Before I left for Prague, I was forewarned about the different food I would encounter.  I never expected to experience such positive differences, though!  When I opened my six-day-old Coke bottle today, it crackled and fizzed as though it were a freshly opened bottle.  I have a relentless caffeine addiction to kick so this was unusually intriguing to me, since that bottle of Coke would have been flat by the end of Day 1 in the United States.  I also noticed a distinct difference in the taste of the ice cream. So, I began my research.  I found there are over 3,000 food additives in our food in the United States, many of those banned in other countries.

Banned Ingredients in the European Union:

  • brominated vegetable oil
  • artificial food coloring dyes
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • arsenic
  • potassium bromate
  • synthetic hormones such as rBGH and rBST

(To look into what these ingredients are and what they do, check out this guide to ingredients. )

United States food these ingredients appear in:

  • bread products
  • meat
  • milk
  • soda
  • sports drinks
  • any bright colored food: breakfast cereals, boxed macaroni and cheese, cereal bars.

Many of these ingredients have been linked to behavioral problems, allergies, migraines, and possibly even cancer. Many brands in the European Union, such as McDonalds and Pizza Hut, are able to reformulate their products without these ingredients.

According to a report released by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, “Americans are sicker and die younger than other people in wealthy nations.” This is ironic considering the United States spends approximately 2.5 billion times more on health care than any other nation.  I am not the most health conscious person out there, but I found this to be scandalous and worrisome.  Do these additives have a direct correlation to higher disease and mortality rates in the United States?


________________Cited Sources________________

Lazer, L. (2013). Pepsi: Remove brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from mountain dew. Retrieved on August 9, 2013 from

Sagon, C. (2013). 8 food we eat that other countries ban. Retrieved on August 9, 2013 from

Szabo, L. (2013). American die younger than others in rich nations. Retrieved on August 9, 2013 from

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