Straight up bad food.

So I need to define “bad food” for another post I want to write. It’s going to be painful (I’d rather talk about good food) but here goes.

First, we have nasty things that really aren’t even food to begin with:

  • artificial flavors
  • artificial colors
  • artificial fats (olestra)
  • artificial sweeteners (saccharine, aspartame, splenda, etc.)
  • anything hydrogenated
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • synthetic preservatives (sodium benzoate, nitrates, etc.)

Then we have genetically modified foods (GMOs). If you want to avoid them, you have to make sure these ingredients are organic or labeled GMO-free:

  • corn (corn syrup, corn starch, maltodextrin, etc.)
  • soy (soy oil, soy protein, etc.)
  • canola
  • cotton (cottonseed oil)
  • dairy (see below)

Other foods that are sometimes GMOs: potatoes, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, Hawaiian papaya, flax, sugar beets & rice. (Check out the Sustainable Table‘s genetic engineering page for more information.)

Next, we have the poisonous results of treating animals like inanimate objects:

  • commercial / factory farmed meat, eggs and dairy

(In this case, local is best—know your farmer. There are “organic” factory farms too. The new Certified Humane label is helpful, as is the Cornucopia Institute‘s dairy scorecard.)

Whew! That was a lot. And I’m just warming up. But this is a natural place for me to take a break. The above are “foods” I try to avoid—and advise my herbal clients to avoid—at all costs. Next: bad foods you really should be aware of, but can’t always avoid. (I’m not in favor of food fascism. I’ll post on that later.)


  1. The Herbwife’s Kitchen » Food sensitivities vs. bad-food sensitivities said,

    December 19, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

    […] Food sensitivities are in style now. Gluten/wheat and casein/dairy are the most commonly cited offenders. I have a suspicion about this: most people feel better when they eliminate wheat and dairy from their diets because most wheat and dairy products people eat are just plain bad food. […]

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