What’s Really in Your Food?

September 15, 2011 · 29 comments

Sometimes, while getting ready for work in the morning, I watch Saved by the Bell reruns. Sometimes, I switch it to Boy Meets World. For the rest of the time, I’m tuned into The Doctors.

The Doctors should know the quality television they’re up against in this crucial time slot.

Yeah, the Doctors isn’t something I’d watch on a daily basis nor is it something I would TiVo, but it does hit me with some pretty goshdarn interesting facts sometimes.

Like the recent episode, What’s Really in Your Food?


Docta Trav, (yeah, the one who was The Bachelor and dated Carrie Underwood for a while) says that since we are what we eat, we should choose food with natural ingredients. Makes sense, right?

The Dirty Dozen:

A group of foods that are harder to clean. Therefore, they have a higher number of pesticides and toxins on them. Gross. Celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, and grapes are the “Dirty Dozen,” so it’s recommended we buy them organic.


If you’re like me, you’re now saying “uh, yeah, if I had the money to drop on organic produce every week.” But think of it this way – why not spend the money now so you’re not spending it on the medical attention later?

It makes sense. They noted some other pretty scary stuff, too…

Potentially Dangerous Ingredients in Our Food:

Propylene Glycol – found in many baked goods, cake mixes, fast food tacos and even some salad dressings and condiments. Guess where it’s also found? Anti-freeze, and engine coolant. Gross?!

Acrylamide – found in potato chips, crisps and french fries. In high levels. Also found in CIGARETTE SMOKE. It’s a cancer-causing chemical that forms in carbohydrate-rich foods (like potatoes) when fried or baked at very high temperatures.

And here’s another note. Scientists have found that 30% of cancer cases arise from dietary resources. That’s not so low.

Food Dyes – I had no idea about this one. Did you know they have been linked to ADHD and allergies? Red #3 has also been acknowledged by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a carcinogen, but is still found in some processed foods.

Dangerous Food Dyes to Avoid: Red #40, Red #3, Yellow #5, Yellow #6, and Blue #1.

 (Dear Daner, thank you for crying in a bar at some point in college so I could use this picture for my blog. I love you and your cute pout.)

Watch your fruit snacks, kids. Careful with those chips, and spend a little extra to buy organic. I’d venture a guess that it’ll be worth it.

Thank you to the Doctors for brightening up my morning routine with such important information an average of three days a week.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kimberly September 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Eeek – All good things to know! It’s so easy to think, ignorance is bliss, but at the end of the day, its not worth the health risks later on!! I found out yesterday I have high cholesterol – which is honestly SHOCKING to me, I am active, eat healthy for the most part and play soccer almost 4 nights a week. But it’s made me reconsider a LOT of the food choices I make and overall do more research on the foods I am putting into my bod! Good post!
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2 Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry September 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Ah crap. I don’t buy organic ever. I have been thinking lately that I should, but it’s so dang expensive. I keep reading that anything where you eat the skin should be organic. This sucks. Why can’t everything be organic? Maybe it is time to get on this bandwagon…before I am spending a ton of moolah later. V good point.

Had NO idea about food dyes. I love hearing stuff like this because it makes me aware, but at the same time it makes me afraid! I guess it is better to know!

Bahaha Saved By The Bell & Boy Meets World are two of my faves, haha.
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3 Dorsa @ Running Thoughts September 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

whoaa crazy stuff.. I try to buy organic as much as I can. Once you buy organic for a while you don’t even realize the price difference… that or I just choose to ignore it. Either way, it works for me.

Also.. I love Saved By the Bell and Boy Meets World… LOVE.. seriously.
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4 Brittany September 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I love the doctors, but I love Dr. Oz even more. I used to watch these shows like it was my job. I am a big believer in buying organic dirty dozens. If I can’t find em I’ll settle for conventional, but that is rare!
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5 Ally September 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Seriously?! Eek that’s slightly terrifying. I try to buy Organic when I can but it’s so gosh darn expensive! But maybe it truly is worth it.. spend the money now instead of later on down the road like you said..

Seriously, Boy Meets World is probably one of my all time favourite shows. Doctors really is up against some tough competition!
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6 jaymee September 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

what channel is this show on? i need to watch. so i dont keel over at age 28.
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7 Jamie@cupcakedynamite September 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Welp, extra tomatoes in my sandwich to counteract the carcinogens in my chips..that’s what i say.. 😉
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8 Sami September 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm

It is SO scary the crap they put in stuff sold in supermarkets…Food Inc. was mind blowing for me. The even SCARIER thing, is that it’s ALL regulated by the government…they control everything we eat…and a TON of them came from huge companies (like Tyson), who are just looking to make an extra buck.
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9 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health September 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Oh boy…I like learning about all of that stuff, but then it just stresses me out when I realize that I really can’t afford organic right now haha. Oh well, I guess as long as I do it when I actually have a job- better late than never right? 🙂
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10 Alexa @ Simple Eats September 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I hatttteee how expensive organic produce is. Wouldn’t it make sense for the more natural, un-touched foods to be LESS expensive? I look longingly at the organic section every time I’m at the store.
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11 julie September 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

i don’t wash my kale and i know its really dirty. i also buy apples from the dirty apple bin that is shipped directly from upstate and sometimes i just vaguely rinse them. i call it building my immune system..
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12 Mallory @ It's Only Life September 16, 2011 at 1:24 am

This is really interesting, thanks for the info! I generally (try to) buy organic fruits/veggies that are the really dirty ones… I also buy organic ground turkey, if I make turkey burgers/tacos etc. I heard ground turkey is one of the most bacteria-ridden things ever, so for safety’s sake I always purchase organic turkey/any kind of meat really.
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13 Allison @ PickyEatingRD September 16, 2011 at 3:03 am

I think it is slightly unrealistic to expect that everyone can afford organic. Unfortunately the goal I have for most of my clients is just to get them eating fresh produce! After we accomplish the first step, then I move towards organic etc. I am anxiously awaiting the day where organic becomes the norm =)
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14 Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans September 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Yet another reason why eating whole foods is the better way for me: Whole and natural mean no weird added chemicals ..score!!
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15 Sami September 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

sweet little cheat sheet you’ve got there! (: i want one! haha.

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16 Megan September 17, 2011 at 2:05 am

Such an informative post! I especially like the part about paying more for organic food now than paying for medical needs later, although I told my mom that and her response was “that’s what health insurance is for.” Yeah, she’s not totally on my side yet, but we’re getting there.
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17 Lizzie September 17, 2011 at 2:20 am

omg!!!!!! ahh i really need to buy organic produce more often–this is insane!
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18 Lara @TresLaLa September 17, 2011 at 3:24 am

Love that little wallet card! I need to figure out a pneumonic that will help me remember those!
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19 Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter September 19, 2011 at 12:28 am

Ack!! I guess Jillian was right when she said Doritos were a cancer stick! eesh. Thank goodness I gave up all the fast food and junk food years ago…

but grapes are in the dirty dozen?! 🙁 Ugh.
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20 Daner September 19, 2011 at 12:30 am

Your welcome for crying in B-Dubs. I believe this was a week before graduation when I got an email post about Ebies bloggity blog from her Peace Corp experience.. You know where this is going…..

Crying because i wanted to go and have her experience… oh and to save the orphans.


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