From chemicals in your favorite foods to health risks you may not even know about – keep reading as I unravel the dirty secrets behind the making of the world’s most popular products… and completely ruin them for you. These are the top 10 hazardous products you’ll never buy again after knowing how they’re made!
10 – Antibacterial Soap
How many of you tend to reach for products that say “antibacterial” on them in the hopes of avoiding whatever sickness comes our way?
Study after study has been published citing many reasons why antibacterial soap is not actually the best thing to use when washing up. One of the biggest reasons is due to an ingredient called triclosan. When bacteria encounter this ingredient, they can mutate causing them to become immune to the antibacterial soap.
The other problem with triclosan is it hasn’t been around long enough to determine if it’s safe to use for an extended period of time. Because of this, the FDA has ruled that hazardous products with this ingredient – and others, like triclocarban –will not be backed by them. Many large companies have quietly changed their formulas to exclude triclosan. However, be aware when shopping, there are still brands that use the ingredient. Plain old soap and warm water is always your best bet for avoiding disease. It is the method recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
9 – Mac & Cheese
Who doesn’t love mac & cheese? The answer, of course, is nobody! But one of the world’s most popular snacks may also be one of the unhealthiest.
The debate about mac & cheese has been an ongoing one. Some believe chemicals, called phthalates, found in mac & cheese samples during studies, can be harmful – while others argue the amounts are so low that it’s meaningless. Phthalates are most commonly added to plastic to make it flexible. They’re also added to make-up and perfume because they notoriously hold onto smell and color extremely well.
The problem with phthalates is that when consumed in large quantities they can mess with male testosterone levels and cause birth defects. But how do they end up in your mac & cheese? Phthalates are mostly found in processed food and are transferred through equipment used to make, and package, the food – makes sense, since most equipment is made of plastic. It’s the same reason why we’re told not to put plastic containers in the microwave. Phthalates found in the plastic have more of a chance of attaching to your food when heated up. So, it’s probably not a good idea to use your microwave to heat up your leftover mac & cheese in a plastic container.
8 – Processed Bread
Not all bread is created equal and the keyword here is “processed.” When we consume processed bread, we’re consuming some questionable ingredients. For instance, L-Cysteine is used as a dough conditioner that is meant to keep commercial dough soft so it can be easily manipulated, as well as increase the shelf life of the bread. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, What if I told you L-Cysteine is an amino acid produced from human hair?
That’s right, real human hair is dissolved in acid and put through a rigorous chemical process before being sent to commercial bread manufacturers to then be added to the bread. The worst part – as if that weren’t bad enough – the human hair is collected from salon and barbershop floors in China.
Yep, the hair is swept up, packaged and sent over to be chemically treated. The bottom line is that while this ingredient isn’t deemed “unsafe,” it may be difficult to get past where it comes from.
7 – Canada Goose Products
Canada Goose Down Coats have become extremely popular in the last few years. Celebrities and the fashion elite have been sporting the super warm, comfortable jackets.
Even the Canadian Prime Minister and his family have been known to wear the popular brand. The plush fur-lined hoods are what give these coats their signature look. It’s also what gives them a bad name. The fur comes from trapped coyotes and PETA has been a longtime advocate against this practice. The anti-animal cruelty organization claims the company traps, kills, tortures and skins wild coyotes for the sake of their winter wear.
They even released an undercover video of this happening at one of their facilities. There is quite a bit of opposition, though. Many people who are pro-fur say the coyotes are killed instantly. They say that is the most humane way to kill an animal. Coyotes are also very much thriving and not in any danger of becoming endangered. Since they can adapt well to places developed by humans, these animals can be found far and wide. But, do these facts make the trapping and killing of these animals any better? Or is it still wrong to use their fur? What do you think?
6 – Gummy Bears
Gummy bears have been around since the 1920’s and are consumed by millions of people per year. So, what could be bad about these cute little bears? The culprit here is an ingredient called gelatin. While this warning pertains to any gummy type of candy that has gelatin listed as an ingredient, I’m highlighting the gummy bear because it’s the most popular. Gelatin is essentially the thing that makes the gummy bear gummy, however, do you know what it’s made from? Animal skin and bones.
Just let that sink in for a second. First, skin, horns, cartilage and bones are collected from meat factories. All those things are then boiled down into a yellow, tasteless, odorless matter.
This is gelatin, and this is what makes many candy items chewy and gummy. Now, while there’s nothing dangerous about consuming gelatin, the thought of where it comes from might be enough to turn you off for good. Even if you buy organic products, you’re not necessarily safe from gelatin. Only vegan products are gelatin-free.
Gelatin isn’t just found in gummy products, though. It’s also an ingredient in many kinds of cheese, yogurts, jellies, marshmallows and salad dressings. So, buyer beware of this potentially hazardous product!
5 – Chicken McNuggets
As kids, there was no bigger treat than your parents taking you to McDonald’s for a Chicken McNugget Happy Meal.
