Well…. check out what the CEO of PepsiCo (who also manufacturers Doritos) had to say:

A CEO has an obligation to push her global company’s product.

But matter-of-factly stating on national television that “Doritos are not bad for you” is a bit of a stretch for on-the-job due diligence.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi told Fox Business Network’s American Icon program that the crunchy flavored chips are “nothing more than corn mashed up, fried up in oil, and flavored in the most delectable way.”

So… in the most hazardous bout of investigative reporting I’ve ever done in my entire life, I decided to sneak over to my local grocery store and…

…snap a photo of the back of a Doritos label.

Um, I’m only going to highlight a few of these:

Maltodextrin – “A caloric sweetener and flavor enhancer made from rice, potatoes or, more commonly, cornstarch. Through treatment with enzymes and acids, it can be converted into a fiber and thickening agent. Like other sugars, maltodextrin has the potential to raise blood glucose and insulin levels.”

Monosodium Glutamate:

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that’s “generally recognized as safe,” the use of MSG remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.

MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don’t require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG. [source]

Five sources of sodium: salt in the cheddar cheese, salt in the romano cheese, disodium phosphate, disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate

Natural Flavors:

The word “natural” means a lot of things. Unfortunately for us, none of them mean the same thing. Clever marketing allows us to think that “natural” means the same as “organic” – pictures of farms, gardens, farmers and cows serve as the backdrop to a bright little starburst in the corner saying “All natural!” It makes you think “organic,” but it’s not. This is to the marketer’s benefit, because they get all the benefits of looking “organic” without all the hoops they’d have to jump through to be “organic.” For crying out loud, high fructose corn syrup can be considered “natural.”

Excerpted from Supermarket Swindle: Two Things To Avoid On Your Food Labels | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil – Any “partially hydrogenated” oil is trans fat.

What is trans fat, you ask? Well, you might see it in your foods’ ingredient list as “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” or “partially hydrogenated soybean oil.” It’s an oil (usually vegetable or soybean oil) that has hydrogen gas whipped into it, making it a thick and super creamy substance. This was a part of the original process used to create margarine, meant to replace butter because the saturated fats found in butter were considered so harmful. The trans fats that originated were an unintended consequence. Eventually, we found out that this “unintended consequence” was way more harmful than butter ever could be, leaving us exposed to heart disease.

The stuff can be found in lots of junk – margarine (of course), crackers, some thick and creamy items, and some inexpensive cakes/cookies/pastries. Anything with a thick, rich, buttery, creamy taste to it may more than likely have it.

Excerpted from Supermarket Swindle: Two Things To Avoid On Your Food Labels | A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss

Yellow #5, also known as Tartrazine:

Tartrazine (also known as “FD&C Yellow Number 5” or “E-102” in Europe) is a coal-tar derivative that is used to color foods, cosmetics, and other products. It is literally industrial waste. I have a strong sensitivity to this substance, and believe there are many others out there as well who (perhaps unknowingly) have the same problem. If you get mysterious hives or sometimes wake up with swollen eyelids, this could be the culprit.

Tartrazine is also reputed to be a catalyst in hyperactivity/ADD, other behavioral problems, asthma, migranes, thyroid cancer, and lupus!

Have you noticed how many children are being diagnosed as “hyperactive” these days? There is research that shows there might be a link (and that dietary changes can help.) Many of the children on Ritalin or other behavioral drugs are probably just eating a diet rich in toxic food additives that are approved by the government as safe. Some schools have noticed a major difference in pupils’ behavior after banning snacks with tartrazine. [source]

Yellow #6, also known as “Sunset Yellow”:

A synthetic ‘coal tar’ and azo yellow dye used in fermented foods which must be heat treated. Found in orange squash, orange jelly, marzipan, Swiss roll, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, hot chocolate mix and packet soups, breadcrumbs, cheese sauce, ice cream, canned fish, and many medications.Side effects are urticaria (hives), rhinitis (runny nose), nasal congestion, allergies, hyperactivity, kidney tumors, chromosomal damage, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, distaste for food; increased incidence of tumors in animals.

It appears to cause allergic and/or intolerance reactions, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance.

Not recommended for consumption by children.

[source]

…and that’s just with a cursory glance at that back label.

Anyone else think we should let companies tell us what is “healthy” for us? Or should we just go on and start sticking to what we know is best?

Got a Weekend WTF?! to share with the class? Send it to wtf@blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com!