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Warning: 3 Fast Food Ingredient Secrets

Lisa Garber
December 12th, 2012
Updated 12/12/2012 at 3:41 pm
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While many of us live a largely sedentary lifestyle, the United States remains a highly mobile society, addicted to the road and high-speed, demanding daily schedules—hence, our addiction to fast food. The convenience of this food, however, comes at a high price belying its reputation as the food of the masses. The ingredients in these foods, unfortunately, make the exchange little more than murder.

Some Kidney Damage with your Wendy’s Frosty?

There’s little more comforting when you’re on the road than a long sip of wholesome ice cream and milk. And about a dozen other ingredients, as it turns out.

You can count guar gum, cellulose gum, and carageenan (which has a checkered past) in that list of ingredients, and those are just the thickening agents. Mercury-inclusive high-fructose corn syrup and several others sugars and oils linked to high blood pressure are also present.

The new Coffee Toffee Twisted Frosty includes a laxative chemical—propylene glycol—often used in electronic cigarettes and cosmetics  Its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) actually indicates possible skin, liver, and kidney damage with contact since it can get into our blood stream and our bodies, where it stays for weeks at a time. Some animal studies indicate cellular mutation. And some sources say that it’s all about the dosage  Our friend Mike Adams over at NaturalNews, however, says it’s more complicated, and best left out of your dessert.

Yum, MSG and Cruelty McNuggets

What little meat there is to be found in Chicken McNuggets—along with nearly every other food establishment, not limited to fast food—comes from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which have been described as concentration camps for animals. Not only do these factory farms entail radically inhumane acts and result in massive pollution, but animal meats that come out of them are nutritionally inferior and even toxic for our consumption. (And that’s before they’re loaded with toxic chemicals like sodium nitrite, which has been linked to a 67 percent rise in pancreatic cancer risk.)

McNuggets also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, a kind of silicone once used in breast implants. Incidentally, they’re being phased out for the latter use due to a safety concern.

Salad with Toxins and Pesticides

Don’t be fooled by the pretty pictures of dewy lettuce leaves and the supposed farmer McDonalds bought it from. Their salads are about as fit for your new diet as is the propylene glycol mentioned earlier, which also appears in this dish along with cilantro lime and orange glazes.

Fast food salads and dressing also often contain allergenic and possibly toxic monosodium glutamate (MSG). Even if they say there’s not MSG in their food, look again. There are lots of names for synthetic glutamates, like autolyzed yeast extract and gelatin.

In the endeavor to become healthier people, we must become more informed—and skeptical—consumers. It’s true that it takes extra planning and effort to avoid fast food, but we should do so at all costs. Fatty and sugary processed foods and drinks have been accused of triggering brain damage and addictive behavior.

From around the web:

  • Christina Ryan

    Nothing is better than garden grown or locally grown produce and meat from hunting. We are enjoying our recent venison harvest and moose from last year. However, I would advise people not to blindly throw away their money simply because a sign says "organic" on something. Do your research about the massive fraud in the organic produce industry and you may just revise your thinking on the subject. There are so many loopholes in food laws and regulations and we are being hosed as a result. I'm not saying "don't" just saying do your homework first.

  • Buffet

    Bodybuilders won't touch that swill. We leave that to the pencilnecks.

  • disdain

    oh jesus christ save me from your followers!

  • Christian

    That’s similar to admiring artwork with a disdain for the artist. Anon, you sound like you have been deceived by the New Age religion, whose adherents worship the creation more than The Creator, Who is blessed forever, Amen. New Agers believe they can somehow earn their way to godhood. There is one and only one God: The Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit who together are One (The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). That’s selfish, I would think, to believe you are on a path to somehow become equal to Him. There is not one person, no not one, who can obtain salvation without the cleansing power of the Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth because we are all as filthy rags. According to the True Word of God, The Holy Bible, those who are not saved will be cast into hell and damned for all eternity while those who have accepted the free gift of salvation through Christ the Unblemished, Precious Lamb will spend eternity with Him. For such, Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again the 3rd day, so those who pray in the Name of Jesus and ask The Lord to cleanse them of their sins and help them turn away from them (repentance) becoming their Lord and Savior will be saved (Reference to the Gospel can be found in the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and throughout the New Testament.) Baptism is a public acceptance of the free gift of salvation. Get into His Word and you will find Truth and that He will meet all of our needs in His Riches in Glory. I pray you (and many others) put your trust in Him today and worship God for the beauty of His creation..and have an appreciation for nature rather than worship of nature. A quick FYI: The POTUS is NOT the Christ as some have declared, contrary to the Word of God. Folks, do not be The Holy Bible for yourselves so you can understand truly the end-time world around you.

    • Levon Richards

      And this is not the place for you to get on your soapbox/pulpit and preach your one sided belief system to everyone else. Organized religion is the cause of most of our problems on this planet.

