All foods we buy are processed to a certain degree, even fresh vegetables which are washed and cleaned, etc. However, the foods the don't look anything like the original ingredients and contain additives and preservatives along with high doses or sodium, sugars, and fat are particularly hazardous. Considering that many of these additives are banned in other countries should make us even more cautious. Even when eating out at fast casual restaurants, you can't be certain that the ingredients they use aren't highly processed as well.
Our best chances for long term health occur when processed foods are avoided and fresh home-cooked meals and snacks comprise the bulk of our dietary needs. Even meat is considered a processed food, so eating plant-based meals helps reduce and eliminate as many detrimental ingredients as possible!
- More than 3,000 food additives -- preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients -- are added to U.S. foods. Many of these additives are banned in other countries
- Ingredients banned in other countries yet allowed in the US include various food dyes, the fat substitute Olestra, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate (aka brominanted flour), Azodicarbonamide, BHA, BHT, rBGH, rBST, and arsenic
- Russia has announced a ban on virtually all U.S. meat and meat product imports, effective February 11, due to the feed additive ractopamine in the meats