The Food Industry’s A to Z of Toxic Ingredients to Avoid

(By Natural News) Ever wonder what’s really in the food sold at grocery stores around the world? People keep asking, “What ingredients should I avoid?” So here is a short list that covers all the most toxic and disease-promoting ingredients in the food supply. These are the substances causing cancer, diabetes, heart disease and leading to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary health care costs across America (and around the world).

If you want to stay healthy and out of the hospital, read ingredients labels and make sure you avoid all these ingredients:


Toxic, cancer-causing chemicals formed in foods when carbohydrates are exposed to high heat (baking, frying, grilling). They’re present in everything from bread crusts to snack chips, and because they aren’t intentional ingredients, acrylamides do NOT have to be listed on labels.


Chemical sweetener that causes neurological disorders, seizures, blurred vision and migraine headaches.


Autolyzed Proteins

Highly processed form of protein containing free glutamate and used to mimic the taste-enhancer chemical MSG.

BPA (Bisphenol-A)

A hormone mimicking chemical found in nearly all food packaging plastics. Active in just parts per billion, BPA promotes cancer, infertility and hormone disorders. It also “feminizes” males, promoting male breast growth and hormone disruption (…).


Milk proteins. Hilariously, this is widely used in “soy cheese” products that claim to be alternatives to cow’s milk. Nearly all of them are made with cow’s milk proteins.

Food Colors

FD&C Red #40, for example, is linked to behavioral disorders in children. Nearly all artificial food colors are derived from petroleum, and many are contaminated with aluminum.

Genetically Modified Ingredients

Not currently listed on the label because the GMO industry (Monsanto and DuPont) absolutely does not want people to know which foods contain GMOs. Nearly all conventionally grown corn, soy and cotton are GMOs. They’re linked to severe infertility problems and may even cause the bacteria in your body to produce and release a pesticide in your own gut. If you’re not eating organic corn, you’re definitely eating GMO corn. (…) Learn more at or watch my GMO music video (hilarious) at

High Fructose Corn Syrup

A highly processed liquid sugar extracted with the chemical solvent glutaraldehyde and frequently contaminated with mercury (…). It’s also linked to diabetes, obesity and mood disorders. Used in thousands of grocery items, including things you wouldn’t suspect like pizza sauce and salad dressings.

Homogenized Milk

The fats in the milk are artificially modified to change them into smaller molecules that stay in suspension in the milk liquid (so the milk fat doesn’t separate) (…). While it makes milk look better on the shelf, it’s also blamed for promoting heart disease and may contribute to milk allergies. Raw milk is healthier, which is why the government had outlawed it (…).


When you see anything hydrochloride, such as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride or Thiamin Hydrochloride, those are chemical forms of B vitamins that companies add to their products to be able to claim higher RDA values of vitamins. But these are synthetic, chemical forms of vitamins, not real vitamins from foods or plants. Nutritionally, they are near-useless and may actually be bad for you. Also watch out for niacinamide and cyanocobalamin (synthetic vitamin B-12). (…)

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

A highly processed form of (usually) soy protein that’s processed to bring out the free glutamate (MSG). Use as a taste enhancer.

Partially Hydrogenated Oils

Oils that are modified using a chemical catalyst to make them stable at room temperature. This creates trans fatty acids and greatly increases the risk of blocked arteries (…). It also promotes what I call “sludge blood,” which is thick, viscous blood that’s hard to pump. This is usually diagnosed by doctors as “high blood pressure” and (stupidly) treated with blood-thinning medications that are technically the same chemicals as rat poison (warfarin) (…).

Phosphoric Acid

The acid used in sodas to dissolve the carbon dioxide and add to the overall fizzy-ness of the soda. Phosphoric acid will eat steel nails. It’s also used by stone masons to etch rocks. The military uses it to clean the rust off battleships. In absolutely destroys tooth enamel ( Search Google Images for “Mountain Dew Mouth” to see photos of teeth rotted out by phosphoric acid:…

Propylene Glycol

A liquid used in the automotive industry to winterize RVs. It’s also used to make the fake blueberries you see in blueberry muffins, bagels and breads. (Combined with artificial colors and corn syrup.) See shocking “Fake Blueberries” video at:…

Sodium (Salt)

The processed white salt lacking in trace minerals. In the holistic nutrition industry, we call it “death salt” because it promotes disease and death. Real salt, on the other hand, such as “dirty” sea salt or pink Himalayan salt, is loaded with the trace minerals that prevent disease, such as selenium (cancer), chromium (diabetes) and zinc (infectious disease). Much like with bread and sugar, white salt is terrible for your health. And don’t be fooled by claims of “sea salt” in grocery stores. All salt came from the sea if you go far back enough in geologic time, so they can slap the “sea salt” claim on ANY salt!

