6 Most Shocking Truths About America’s Food Industry – Eat This Not That

You’ve probably heard of some of the (gross) things fast food chains do behind the scenes. After all, it’s hard to forget the hot fudge/moldy caramel sundae situation at McDonald’s revealed by a former employee.

But the reality is that these secrets live on through the entire the food industry in America, not just fast food. And it’s much worse than moldy ice cream…

The truth about how our food is made, processed, and marketed has large-scale effects that, over time, can harm our environment and our health.

Read on to find out the most shocking truths about America’s food industry, and then check out 8 Steakhouse Secrets You Don’t Want You To Know.


It’s no surprise that so many people are adopting vegan and vegetarian diets given this fact, as reported animal equality. Not only are these animals killed, but they suffer cruel treatment in factory farms. Chickens are raised in sheds with thousands of other birds, mother sheep are separated from their newborn lambs, turkeys are (unintentionally) boiled alive and cows have their horns cut off. So before you order a McDonald’s Big Mac or Shake Shack Chick’n Shack, take a look at some of their vegan and vegetarian options.

dark chocolate

According to Water Footprint Network, a 100 gram chocolate bar “costs” 1,700 liters of water, which equals approximately 449 gallons. How is it possible ? Well, the road from cocoa beans to chocolate is a long one. Between cocoa paste, cocoa butter and cocoa powder, the amount of water needed for the production process adds up.


Did you think you were eating meat from just one cow in this cheeseburger? Think again. Meat producers often combine meat from several cows into a single product.

McDonald’s, for example, confirmed that his beef patties may contain meat from a hundred different animals. And the same goes for store-bought ground beef. According to The Washington Posta Costco employee in the fresh meats department didn’t know the exact number of cows in a single package, “But it’s more than a few,” he said.

food waste

In 2010, the The United States Department of Agriculture reported around 133 billion pounds of food wasted, which is $161 billion worth of food. Waste occurs throughout the food industry, whether at the agricultural, restaurant or consumer level. However, the United States is currently trying to reduce food waste, with the aim of reduce it by 50% by 2030.

woman reading the ingredients on the box

This box of cookies could contain a lot more calories than the company suggests. the FDA States that nutrition labels can be up to 20% inaccurate. With such a margin of error, we can only assume that the calorie count is not what the food industry wants us to believe.

table covered with bowls of popcorn, chips, candy and other junk food
Shutterstock / beats1

It’s all too easy to eat an entire bag of Doritos or Lays in one sitting, and there’s a reason for that. In 2013, The New York Times reported on the strategic calculations that go into recipes for highly processed foods: Their flavors are meant to make your brain crave more. It is no wonder that the CDC reports adult obesity in America will reach 42.4% in 2017-2018.

Want to learn more about the secrets of the food industry? Discover 20 secrets McDonald’s staff won’t tell you.

Mia Salas

Mia is a freelance writer for several publications and soon to be graduating from Princeton University with a degree in English. Read more

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