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Let’s look at our chemical cuisine — Additives

March 18, 2012
By ANITA HANABURGH , For The Leader Herald

Shopping was easy when most food came from farms. Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. I recently saw a cartoon that depicted a child looking at her cereal box and explained, "We can make these Sugar Flakes; the recipe is on the box It calls for wheat starch, corn syrup, potassium phosphate, sodium ascorbate, palmitate.." Funny as it sounds, we say "Oh it's not really a recipe it's a list of ingredients that go into the food." But it is a sort of recipe. Isn't a recipe a list of ingredients that go into our food??? If we made the food item from scratch we would know exactly what goes into it because we are familiar with the food and we are the ones putting it in. When we buy processed food, the law requires that we know what goes into foods by placing the information in the label. The problem is, we aren't always familiar with the ingredients listed.

I choose to write about additives because many of us just "fog over" when we read an ingredient list. Some of us don't even bother to read it. Often, we heard on the news the praise or criticism of certain food additives. We have heard so much of it, sometimes we listen, sometimes we just think. "I just can't keep track of it all!" Let's see, Potassium bromate is to be avoided, potassium chloride is OK. It's true; we just can't keep track of it all. Oh busboy!

A food additive is any food or chemical that is added to a food to enhance its nutritional content, flavor, appearance, texture, shelf life, cooking properties, freshness or color. Basically, it is anything that is added to a food that is not there to begin with. The use of additives is mostly a good thing. It keeps our bread from going stale. It allows our frozen food to maintain taste and quality. It adds vitamins and minerals to our cereal. Most additives are okay. Some are not. It is very important to know your ingredients. These are going into your body.

I am including a chart that I have adjusted from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an unbiased source for information about the value of the foods you eat. I would like to suggest you cut this chart out and put it where you can check the ingredients in the label of the possessed foods you purchase. Better yet, take it to the store with you. You will then begin to learn. You can expand your knowledge of the additives by visiting www.cspinet.org/reports/chemicuisne.htm. The chart there allows you to easily visit each ingredient and learn what it is.

Safe - Safe means safe. Safe does not mean recommended or not recommended. Recommended would mean the additives enhance health. These ingredients have been tested and at this time, they do not cause disease or distress in most adults.

Cut back - These are non-toxic but large amounts should be avoided as they may be unsafe or unhealthy. Salt may cause high blood pressure in some people, for example.

Fact Box

Additive edition

Here is a chart showing food additives:

Safe

ACETIC ACID

ADIPIC ACID

AIR

ALGINATE

ALPHA TOCOPHEROL

(Vitamin E)

AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS

AMYLASE

ASCORBIC ACID (Vitamin

C)

ASCORBYL PALMITATE

BETA-CAROTENE

CALCIUM PROPIONATE

CALCIUM STEAROYL

LACTYLATE

CARBON DIOXIDE

(CARBONATED WATER)

CARBOXYMETHYLCELLULOSE

(CMC, CELLULOSE GUM),

SODIUM

CARBOXYMETHYLCELLULOSE

CELLULOSE, CARRAGEENAN

CASTOREUM

CITRIC ACID

CYSTEINE

DATEM

DEXTRIN

DIACYLGLYCEROL

E DTA

ERYTHORBIC ACID

FERROUS GLUCONATE

FOOD-STARCH, MODIFIED

FUMARIC ACID

GELATIN

GINKGO

GINSENG

GLUCONIC ACID,

GLUCONO DELTA-LACTONE,

MAGNESIUM

GLUCONATE, SODIUM

GLUCONATE, ZINC

GLUCONATE

GLYCERIN (Glycerol)

GUANOS INE MONOPHOSPHATE

(GMP, DISODIUM

GUANY LATE)

GUMS: Furcelleran,

Ghatti,Guar, Karaya,

Locust Bear, Xanthan

HELIUM

HIGH MALTOSE CORN SYRUP

INOSINE MONOPHOSPEATE

(IMP, DISODIUM INOSINATE) INULIN

ISOLATED SOY PROTEIN,

TEXTURED VEGETABLE

PROTEIN

ISOMALT

LACTIC ACID

LECITHIN

MAGNESIUM COMPOUNDS

MALIC ACID

MALTODEXTRIN MONO- and

DIGLYCERIDES

NATAMYCIN (PIMARCIN)

