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Jun 12, 2011 06:19 PM

What food ingredients/related items do you completely avoid because of their dangers?

Not sure it's being a mom, or the fact that dh doesn't read any of this stuff, but there seem to be a million different things to be aware of in the modern supermarket, never mind in a restaurant. These things have been shown to be toxic!!! to our health and yet they are sold openly. How paranoid are you about these things? Do you avoid them completely?

Some of the items:

High Fructose Corn Syrup
Hydrogenated Oils
Water bottles that have been left in the heat can leak BPA- how many of the water bottles you buy have been refrigerated for the entire life of the bottle??
Sodium Benzoate
Maltose or other forms of added sugars that just make the food look low quality
Milk without the "hormone free" label

Or equally, foods with 20% of your sodium in a single serving, sugar or a substitute in the ingredients for something that's not a dessert, meat from factory farms. Where do you draw the line? Do you think about these things every time you go shopping? What about discussing it with your spouse/family members when visiting?

It is exhausting, no? I basically only buy unprocessed foods, but family members are living with us now and I try not to eat anything of which I don't know the content. However the cosntant ingredient checking is tiring, I kind of wish these products would be a little better regulated so I didn't have to do homework every time I examined a food product.

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  1. the only thing i avoid is fugu..

    all that worrying will drive u crazy....

    i dont go out of my way to avoid that much...
    i dont let my 3 yo eat every bad food for every meal...but a kids tv dinner once in a while for a treat never hurt her...
    she eats fruits and vegetables...
    she eats meat...
    she has an occasional snack food...
    as far as her doctor says...shes a healthy and happy kid...

    2 Replies
    1. re: srsone

      Fugu. Actually, I haven't had the opportunity to turn it down, but surely would!

      1. re: janeh

        A friend of mine has had it and says that if it wasn't so dangerous, no one would eat it. It's very uninteresting.


    2. I think by avoiding processed foods you'll take care of about 98% of your problems. The only other thing I routinely avoid are fish known to be high in mercury.

      1. I do avoid HFCS and hydrogenated oils, but it's pretty easy as I just don't buy things that have those in them, the sole exception being my hometown potato chips. When I am down that way, I have to pick up a bag, even though they have hydrogenated oil. We don't buy any factory farmed meat or milk with hormones and almost all of my canned goods now are beans from Edens, which is the only company using BPA-free cans.

        I find that just getting back to buying more real/natural products or making more things myself easily yields products without all these ingredients and without the necessary labeling. If I shop in a store that focuses on those items, they've already done most of the work for me, so I know I can shop in certain stores freely and not worry about label reading. I do spot check labels of course, but since almost all my grocery shopping is now done in natural food stores, I don't find as many offensive items.

        1. Avoid blue meat and you'll be fine.

          3 Replies
            1. re: beevod

              I tend to avoid the green meat.


              1. re: beevod

                why would I avoid blue meat (like a steak tartare) if it is very fresh and probably healthier than cooked meat?

              2. I made the decision a few years ago to generally buy organic. It costs more but that's ok. I shop at the Farmers' Market every week and try to eat more fruits and vegetables. What I buy canned, jarred or boxed--not including condiments/pickles/Chinese sauces--is probably fewer than a dozen items (tomatoes, beans, pasta, rice, coconut milk, brown sugar, tuna, yogurt.) They are simple foods with few ingredients. I think it is good to know what you're eating but bad to worry about it so to discussing it with family, that can be a landmine unless they're interested.