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Where to draw the (nutritional) line: America vs Europe

Have you ever scrolled through a European vlogger's grocery haul and felt confused? The packaging seems more sleek, the colors more vibrant, and the ingredients, well… different. There's a reason for that. Unlike the US, which allows a broader range of additives and colorings in food production (think Yellow 5), the European Union enforces stricter regulations.

The numbers speak for themselves: the EU has banned over 2,000 food additives linked to potential health risks like cancer. This vigilance extends beyond outright bans; even ingredients deemed "safe" are under constant scrutiny. Take carrageenan, a seaweed extract commonly used as a thickener in American yogurts and ice creams. While not entirely outlawed in the EU, it's been banned in European baby food due to potential digestive issues and even links to cancer.

These disparities go beyond additives. American food processing often involves bleaching and power washing techniques to achieve a specific look or extend shelf life (think of flour, chicken, eggs). This explains why, unlike their European counterparts, American eggs require refrigeration.

So, what can you do as a savvy shopper? Become a label-reading pro! Deciphering ingredient lists might initially seem daunting, but a little research goes a long way, and if you have any serious corn allergies, make sure to utilize our corn derivative guide while shopping so you can easily navigate and avoid any corn derivatives that might trigger a reaction. 

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