    • Mike

      Eat a Christian and improve your fruit intake.

    • Guest

      No one has said President Obama is the Christ. Ever.

  • steve b

    What is worst than food is sodas. You can sip on a saoda all day long. You will eat only so much good food, but that junk food you can't get enough. My brother ate nothing but McDonald's for a year and almost died

    • Dirty Moe

      I think the fast food is making your spelling, and punctuation horrible. Another reason not to eat it!! Just saying….

  • teve b

    Do you notice how those fast food places lure us? When people start talking how fattening they are then they tout salads and then the next week triple cheeseburgers. They don't care as long as you pay. I have a store and sell baked french fries and they sell big time.

  • gmm

    we all know that fat-food is bad for us. if you actually care about your health, don't eat it. gotta love the goverment control over something we ourselves have all the control over………..

    • Anonymous

      Agree. 100% our wellbeing is up to us. stop blaming oth;ers .educate yourself . grow your own food. its up to YOU!

  • Guest

    Simple rule of thumb: if it has a bar-code on it, don't eat it.

    • Steve B.

      that is good, but Im sure sardines has a bar code. Sunflower seeds roasted aren't too bad ot plain peanuts or pistacchio seeds.

  • Rebecca

    I have been off desserts and sugar for 3 months so far and plan on making it my lifestyle. I can tell you I feel a LOT better.

    I eat fast food a few times a year… maybe once every other month, and it ends up being Subway or Chipotle. I get sick to my stomach when I even think about KFC or Arby's or Burger King. Oh, I did eat at In and Out Burger once, as well. It actually was pretty tasty, but I am sure, not healthy.

    Overall, the cleaner your body becomes, the less appealing bad food is to you.

    • Steve B.

      I know a girl in Cambridge Maryland works at county jail with wide ass and half the time she eats big macs. She went and got one of those stomach reducing operations. She was too stupid to realize chinese proverb…One who sits idle and eats junk will need wide load sign

  • DaveSpeede

    There was an msnbc special on McDonalds, and the frauds (McDonalds Corp) showed the "professional chefs" in the corporate test kitchens who make "5 star quality" entrees for everday Mcdonalds entrees. Pack of parasitic liars, not to mention Dave Thomas's obese red-headed daughter on commercials, claiming Wendy's is different from other companies. These executive pricks most definitely DO NOT eat their own product, but they have no problem shoveling it out to citizens who cannot afford health care as it is. Fast Food CEOs and executives should be forced to eat that filth everyday until they are near death as a result. I cannot think of a more fair punishment.

  • anthony

    oil — organic cold pressed only ! There was a case of fluoride in tea that was using fluoridated water supply and chemical added to the soil.

    • Rebecca

      Speaking of fluoride, my 2 year old niece was with us as we were helping my parents out in their house… we found her laying in the shower stall (hiding) with a toothpaste tube (opened) in her mouth, sucking the toothpaste. YIKES! I make my own toothpaste without fluoride but still, this worries me!

      • Steve B.

        You should get sardines, pickles or sunflower seeds at Dollar General and avoid fast food or always have sardines or a jar of sunflower seeds with you, because it can not hurt to have some with you. If I have to get fast food I get plain roast beef or plain chicken wit nothing else.

        • STEVE


  • Patti Jo Edwards

    My husband and I just returned from a road-trip to California. We made two thermoses of green smoothies and I took a jar of home-made soup. Everything we make is organic. We ate at only one restaurant and saved over $100 on food by bringing our own food. I also make my own nutrition bars and yogurt. Recently I began to make my own wine and fruit vinagers. These are fast foods. We eat them every day, purchasing the ingredients from farmers in our community. We are not dependent on big corporations for food, medical, entertainment or transportation. Creating our own fast food is healthful, sustainable and affordable. Ditch the corporations such as McDonalds, Wendy's and KFC. Shop organic, local and fresh. I am in Oregon.

    • steve b

      You know people think it's so mush fun to go to restaurant, but if you think of the time wasted and when you sit down to eat you know you'll eat junk. Best to take stuff and keep going. If you had a family of five and went on vacation for a week and brought food you would save $100 easily. Just bypass the cracker barrel. I find you walk in to the buffet and you can'y resist and you can't resist eating three plates. I can't have junk food home because you open a bag of doritos I eat them all. Every weekend I would eat large pan of brownies and had to quit that.

    • eric

      You peaked my curiosity here, I can understand not needing big corporations for food and entertainment, but how can you get transportation and medical needs addressed without big corporations?

      • James Broom

        To answer your question, Eric.. A little faith in your abilities as a human being to cultivate medicinal plants (and food for that matter), read the messages bridged by your dreams which do nothing but serve as your body's briefing system during somatic periods, and lastly become more hesitant to make the decisions that lead one to seeking homeopathic attention would make a fair start as far as addressing medical needs goes. Transportation requirements are a cinch, and can be done without your unwarranted need to pay for gasoline, insurance, repairs, emissions, and um.. transportation. You can get a decently sized terrier and a longboard. Ever tried a bike? Horses are commutable. If all else fails, F*%!#ing walk.