Once you learn what’s really in those delicious little nuggets though, you may think twice about ever eating them again. With over 30 ingredients listed on the nutritional guide, you may find it hard to believe that chicken is low on the list of primary ingredients. Well, believe it. That’s why the website says ‘made with 100 percent chicken’ and not ‘made of’. It’s slight clever use of wording that easily deceives most of us. And it’s not just that it’s low on the ingredient list, but it’s the type of chicken that has people concerned. McDonald’s uses non-free-range chickens. This means that the chickens are raised in tight quarters. And most likely juiced up with antibiotics and hormones to make them bigger.
Of the 30 ingredients in the McNugget, many are toxic and dangerous – such as sodium aluminum phosphate and dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone substance used in sealants and breast implants. So, you may want to put the Happy Meal down and have a salad instead.
While I’m on the topic of questionable hazardous meat products, how could I not mention hot dogs? You can’t go to a BBQ or picnic without indulging in a nice, juicy hot dog off the grill, right?
You might want to rethink that decision after you see how they’re made. They’re often made with the cheapest trimmings of pork, beef and chicken, and then ground into some disgusting paste along with other ingredients like salt. The most alarming ingredient though is the chemical preservative used in them, called nitrates. It extends the hot dog’s shelf life – among other things. Many major hot dog brands are replacing the straight nitrate in their wieners with a more natural alternative – celery powder or juice – which is naturally full of nitrates.
Manufacturers who are not making the change claim the sodium and saturated fat found in hot dogs are a bigger threat than the nitrates. So, either way you look at it, hot dogs are not the healthiest choice.
4 – Energy Drinks
While the old rumor that one of the major ingredients in most energy drinks, taurine, was collected from bull semen has been dispelled, the amount of sugar and caffeine found in these drinks is alarming and could be potentially dangerous. The caffeine content in the most popular energy drinks on the market can equal up to the equivalent of eight cups of coffee per serving. Think about that for a second. Imagine how jittery and unstable your body would become after eight cups of coffee in one sitting.
The side effects are even worse. These drinks, meant to give you endless amounts of energy, can lead to aggressive behavior, stress, anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure and kidney damage – just to name a few. May I suggest healthier ways of getting more energy, like getting more sleep and exercising?
3 – Nutella
I know what you’re thinking, – “Please don’t tell me there’s anything wrong with my beloved Nutella!” I hear you! But, unfortunately, no product is safe from scrutiny. While there’s nothing outwardly wrong with the chocolate hazelnut spread, it is something that should be consumed in moderation. Besides the enormous amount of sugar packed into every bite, this product is made using modified oils, which can be harmful to your health. For instance, one of the main ingredients is palm oil.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding palm oil. A UK study revealed that it may, in fact, lead to cancer. The EFSA – or European Food Safety Authority has stated that palm oil may contain a higher level of carcinogenic contaminants than other oils. While experts haven’t warned against consuming Nutella, they have said that further testing should be done. So, spread at your own risk!
2 – Toothpaste
There isn’t a person alive who didn’t grow up being told to brush their teeth at least twice a day. But what if brushing your teeth is doing more harm than good? Dentists are now saying that the ingredients in toothpaste could be eating away at your enamel and causing other potential health risks. The first ingredient to steer clear of has already been mentioned in this article. Remember triclosan, the problem ingredient in antibacterial products? Well, here it is again. It’s added to toothpaste to help fight bacteria in your mouth. But that bacteria may begin resisting the triclosan and mutate to become a bigger problem.
Another ingredient found in many toothpastes are preservatives like sodium benzoate and ethylparaben. These could be potentially harmful because parabens have been linked to putting women at a higher risk for breast cancer. One ingredient everyone can agree on, however, is fluoride. This ingredient is the best to look for in toothpaste and will help keep your teeth’s enamel strong.
So all in all, just make sure to look at the label, and make sure you don’t put any hazardous products put in your mouth!
1 – Potato Chips
We can all agree that fried potato chips are delicious. However, between their fat and cholesterol content, these yummy crisps could mean bad news for your health if eaten in high volume.
Trans fats are found in most fried foods, and potato chips are no exception. Trans fats can increase cholesterol and cause cardiovascular disease.
But, these issues aside, a new concern has come up in the past few years. Have you ever been eating chips straight out of the bag and come across a burnt one? Well, researchers in the UK are starting to study the effects of these burnt chips to see if they are, in fact, bad for you. The claim is that the burnt chips contain a chemical called acrylamide that has been linked to causing cancer. The chemical occurs when food reaches temperatures above 248 degrees Fahrenheit and has little to no moisture present. To reduce the risk, manufacturers in the UK have started cooking the chips at a lower temperature for longer time periods.
No word yet on those changes being made anywhere else in the world.
Which of the hazardous products on this list disturbed you the most? Which ones will you continue to buy? Let me know in the comment section down below. Thanks for reading!