I discovered, to my dismay, that there are scary neolithic ingredients in all SORTS of products. For my case, it was some Dove moisturizer that turned out to be basically soybean oil and detergents (seriously!). My face became leathery and red after 2 days of use, at which point I finally read the ingredients (my bad on not reading earlier). I'd never used the stuff before, and just grabbed it to be a convenient travel-sized moisturizer while traveling (I'm prone to dry skin when exposed to sun/wind).
I was hoping to use this question to ask about other products/food you've found that people should know about and avoid, with hidden bad ingredients, etc. being the primary focus.
So, what "landmines" have you found out there that you'd like to warn folks about?
Soy oil in fish oil caps. Dried milk powder in silly-expensive yogurt from grass-fed cows. Otherwise-great olives soaked in sunflower oil.
Just because it's expensive and at Whole Foods doesn't mean it's good for you.
Let's look at four of my (least) favorites: soy, wheat, starch, and sugar. All of these show up in supplements. I've seen wheat and soy in vitamin B, especially time-release/B-complex vitamins. Try to find a multivitamin without soy and wheat in your supermarket or drugstore. Good luck! (For the record, the brands you want are Country Life and Freeda for "safe" multivitamins. The "Vitamin Code" products are safe but their multi costs $40 for a month's supply! I say this as someone who is not just a "paleo purist" but has soy and wheat allergies--there are not many safe options). Likewise, vitamin E often has soybean oil as filler. Blech! Poison! Supplements are also full of starch and sugar. Vitamin D is a bad offender because the amount of matter needed to go into the supplement is very small; therefore, to make the pills big enough to handle they add starch, sugar, and even vegetable oils (check out the Carlson's brand...not soybean oil, but something like safflower or sunflower).
Another problem is salsa--one of my pre-paleo favorites. So, you buy the expensive "organic" stuff at your favorite hippie-dippy co-op store or "expensive food" supermarket and don't read the ingredients because it says "gluten-free" all over it and it has a really cool-looking label. And it costs $5 so it has to be great, right? The ingredients contain corn starch and "evaporated cane juice." (That's sugar.) Now I use Tabasco. Or fresh or canned chiles. Simple, clean.
Coconut milk--not sure if guar gum is toxic poison or not. Don't care. I no longer buy the brands in my regular grocery stores. I go to the Asian market and buy it by the case. For some reason, the brands at the Asian markets (they all carry the same two or three) contain NOTHING but coconut and water. That's the stuff I want. And it's WAY CHEAPER.
Shredded cheese. Why would I want potato starch in my cheese? I've cut way down on cheese anyway but stuff like cellulose powder and potato starch pushed me away from you, cheese. Now, when I eat the stuff, it's all about the Parmesan Reggiano (made from raw milk, and too expensive to eat every day, though I try).
One reason not to eat regular grocery store chicken--it's injected with chicken broth of unknown etiology (read--it's sure to have soy and wheat in it...bet your life) which brings us to...vegetable bouillon or broth (don't even think about buying the cubes). There are some nice brands out there that tell you "no wheat" "no soy"--but why buy this stuff? Throw your leftover vegetables in a pot with some wine and make your own. Or better, just eat a big piece of meat.
One more--Heavy whipping cream. Unreal what you find in this simple product. Some of it is probably innocuous (again, guar gum. Also carrageenan) but other stuff is inexplicable. Skim milk in my cream? Why?
My pet peeve ingredient is MSG. I wish someone could explain to me why store-bought pork rinds need added MSG. Fried pork skin/fat tastes good on its own. Tom's is the only brand I have found locally that doesn't contain this dreaded neurotoxin.
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