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Food for Thought: Pizza Experiment

April 24, 2012

Looks innocent enough...? Or does it?

The other day, I was over at a friends and getting some ice from his freezer when I discovered this creation. It is a “3 Meat Pizza” (the 3 “meats” being “sausage,” “pepperoni,” and “dice ham cubes”) that cost him $1 at the local grocery store. I was intrigued by how such a masterful creation could possibly cost $1 until, of course, I turned the box over to look at the ingredients and was absolutely horrified.

Holy shmoly, I honestly don't even know what half of these ingredients are!


So, guru master nutrition expert Michael Pollan has a very simple rule on how to eat healthily and give your body what it needs, that I have been attempting to live by recently:

Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

And, wowza, this tiny pizza really goes against that one, eh? Each component of this $1 catastrophe is a rulebreaker: crust, sauce, cheese blend, italian sausage pizza topping, pepperoni, smoked ham dices with natural juices. I mean, every single one of those is comprised of multiple complex ingredients AND contains seriously unknown additives/chemicals!

When I told my friend about this and asked how he could possibly stand to eat such a concoction, he said “Well, all I know is that it’s delicious.” Delicious? I decided to google some of the ingredients to try to find out how “delicious” they are once you know what you’re putting in your body:

Sodium Aluminum Sulfate (in the “crust” and “cheese blend”): also known as soda alum or sodium alum, is a form of alum used in the acidity regulator of food (E521) as well as in the manufacture of baking powder. It is also a common mordant for the preparation of hematoxylin solutions for staining cell nuclei in histopathology.              [Ed. note: WHAT?! I have no idea what any of this means. Just the fact that I feel like I need a scientific dictionary simply to understand this one ingredient terrifies me…]


Ferric Orthophosphate (in the “cheese blend”): is a phosphate of iron. It is one of the few molluscicides approved for use in the practice of organic farming.                  [Ed. note: Phosphate, by the way, is an inorganic chemical, a salt of phosphoric acid. And isn’t it lovely that it’s an approve molluscicide? MOLLUSCICDE being snail baits and snail pellets, are pesticides against molluscs, which are usually used in agriculture or gardening, in order to to control gastropod pests specifically slugs and snails which damage crops or other valued plants by feeding on them!!!!!]


BHA and/or BHT (in the “pepperoni”): BHA=Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is an antioxidant consisting of a mixture of two isomeric organic compounds, 2-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole and 3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole. It is prepared from 4-methoxyphenol and isobutylene. It is a waxy solid used as a food additive with the E number E320. The primary use for BHA is as an antioxidant and preservative in food, food packaging, animal feed, cosmetics, rubber, and petroleum products.  And/Or… BHT=Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), also known as butylhydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic (fat-soluble) organic compound, chemically a derivative of phenol, that is useful for its antioxidant properties. European and U.S. regulations allow small percentages to be used as a food additive, but that is not without controversy as there are claimed links to child hyperactivity as well as to cancer. Conversely, BHT is advocated as a diet supplement and antiviral useful against herpes family viruses. While there may be some dispute in BHT’s use in the human diet, the chemical is widely used in industry wherever oxidation in fluids (e.g. fuel, oil) and other materials must be treated, and free radicals must be kept in-check.                  [Ed. note: Holy holy shmoly. This is just so upsetting. BHT has claimed links to hyperactivity and cancer and they’re still putting it “and/or” into our food?! I just don’t even know what to say.]

I’m going to stop there because I’m too overwhelmed and upset to continue. But you get the point, right? For just $1, you can put all these (and more! many many more) ridiculously disgusting and absurd ingredients into your body…is it really any wonder why Americans are so desperately unhealthy, overweight and sick?? We must be aware of what we are feeding ourselves–fast, cheap, and easy almost never equals healthy or safe.


(By the way, this is what this disaster looks like cooked…I gave my friend $1 to stick it in the microwave and then we began a food experiment which I will chronicle in a future post:

No words.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sea Era permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:06 pm

    That is so disgusting! If I’m going to induldge and have pizza it has got to be the real deal. Great post.

  2. April 24, 2012 8:14 pm

    Yeah, this is the massive downside to convenience and being strapped for cash.

    Great post! It does look pretty disgusting, and I like that five ingredient rule.

  3. Streetflash permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:25 pm

    Brilliant article!!!!! I love me some snail bits – NOT

  4. April 24, 2012 10:15 pm

    My general rule these days is if it comes in a box and has a list of ingredients, I don’t eat it.

  5. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    April 25, 2012 3:10 am

    Yeah, you know, this is a bit of a tangent, but I just watched “The Bachelor’s Apartment” (1931 Irene Dunne movie, pretty good and pre-Hays code, for anyone who knows/cares what that means), but the “poor young women” living in New York and trying to find work lament at the fact that they can’t dine on fancy foods on Park Ave and instead have to eat “sardines and eggs” for lunch. Looking back, looks like people on a budget back then ate pretty well (granted, minus vegetables) – it just shows what an interesting shift our eating culture, now paired with the effect of large-scale farming, livestock raising, and food corporations, has taken. Also, how much more powerful cheap chemicals can be in creating “appealing” food than any natural food, be it meat or produce, on its own. Is science to blame? It brought world starvation rates down, allowed less of our population and time to be dedicated to food cultivation, but at what cost?

  6. hellth's angel permalink
    May 28, 2012 4:40 pm

    some years ago, bht and bha were being touted as a supplement to be taken by the obese, as one of the worst side effects of having excess adipose tissue was that fats oxidize and turn rancid even in the human body

    bht/bha prevent this rancidity from happening in vitro and in vivo,

    as to these chemicals being a cancer causative, i don’t supposed anybody here remembers cyclamates, an early artificial sweetener

    the sugar lobby paid for a campaign to have cyclamates taken off of the fda’s gras (generally recognized as safe) list for being a carcinogen

    it takes the equivalent of 1000 cans of soda with cyclamate to cause cancer in lab mice

    sugar, it was later discovered, is at least as carcinogenic as cyclamates

    and, recently, sugar is being shown to cause bad cholesterol levels to rise

    a lot of research is paid for by corporations with vested interests in the outcome

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