Sodium Nitrite

A cancer-causing red coloring chemical added to bacon, hot dogs, sausage, beef jerky, ham, lunch meats, pepperoni and nearly all processed meats. Strongly linked to brain tumors, pancreatic cancers and colon cancers ( The USDA once tried to ban it from the food supply but was out-maneuvered by the meat industry, which now dominates USDA regulations. Sodium nitrite is a complete poison used to make meats look fresh. Countless children die of cancer each year from sodium nitrite-induced cancers.

Soy Protein

The No. 1 protein source used in “protein bars,” including many bars widely consumed by bodybuilders. Soy protein is the “junk protein” of the food industry. It’s made from genetically modified soybeans (often grown in China) and then subjected to hexane, a chemical solvent (…) that can literally explode.


An artificial chemical sweetener sold as Splenda. The sucralose molecule contains a chlorine atom (…). Researchers have repeatedly found that artificial sweeteners make people fat by actually promoting weight gain (…).


The bleached, nutritionally-deficient byproduct of cane processing. During sugar cane processing, nearly all the minerals and vitamins end up in the blackstrap molasses that’s usually fed to farm animals. (Blackstrap molasses is actually the “good” part of sugar cane juice.) Molasses is often fed to farm animals because every rancher knows that farm animals need good nutrition to stay alive. Amazingly, conventional doctors don’t yet realize this about humans, and they continue to claim that eating sugar is perfectly fine for you. Sugar promotes diabetes, obesity, mood disorders and nutritional deficiencies.

Textured Vegetable Protein

Usually made of soy protein which is extracted from genetically modified soybeans and then processed using hexane, an explosive chemical solvent (see Soy Protein, above). Widely used in vegetarian foods such as “veggie burgers” (most of which also contain MSG or Yeast Extract, by the way).

Yeast Extract

Hidden form of MSG that contains free glutamate and is used in many “natural” food products to claim “No MSG!” Yeast extract contains up to 14% free glutamate. You’ll find it in thousands of grocery store products, from soups to snack chips. I even once spotted it used on fresh meat!

Food label tricks

Here’s a trick food companies frequently used to pack more sugar into their products without making sugar look like the first ingredient:

Ingredient labels, you see, must list the most prominent ingredients first, and some consumers might freak out of they saw a box of cereal that said, “Sugar, whole grain wheat, corn” and so on. Instead, the company uses 3 or 4 different forms of sugar to distribute them farther down the label, like this:

“Whole grain wheat, sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids…”

This way, the first ingredients looks like “whole grain wheat” when, in reality, the cereal might be over fifty percent sugars!

How to buy honest food

• Shop are your local farmer’s market, food co-op or CSA.

• In the USA, look for the USDA Organic label on foods. This is a legitimate claim to being certified organic. It’s one of the few programs run by the USDA that actually has integrity.

• Read the ingredients labels! If you see names of chemicals you can’t pronounce, don’t buy it.

• Buy more unprocessed food ingredients and make your own meals rather than buying ready-to-eat, processed foods, which are almost universally formulated with disease-promoting ingredients.

• GROW some of your own food! The best food you can ever eat is food from your own garden.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Wake Up World or its staff.

  • Chylon

    Excellent information.

    • Lucy

      Great point. I did recently see a few articles written to expose the term “natural” in the food industry as nothing more than a scam by the food giants….It was only a matter of time before General Mills et al….hopped the “natural” wagon for profit….so I guess we can’t trust that term either….We need a food revolution. As a nation (world) we need to stand up and say NO MORE!!! Where we choose to spend our money is our loudest voice. That’s what motivates our government, and industry in general..$$. Let’s spend wisely…and make a statement.

      • Ryan

        I completely agree, we need to collectively decide as a people what food industries to support and which to boycott, only then can we control what is actually produced. For this reason, I created – it’s still under development but I hope some people can join and message the admin (me) and tell me what they’d like to see on the site. I seriously need help because no one can do anything alone! Anyways, this article helped me a lot – I will be linking to it on my site and allowing bots to crawl through.

  • Ken

    i do not quite trust the claim that USDA organic has integrity, though i suppose it may be better than nothing. At this point i do not know of an alternative(other than growing food myself), however i have a friend who once worked for conagra foods at a high level and she told me that organic standards are not clearly defined by law. so even though the definition of organic we think of is clear and strict, the word “natural” (even though its ‘dictionary’ definition is not as stringent as organic) is more clearly regulated because it IS defined under law specifically. seems like a contradiction but i havent been able to refute this, perhaps someone else can offer more info…?

