Us Americans are famous for our grub. You name the burger and we can supersize it. When my family came over from Europe for a visit, they couldn't believe their eyes when they visited iHop and saw how extensive the menu was. They were even more impressed when they visited Walmart for the first time and discovered a host of foods they'd never seen before.
Whilst American food hasn't done much for our waistlines, it's a huge part of our lives. Any self-respecting American's trip to the mall will naturally involve a trip to the food court to stock up on Taco Bell and Wendy's. Food's one of our favorite things about amusement parks too. The donuts adored by Homer Simpson are actually available at Universal Studios in Florida.
To discover the top 10 deadliest American fast foods, check out the video below:
But popular US foods aren't received so well in other parts of the world - in fact, they aren't received at all. Many foods that we eat on a day to day basis are banned in other countries! This is because they place a much greater emphasis on the health of their citizens than we do. So, without further ado, here are 20 foods America loves that other countries have banned.
1. Irradiated meat
You're probably looking at that title and thinking, what even is irradiated meat?! So let me explain. It's meat that's been exposed to very low levels of radiation. This helps keep our meat fresher for longer and kills off potentially dangerous bacteria.
2. Fat-free chips
If a food is made fat-free in the US, the fat which would usually be in it is often replaced with a substitute called olestra. The side effects of this substitute can involve anal leakage (yikes!) and reduce our overall wellbeing.
3. Bleached flour
In other parts of the world, flour is given the chance to turn white naturally, but in the US, it's artificially bleached so that it can be produced faster. The chemical that's used to bleach it is also used in the production of sneaker soles. No wonder it's banned!
4. Toxic bread
It's not just flour that's chemically treated in the US, bread is too. An artificial bulking agent is used to so that bread can be made quickly to reduce the time it takes to produce it. I think I'll have a go at making my own now.
5. Energy drinks
All around the world, people are becoming more and more alert to the dangers of energy drinks. However, the ones produced in the US are particularly dangerous because they contain a chemical that's also used in flame retardant.
6. Ractopamine pork
Shockingly, pigs in the US are fed a drug called ractopamine. This enables companies to get more usable meat from each animal they slaughter, but it's done at the expense of our health. This drug is typically reserved for medication only.
7. Arsenic chicken
The chicken that we're wolfing down is actually laced with poison. Yes, poison. The same substance that's used in murders and suicides. No wonder our arsenic chicken is illegal outside the US. Why is it used? It makes the chicken look fresher.
8. Pink slime
The cheap food that you're eating isn't what it seems to be. That pink slime is meat, and, when you buy cheap food, it's what you're eating. It's used primarily in the creation of beef products so it's worth paying more to avoid it!
9. Hormone beef and milk
Cows are fed artificial hormones to increase their production of milk and so that they grow at a faster than normal rate, which equates to more meat. These hormones can have deadly effects on humans and have been known to cause cancer.
10. Tar and petroleum additives
Tar and petroleum additives are used to create the bright colors that make candy appealing to kids. Whilst these additives can act as preservatives, they've been proven to have detrimental effects on children - often causing hyperactivity.
11. Genetically engineered papaya
There's a lot of genetically engineered foods in the US, but for some reason, papaya are classed as the worst. They're genetically modified in Thailand so that they have an unnatural color that's deemed to be too dangerous in Europe.
12. Butylated hydroxyanisole
The preservative known as butylated hydroxyanisole is illegal. Why? It's been tested on rats and it's given them cancer. It's used in a number of products including cereal and potatoes. With that in mind, I'll be checking the ingredients on my cereal the next time I'm in Walmart! As for potatoes, I'll get them farm fresh.
13. Blue food coloring
Illegal in Norway, Finland and France, the blue food coloring that's in many American foods, including cereal and cereal bars, is actually really bad for us. The dyes used to create it have been linked to brain cancer.
14. Bubble Yum
Horrifyingly, Bubble Yum is illegal outside the US. This seemingly delicious food is also full of butylated hyroxyanisole, which, as we know, causes cancer in rats, so we dread to think what it does to us humans.
15. Brominated vegetable oil
Brominated vegetable oil has been known to cause cancer and over 100 countries outside the US have banned it. This harmful substance has also been linked to thyroid disease and countless autoimmune diseases as well.
16. Farmed salmon
Farmed salmon is fed antibiotics which make it grow faster than it would do in the wild, which can reportedly lead to problems with your vision. That's why it's best to eat salmon when it's in season and ensure that what we are eating is wild and not farmed.
If you're a massive fan of M&M's, then don't move to Sweeden where they're illegal. The popular candy was banned in 2016 thanks to a Swedish candy brand called M which copyrighted the name half a century prior to M&M's being sold in the country.
18. Chlorine chicken
Footage of chicken living conditions in the US is so bad that many people have been inspired to convert to plant-based diets. What's more is that in order for these animals to become edible, they have to be cleaned with chlorine because they're so dirty.
19. Medium-rare hamburgers
If you want to still taste the blood on your burger outside the US and have it medium rare, then you might be out of luck. They're illegal in Canada and in parts of the UK as it's considered dangerous not to cook meat for longer.
The chain doesn't exist in countries that include Iceland and Bermuda. When it tried to open a branch in Bermuda, a disgruntled local said, "It is not Bermudian. McDonald's cheapens wherever it goes." It's also been banned because of its unhealthy products.
So there you have it - 20 foods America loves that other countries have banned. Are any of your favorite foods on this list? One thing's for sure, I'm glad that I live in a country where it's easy for me to roll up hungover to a McDonald's drive-thru!