A Hidden Harm?
Very few items in today's supermarket have no food additives in them or can be considered "natural foods".
Are They Helpful To Our Diet Or Harmful?
Preservatives, chemicals, flavorings, food dyes, vitamin and minerals, enhancements, or seasonings are all routinely used to supplement foods. Each of these food additives has a purpose in today's food supply. These may include:
- to retard or prevent spoilage
- extend shelf life
- as a color enhancer
- weed or pest control
- to increase taste appeal
- add vitamins or minerals lost in processing
- make a fortified variety of a product line by adding extra vitamins or minerals
Common today, the American food supply has approximately 2800 additives which are used in food processing that all have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The most common and recognizable by anyone are salt, pepper and corn syrup (or other sweeteners).
For replacing or supplementing vitamins and minerals it is common to see a label which states Vitamin C, E, calcium or antioxidants have been added. These are all instantly recognizable substances which people are comfortable with.
Then a substance such as TBHQ is used in many foods as a preservative. The unfortunate part is it is derived from butane. Now yes, the concentrations used are low (must be less than .02% of the oils in any food product), and the FDA has determined approximately 1 gram is a high point which will start to induce delirium, nausea, collapse and or vomiting.
But if you are a regular at the fast food window of most major food restaurants, all those hamburgers you order, the TBHQ is adding up in your system.
There are now so many types of potentially dangerous food additives - artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and other things you can't pronounce! If it sounds like it was made in a laboratory, it probably was. Real foods come from gardens and kitchens, not chemical labs. Ask yourself if your great-grandmother could have made it in her kitchen. If it sounds like a high-tech concoction, don't eat it!
Other problems arise when people see strange sounding names. Sodium stearyl fumurate (a bleaching agent used in baked goods) has been proven to be 100% safe and effective for consumption, but to the general public with no knowledge what it is or why it is used, they are understandably uncomfortable. For the individual trying to understand an ingredient label because of an allergy - to them it is just hopeless.
Additives Are Shown Present But Not Intentional
In certain situations, some people, having never shown any skin rashes or gastro-intestinal distress before, can begin to show all the symptoms of an allergy
or they may develop the symptoms of a severe asthma attack. Quite frequently, these symptoms have been traced back to, not the food source itself, but an environmental or pesticide sensitivity which they contact in their everyday environment.
Cows in this country are routinely given antibiotics to keep them healthy and producing milk. For anyone drinking a glass of milk and being allergic to penicillin, the residue of the antibiotic will still be in the cow's milk. Therefore even though it is assumed a milk allergy, the actual cause was a penicillin reaction. Often this person will be diagnosed as milk allergic and placed on a dairy-free diet.
The Current Controversy Over Food Dyes
Food dyes in this country is another major source of contention between the public, the medical community and the food industry. More and more parents, with the voices of their doctors are calling for less use of food dyes in our food supply. Even now many parents often report a higher incidence of child behavior problems linked to red dye 40.
Alternative natural sources are available that can be substituted in most cases to achieve a similar result. The operative word here though is similar. Unfortunately, the general public does have pre-conceived visions of what the finished goods should look like. Without the reality of this pre-conceived version being available, sales do drop off.
Manufacturers are put into a position where they must use dyes , or food additives, to retain the buying public's desire for a finished product that meets with their expectations.
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This site is not intended to replace the advice and supervision of your professional medical treatment plan. Although all of the information is true and accurate to the best of our knowledge, we still recommend you carefully check all food labels before consuming any food product. We can not assume any legal responsibility for any illness obtained while following the advice contained on this site.