A Columnist's List of Sick and Twisted Food Facts

You may think twice about your next meal after reading this list.

Food is important, but knowing your food really takes the cake. You are never too busy to read, care about and choose the best possible fuel for you body. Below are 16 sick, twisted and important food and nutrition facts I've learned from sources including online journals, the documentary Food Inc, and books such as The McDonaldization of Society and Fast Food Nation. Do your own research, but as always, watch what you eat.


  1. Ammonia is used to clean most fast-food hamburger meat.
  2. The average American consumes more than 4,000 calories per day.
  3. Jelly beans are coated with shellac to stay shiny.
  4. Farmed salmon eat chemicals (paint chips) in order to turn their flesh pink.
  5. We have changed our eating habits more in the past 50 years than in the past 10,000 years.
  6. Even though a label may contain zero trans fats, the FDA allows the use of .5 grams per serving.
  7. It only takes two weeks of consuming high fructose corn syrup to start showing signs of heart disease.
  8. Consuming sodium nitrates (found in most processed meats) increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. 
  9. About one-third of bottled water contained synthetic organic chemicals, bacteria and arsenic.
  10. A conventionally grown apple has more than 78 different pesticides.
  11. Fast-food fries contain sugar to make them addictive.
  12. If E. coli-infected cows were allowed to grass feed for just five days, it would kill virtually all bacteria in the cow. But that’s too costly and time consuming, so instead they clean the meat with chemicals that goes directly into the food. 
  13. The average milkshake contains more than 1,000 calories.
  14. Most farm animals (for slaughter) were not made to eat corn, but it’s cheap and it fattens animals up, so mass-production farms use it.
  15. The phosphoric acid is so strong in cola that it can dissolve a nail in four days.
  16. Most kids cereals are 50 percent sugar.
Kim Berkshire August 23, 2011 at 10:36 PM
For the most part I agree with Jeremy and Grant. The column is presented as fact, not opinion. Then again, I guess we were to take her literally when the author told us to ''do your own research.'' I looked up a few things. I try to avoid most of the foods listed here, but I could eat WILD salmon every day. While this website doesn't mention paint chips, it does make FARMED salmon sound horrific. http://farmedsalmonexposed.org/2009/diseases.html And according to EHow Health, Jelly Bellies are coated with beeswax while other brands are coated with gelatin.
Grant Warkentin August 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM
Bravo Kim, for doing your own research! Keep looking and you will see that "Farmed Salmon Exposed" is full of industrial-grade baloney when it comes to farmed salmon. May I humbly suggest this report from the University of California, which shows that farmed and wild salmon are both healthy to eat, in nearly unlimited amounts: http://seafood.ucdavis.edu/pubs/farmed_and_wild_salmon.pdf
Kim Berkshire August 23, 2011 at 11:26 PM
OK, I consider UC Davis a pretty solid resource. It's all exhausting isn't it? I mean, unless you grow your own, raise your own, etc., it's impossible to keep up. One week something is the next super food, then a few weeks later, it's "our bad, never mind."
Grant Warkentin August 23, 2011 at 11:32 PM
I totally agree. That's why healthy skepticism is healthy!
Dave August 24, 2011 at 05:06 AM
That's why I only eat the red bugs.


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