What Is Junk Food?

By junk food we mean foods that have been so altered and impaired in the process of manufacturing, bleaching, canning, cooking, preserving, pickling, etc., that they are no longer as well fitted to meet the needs of the body as they were in the state Nature prepared them.

Let’s face it, we can’t improve upon Nature! But people still insist on trying and the results are disastrous. When we attempt to alter any food by adding or subtracting components or by heating or freezing, we are degrading that food to the extent to which we alter it. Nature prepared our foods perfectly suitable for our consumption in their whole unchanged state. When these food items are changed or altered in any way, they become denatured junk. Disease is the inevitable result from eating such foods.

Foods Must Be In Their Whole State

Numerous animal experiments have shown that, while proteins, carbohydrates and fats are food elements, they are not in and by themselves food. Junk foods usually contain excessive amounts of the above named food constituents and little else. For example, candy would be almost purely carbohydrate. Butter (according to our definition this is a junk food) would be a pure fat.

It has been established that a diet that contains enough nourishment, by all the recognized chemical standards, still fails to support normal growth and physiological normality, if it lacks some unknown substances. Very little of these substances need to be present, but there is an irreducible minimum. This would consist of the many vitamin and mineral elements, enzymes, etc. which are only available in usable form in whole raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

The refining, preserving and cooking processes to which our foods are subjected destroy the delicate constituents in our foods. In fact, the cooking process robs foods of so much of their value that most people feel that they must add salt, spices and various condiments to them to make them palatable.

Food Constituents Must Be Organic

We need to consume our food in its whole state, for in this form we can readily assimilate all the nutrients which we derive from that food. When foods are fragmented and certain vitamins or minerals are added in an inorganic form, that food loses its value. Any food so deranged is truly a junk food.

The addition of one or more vitamins to such denatured foods would not render them adequate.

Vitamins and minerals never work independently of each other but synergistically for the benefit of the whole organism. When there is either a lack of calcium or an excess of acid in the food, Vitamin A has no effect. It is known that mineral salts are not assimilated in the absence of the vitamins and both are spoiled by cooking. Most junk foods (if not all) which are commonly sold in stores have undergone some cooking.

Minerals which are returned to the junk foods are inorganic and therefore unusable by the body. Sodium chloride, for example, is not assimilable or usable by the body. It is excreted unchanged. It comes out in the same state it entered the body. No metabolizable food does this. Sodium chloride is not a food but an irritant. This is true of all inorganic minerals and salts. They are useless, supply the body with nothing and are toxic.

Dr. Shelton says, “We have not learned to make, nor even to imitate living substances. We know that animals are dependent upon plants for their food and cannot go directly to the soil for it. We can neither synthesize these substances in the laboratory, nor can we tear them down in the kitchen or in the laboratory in “purifying” them (extracting their salts from them) without greatly impairing their food values.”

Nature gave us apples, pears, cabbage, celery, lettuce, oranges, nuts, etc. and not vitamins, minerals as such. All our food needs are found in neat little packages and when consumed in this form, we do not have to concern ourselves with food deficiencies. All of our needs will be met most adequately.

Molasses A Super Junk Food

Molasses is a prime example of a junk food. This is a product which has been so degraded that it really should not be called a “food” at all. It has been refined, processed, contaminated with poisons and boiled to such an extent that it could never be of any benefit and, in fact, will contribute to toxicosis if ingested.

So let us take a look at this “super junk food.”

What Is Molasses?

Molasses is a yellowish or dark-brown, thick, sweet, sticky syrup which is most often used for cooking, candy-making or as a livestock feed. Most molasses is obtained as a by-product in the manufacturing of sugar from sugar cane but some is obtained from the sugar beet. Therefore, countries that grow sugar cane produce most of the world’s molasses. In the United States, Louisiana is the center of molasses production.

Molasses contains 36 to 50 percent sugar. Chemists and drug manufacturers use it to make many chemical products, including industrial alcohol. Molasses yields large amounts of citric acid. This citric acid from molasses is used in making soft drinks. Low-grade molasses, called blackstrap, is fed to livestock.

Molasses that is to be eaten contains much sugar, so it tastes sweet. It is often used in making cookies and candy for the unusual flavor which it imparts.

How Molasses is Produced

In preparation for harvesting the sugar cane, the fields are set afire to burn off the dried up leaves. Then the sugar cane is cut down and taken to the sugar refinery. It is put through high-pressure rollers to squeeze out the juice. The juice contains many impurities including field soil, cane fiber and wax, organic acids, ash, nitrogen compounds, pectin and gum. On the other side of the vat containing the juice is the resulting fibrous tissue, called bagasse.


The bagasse is further processed to get the ultimate sugar content out of it. It is sprayed with super-heated hot water which quickly saturates the bagasse and picks up, in solution, more sugar. It also picks up some of the pulpy organic matter.

This is then squeezed out of the bagasse by yet another set of high-pressure rollers. It is cooled and combined with the original juice. This diluted juice contains less sugar than the virgin pressing. Also, it contains a lot of organic matter or pulp.

To get crystalline sugar from cane juice, the first step is to stabilize it chemically so that its prized content, sucrose, will not become invert sugar, that is, fructose and/or glucose. Cane juice has a pH of about 5.4, which is on the acid side, and the first boiling would cause the sucrose to break down into its two basic sugars, fructose and glucose. As a stabilizer, about five gallons of liquified quicklime is added to 1,000 gallons of juice. This gives it a pH of about 8.0, thus stabilizing the sucrose. Also added at this stage to clarify the liquid are sulphur dioxide/carbon dioxide and, usually, phosphoric acid.

Then the juice is put through its first boiling to remove most of its water and to obtain the first extraction. What remains from this first extraction is called crude molasses. Then more chemicals are added to the residue and yet another cooking (boiling) is done. Acid sulphite and carbon compounds are added.

After this extraction comes yet another extraction during which bone char (cattle bones that have been heated to the point of charring), sulphur compounds and chlorine are used as clarifiers and purifiers. Chlorine is used for its “bleaching” action.

The final residue is called molasses.

Molasses Contains Sugar

As you have learned from previous lessons, refined sugar of any kind has devastating effects on our health. Such sugars are responsible for many diseases and disorders including tooth decay, obesity, heart disease, hypoglycemia, diabetes, meningitis and many others.

You have also learned that when you eat any refined carbohydrate, the body must take vital nutrients from healthy cells to metabolize incomplete foods. Thus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are drawn from various parts of the body to make use of the sugar. Likewise other valuable vitamins, minerals and enzymes are robbed from the body.

Since molasses contains 36-50 percent sugar, the known harmful effects of white sugar would also apply to molasses.

Harmful Chemicals In Molasses

Most of the chemicals which are used in the refining process of cane sugar eventually find their way into the waste residue which is the molasses. Therefore, you not only have the harmful effects of the sugar but also of the toxic chemicals which are used in its manufacture. We will take a look at some of the chemicals.

Sulphur Dioxide

Sulphur dioxide is a chemical compound of sulphur and oxygen, having antioxidant properties. It is sometimes used in food for control of discoloration.

An antioxidant is a substance that prevents or delays oxidation—a substance capable of chemically protecting other substances from uniting with oxygen. It is one of the most common groups of additives used to prevent change in color or flavor caused by oxygen in the air. For example, some fruits and vegetables containing certain enzymes (such as apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, peaches, pears and potatoes), darken when exposed to air after being cut, bruised, or allowed to overmature.

According to the Merck manual, exposure to sulphur dioxide results in respiratory tract irritation: sneezing, cough, dyspnea, and pulmonary edema when inhaled as in smog. If the body responds so strongly to this agent when it is in the air, it makes sense that it cannot tolerate it when we ingest it with our food. It is, in fact, a deadly poison and is treated as such in the manual.

Everyone knows that we need oxygen to live; in the absence of oxygen we cannot breathe. On a cellular level our cells require oxygen to function. All plants and fruits of plants contain oxygen as an essential component of their structure. Oxygen also plays a role in every action and reaction in our body and is required to produce the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for energy metabolism.

Oxidation may be interpreted in several ways. The addition of oxygen to a molecule is one form of oxidation. Every oxidation must also be accompanied by the opposite reaction, a reduction, and this is when oxygen is taken away or reduced from a molecule.

Oxidations and reductions are essential in utilization of foods to provide energy. The oxidation of foodstuffs, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, takes place in a step by step manner through what is called the “Kreb’s cycle.” The end result of the Kreb’s cycle is liberation of energy to be used as needed by the body.

Any interference at any point during the oxidation reduction process can and does effect the entire body. Research is lacking on what effect antioxidants which are added to our food can have on general cellular metabolism but as students of Life Science you know that any fragmentation of our natural foods always results in adverse consequences. Especially serious consequences occur when out and out poisons are added to our food, such as sulphur dioxide.

  • Must be digested efficiently.
  • Must have protein adequacy.
  • Must have vitamin adequacy.
  • Must supply mineral salts amply.
  • Must supply our needs for essential fatty acids.
  • Must supply our needs for caloric values.

Does molasses meet any of these requirements?

Molasses is the end product in the manufacture of refined sugar. It contains many toxic substances. Psychologically, this dark gooey product has no appeal at all except that we have become accustomed to it and have learned to accept it as an addition to our diet along with other perversions. Children naturally rebel against the taste of molasses. This does not occur with a nice ripe banana or a piece of watermelon, for example.

Molasses is not delicious to any unperverted palate. Furthermore, molasses has no natural state since Nature never created such a conglomeration of sugar and chemicals. Molasses has no living state in Nature. It is repulsive to our sense of smell, taste and sight. Molasses is not easily digested. As little as one tea-spoonful will result in nausea. This indicates that the body rejects this poison rather than attempting to digest it as it would with a normal food such as an apple.

Molasses is not digested efficiently. It is often passed through the body with little absorption and often results in diarrhea. This is another indication that the body is attempting to dispose of this toxic matter.

Molasses is entirely lacking in protein.

Since molasses goes through such a long boiling process, there are no vitamins left in the end product. The only mineral salts that are detectable in molasses are those inorganic minerals that are residues from the contaminants accumulated during the manufacturing process. These inorganic minerals are not usable and are toxic.

Molasses supplies no fatty acids.

One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses supplies approximately 43 calories. In order to meet our daily caloric needs, we would have to consume an entire meal of molasses. Molasses cannot be relished by itself by anyone. A proper food of humans can be eaten as a meal. For instance, we can make a mono meal of any one of these foods: apples, watermelon, cantaloupes, bananas, grapes, oranges, peaches, apricots, figs, dates, etc. And you can maintain health for several weeks just on these foods alone. However, you could never make one mono meal of molasses. It would be repulsive to even think of doing so and it could certainly not support life.

The fact that molasses cannot meet any of the criteria of a food automatically puts it in the category of junk food and it should be eliminated from our diet forever!

Health Claims For Molasses

Minerals in Molasses

Dr. Rudolph Ballentine says that, “Since it is a concentrated residue, molasses contains significant quantities of minerals such as iron, a fair amount of calcium and generous quantities of trace elements such as zinc, copper, and chromium.”

Just because these minerals can be detected in molasses does not mean that they are in a form that can utilized by the body. In fact, these minerals are mostly resulting from the residues from the lime, cattle bones, soil, and other residues left after being boiled for many hours at high temperatures. Most are inorganic and totally unusable to the human body, Even if there were any organic minerals left, they would be rendered useless after the boiling and chemical treatment.

A Rich Source of Vitamins

It is claimed that the chief value of molasses lies in the fact that it is rich in vitamins of the B family. Considering the process which the molasses has gone through, this is quite impossible. First of all, the B vitamins are water soluble. Large quantities of water are added to the molasses during its manufacture. So the B vitamins would be dissolved. Second, B vitamins are destroyed by heat at even a moderate temperature. They are certainly destroyed by the high heat and long boiling time required in the process of rendering molasses.

Molasses – A Good Laxative

The fact that the consumption of molasses results in diarrhea or seems to have a laxative effect is proof that the body is attempting to dispose of this unwholesome food as quickly and as best it can. It is completely incompatible with bodily needs or functions.

P.E. Noris writes, “At night take a teaspoonful of molasses in warm water or milk.” He cautions that one should not take more than this as it may nauseate you. His body is trying to tell him something but he is not listening. The body knows what is a poison and what is not. Take a tablespoon of any wholesome food such as sunflower seeds. You will feel fine and most likely will want more. Take a tablespoon of molasses and you will be immediately sick. There will be no craving for more.

Do yourself a favor and do not poison yourself.

You should also be aware of the fact that this poison is not only added to molasses but is often seen in most dried fruits. As you know, dried fruits are valuable additions to our diet when they are of good quality. However, when treated with sulphur dioxide, these fruits become deadly as the poisons with which they are treated and should never be consumed.

How can you recognize sulphur treated fruits? Mostly by the color. If the fruit’s color is bright and unusually clear, it has been treated. If the fruit’s color is dull and a little brownish, then most likely it has not. Also, read the labels when buying these packaged dried fruits. Another excellent idea would be to dry your own. Home food dehydrators are readily available and do an excellent job of drying and preserving fruits. This way you know for sure that the fruit was of excellent quality and no poisons were added to them during the drying process.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide gas is generally produced in the combustion, decomposition, or fermentation of carbon or its compounds, is found in the air and is exhaled by all animals. It is the final product of combustion of carbon in food, which the body exhales through the lungs or eliminates through the kidneys in urine, or in perspiration through the skin. Although carbon dioxide is present in the air we breathe (up to about 5%), if it is in a greater quantity than this, it produces an uncomfortable degree of hyperpnea with mental confusion and will cause death by suffocation.


Carbon dioxide gas is used in the manufacture of molasses, carbonated drinks and commercially used in dry ice.

So we know that carbon dioxide is a waste product given off by the body. We also know that if inhaled in large amounts it can result in death. We do not as yet know what effects it will have when added to our food in small quantities. Should we take the chance? As Hygienists we cannot condone the use of proven or unproven poisons. We may assume, however, that if it is poisonous in one form (air), it will also be poisonous in another (food).

