Hidden bad ingredients

by 585 · October 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM

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?

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24 Replies

2143 · June 06, 2010 at 01:56 AM

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.

55320 · June 08, 2010 at 04:55 PM

Carrageenan in coconut products :(

8848 · December 16, 2010 at 03:28 PM

Fun question.

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?

220 · June 06, 2010 at 10:30 PM

The bane of all my trips to the grocery store is still gluten, its slogan should be "they put that @#$& in everything".

22684 · June 06, 2010 at 03:02 PM

BPA plastic lining in most cans of canned goods

1662 · June 05, 2010 at 09:51 PM

  • "Sugar Free" Energy Drinks
  • Virtually all pre-made protein drinks
  • Nearly all of the "organic" salad dressings are chalked full of canola, safflower, soybean oil
  • Certain Toothpaste brands have extremely high content of Pumice, REAL bad deal
  • Any and all drinks from the gas station that aren't water.

1954 · June 05, 2010 at 09:40 PM

  • Nuts roasted in industrial oils
  • Sugar in spice mixes
  • Aspartame in nearly every chewing gum (a few cinnamon varieties are without)
  • Corn syrup and/or soybean oil in everything else

9551 · December 16, 2010 at 08:21 AM

I'll be difficult and answer this question backwards. I was avoiding a certain brand of chicken stock/beef stock because it had dextrose in it. Dextrose: sounds disgusting, right? Turns out this is just another name for naturally occurring glucose: my favorite simple sugar!

2231 · October 08, 2010 at 09:49 PM

Non-fat Half & half

2684 · June 09, 2010 at 05:30 AM

Hydrogenated lard. I mean, WTF?

820 · June 07, 2010 at 03:38 AM

Sugar and vegetable oil in dried fruit, soy in canned tunafish, and evaporated cane juice in things that have no business being sweet.

523 · June 06, 2010 at 05:32 PM

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.

4067 · July 06, 2011 at 05:37 PM

Sunblock-I spent so much time looking for a mineral based sunblock containing zinc, that was cheaper than my favorite badger stuff, that I missed soybean oil as a main ingredient! (Everything else was amazing). What a pain!

Deli Meat -I miss it! But even the organic brands have carrageenan or lactic acid stuff.

Chocolate -soy in most of the brands. Don't get me wrong, I found a few without, but never when I am out and about and need a quick fix.

Coconut milk -I agree with everyones posts, but want to add..why can't this stuff come in glass jars? (Will it go bad faster? Tomatoes don't). Why always really ghetto looking bpa metal cans?

Jerky -I know there are some great places online, but I don't have that kind of money. Everything else is full of soy!! Even the stuff at the farmers market.

Organic Food restaurants -yes they exist in Utah. They are all dripping in soy. They are like mini-estrogen factories pumping out thin emo boys. Menus printed in soy ink even at one place. (I will admit that one soy laden place makes homemade almond milk, but with their kitchen covered in soy products, that worries me).

Bacon- even the organic stuff is hard to find without unpronounceable extras.

5852 · December 16, 2010 at 04:18 PM

I'm going to revisit this answer after a field trip to Whole Foods. I cannot remember all the things I have identified as "staples" that, after reading the label, I will not buy anymore. I have literally had to make the act of searching for good, clean foods without tons of crud in it, a hobby. It's a lot of work!

I've been duped so many times by not reading the label completely. Expensive lessons, they are.. (in my best Yoda voice)

10750 · June 08, 2010 at 04:23 PM

Dyes that are added just for branding, so that the processed food will be a certain shade and color every time really disturbs me.

Natural variation in food is NATURAL.-

613 · June 06, 2010 at 02:19 PM

New research has shown that anything bottled in plastic (BPA, BPA-free, or otherwise) contains estrogen. This also goes for foods wrapped in plastic. Very disturbing.

7944 · October 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM

I don't go as far as hunting and gathering myself, but my solution is to not buy very many products. We buy raw ingredients and make our own as much as possible: make our own ferments (pickles, sauerkraut, beet kvass, kefir and yogurt), salad dressings, mayo, salsa (DH makes a great salsa verde and we love pico de gallo when tomatoes are good), dehydrated foods, etc.

some things have to be bought, of course. We aren't making our own coconut products and olive oil, for example. But I spend an hour or so in the kitchen every night with my "projects" so that I know what we are eating from our own hands. It's satisfying and saves money, too.

