Friday, January 13, 2012

Additives what are they and why are they in our food?

Additives who said they can put that in there.....

It would be great to not have to worry what is put in our food but in reality we as consumers expect our food to last and not spoil. However, we must find natural organic compounds that will provide shelf life or prevent spoilage without all the health risks. The synthetic compounds be adding to our food daily is just getting out of control. I my opinion, the increasing allergens, behavioral issues and cancers that are on the rise are linked to these additives. Of course we are told they are in small amounts in our food that it is safe, however they are in everything we consume or put on our skin. We need to be prudent in the consumption and absorption of these additives by decreasing our exposure to them with buying less processed foods instead buying consuming organic products and organic whole foods decreasing this toxic overload.  So with that being said below is a small list leaving the judgement or decision up to the consumer, you.

Here are some common ones: what they are used in, and what are they.

Coloring Agents: used to enhance a products color via natural or synthetic sources
  • Beet Extract: beverages, candies, ice cream What is it? Process by which crystals are separated from the beet to be used as a coloring and/or sugar.

  • Beta-Carotene: beverages, sauces, soups, baked goods, candies, macaroni and cheese mixes What is it? Besides being Provitamin A it is extracted from plants as crystals to be used for coloring.

  • Ground Beetle Insects: coloring in foods and make-up What is it? It is exactly what it says it is...ground up beetle insects.  This process has been used by Egyptians thousands of years ago for the pigment in the beetles. 

  • Caramel: Beverages, sauces, soups, baked goods What is it? It is carbohydrates heated until the desired color, basically it is burnt sugar.

  • Tartrazine: Beverages, cakes, cookies and ice cream What is it? AKA Yellow No. 5. linked to migraines, blurred vision, skin rashes, anxiety, hyper active children, to name a few.
Preservatives: substances added to food to prevent or slow spoilage
  • Alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E): vegetable oils What is it? Basically it is a compound from Vitamin E used in foods been linked to ferility enhancement.

  • Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C): breakfast cereals, cured meats, fruit drinks What is it? Naturally occuring compound that is an antioxidant.

  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole): breakfast cereals, chewing gum, oils, potato chips What is it? It is a phenolic compound which has been listed as a carcinogen a cancer causing agent.  Some people experience behavioral changes.

  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): breakfast cereals, chewing gum, oils, potato chips What is it? Same as BHA, it is a phenolic compound which has been listed as a carcinogen a cancer causing agent. Some people experience behavioral changes. Part of BHT compound is Toluene which you find in nail polish...eew.

  • Calcium propionate/sodium propionate: bread, cakes, pies, rolls What is it? Compound found in dairy, studies show some links to behavioral issues in children.

  • EDTA: beverages, canned shellfish, margarine, mayonnaise, processed fruits, vegetables, sandwich spreads What is it? Widely used chemical compound and has become a huge environmental pollutant since it is used in cleaning agents and medical applications too
  • Propyl Gallate: mayonnaise, chewing gum, chicken soup base, vegetable oils, meat products, potato products, fruits, ice cream What is it? Commonly used with BHA and BHT, a synthetic chemical linked to stomach irritation, skin irritation, asthma.

  • Sodium Benzoate: carbonated beverages, fruit juice, pickles, preserves What is it?  It is a type of salt that occurs naturally in some foods however it is being chemically produced to be an additive.  Has been linked to ADHD, asthma attacks, and hypertension.

  • Sodium Chloride (salt): most processed foods What is it? Compound made from sodium and chlorine better known has table salt.  Too much hypertension, high blood pressure.

  • Sodium Nitrate/sodium nitrite: bacon, corned beef, luncheon meats, smoked fish What is it? Compound used in processed meats such as cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, and ham.  Linked to cancers, most commonly linked to pancreatic cancer. 

  • Sorbic  Acid/potassium sorbate: cakes, cheese, dried fruits, jellies, syrups, wine What is it? It is a type of salt, an organic compound used in food, cosmetics and medicine to prevent mold and bacteria growth. 

  • Sulfites (sodium bisulfite, sulfur dioxide): dried fruits, processed potatoes, wine What is it? It is a type of salt compound that reduces or prevents oxidation and prevents spoilage.  Linked to headaches, migraines, skin and breathing sensitivity.
Texturizers, Emulsifiers, and Stabilizers: increase shelf life and prevent loss of shape
  • Calcium Chloride: canned fruits and vegetables What is it? Compound of calcium and chlorine not just used in your food but typically used to remove ice from roads.

  • Carrageenan/pectin: ice cream, chocolate milk, soy milk, frosting, jams, jellies, cheese, salad dressings, sour cream, puddings, syrups What is it? It is a natural polysacchride both are a thickening agent found in the walls of plants which is can be an alternative to Gelatin that comes from animals.

  • Cellulose gum/guar gum/gum arabic/locust gum/xanthan gum: soups, sauces, gravies, sour cream, ricotta cheese, ice cream, syrups What is it? It is carboxymethyl

  • Gelatin: desserts, canned meats What is it? It is a protein made from collagen that is found in tendons, ligaments, and tissue of animals. Used of course as a thickening agent.

  • Lecithin: mayonnaise, ice cream What is it? It is phosphatidyl choline, the lipid component from cell membranes in plant sources (soybeans)  but can be found in animal sources (egg yolks).  Prevents separation.
Humectants: in food and cosmetics to retain moisture
  • Glycerin: chewing gum, marshmallows, shredded coconut What is it? It is an alcohol (glycerol) that is also a sweetener not just prevent moisture loss, typical sources are from animal fat.

  • Propylene glycol: chewing gum, gummy candies What is it? It is a compound which is petroleum derivative that is orderless, colorless told to be safe but found in antifreeze and required masks and gloves when handling. 

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