Food additives and ignorance

Let me first say that I am not even relatively concerned about the additives in my food. I know I need to be but I have not devoted any time looking into the additives that are in my food and the potential effect that they can have on my body.

I was listening to a news story this morning that really caught my attention. It was about hamburgers that are served in a school system (I forget where) that have more than 20 ingredients to them. Now, I was not sure about how many ingredients a hamburger ought to have, but it seems to me that 20 is a little on the excessive side. At any rate there was a parent who was against the excessive additives in the hamburger and in many other foods served to students that said if he did not know what an ingredient was he did not want it served to his children. This sounds great at first blush. Believe me, I wash my hair with chemicals I know nothing about and I am sure I ingest some of them as well. But, the more I thought about it, the more this gentleman's intellectual laziness annoyed me. 

Rather than jumping to a conclusion concerning something that is unknown, it seems to me that he would do some research to find out the source, benefit, or detriment that this additive was. In this day and age it is not all that difficult to type in the name of an additive or chemical into your favorite search engine and get some sort of information (and disinformation) about it. I would venture to guess that a quick email to a food specialist would even merit something that he could use to draw an informed conclusion.

I think that this annoys me so much because I do the same thing. I speak authoritatively on issues that I have only a cursory knowledge of at times. I need to say "I don't know" a lot more than I do. And, unlike the gentleman in the story I heard this morning, I need to seek understanding on the key issues of the things that I am passionate about. Without that I have no business being passionate about anything.


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