I'm even making some of our cleaning products now because I tend to be allergic to the fragrances and chemicals in many commercial cleaning products.

2036 · October 05, 2012 at 06:05 AM

Don't forget you're wearing neolithic clothes and typing on a neolithic machine. Gasp! ;)

In all seriousness though, I've experienced an improvement in my skin when switching to a homemade face wash (honey+espresso+lavender+tea tree oil), homemade deodorant (coconut oil+baking soda+arrowroot), and a "better" makeup (Bare Minerals), but in general, not overdoing it with any of these things probably has an equal effect. So... I totally get ya on the creepy ingredients.

I don't know what's in Tide that causes this, but I break out in hives when my clothes are washed in the stuff. Haven't had the same problem with anything else.

10 · July 11, 2011 at 09:15 PM

check Rudi's brand of gluten-free bread - no wood pulp (unlike Udi's)

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297 · July 09, 2011 at 09:14 PM

"Microcrystalline cellulose" in "gluten-free" breads. I don't touch any bread with a ten-foot pole, but I was curious and looked at the ingredients.

What is microcrystalline cellulose? Refined wood pulp. WOOD. In bread. And it's being totted as "healthy". Boggles the mind.

0 · July 06, 2011 at 03:06 AM

Go out, hunt & forage for yourselves. This will solve many of the problems y'all are talking about. Stop relying on industries & supermarkets to supply your sustenance. Food doesn't come from the supermarket. It comes from the Earth. Take back your lives. Set factory-farmed animals free. Set "free-range" (cough, cough) animals free. Live in harmony with your bodies & with the planet, simultaneously! Don't be a slave to civilization.

183 · October 08, 2010 at 04:12 PM

here i have a brand of eggs in a milk-carton-like carton. These are good because this brand still retains high o-3 oils and it's from free-range chickens. but...

"Just egg whites" - ingredients: egg whites

"whole eggs" - ingredients: egg whites, + 20 other ingredients that are not in regular eggs!

i bought those whole egg ones once, now i stick with the just egg whites in a carton, since i know it's pure. plus they taste better :)

Also: i found out today that Vitamin water Zero XXX is good, is sweetened with a small bit of stevia, but also crystallized fructose, and has 10g carbohydrates per bottle. (because it has 2.5 servings per bottle, but who seriously drinks like 1/3 of the bottle?).

966 · June 06, 2010 at 06:22 PM

"Natural Flavoring" in V8

-2 · October 05, 2012 at 04:10 AM

Guys, I'm so upset reading everyone's complains about how most of the foods sold are adulterated, that is fake, made of non-human-food ingredients.

But how it helps in our health complaining here or at other alike sites and forums?

Do you believe that the manufactures, huge multi-billion large food corporations that manufacture these bogus foods they dare to label as healthy will be willing all of a sudden to lose their profits by putting in their processed products normal human-body-friendly ingredients that people were using for food 200 yrs ago, 1,000 yrs ago, 10,000 yrs ago?

They WON'T.

They laugh reading your (and mine) complains about artificial, toxic, life threatening ingredients in a large number of our processed (and non-processed) foods. They said they can't afford to lose a penny out from their profits - this is what a guy from Monsanto said. Do you know that entities like Monsanto, FDA, and our government are actually one big very much loving and supporting each other comrades that care l-e-s-s about what you get as your food.

Instead of having an intelligent chitchat now, please, my dear friends, take real action. Read the following information and act if you want you and your kids to grow normal, fertile, with no ADD, cancers, and other diseases exponentially growing in the last 2 decades right when the GMO ingredients (like canola oil, soy products, soy lecithin, corn products, corn oil, HFCS (corn syrup in every single food), rGBH beef, milk and cheeses, and many others.

"President Obama has appointed former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael Taylor to become senior advisor to the FDA's commissioner. This unthinkable linkage between food safety and corporate interests that have little regard for the public health must be stopped. This example of a "fox watching the henhouse" is inexcusable. President Obama must reverse this unimaginably dangerous policy and isolate the FDA from corporate influence. That's why I signed a petition to President Barack Obama. Will you sign this petition? Click here: http://signon.org/sign/tell-obama-to-cease-fda?source=s.em.cp&r_by=1519552

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