Food Additives & Chemicals
According to the World Health Organization, the contamination of our food by dangerous chemicals has become a worldwide public health concern, and is even the cause of trade problems between countries who have banned some of the chemicals allowed in the US food supply.
But these chemicals are not only in our food, they also get into the air we breathe, leach into our water supply, and are present in far more things than we realize:
- Pet foods and pet products
- Household cleaners
- Cosmetics (make-up, nail polish, etc.)
- Personal care items (soaps, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, toothpaste, mouthwash, lotions, etc.)
- Gardening products
The list is endless. Over time, the continual onslaught that we subject our bodies to wears down our immune system, contributing to a host of health related conditions.
An estimated 14,000 laboratory-made chemicals are used today in processed and refined foods alone. The types of chemicals used depend on what they are being used for. They serve to make our food look fresher, more attractive, and can make them last longer on the shelf. Some of them are stimulating and addicting, and others are carcinogenic (cancer-causing), especially in larger quantities that are eaten on a regular basis. Others act as endocrine disruptors that disrupt our hormonal balance, and yet others contribute to a wide variety of other health problems.
Any way you slice it, most of these chemicals are unnatural and not meant to be put into a healthy body.
Common categories of chemicals include:
- Moisture content controls
- Bleaching agents
- Maturing agents
- Psychological activity controls
- Processing aids
In general, avoid any product that lists a chemical additive on the label (unless it clearly states that the item is derived from a natural food source). There are thousands of chemicals in packaged food, but let's take a look at some of the top offenders:
- Choosing natural sweeteners
- Health dangers of artificial sweeteners
- Refined sugar
- Refined sugar & chronic disease
- Soda's, pop & energy drinks
- Additives & chemicals in our food
- What are processed & refined foods
- The Dirty Dozen: What they are & why you should avoid them
- Addicted to sugary foods? Kick that addiction now
- Get off the diet merry-go-round
- Healthy food choices for children
- Healthy food choices for pets
- The FDA: Failure to protect human & pet food
- Food pyramids & food politics
View Sources & References
- (1) An extensive new literature concerning low-dose effects of bisphenol-A, Environ Health Perspect. Aug 2005; 113(8): 926-933.
- Food coloring image sourced from Centers for Science in the Public Interest
- A Consumers Dictionary of Food Additives, by author Ruth Winter
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks, by Michael Jacobon, Ph.D.
- Finegold Association
- Science for Science in the Public Interest, Food Dyes