For ages, we have been consuming food with added ingredients. These additives are commonly utilized in food processing for color, texture, preservation, and thickening. There have been lengthy discussions on whether it is safe to consume these additives or whether they have an adverse effect when consumed over an extended period. Sometimes the problem is in the content of the food. The ingredient list and their quantities could be misleading. For the average human being, processed and canned food is safe for consumption. However, there are additives and other ingredients that can be harmful to your health and well-being. For this reason, you might want to know what’s actually in your food. More Organic and natural food coloring that won’t harm you or loved ones is the best way to go.
After intense research and testing, studies show that some additives have been deemed entirely safe for human consumption. When shopping or before scooping a spoon out of processed food be sure to check in for the below:
- Ascorbic acid is added to fruity beverages and cereals to help even out the color.
- Sodium Propionate is a preservative used in baked products such as bread.
- Beta Carotene is safe if used in foods such as butter and some lollies to enhance color.
- Citric acid is added to desserts such as sorbet or ice cream for flavoring purposes.
- Polysorbate is used in baked items as an emulsifier to ensure that oil and cream do not separate.
- An example of a safe thickening agent is maltodextrin, often used in canned fruits and puddings.
- Carrageenan is often used as a thickening product for most dairy products.
Some additives have been proven to have adverse effects on human health. You are advised to check all your supplies for these additives and avoid consuming them.
- Olestra is usually used as a fat substitute ingredient often present in potato chips. However, it is known to cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed.
- Butylated hydroxytoluene commonly found in potato chips and cereals is a harmful antioxidant believed to be carcinogenic.
- Polydextrose can be found present in desserts and baked goods as a bulking agent. Some people bloat after eating food baked with traces of polydextrose.
- Monosodium glutamate is a harmful preservative used in packaged food and sometimes in huger quantities as a flavor enhancer.
In the market, we have notorious food manufacturers that under-quantify certain quantities of products. For instance, the Food and Drug Administration policy lists products containing more than 0.5 grams of fat. Some manufacturers often under-quantify the labels to even 0 grams just to see their products off the shelf. Next time you come across a stamped “FAT-FREE!” label, you might want to question what you are feeding your body.
The human race has been at the top of the food chain for the longest time now. The unfortunate habit of environmental pollution has altered our food. For example, water pollution from industrial waste contaminates fish. Eventually, we include the same fish in our menus. Another example is from feed given to fatten animals before heading to the slaughterhouse. These feeds could have been immersed in toxic amounts of pesticides and other chemicals. FDA urges human beings to insist on inspected organic food. These contaminants contain high levels of carcinogens that could cause health hazards to the consumer.
We need to pay close attention to what we feed our bodies. Read through every ingredient label, study the servings closely and inquire for inspected food. It is time we are aware of what we are consuming.