There are an increasing amount of harmful substances that are being added to the food supply. What are the effects on our body?
Artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives, just to name a few. We are surrounded by toxins from our environment - the air we breathe, what we put on our skin and the water we drink. Eating foods that are made up of a number of chemical components places more stress on our bodies. We need to ensure that we eat our foods as pure as possible, without harmful additives. Foods are being presented to us so they appeal to the eye and then the palate. Supermarkets are trained in the art of selling to our senses. They spend alot of money each year working out how they can sell more and what tactics they need to utilise to ensure high profit margins.
Food additives have been included to enhance colour, keep food fresher for longer and improve flavour and texture. Studies have found that brightly coloured foods appeal to us much more than bland looking foods. Next time you are in the supermarket observe how many of the processed foods are bright and cheerful looking. The kids candy bars, the frosted cupcakes, the lollies and even the breakfast cereals. Studies were done in the 1970's in which food was given a different colour to the colour normally expected. Food that should have been red was turned blue and food that was meant to be yellow was turned green. Some of the people could not eat their meals - some even became ill. How we perceive food can greatly affect how we feel about it. This is one indication of the power of the senses!
Artificial sweeteners, humectants, thickeners, stabilisers, anti-caking agents, propellants, glazing agents, colours, preservatives and emulsifiers are just some of the different types of additives used in some of the food today. Food additives mimic naturally occurring flavours.
Most additives are tested individually rather than in combination with other additives. It would be very hard to test all of the additives in combinations as there would simply be too many, so therefore if an additive has been tested 'safe', we could not be assured that it is then 'safe' when it is mixed with something else.
More and more people are having reactions to additives in food. It is important to be aware of what we are consuming. Always read the labels. If you are unsure of something, do your own research and find out what exactly it is. Remember, knowledge is power.
In America, the FDA does not require that manufacturers disclose the ingredients of the additives as long as they are 'Generally Regarded As Safe'. This way they can protect themselves from rival companies using their formula. Some of these formulas are very complex in nature - for instance the strawberry flavour contains 49 different ingredients, many of them chemicals. That is why, when you read a label, it simply says,'artificial flavour'. It is anybodys guess as to what exactly this concoction may be.
The following list of ingredients are from a strawberry milkshake - amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethylacetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.