What's really in your beer
It's an autumn tradition across the country: Turn on the football game, and crack open an ice, cold beer.
Now, as much as I believe any alcohol habit has the potential to be an unhealthy one, I'm not going to stand between anyone and an occasional drink, especially when the game's on.
But before you take a sip of that beer, I'd like you to take a moment to think about the ingredients in beer and what's actually in your brew.
In fact, I'd like you to take a look at the ingredients label.
Don't see it? That's because most beers don't have one -- and when they do, it's woefully incomplete. Confusing and conflicting sets of regulations have made it so that beer makers can do what soda makers can't and skip the ingredients listing entirely, or list only what they want you to see.
So today, let's take a look at what they definitely don't want you to see -- because each bottle of beer doesn't just contain barley, hops and "pure Rocky Mountain spring water."
No, it's more like the Big Rock Candy Mountain -- because according to the Alliance for Natural Health, the ingredients in beer can contain sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup as well as artificial dyes and even the caramel coloring agent that's been linked to cancer.
(For more on the link between caramel coloring and cancer click here.)
The rest of the unlisted ingredients in beer make it seem as if the brewmaster might be doing double-duty as a mad scientist: propylene glycol, MSG, calcium disodium EDTA, glyceryl monostearate and isinglass.
That last one is used as a clarifying agent... and it's made from fish bladders.
I won't say you should never drink or even that you should never drink beer. But if you do, choose organic beers or brews from manufacturers that aren't afraid to tell you what's inside their bottles.
But given the very real health risks associated with even moderate drinking, I've got a better idea: give it up completely, or limit yourself to just a drink or two a couple of times a year at special events or celebrations.