A Glimpse at Additives & Preservatives

Additives and Preservatives

A lot of concern over preservatives and additives in our foods has been raised by parents, doctors, advocacy groups and concerned diners. A question has been raised: Is illness tied to what is in our food? Regardless of opinion, one thing is certain, there are many unnecessary ingredients in our foods.

Artificial Colors/Dyes are found in many manufactured products like candy, baked goods, sausages and desserts. Research has linked food dyes to ADHD, mood swings and depression especially in children and may cause brain, thyroid and kidney tumors. Luckily, there are natural vegetable and fruit colors available to create a wide array of colors and stimulate our visual senses.

Preservatives come in many forms. Sodium Benzoate, used for preservation in soft drinks and pickles, and Propyl Gallate, used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling , along with Sodium Nitrate are all currently used to preserve foods. Many are unaware that Sodium Benzoate can cause severe tantrums and poor concentration. In fact, benzoates have been outlawed in Russia because of a link to allergies. Many are also surprised to learn that Propyl Gallate has been linked to cancer and Sodium Nitrate is considered a carcinogen by numerous groups. Preservatives like these are not necessary. Other safe forms of preservatives include citric acid, rosemary extract and ascorbic acid.

The list of artificial ingredients doesn’t stop there. Consider:

Potassium Bromate is used in breads and rolls to increase the volume and provide a fine crumb structure. It also linked to cancer.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancer in packaged foods, soups, salad dressings, processed meats and many more foods. There has been a link suggested between MSG and headaches, numbness and cardiac death, especially in athletes.

Potassium Sorbate is a preservative to control growth of yeast and mold. Prolonged use can lead to allergic reactions, nausea, diarrhea and nutrient loss.

Sulfites, used in wine, dry foods, corn syrup, and dry foods, is fine for some people but for others can cause severe headaches, asthma and other allergic reactions. More and more processed foods contain sulfites but are not labeled because they are considered a processing aid.

BHA and BHT (Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytolvene) are used to keep fat and oil from going rancid. Commonly used in cereals, potato chips and chewing gums, they have been found to cause cancer. “Both are banned nearly worldwide, except in the United States.”

Calcium Disodium EDTA, a chelating food additive use to prevent spoilage, is used in many products, such as mayonnaise, soft drinks, and is on the FDA’s priority list to study

Saccharin, Aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet), and Acesulfate K – Confusion exists regarding their safety and overall health.

We can help our overall health immensely by avoiding the additives in our food. Of course, it is not always possible. Try to eat an all-natural diet at a minimum and organic when possible. Food should bring us health and happiness, not sickness.

“Eat well”

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786


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