Monday, October 29, 2012

The Most Dangerous “Food” with which your child may be being poisoned

You'll notice my use of the word food in parenthesis in the title. For the product I bring to your attention today I use the word food only in the sense that it is commonly used as an edible substance. You won't find this on any of the top 10 lists of most harmful foods, foods to avoid or any others that caution about the adverse effects of a so-called food. The dangerous product that I speak of is Bob Evans Original Mashed Potatoes.

The package states that it is an “Everyday Classic” and uses the trademark “farm-fresh goodness”. It touts “Made with Real Milk & Butter” which I am sure is to give you the sense of the healthfulness and “goodness” of this product. Implicit in the term good is moral excellence. The universal moral is to do no harm. Thus, something that exudes goodness must do no harm. Additionally, it should be near the pinnacle of morality and have the essence of being beneficial.

In turning the package over and looking at the regulated portion of the labeling we see just what Bob Evans considers to be goodness – trans fats, artificial flavours and artificial colours. Artificial colours? What has Bob Evans done to adulterate a potato so much as to need to artificially colour it back to white?

The almost 5 ounce serving – the size of a tennis ball – contains 150 calories and 1/6 of the recommended intake limit each of sodium and saturated fat per day for an adult human. It actually contains more artificial colour than it does sodium!

Arthur Agatston, MD – creator of the Southbeach Diet – is a well known preventative cardiologist who is a consultant to the National institutes of Health and is an associate professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. I have long said that people choose to have the diseases and ailments that they have. Dr Agatston agrees simply stating that heart attacks can be prevented. His treatments methods focus on what he calls a 'heart healthy lifestyle' which primarily consists of eating wholesome foods and exercising.

When it comes to trans fats which are in “any products that contain partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oil” he says “there is no healthy level”. Bob Evans doesn't stop there. Just to ensure that his product harms you he has added artificial dyes and flavours. These have been suspect or proven in a wide range of effects, especially in children, from ADHD and lowered IQ to brain cancer. This is what Bob Evans wants you to consume everyday.

Brain cancer is dangerous and so is a heart attack. Those are both enough that the Consumer Product Safety Commission should remove this product from the shelves. Which won't happen because the FDA receives funding from certifying these hazardous chemicals. But those aren't what makes Bob Evans dangerous. The danger is in the misconception that this insidious mastermind projects. “Farm fresh goodness”? Where is the farm where Bob grows these artificial colourings and flavourings? Or hydrogenated oils. What is a hydrogenated oil plant anyway?

The labeling doesn't tell the entire truth about trans fats. You may have noticed that some similar products have serving sizes that may differ by as much as a complete serving of the smaller size, 4 cookies v 2 cookies. That is to hide the trans fats from the labeling. The FDA rules allow a food processor to claim “no trans fats” if the amount per serving is less than one half of a gram. So if the product disguised as food contains 2 grams of trans fats per pound then you will find that the serving size is about four ounces.

Bob Evans restaurants offer these products in an atmosphere purposefully intended to not arouse suspicion of what they truly are – a disguised fast food restaurant like McDonald's. In reality McDonald's offers more healthful products than what Bob Evans does. That's the danger – the perception that you are getting wholesome food when what you are getting is something closer to gasoline than food.

Anyone who consumes these products and their synthetic additives is choosing to have the ailments that will accompany that action. These have been known for nearly a generation now. In his 1993 book – The Healing Power of Foods – Dr Michael T Murray advised against consuming any of these synthetic additives because of their link to depression, asthma, hyperactivity, learning disabilities and migraine headaches. Yet since that time we have seen increased rates of these ailments in children.

What parents do to themselves is their own business but when it comes to providing these toxins to children it becomes abuse. For a child who is subject to a child custody order it becomes a factor specifically enumerated under Indiana Code 31-17-2-8 for divorced parents or 31-14-13-2 for paternity actions. This creates the basis for an action for modification of a custody or parenting time order, especially if the child is experiencing any of the known associated ailments including obesity. Because the expression of nearly every ailment or disease is wholly associated with lifestyle and diet it is necessary that children be placed under the care, custody and control of a parent who will not endanger the child through supplying these toxins.

Obtaining the evidence of abuse can be obtained through seeking purchase histories maintained by grocers using the parents' loyalty or rewards card data. I have previously written about that here. While purchase histories are limited in their weight as circumstantial more direct evidence can be obtained in other ways. This includes a forensic examination of the garbage set at curbside of the offending parents' home. This is a very valuable service that I have performed that can also produce surprise findings about other lifestyle activities. Having a third-party expert witness testify about the findings in the garbage can substantially impact a court proceeding, especially when use to impeach prior testimony.

If you are engaged in a child custody battle – particularly high conflict – don't be lulled into thinking that thrusting synthetic additives into your child is acceptable because the Food and drug Administration has labeled them as safe. In 1962 Rachel Carson detailed the full hazards of DDT in Silent Spring yet the federal government didn't ban its use until 1973, knowingly exposing consumers to another 10 years of this deadly toxin. It took 15 deaths during 1983 to 1985 related to the use of sulfites [a food cosmetic] for the federal government to agree to review their use. The result was a ban on their application to fresh produce on grocery shelves and salad bars and labeling on other products. Clearly, the federal government does not act in the interest of protecting consumers from these toxins. It takes an informed and attentive consumer to see through the cloud of confusion and misdirection created by the marketers of adulterated food, like Bob Evans.

Saying that Bob Evans products are “farm fresh goodness” is like saying that gasoline is a healthy and environmentally friendly stove top cleaner specially formulated for gas ranges.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Make a suggestion for me to write about.

Parents who would like to achieve the best outcome for their children in a contested child custody case should visit my website and contact my scheduler to make an appointment to meet with me. Attorneys may request a free consultation to learn how I can maximize their advocacy for their clients.

Connect with me for the latest Indiana child custody related policy considerations, findings, court rulings and discussions.

View Stuart Showalter's profile on LinkedIn

Subscribe to my child custody updates

* indicates required
©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.

No comments: