This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.
What Actually Is In A Banana, Anyway?
Peeled banana on white background
Peeled banana on white background

As food-conscious consumers, we're told a lot to look at the ingredients listed on packaged goods, and preferably, not to eat anything we can't pronounce, according to some experts in the field. But James Kennedy, a British chemistry teacher living in Australia, wants to demonstrate that the plain foods we're eating — even those ones we can pronounce — have plenty of surprise ingredients of their own.

As Kennedy writes on his blog, "There’s a tendency for advertisers to use the words “pure” and “simple” to describe “natural” products when they couldn’t be more wrong. With this diagram, I want to demonstrate that “natural” products are usually more complicated than anything we can create in the lab."

He created some remarkably gorgeous posters listing the ingredients found in typical, non-genetically modified foods and published them online to share his findings. Now, while Kennedy might be engaging in some chemistry nerdery and poking some fun at how readily most people accept a list of ingredients in front of them, he also brings up a good point — namely, how much more is in the ingredients of our ingredients than we could ever imagine. Ah, the wonderful world of science.

Check out the four foods Kennedy has posted so far, and let us know — does this change your mind about any of them?

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