9 Government Food Rules Difficult to Stomach

NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Ammonia burgers. That cup of java with milk, sugar, and bug.

These are just a few of the repercussions of food industry practices sanctioned by the U.S. government, primarily the Food and Drug Administration.

The fact that the FDA allows ground beef to be infused with ammonia in a mechanical processing technique now referred to as “pink slime,”  and the stories that pop up from time to time about the cochineal bug (in the latest case, vegans objected to Starbucks using the dye in red colored drinks the company labeled as vegan friendly), are just a few of the unpalatable items that the FDA serves to the American public.

Review a few of the federal food rules and it's no surprise that the “grow local” and organic food movement are proving to be high growth industries as more American families reject processed food in favor of knowing where their food comes from and what is in it. In an ironic way, the FDA could be the best thing that ever happened to organic growers and Whole Foods. 

That said, the public is simply much better informed -- and more interested -- these days in sourcing food. After all, pink slime had been used in public school cafeterias for decades and the cochineal bug used in food for hundreds of years.

Nevertheless, as schools across the country get ready for a new academic year and your kids are back in the lunchroom eating food with unknown origins, you might ask yourself if they are consuming any foods seasoned by these 9 regulations on the fringe of the FDA's governing of the national food supply:

1. “Natural unavoidable defects in food”: Enjoy that insect and rat hair. Yeah, not kidding. Not even remotely. Many people do not realize that the FDA allows so many “natural and unavoidable defects” in our food that rodent hair and excrement, insect parts, flies, maggots, parasites and mildew are part of a balanced diet (Strange that you never noticed them on that food pyramid on the back of the Cheerios box, right?)