(MassReport.com) Who doesn’t know what Jell-O is? It’s one of the most popular sweets in the world. This is largely due to a wide misconception that gelatin is a healthy alternative to other sweets like chocolates and pastries. Half of this is true. It is an alternative. But the healthy part, not so much. Take a look at the ingredients in a couple Jell-O’s products:
Banana Cream Sugar Free/Fat Free Pudding:
Modified Cornstarch, Maltodextrin, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate and Disodium Phosphate, Natural Artificial Flavor, Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Mono- and Diglycerides, Aspartame and Acesulfame Potassium, Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Artificial Color, BHA.
Strawberry Sugar free/low calorie gelatin dessert:
Gelatin, Adipic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Maltodextrin, Fumaric Acid, Aspartame, Less Than 2% Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Salt, Red 40.
So what’s the big deal?
Artificial coloring is a major issue here. Artificial coloring is in virtually every snack made for children. The gummy snacks, the taffy, sodas, puddings, even chips have artificial coloring in them. These colorings have been scientifically proven to have health risks ESPECIALLY in children. In America, the most commonly used dyes are Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. All three of these chemicals have compounds within them that have proven to be cancerous such as Benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. In children, artificial colors have also been linked to hyperactivity, allergies, irritability, and learning impairment.
Another common additive is Blue #1. This one seems to be of particular concern because of how easily the body absorbs it. This was actually discussed at the March 2011 FDA Center for Safety and Applied Nutrition Food Advisory Committee meeting. According to Sean Taylor, Managing Director of Verto Solutions and Scientific Director for the International Association of Color Manufacturers:
“[W]e have a good understanding that these [FD&C] colors do not have a significant lifetime in the body and that, in general, they are not well absorbed. The one exception to that, I would say, is we do see more absorption of FD&C Blue Number 1 versus the other FD&C colors.”
“We don’t see any significant amounts of color in the brains of any of the animals that have been done, with the single exception, I will point out again, for Blue 1. I don’t have a great chemical basis to explain why Blue 1 seems to have a little bit different transport properties, but we do know that Blue 1 has some capability of crossing the blood-brain barrier.”
Shula Edelkind, a representative of the Feingold Association, was also a speaker at this meeting and noted something I found very interesting.
“In 2003, the FDA asked doctors to stop doing that [adding Blue 1 to enteral feedings] since patients were dying, not from their disease, but from the Blue number 1, which apparently caused refractory hypotension and metabolic acidosis, and also, incidentally, turned their colons bright blue.”
These artificial colors are well known to be harmful, and Europe takes note of this. When these colors pop up on a list of ingredients, so does a warning. Why doesn’t the U.S.? Because U.S. policies are widely influenced by large corporations, food corporations included. And these corporations lobby their asses off to keep those warning labels off of American products. In fact, $11 million was spent in Colorado to defeat GMO labeling in the recent elections (2014). Monsanto, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo spent $7.4 million alone, of the $11 million.
Many sugar free products, including sugar-free Jell-O products that are meant to be “healthy”, contain an artificial sweetener known as aspartame. For those of you unfamiliar, aspartame is a highly toxic artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products. It’s made of 50% phenylalanine (high levels of this can reduce serotonin levels in the brain), 40% aspartic acid (known to destroy nerve cells), and 10% methanol (a wood glue used in household products).
Aspartame can be linked to rashes, memory loss, depression, hearing loss, joint pain, epilepsy, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, Parkinson’s disease, nausea, and the list goes on and on. Several scientific studies conclude that even FDA approved levels of aspartame can be harmful to humans when exposure prolonged.
In addition to that, it’s riddled with GMO’s. Some of the first ingredients in Jell-O pudding is modified cornstarch and maltodextrin. This implies that it is made from genetically engineered corn crops. According to a report by John Fagan, Ph.D., Michael Antoniou, Ph.D., and Claire Robinson,
”GM foods can be toxic, allergenic, or have unintended nutritional changes”
And finally, we have BHA. BHA is a preservative used in a variety of U.S. products. What’s funny is it’s actually banned in countries all over the world including Japan and the UK. Why? BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) has been identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a possible human carcinogen. Even the U.S’s own National Institutes of Health see it to be reasonably anticipated to be a harmful carcinogen. And it’s in your kid’s Jell-O.
The fact that these products are served to children with or without a label is preposterous. I would blame parents, but then again, a parent shouldn’t have to click on an article and do extensive research to find out whether or not a box she got off the store shelf is safe for her child. I thought that was literally what the FDA was for. Instead, they allow these products to flood our market without so much as a warning as to what it could do to our youths.