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid is not only used in the manufacture of molasses but is also added to carbonated soft drinks. It is a solvent which is used to keep all the constituents in a compound in a liquid form. This acid, according to the Merck manual results in corrosive burns from inhalation, skin contact, eye contact, and ingestion. It will also cause local pain. This is another deadly poison.

Bone Char

In order to understand why this substance, which is added to certain foods including molasses, is dangerous, we must understand what it is that we are dealing with. Bone char is the charcoal remains of animal bones. Charcoal is actually the carbon remains after burning or heating these bones. Carbon is a chemical element which is present in all organic substances. These include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

When a compound containing carbon combines with oxygen in the body, energy is liberated and carbon dioxide is formed. Carbon has several chemical features that make it unique as a foundation for life. However, if these features are altered drastically as they are upon the addition of heat, disastrous results may occur.

It is a known fact that the charcoal formed on charcoal broiled steaks which are so commonly eaten today are carcinogens. It is also possible that the alteration of the carbon element in a cooked foods could have adverse consequences on our health. The addition of bone char to molasses just taking this product one step further down the ladder of the junk food dungeon.


Chlorine is commonly used as a water purifier an bleach. Added to flour at 400 parts per million, it instantly ages the flour and bleaches it white. For many years a flour bleach called Agene was used, until England’s Dr. Mellanby discovered that Agene caused running fits and mental deterioration in dogs. The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure, finally outlawed the bleach. But the chlorine bleaches used today, although regarded as safe by the FDA, are highly toxic poisons. Nitrosylchloride, for example, is a very corrosive reddish yellow gas which is intensely irritating to eyes, skin and mucosa. Inhalation may cause pulmonary edema and hemorrhage. Yet this is added to foods.

Impurities In Molasses

Molasses contains 9% ash and 17.5% waste. That consists of mostly cellulose plus all of the wastes left over after the processing of white sugar including soil, residues and chemical contaminants.

So molasses is worse than refined sugar as it carries with it all the bad qualities of refined sugar plus the added toxins. As Life Scientists, we attempt to build health and not destroy it. When we ingest such a totally unwholesome and anti-life product as molasses, we are truly destroying life. Do your body a favor and do not give poisons but give it fuel for life in the form of whole fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Instead of satisfying our craving for sweets with such poisons as molasses, use fresh or dried fruits and your sweet tooth will surely be satisfied.

Impurities In Molasses

Molasses contains 9% ash and 17.5% waste. That consists of mostly cellulose plus all of the wastes left over after the processing of white sugar including soil, residues and chemical contaminants.

So molasses is worse than refined sugar as it carries with it all the bad qualities of refined sugar plus the added toxins. As Life Scientists, we attempt to build health and not destroy it. When we ingest such a totally unwholesome and anti-life product as molasses, we are truly destroying life. Do your body a favor and do not give poisons but give it fuel for life in the form of whole fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Instead of satisfying our craving for sweets with such poisons as molasses, use fresh or dried fruits and your sweet tooth will surely be satisfied.

Frequently Asked Questions

I realize that molasses is almost 50% sugar, but wouldn't it be better to consume this product than pure sugar? After all, 50% is better than 100%!

The fact that molasses contains up to 50% sugar is not its only bad point. The fact that it contains so many other poisonous contaminants, some of which may be carcinogens, is the main reason to stay away from this product. Also, if you are eating a diet of mostly fruits with vegetables, nuts and seeds, additional sweeteners are not necessary or desirable.

I am convinced that the Hygienic diet is best for overall health and I have been on a raw foods program for six months and feel great! But the problem is that my children love junk foods—especially candy, ice cream, cookies and other sweets. How can I get them away from these awful foods?

Congratulations on your wise decision to change to a more healthful diet. Apparently your children crave sweets and this is natural—we all do. The problem is
they are satisfying their sweet tooth with the wrong kind of sweets. First of all, try to not have any of the junk food that you mentioned in your home. Second, replace it with more healthful sweets like fresh fruits and some dried fruits. When one of your children asks for candy, give him some Barhi dates instead, or any other kind of dried dates or figs. I am sure that your children will love them and it will certainly satisfy their sweet tooth.

My mother always gave us molasses to eat. She mixed it with some milk and said that is was a good ''tonic". I always hated the stuff! Does molasses possess any health benefits?

No, it is a common misconception that molasses possesses health benefits. No food, even the most healthful, has the quality to act, for it is the body which acts upon the food. There are no benefits in eating molasses and, in fact, only harmful results follow its ingestion. The fact that your sense of taste found this "tonic" repulsive is one clear indication that it should not be eaten.

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