Why Not to Buy Into the Food Fear Factor

Here’s my challenge: Improve your own health, without pointing fingers. It seems that some people want someone or some company to blame for their (or worse, our nations collective) bad habits.

I recently read an article protesting the recent Chick-fil-A hot button issue (I won’t go into my opinion on that here). This article was bashing the fast food chain for every additive it includes in its processed chicken products. Like every fast food joint, (and most all chain or pub-type restaurants) Chick-fil-A uses prepackaged, frozen foods. Additives and preservatives are added for a variety of reasons, mostly for ease of use and preservation.

One ingredient in question is dimethyl polysiloxane, an anti-caking, anti-foaming agent. In this case, it’s added to cooking oil that’s used in frying (reducing ‘foaming’ of oil, presumably making quantity frying a safer process). It’s used in a variety of products, like chewing gum, beer, soups, and sports drinks (for example, in beer, it’s in an anti-foaming agent that is used to control foam in brewing).

Beware of health writers who may not know what they don’t know. Using scare tactics is a red flag. In this case, pointing out that a food additive is also used in silly putty (oh my!) is a simple scare tactic that uses facts out of context and without any further explanation. Guess what? There are lots of ingredients that are used in a variety of ways. For example, sorbic acid  is both in my lipstick and is naturally occurring in berries. Citric acid, found naturally in oranges and added to many foods, is also used in toilet bowl cleaners. Does this matter? No. There are many naturally occurring and man-made ingredients found in both food and non-food items.

I don’t recommend a regular diet of fast food or processed food. I do recommend smart, well-informed choices so you can balance the not-so-great and the better choices in your diet.

Instead of demonizing one particular food or fast food chain, make a decision to add more fresh food to your diet as often as you can. You can work on improving your health without pointing fingers. Try my homemade “fast food” recipes, like this one.

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