People are becoming more aware of food additives these days thanks to a growing movement to label GMOs and consumers fed up with processed foods. But what are these additives and are they harmful?
Flavorings are used in a wide variety of our foods these days. Some are not harmful and others are downright dangerous. Most flavorings are an imitation of an original flavor. A person in a white coat in a sterile lab spends their day dissecting a food with a flavor and then reproduces it with chemicals. These chemicals are less costly then using ‘natural’ flavorings from raw ingredients.
The best way to eat food is as soon as possible. Fruits and vegetables fresh from your local farm or own garden, bread the same day from the bakery. But in today’s busy society most people don’t have the time to shop each day for fresh ingredients. In America most of us choose to shop once a week and store our food in the pantry for later use. In order for that to happen, food must be able to handle transport and long shelf lives before it is consumed. Additives are used so these foods stay fresh and food poisoning does not occur.
The Top Ten Food Additives to Avoid are:
- Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, found in diet products and believed to be carcinogenic)
- Food Dyes (Red, Blue, Yellow food colorings have been BANNED in other countries due to their links to cancers and other diseases)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (a refined sweetener found in almost ALL processed foods)
- Trans Fats (used to extend shelf life, found in margarine, veg oils, crackers)
- MSG (found most commonly in soups, salad dressings, frozen entrees)
- Sulfites (this one kills me, it’s in wine)
- Sodium Nitrates (found in bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meat)
- Potassium Bromate (found in breads)
- BHA (most often in veg oils, cereals)
- Sulfur Dioxide (sulfur additives are toxic and the FDA has prohibited the use on raw vegetables and fruit. They are not recommended for consumption by children and can be found in beer, soft drinks and juice)