Unnatural Food: Colorful Drinks
We go to Walmart once a week for household supplies and groceries. Walmart, as you know, isn’t known for its wholesome food selection, it’s known for being the place where gross people with front-butt shop. Walmart, though, doesn’t always deserve its bad rap. It’s more than a collection of icky people and nasty food. Certain food items at Walmart are totally worth the trip, and only a noticeable minority of shoppers are circus freaks. Price and quality do sometimes intersect at Walmart. You might notice that I didn’t take a picture of that intersection. I took a picture of colorful, toxic looking drinks, indicative of what we expect from Walmart. But, don’t get me wrong. It’s not just Walmart selling this crap, and it’s not Walmart’s fault people are disgusting. They simply sell what people buy. We were there yesterday looking for half and half and yogurt. We came across this science experiment on the way, in the juice section, and I felt compelled to take a picture when Neil stopped, picked up the green and red bottles, pretended to pour them together, and said “Do you think they’ll explode if they mix?”
There’s something wrong with a food when a 7 year old recognizes it as science and not nourishment. We aren’t paragons of health in our family, but we do primarily eat foods with recognizable ingredients. We eat meat, vegetables, beans, cereals and dairy. We don’t always get our foods in the correct proportions, but authenticity is the goal in this family. And that’s important because according to an article in The Daily Mail scientist have good reason to believe that cancer is almost entirely of our own making. They say it’s a combination of pollution, stress and the crap we eat. I believe it. Take a look at the ingredients of this orange colored drink (below). 98% of it is water and high fructose corn syrup (I wonder what the proportion is). And, look at all the other chemicals in attendance. That can’t be healthy. We know that food coloring has been linked to hyperactivity in kids. The rest of the ingredients don’t look any better. Sodium Saccharin has been linked to cancer in the urinary tract. Sodium Benzoate, like food coloring, has been associated with ADHD. Not being a scientist, I don’t know what to say about the rest of the witches brew (actually frog tongue sounds better). None of it apart from the water looks remotely appealing.
How do people feed these things to their kids? Don’t say “because it’s cheap”; water is cheaper. There’s no excuse for this. Do we blame Meadow Gold for making it, Walmart for selling it, or the person who buys it and feeds it to his kids? Observe a co-shopper’s cart the next time you visit the market. See how his physical appearance matches what’s in his cart? Our culture has to wake up and realize that these items do not qualify as food. I would think that the proof against these products is strong enough to warrant at least an FDA warning label. It probably wouldn’t make much difference, but perhaps enough people would realize that what they’re doing is not healthy, and that would cause a shift in our societal attitude towards foods. People already inured to these poisons might be unwilling to change. Maybe parents, though, who become educated, would have a greater incentive to change. Go ahead and die a whale if that’s your choice, but don’t continue the cycle by feeding this junk to your kids.
Ingredients of the Orange Colored Substance: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Contains less than 2% of: Citric Acid, Sugar, Sodium Saccharin (3.2mg Saccharin per Fluid Ounce), Gum Acacia, Natural and Artificial Flavoring, Yellow 6, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Brominated Soybean Oil, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), BHA (Antioxidant). Sweetened with Nutritive and Non Nutritive Sweeteners.