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5 Messed-Up Things That Are In Your Food

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Messed up foods in the USMany of these ingredients are banned in Europe, but here in the good old USA you'll find them on your dinner plate.  Many of these ingredients are banned in Europe, but here in the good old USA you'll find them on your dinner plate.

1. Azodicarbonamide in Bread

Until a month ago, few had heard of this "dough conditioner," intended to provide strength and improve elasticity. Like pink slime, it was azodicarbonamide's industrial overtones that drove indignation—it's "the same chemical used to make yoga mats, shoe soles, and other rubbery objects," wrote food  blogger Vani Hari in a successful petition to get Subway to remove the substance from its baked products.

While World Health Organization tests found azodicarbonamide risks "uncertain," it has been linked to deaths in animals and allergic reactions in humans. Azodicarbonamide is banned in Europe and Australia and its use carries a prison sentence in Singapore, writes Hari. The  Center for Science in the Public Interest warns that when azodicarbonamide is baked in bread, it produces the carcinogen urethane. While Subway announced it is "in the process of removing azodicarbonamide as part of our bread improvement efforts," the dough conditioner is also used in food at McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, Arby's, Wendy's, Jack in the Box and Chick-fil-A. It is also in grocery store and restaurant breads, CNN says.

2. Plastic Microbeads in Fish and Waterways

For years, the consumer products industry has given us plastic microbeads in toothpaste, liquid hand soaps, skin exfoliators, other personal care products and industrial cleaners. Products like Olay's body wash, Dove Gentle Exfoliating Foaming Facial Cleanser and Clean & Clear Daily Pore Cleanser increase the plastic clogging the planet's seas, "killing millions of sea creatures every year when they swallow it, choke on it, or get tangled in it and drown," according to Slate. It was widely believed, however, that human health was spared. "Our assessment is that they will largely be removed during sewage treatment," Jay Gooch, associate director of external relations in beauty care at Procter & Gamble, reassured Slate.

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