Food Additives – Are they Safe?

Why are food additives in our food? Many reasons state they are added to prevent spoilage caused by mold, air, bacteria, fungi or yeast. In addition they can maintain the quality of the food, and help control contamination. They can improve taste, texture, and appearance. In their broadest sense, food additives are any substance that are added to food.

There are both direct, and indirect additives. Direct are those that are added to a food for a specific purpose, such as xanthan gum used to add texture. Indirect food additives are those that become part of the food in trace amounts due to packaging, storage, and handling.

Color additives are used in foods for many reasons: 1) to offset color loss due to exposure to air; 2) correct natural variations in color; 3) to enhance colors that occur naturally; and 4) provide color to “fun” foods.

Decades ago there were far fewer additives in our food. But, as society progressed we have become more demanding on what our foods look like, what they feel like, what they taste like, and so we as a society have in a sense demanded these changes to our foods. Not all is good.

In this post I’m going to share just a few of the additives we should all be very wary of and you should make sure you read the labels of the foods you purchase, as you may want to make sure these additives are not in the foods you choose to consume.

Aspartame
This is an artificial sugar substitute made by Monsanto Corporation. Need I say more? It was first proposed as a bio-warfare chemical to the Pentagon before becoming a food additive. It is now found in over 9000 products. It is not fit for human consumption. This toxic poison changes into formaldehyde in the body and has been linked to migraines, seizures, vision loss and symptoms relating to lupus, Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other health destroying conditions.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)
This oil is used to stabilize citrus-flavored soft drinks. BVO has been used by the soft drink industry since 1931. It is banned in a number of countries including Japan, and the European Union.

Cellulose
Look at the ingredients in the packaged cheese, or that loaf of bread. Often times you will find this as an ingredient in the mix. Cellulose is sawdust. Yes! Sawdust! It is used to keep cheese shreds from sticking together, and also keeps ice cream, creamy and chocolate milk, thick.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
This is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on pounds faster than any other ingredient. It increases your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects.

Potassium Bromate (KBrO3)
This is an oxidizing agent that has been used as a food additive, mainly in the bread making process. This agent is carcinogenic in rats and nephrotoxic in both man and experimental animals when given orally. In 1982, researchers in Japan published the first of a series of studies showing that potassium bromate causes cancer in the thyroids, kidneys and other body parts of rats and mice.

In 2007, Chinese authorities pulled a batch of imported snack chips from store shelves because they believed the chips contained potassium bromate, a food additive banned in China. The chips origin? The U.S.

Potassium Bromate is also illegal iin the European Union, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere because it causes cancer in rats and mice. In the U.S. it has remained legal since it was first patented in 1914.

This is just a very short list of additives that should make us cautious. For more information check out the following articles: The Zoo “Top 12 Harmful Food Additives”, and from Food Matters “Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid”

Pay attention to the labels on every food item you purchase. The foods we eat today are not what they were 50, or even 20 years ago. They are filled with preservatives, and chemicals. Be conscious of what you put in your mouth, and the mouths of your children.

Eat Healthy!

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