Lots of people get upset when shopping at the supermarket because they feel they’re not getting enough bang for their buck.  Well, there’s the good news and bad news.  The good news is that they are actually getting more than they expect – a lot more.  The bad news is that most of it are things they don’t want - not even for free.

This is the takeaway from a number of recent studies.  One of these, conducted by researchers at Tulane University, found 25 different toxic metals and trace elements of others in 60 beverages - among them fruit juices, plant-based milk, artificial soda, and even tea. 

Although these drinks were tested in New Orleans ,they are sold around the country; in other words, this problem is not confined to one specific area but is national in scope.  

According to the Tulane study, which appeared in The Epoch Times, “five of the beverages tested contained levels of toxic metals above the federal safe drinking water standards.”  

A blend of two mixed juices should be harmless enough, but this one had dangerously high levels of arsenic. So did one brand of cranberry juice, as well as a mixed carrot and fruit juice and an oat milk, each of which was found to have levels of cadmium, a dangerous metal, that exceeded the government’s three parts per billion safety limit.  


Tiny But Powerful

The quantities in question are exceptionally minute – so small that one may easily get the impression that when mixed into soft drinks the risk is negligible.  They would, however, be mistaken. 

Take arsenic, for example, a metal used in processing many common products and to a lesser degree used in some pesticides and even pharmaceuticals.  If consumed in large enough quantities, arsenic may cause serious health problems and even death.  By the way, arsenic may ring a bell with mystery fans because in books and movies it is used by criminals to poison victims.  

Cadmium is another toxic metal that has been detected in a variety of foods.  It helps create long-lasting pigments in paints and coatings and is also used in batteries for cell phones, laptops, and other electronics.  Unfortunately, cadmium, too, poses serious health concerns and can be found, in tiny quantities, in numerous foods, including certain brands of rice, cereal, and dark chocolate.  Heavy metals have even been found in canned goods.


Too Chicken To Eat Chicken?

Unfortunately, the list of harmful items that have made their way into popular foods extends well beyond the above noted items.

An investigation by the Daily Mail uncovered some very surprising facts about some of America’s most popular fast food outlets.  The Daily Mail’s findings, which appeared on Zero Hedge, include the following: 

“The investigation reveals these restaurants infuse their chicken with additives, preservatives, and other proteins; this helps keep their costs down.”  

Although some of the selections are described as “premium” or “all white-meat,” the study states that’s not exactly true.  Actual ingredients include fillers and additives such as seaweed, soy, and even wood pulp to cut costs and extend shelf life.  

Moreover, the study found that there are more than 120 ingredients “hidden” within chicken burgers and/or nuggets sold at some fast food restaurants.  The following are excerpts from the study about products sold at well-known fast food chains (their names are intentionally withheld).  

*As advertised, this brand’s chicken nuggets do contain white, boneless chicken, but “they are also loaded with several types of flour, flavorings, spices, acid, yeast extract, dextrose, and lemon juice solids.” 

*Only 56% of the meat in this brand’s chicken sandwiches is meat; the remaining 44% is a combination of numerous ingredients … and mayonnaise made with at least five allergens.

*Another company’s grilled chicken contains tens of additional ingredients geared to making food last longer or to enhance taste.  Many companies do that, but that doesn’t mean consuming those additives is healthful and some, in fact, can cause disease and very serious health problems.  


What’s In The Ingredients?

Careful shoppers study the ingredients listed on food packages to get a better idea of what they are eating.  This is a good practice in principle, but it doesn’t always work in real life, and a report by Epoch Times writer Roman Balmakov explains why.   

Among the ingredients may be some made with nanotechnology, a technology that tries to control individual atoms and molecules.  This technology converts items such as silver, gold, copper, aluminum, silicon, carbon, and various oxides into particles that are literally one billionth of a meter.   

Nanotechnology began being widely used in the production of food back in the 1990s.  According to Balmakov, scientists discovered that by adding nano ingredients such as titanium dioxide, silicon oxide, and iron and zinc dioxide, they were able to make foods more colorful, brighter, both creamier or crunchier and fresher for longer; at the same time, some of these also increased nutritional value. 

According to Balmakov, a growing number of consumer protection groups and health experts acknowledge that while adding nano particles to foods may have benefits, that “may come at a price, and that price is our health.” 

One of these experts is Dr. Georgios Pyrgiotakis, a researcher at the Harvard School for Public Health, who said that nano ingredients “may pass through the lining of the gut and enter the bloodstream, which may trigger an inflammatory or immune response.”  And, he added, they may also build up in various organs of the body, another concern.

Nanotechnology is used in over 2,000 food items, but is unlabeled due to an FDA loophole.

These studies make several important points, but probably the most important one is that some of the foods we’ve always considered healthful may be anything but that.      

This presents a real concern for health-conscious consumers.  Checking the ingredients on packages may no longer be enough to determine if a product is safe or hiding toxic metals, strange chemicals, or loaded with preservatives and taste enhancers.    

To a very small degree, it may be possible to manage the problem by purchasing organic food.  What about growing your own food when possible?  But this applies to only a few of us and even for them, this offers only a very partial solution.  Unfortunately, in this situation, there are no simple answers.    

 Sources: www.atsdr.cdc.gov; www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org; www.dailymail.co.uk; www.greenmatters.com; www.theepochtimes.com; www.who.int; www.zerohedge.com 

Gerald Harris is a financial and feature writer. Gerald can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.