What's Really In Your Food?


by Dr. Jim Sears

 – Would you eat a burger made out of “pink slime”—the name given to themechanically separated meat that’s treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill bacteria likeDr. Jim Sears E-coli?  McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, once purveyors of pink slime, say they have discontinued their use of this meat, made from discarded beef (i.e. everything else from the cow that had been deemed inedible), but who still does? Schools serve it up daily in kids’ lunches.

Chicken –To disinfect and cool chicken post slaughter, chickens are often soaked in a chlorine bath with a water-to-chlorine ratio up to 50 times more potent than the local swimming pool.  Then, to help hide the chlorine taste, the chickens are “plumped” with salt water, making the chickens larger in both weight and price.  Plus, via a scientific experiment, THE DOCTORS determined that chlorine baths may not even rid chicken of the bacteria the chlorine bath is supposed to prevent.

Ice Cream – One billion gallons of ice cream are consumed by Americans every year. The most popular flavor?  Vanilla.  Real vanilla beans are expensive, so to save money, many ice cream makers use a synthetic flavoring called piperonal which is also an ingredient in lice killer.

Bread – Many breads are made with potassium bromate, which has been banned in Canada and the UK and has been named a carcinogen by the EPA, but has been approved by the FDA.  Plus, azodicarbonamide, found in many manufactured donuts and hamburger buns - as well as plastics, rubber and foam - has been found to  aggravate asthma symptoms and contribute respiratory problems in humans.

Dr. Jim Sears' Tips For Making Healthy Choices

Read the fine print on labels! 

Look for fewer ingredients with words you can pronounce

Avoid “artificial flavors” as much as possible

Avoid “artificial dyes”, especially Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 5 & 6

Limit processed foods.

While it’s not economical for everyone to buy organic all the time, it’s worth spending a few extra dollars on organic poultry and beef. 

To save money, purchase the whole chicken.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the most expensive by the pound.

Check the “sell by” dates, and plan to shop the day before when your butcher is likely to mark down the poultry and meat.

Consider buying direct from a farmer’s market

Check the sodium levels on fresh and frozen chicken packaging.

A truly natural chicken breast has 50 to 75 mg. of sodium. If there’s more than that, the bird has been “plumped”.

Cook for your family.

If you want to know what’s in your food, make it yourself. It’s a great way to bond with your children and teach them about health.

 Visit for a cheat sheet that lists the harmful additives often hidden on food labels as well as a complete list of common additives to avoid.  Also find a recipe for a delicious homemade, super low-calorie ice cream by Rocco DiSpirito.