NEOTAME

NIACIN (VITAMIN B3)

NISIN

NITROUS OXIDE

OAT FIBER,

WHEAT FIBER

OLIGOFRUCTOSE

PANTOTHENIC ACID (AND

SODIUM PANTOTHENATE)

PAPAIN

PECTIN (AND SODIUM

PECTINATE)

PHOSPHORIC ACID

PHYTOSTEROLS and

PI-iYTOSTANOLS

POLYGLYCE ROL

POLYRICINOLEATE (PGPR)

POLYSORBATE 60

POTASSIUM CHLORIDE

PYRIDOXINE (VITAMIN B6)

RIBOFLAVIN

(VITAMIN B2)

SILICON DIOXIDE,

SILICA, CALCIUM

SILICATE

SODIUM CARBOXY-

METHYLCELLULOSE (CMC)

SODIUM ERYTHORBATE,

ERYTHORBIC ACID,

SODIUM ISOASCORBATE

SODIUM PECTINATE

SODIUM STEAROYL

LACTYLATE

SORBIC ACID

SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE

STARCH and MODIFIED

STARCH

STEARIC ACID

SUCRALOSE TARTARIC

POTASSIUM ACID

TARTRATE,

SODIUM POTASSIUM

TARTRATE,

SODIUM TARTRATE

TAURINE

THIAMIN MONONITRATE

(VITAMIN El)

VANILLIN

WHEAT FIBER

TRIACK TIN (GLYCEROL

TRIACE TATE)

VANILLIN, ETHYL

VANILLIN VEGETABLE OIL STEROLS

VITAMIN B2

(RIBOFLAVIN)

VITAMIN B6

(PYRIDOXINE)

VITAMIN E (ALPHA

TOCOPREROL)

VITAMIN D (D3)

Cut

CORN SYRUP

DEXTROSE (CORN

SUGAR, GLUCOSE)

FRUCTOSE

HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN

SYRUP

HYDROGENATATED

STARCH HYDROLYSATE

INVERT SUGAR

LACTITOL

MALTITOL

MANNITOL

POLYDEXTROSE

SALATRIM

SALT

SORBITOL

SUGAR

TAGATOSE

XYLITOL

Caution

ARTIFICIAL

COLORINGS: BLUE 1,

Citrus Red 2, RED 40

BROMINATED

VEGETABLE OIL

(BVO)

BUTYLATED

HYDROXY TO LUENE

(BHT)

DIACETYL

HEPTYL PARABEN

STEVIA, REBIANA

Certain people should avoid

ANNATTO

BENZOIC ACID

CAFFEINE

CARMINE /COCHINEAL

CASEIN

GUARANA

GUM ARABIC (ACACIA)

GUM TRAGACANTH

HVP (HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE

PROTEIN)

LACTOSE

MSG (MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE)

MYCOPROTE IN/ QITORN

QUININE

SODIUM BENZOATE

SODIUM BISULFITE

SODIUM CASEINATE

SULFITES

SULFUR DIOXIDE

Avoid

ACESULFAME-POTASSIUM

ARTIFICIAL COLORINGS: BLUE 2,

GREEN 3, ORANGE B, RED 3,

YELLOW 5, YELLOW 6

ASPARTAME (Nutrasweet)

BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)

CARAMEL COLORING

CYCLAMATE (not legal in U.S.)

OLESTRA (Olean)

PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (TRANS FAT)

POTASSIUM BROMATE

PROPYL GALLATE

SACCHARIN

SODIUM NITRATE

SODIUM NITRITE

Caution - These additives are suspect. They need to be tested further. Avoid them.

Certain people should avoid - Yes, certain people have food allergies and medical conditions that can be triggered with these additives. I have sensitivity to foods with MSG.

Everyone should avoid - These have been proven to be toxic or unsafe for all. Partially hydrogenated oil raises bad cholesterol so it is bad for your heart. Propyl Gallate has shown a possibility for cancer when tested. Stevia is suspected to cause infertility.

My husband won't buy anything that has an ingredient list longer than a finger's width. I guess that's one way to monitor your additives!

Comments? Anita@anita ala carte.com

 
 

 

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