    • BL

      No no no. The term “organic” is strictly defined AND regulated by the USDA. In order to label your product organic, 95% or more of the ingredients MUST be certified organic, or approved by a certifying body for use. Getting organic certified can, unfortunately, be very expensive for smaller producers, so allowing certifying bodies (such as CCOF) to do this is a good thing (for a product that is not certified, someone on our “approved contacts” list for CCOF has to fill out a form about the product and send them a list of ALL ingredients in the product). I work for a certified organic greenhouse, and CCOF is very strict on what we can and cannot use for our products, as well as the records we keep. We have to have big paper trails for EVERYTHING from our soils to our seeds to our fertilizers and crop protection. I have a stack of papers 1/2″ thick on my desk for the three types of organic soil we use alone.

      The term “natural” is not yet regulated (though they are working towards that). For some products, it’s simply a marketing term that means absolutely nothing. For other products, it means that there are no GMOs, no artificial colors/flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup (where I grocery shop, they have a fairly large “natural” line that falls under this). You really have to be careful and read the label (which you should do anyway).

  • Anony Moose

    One item obviously left out: Canola Oil

    Registered by the US EPA as a pesticide, this is also a GMO product as it comes from a genetically modified rapeseed plant. There is no such thing as a Canola plant.

    • Lea Adele

      The word Canoli is made by combining parts of the word Canada & the word oil. Simply stated it means oil from Canada.

      A big campaign developed to encourage us to think it was better for us to use their cooking oils then ones made in the USA. Madison Ave. Hoodwinking the consumer once again.

  • Cameron

    An note on acrylamides. In the book Catching Fire, Richard Wrangam explains that the human digestive system is more adapted to process these carcinogenic compounds because human beings actually evolved on eating cooked food. These compounds have a carcinogeic effect on other animals not noted in humans. He provides evidence from studies on this. Check it out.

  • Damian

    The best advice is to grow your own food, as stated in the article; just don’t buy from Monsanto, DuPont and so forth.Most foods grown in mass, packaged, transported and shelved, in order to preserve the food for unnaturally lengthy periods of time, is dangerous.

    • Mephki

      You also need to be careful when you grow your own food… your soil might actually be contaminated with minerals like lead and mercury. I would suggest getting your soil tested (done by many university agriculture schools at low cost). Make sure to send soil from every part of the garden you are planning to grow food in.

  • Azzah

    Clear straight to the point,thankyou

  • Syed Iftekhar Ahmed

    I can understand the dangers but avoiding the “don’ts” would take lot of time and efforts! Something revolutionary needs to be done to save human lives! Perhaps ignorance was bliss.

  • Rod

    Thank god for magic, ’cause with all those major conspiracies between big government, health&pharma industry, major food corporations and lobbies it must be magic that makes human life expectancy grow every year!

    • Actually Likes Science

      I know! I mean, all those doctors diagnosing high blood pressure as … “high blood pressure!” It’s almost like they actually studied in university and know something about science, human anatomy, and the way the world really works.

      By the way, both sodium and chloride (the ingredients in your so-called “death salt”) are essential for the process that allows neurons to fire. In other words, essential for thought, movement, and life.

  • 46th

    The reason the government doesn’t allow the sale of raw milk is because it’s not pasteurized. Even organic e.coli is not good for you. Really, this article is full of nonsense and says nothing about moderation with things like salts and sugars. Give me a break.

  • Michael Edward John Owen

    Little known fact; 70% of all products in your supermarket are by products of oil production. If your wondering why the hell cancer causing drugs are in your food. Another example of oil production wast being used for profit instead of being disposed of (cost) is Fluride in the water, pay for a few studies and presto. Gov. comply. My experiance of this exstends to nuclear wast being dumped through ammunition. This hurts us all indescrimitly and poisons the Earth…….

  • tim

    1. The soy protein is only GMO if you buy GMO. So that statement is wrong.
    2. There are plenty of vegan cheeses that obviously have no casein. That statement is also full of holes.
    3. Of all the shit food to stay away from. Soy products are certainly the least of your worries. Sure you want to go non-GMO on everything you eat. The assumption that soy produacts are automatically GMO is a load of crap. Soy is often used a cheap filler. That is when most GMO issues come into play, like for instance McDonald’s burgers. What you need to stay away from is processed foods of any origin. This article doesn’t even scrape the surface of the food problems in this country. Although this article makes a few good points it also makes a couple s non points as well.

  • geist

    I just love how in this day and age there is a huge scare about foods that are processed. Everyone seems to be on a war path of “this causes this and that causes that and so on and so forth.” In this day and age everything causes cancer. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to grow their own foods or buy organics. Even if one grows their own food they still risk these same problems since everything is connected. The planet is screwed and were screwed, this is our punishment for having lost our way by harvesting different elements from out of the earth rather than taking what Gaia allows us to have. We are all going to die down here because of the mistakes of our ancestors

  • Suzanne

    Another omitted is ascorbic acid – mainly in ‘fortified’ breads: check out: