Ingredients to avoid
Processed foods often contain a number of ingredients that are hard to identify for the consumer. As a general rule, the more ingredients you see on the label that cannot easily be identified, the more suspicious you should be. Many companies don't shy away from using all sorts of additives that are known to have a potentially detrimental effect on human health, such as cancer inducing substances, hormonal disruptors, and nervous toxins of various kinds.
Aside from such health-threatening additives, some ingredients commonly found in processed foods are obtained in ways that are highly destructive to the environment and unethical in terms of the treatment of native populations and workers in the countries where these ingredients are sourced.
The following two lists give an overview of ingredients that should be avoided for either of these two reasons.
Harmful to your health
all E-numbers (E followed by a number)
Unethical/destructive to the environment
palm oil: used as a cheap, inferior substitute for butter in bakery, desserts etc., linked to deforestation on a massive scale to establish palm-oil plantations, destroying habitats of endangered species, violating native land-rights, often by means of threats and violence.
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