    • Jodi

      How do you not depend on corporations to take a road trip from Oregon to California? And how do you take care of your medical needs?

    • Bree

      Hey Patti,

      Your plan sounds like a wonderful one. The cost of opportunity of not eating healthy and living a fastfood life is just way to high to ignore it.

      Thanks for sharing,


  • Guest

    Scrutinizing small facts is so obsolete. The overall intent of the article is what's important. The author advises staying away from fast food. That's a good intention. Love and Light.

    • steve b

      If you snack then snack on pistacchio or sunflower seeds or sardines or canned peaches.

  • Heather

    Mr Mason, about “we are animals” have you read your bible lately sorry we are humans made in the image of a wonderful God and Son who (if you were the only one on earth) would have come down to die for. Thank him. Grade one science was a lie too. Heather

    • Anonymous

      Sigh, Heather, I hope are being sarcastic. Spirituality is beautiful but the world would be a much better place if it weren’t for religious dogmatic crap like what you just spewed. Go figure someone would whip thier bible out and clear the room.

      • Anonymous

        Nicely said. I worship the things that keep me alive because it makes no sense to me to hope for a better life in heaven. That’s selfish.

  • Sharon

    OK for those of you who have trouble understanding words in context, the statement should read, “Admittedly, we are not LABORATORY animals…”

    So let’s go down the list:

    1. Guar gum: comes from beans (guar beans). Guar gum irritates the gut, with the most common side effect being flatulence. Guar gum can sometimes cause gastrointestinal (GI) complications including pain, flatulence, nausea, and diarrhea. Don’t take my word for it. Do your research like I did.

    2. Cellulose gum comes from the cell walls of woody plants, most often trees and cotton. (Yum!) It passes through the body without being digested and when too much is consumed it can have a laxative effect. Other than that it’s just junk for the body to dispose of.

    3. Carageenan has been shown in verifiable studies to cause ulcers and cancer in the gastrointestinal tracts of laboratory animals. Admittedly we are not (laboratory) animals but we ARE animals and is it worth taking the risk? When I was younger and had ice cream made at home all it had in it was eggs, sugar, fresh cream, salt and vanilla.

    4. High fructose corn syrup: In 2010 researchers at Princeton University found that long-term consumption of high fructose corn syrup leads to increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in cholesterol. In one study, rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup gained much more weight than rats that drank water sweetened with table sugar. In another study, rats given a diet high in high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight over six months than rats given only regular rat chow. The rats that consumed high-fructose corn syrup also developed high levels of triglycerides, which leads to increased cholesterol and possibly heart disease.

    Read more:

    It just gets worse from here. I’ll take home-grown, home-made any day over the processed junk sold in stores but when I must buy it, which is unfortunately way too often, I read the labels very carefully and select those products with the least amount of harmful added ingredients. The result? I’m over 60 in good health and FREE of dependency on prescription drugs, medical procedures and doctor visits.

    Bon Appétit!

    • steve b

      I like looking at the bag and it says Pistacchios or Peanuts, or sunflower seeds. I always avoid liquids and things like sauces.

    • Captain Vic

      How can mc D French frys be bad I got some on my trucks back seat carpet that are from four years ago and they look just like the day my kid spilled them out and some of the bun of the burger is light and fluffy and not even moldy it is the perfect prepper food

  • Ingrid

    It will get harder and harder to find real food for consumption. Where to go? Everybody is lying about what it is in it. We already need a Dictionary for all the Names on the Labels. Using Internet-Telephones for shopping???? All the colorful Ads who pinpoints toward our kids, so they want to have all of it and the result are the rising Doctor Visits and medicating our kids! Why are soo many kids on Medication? So many Disorders created by greedy Food Companies. Just thinking…

  • Guest

    if you remove this line

    "Admittedly, we’re not animals, and some sources say that it’s all about the dosage"

    I can share it

    • Booster

      As far as shopping goes, keep it simple: if it’s not an ingredient in your grandmother’s or great-grandmother’s recipe book, LEAVE IT!!

      A live blood cell analysis from a naturopath has revealed to me just how much toxins from foods were in my blood, so much so that my liver and kidneys were starting to shut down.

      I have gone to an all-natural diet, (forced to learn to cook & bake and love it now), and have shed 95 lbs doing it. Kept it stable for 2 years now. Liver & kidneys are working fantastically, and hypothyroidism is gone.

      • MrsEllDee

        I have done the same thing. Now that I am eating real food, the fake stuff tastes awful to me! Also, as a diabetic, my blood glucose level has decreased and I feel a whole lot better.

  • motley

    You took the words from my mouth! These sort of responses take the creditability from anyone in the Natural health field.