Mmmm… Ammonia

The discovery of ammonia treated pink slime used as a filler in most beef products didn’t phase me at all. What else do you expect from an industry that regulates itself? Plus, I learned it while watching Food, Inc. ages ago.

But guess what? Beef isn’t the only food with ammonia in it. Have you ever enjoyed any of these America delicacies?

They each contain small amounts of ammonium hydroxide, ammonium phosphate, or ammonium chloride.

Kraft Foods has owned up to using ammonia while ConAgra Foods plead the fifth despite ammonia listed as an ingredient in their Chef Boyardee Mini Ravioli and Wonder Bread.

Since 1974, the FDA has allowed the use of ammonium hydroxide in food. It’s officially labeled GRAS or Generally Recognized as Safe. A Kraft Foods spokesperson even likened it to adding white wine to a sauce and cooking away the alcohol. It seems a bit sociopathic to speak of using a harmful chemical in food so casually, but it’s been going on for so long, unbeknownst to all of us, that it actually is normal.

Also, the food industry is completely amoral and basically indestructible. Millions of dollars are spent in lobbying efforts annually, it’s illegal to videotape animal abuse in slaughterhouses, and their employees are treated as less than human. Not only have they seized control of the American food supply, the food industry spreads propaganda about how illegal immigrants are to blame for compromised food safety. Up next on their agenda for domination is the self-regulation of feces-covered chicken.

The worst thing is that American parents work so hard to put what they think is nutritious food on the table for their children. Parents across the country give cookies to their kids as a treat and proudly make sandwiches with brand-name Wonder Bread. This is what the food industry sells us. This is the fabled American dream.

Issues such as these always prompt me to think about what kind of life we can provide for FB. It might seem like a small thing to feed our future baby ammonia-free foods, but since we live in America, that is unfortunately no small feat. ST and I have already drastically cut down on our consumption of red meat, which was tough for my country boy. We cook at home as much as possible. We don’t eat at fast food or chain restaurants unless there is no other option. Organic food is not an option because of the expense as well as ST’s vehement opposition to it. I don’t blame him – an organic label doesn’t guarantee much.

How do you keep harmful chemicals out of your food?

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