts of money, so the UK version can't be impossibly more expensive to produce.

 

ETA: I don't have a nearby McDonalds, so I can't check the prices.

 

Laura

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Huh. It takes me at least 45 minutes to make mac & cheese from scratch, but only 10 minutes from the Annie's family size box.

 

I make mac and cheese from scratch all the time and it only takes time to boil the water and cook the noodles. To the cooked noodles, I add milk and/or cream and quality cheese. Done. It doesn't need baked, which is why I assume it takes 45 minutes?

 

 

So many Americans truly, deeply believe that the government would not allow you to consume anything bad for you that you cannot get many people to care about this issue. I didn't read every response, so I don't know if someone else pointed out that processed food costs MUCH more in other countries than it does here. A McDonald's in Europe is significantly more expensive than here. Politicians know they are on thin ice with Americans and will not do anything overt to raise the cost of food beyond what it is driven up by gas prices.

 

We had three cups of hot cocoa in Paris and it cost $20-some (in American dollars) - think it was around $7 or $8 for a standard size cup. I know that is Paris. But I can't imagine any family eating a full meal at McDonald's at those prices.

 

 

I just finished reading "The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World," then immediatly picked up "French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France..." to read. It has been a very interesting contrast.

The author of the first book wrote about her challenges to find healthy, local food in the US. The author of her second book wrote about walking to the farm outside her village to buy her family's food.

The first author talked about her husband's co-workers giving her daughter sugar-laden snacks, her son swapping the healthy lunch she packed for unhealthy snacks. The second author wrote about her challenges weaning her children off the 3 snacks/day that they were used to in America but are frowned upon in France.

 

The contrast between the two books has been eye-opening.

We read a number of tourism books last year before we went to France and the one thing that came up all the time: Do not walk around with a drink or snack, not even a bottle of water.

In America, moms show up at the park with a bag of fast food, jumbo drinks, goldfish for snacks, etc. We never saw any of that in France. (The second book said that strollers in France don't have cup holders. Is that true??)

This is one of the things that annoys me to no end in America. Everyone eats all the time and kids are given snacks everywhere they go.

 

The author of the second book talks about "food education" in French schools. (Which might go a bit far, but sounds lovely in the book.)

In American schools, kids have "Doughnuts with Dad" on Fridays, "School Pride Night" at local fast food joints, etc. For all the talking we do about educating children about healthy food in America, we don't set a very good example.

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McD's is a rare special treat here (Italy). I don't think prices can be accurately compared to prices in the states. They don't have the same options. I *do* know that if we get 3 Big Mac meals , and one happy meal, we pay around $40-45. But at the same time, this is what is included:

Big Mac Meal - sandwich, Amer. Small Fry/Eur Regular Fry, and Amer. Small coke/Eur Regular Coke

Happy Meal - grilled ham& cheese (a toast), grapes, drinkable yogurt, bottle of water

 

Catsup is an extra cost. :)

 

 

Now, for comparison, if we wanted to eat out elsewhere....

$20 - 2 large pizzas (about a meter across each), freshly made

$25 - 3 bowls of pasta with bread on the side, 1 "variety" bowl (meat, cheese, olives, bread), one caprese salad or prosciutto & melone to share, and 4 bottles of water/2 bottles, one quarto carafe of house wine.

$30 - 4 different chinese main dishes, egg rolls, steamed dumplings, and 2 containers of rice.

 

 

McD's is more high end here, but the prices they can charge are acceptable because it is an American import.

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The BPA additive really scares me- it's in our canned food with infant formula and chicken noodle soup containing the highest levels. BPA is banned in many other countries, but the FDA still claims it's perfectly safe, despite research linking BPA with a litany of health problems, including cancer, ADD, infertility, thyroid problems, etc.

 

Our FDA is the problem, in my opinion. Many artificial additives are made with petrol. Our cheap food is not real food- it's chemicals disguised as food. My ds was reading that the Jamestown colony suffered a starving winter where colonists were forced to eat mice and eventually even their own boots. He was appalled that people would try to eat shoes. It's a dark and gruesome image, but when our FDA claims that products made with petrol are ok to eat (and feed our children) I have to wonder if they mean specifically if the person is starving?

 

Real food is too expensive for a lot of Americans, and that's a problem. This other stuff the FDA is claiming we are safe to eat is not real food.

 

 

Nothing the FDA or the government tells us is truthful.

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I was trying to be brief, so I think you misunderstood me. The map is not accurate in regard to Turkey and Germany, so I don't believe it to be accurate for the UK also. Although, probably the real issue is not cost so much as it is using additives that are more addictive.

 

 

I found a better comparison chart. The Economist is a highly respected publication that uses a Big Mac Index to track over and under valuation of currencies. Down the right hand side of the graph it gives Big Mac prices at current exchange rates. The Euro area is bundled because the index is to do with currencies, rather than countries, but the UK is separate because it doesn't use the Euro.

 

I had been wondering whether the additives used in the US would make the food cheaper to supply, not so much because they replaced other ingredients as because they would make the product more 'shelf stable' and reduce wastage. The UK Big Mac price doesn't seem to bear this out. So your suggestion about the 'moreishness' of the additives seems more likely.

 

ETA: I became curious enough to call my nearest McDonalds. A medium French Fries is £1.09, which is US$1.61. I don't know how that compares.

 

Laura

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(The second book said that strollers in France don't have cup holders. Is that true??)

 

 

 

Britain is not a shining example of food virtue, but I don't see many cup holders on push chairs here.

 

My experience in China was similar to the one you describe in France. I remember sitting through a four hour Taekwondo class in China - the adults all stayed to await their children. A lot sipped green tea but no adult snacked. The children came out of the class for breaks to have a drink, but none ate until after the class.

 

Laura

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I found a better comparison chart. The Economist is a highly respected publication that uses a Big Mac Index to track over and under valuation of currencies. Down the right hand side of the graph it gives Big Mac prices at current exchange rates. The Euro area is bundled because the index is to do with currencies, rather than countries, but the UK is separate because it doesn't use the Euro.

 

I had been wondering whether the additives used in the US would make the food cheaper to supply, not so much because they replaced other ingredients as because they would make the product more 'shelf stable' and reduce wastage. The UK Big Mac price doesn't seem to bear this out. So your suggestion about the 'moreishness' of the additives seems more likely.

 

ETA: I became curious enough to call my nearest McDonalds. A medium French Fries is £1.09, which is US$1.61. I don't know how that compares.

 

Laura

 

I was reading on "French Kids Eat Everything" last night and ran across a research study between orders from McDonalds in Paris and Philadelphia.The order in Philadelphia was 72 percent larger than the order in Paris. It took the people in Philadelphia 17 minutes to eat their (larger) orders, while it took the people in Paris 22 minutes to eat the (smaller) orders.

So not only are our portions considerably larger, we Americans are wolfing the food down so quickly that we probably don't care what additives and cr@p the companies include. :tongue_smilie:

If anyone is interested in how the French raise children that eat beet salad or how other countries view 'food culture,' this has been an interesting book. We have been fans of the "slow food movement" in America and eating local, home-cooked food since our child was born, but I feel like we are constantly up against society. This book really drove home the difference between countries. My DH says he thinks Americans want to be viewed as "The Land of Plenty," and that includes food. In contrast, many European countries were devestated by wars and struggled for access to food, thus appreciate it more.

 

Britain is not a shining example of food virtue, but I don't see many cup holders on push chairs here.

 

That is interesting to me, as many American moms rate strollers by cup holders and snack trays.

A friend recently bought a vintage car - late 50's model sports car. No cup holders. We were discussing this in terms of obesity rates - When did cup holders become common in American cars? With the rise of drive-thru fast food places, which is also when our food quality (family meals, homecooked meals) declined and our obesity rates increased.

Incidentally, the author of the French books says the term "fast food" translates into "bad grub" in French. No clue if that is true, but I found it funny.

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I was reading on "French Kids Eat Everything" last night and ran across a research study between orders from McDonalds in Paris and Philadelphia.The order in Philadelphia was 72 percent larger than the order in Paris. It took the people in Philadelphia 17 minutes to eat their (larger) orders, while it took the people in Paris 22 minutes to eat the (smaller) orders.

So not only are our portions considerably larger, we Americans are wolfing the food down so quickly that we probably don't care what additives and cr@p the companies include. :tongue_smilie:

If anyone is interested in how the French raise children that eat beet salad or how other countries view 'food culture,' this has been an interesting book. We have been fans of the "slow food movement" in America and eating local, home-cooked food since our child was born, but I feel like we are constantly up against society. This book really drove home the difference between countries. My DH says he thinks Americans want to be viewed as "The Land of Plenty," and that includes food. In contrast, many European countries were devestated by wars and struggled for access to food, thus appreciate it more.

 

I raise children that eat beet salad, and other "odd" things. I don't think beets are particularly odd but, as you pointed out, I feel like I'm up against society in terms of what is "normal" food. On the other hand, my kids once got some chicken McNuggets and were completely put off by them - the grease, the batter, the composite "meat"... So I've likely ruined them pretty thoroughly.

 

That is interesting to me, as many American moms rate strollers by cup holders and snack trays.

A friend recently bought a vintage car - late 50's model sports car. No cup holders. We were discussing this in terms of obesity rates - When did cup holders become common in American cars? With the rise of drive-thru fast food places, which is also when our food quality (family meals, homecooked meals) declined and our obesity rates increased.

Incidentally, the author of the French books says the term "fast food" translates into "bad grub" in French. No clue if that is true, but I found it funny.

 

I think other cultures pause for meals. Even those with a long custom of street vendors. People pause to eat. Here, we seem more interested in squeezing food in among the activities. If we're sitting and savoring, we're not "doing".

 

We value "doing" more than we value quiet appreciation. Thus, we need cup holders, including on our hats.

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