Is "Generally Safe" Good Enough?

Although I'm not typically a football fan, each year, I suffer through the Superbowl.  Why do I put myself through such misery, you ask? The commercials.

Besides during the Superbowl, I never watch commercials.  I hate commercials.  I purposely channel-surf so that I don't have to watch commercials.

The only time I make an exception is for the Superbowl, because the commercials are usually entertaining and funny.  Betty White getting tackled?

Oh yeah, that's funny.

5,763 Doritos commercials?

Not so much.

This year, I'm outraged by the commercials.  Maybe because I'm in some sort of heightened state of awareness, or maybe because they're marketing especially hard this year, but the JUNK FOOD commercials were off the chart.  It seems like every other commercial was for some type of JUNK FOOD or drink.

It went a little bit like this:



Bud Light


Some type of car




Sketchers Shape-Ups


I'm not sure if it is always this way and I just never noticed, but are you freaking KIDDING ME?  Did you see the Doritos commercial where the little boy smacked his Mom's date in the face?

Don't touch my mama, and don't touch my Doritos!

I can only imagine how many impressionable little kids are now going to walk around thinking that just like their Mom, they need to protect their Doritos; by all necessary measures.

Why is this crap not regulated!?

Why doesn't our government follow the example of European governments, and begin to be concerned with the foods that are being marketed to our children?  Screen shot 2010-02-07 at 7.22.07 PMFirst of all, this is as large as Frito-Lay allows you to view the ingredients of Nacho Cheese Doritos on their website.  Is it an accident that you nearly need a microscope to read the "label"?

I can't pronounce many of the ingredients without great effort, although I know that this one is bad news from a healthy-living standpoint:

  • Monosodium Glutamate (a.k.a. MSG, "hydrolyzed vegetable protein," Accent, natural meat tenderizer, and Aginomoto)--: This chemical is added to many fast- and commercial foods due to its' addictive effect on our bodies.  According to, the FDA refuses to label MSG as the neurotoxic, endocrine disrupting, processed free glutamic acid that it is.  Although Glutamate is produced naturally by our bodies, MSG in its' commercial form is a chemically grown substance, and is used to enhance flavors and make us unable to "eat just one".   Ingredients are listed in order of highest proportion.  The fact that this ingredient is 8th in the list means that there is just slightly more wheat flour than MSG in Doritos.  Scary.

Besides MSG, Doritos contain corn syrup solids, artificial flavors, and maltodextrine.

Maltodextrine, although ruled "safe" by the FDA, is an artificial flavor agent (often used as an artificial sweetener).  In researching Maltodextrine, I came across Maltrin, which is one of the manufacturers of Maltodextrine, as well as several other UFO's (Unidentified Foodlike Object's).


Open up that website in a new window and read along with me.

Go ahead, I'll wait...

The part that specifically worried me was this statement:

...are defined by the FDA as products having a DE less than 20.  They are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) food ingredients.

Maltrin, I'm not mad at you.  It's not your fault.  You're just another swarthy board of corporate people trying to make a living by killing Americans.  You don't know any better...everyone is doing it.

But the FDA.  They know the effects of all of these chemically-created and modified foods, but they don't do anything to remove them from our food system.

The FDA actually has a term called "generally recognized as safe"??!!  WHERE do we live?!  And WHAT is "generally safe"?

Why is "generally safe" good enough?

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