Let’s say you were invited to a random party. You show up, you don’t know anyone, and you see a bunch of people smoking something in the corner. It doesn’t even look like a joint and you can’t identify it by smell.
“Hey you, take a pull of this!” someone in the circle shouts to you.
What do you do? If you’re someone who is decently responsible and has some concern for your health, you most likely will do one of two things:
1. Politely decline, or 2. ask what it is, hoping it’s whatever you are looking to smoke.
Why don’t we do this with the foods we eat? If we don’t know what “erythritol” or “cyclamates” are, or any of the other ingredients that we’ve never heard of nor can we pronounce, isn’t eating foods containing those mystery ingredients the same as taking a drag of a mystery joint rolled by mystery people containing mystery ingredients? We cannot do either and say that we are responsible for our health.
It seems that we engage in this contradictory behavior simply because it’s the norm and we got used to it. But it’s a funny thought; should we arrive at the pearly gates and be asked why we ate something that with some research we could have found out was lethal, all we could do is shrug our shoulders and say “I dunno.”
If asked why we ate things without asking what was in them, what response could we have that would not qualify us as irresponsible with our privilege of health?
Some good resources for this topic are Google web search and the GoodGuide (opens in new window) app for smartphones which is free and allows you to scan a product and see its nutritional content, its impact on the environment, and the company’s level of social responsibility. It’s a good start!