Living in the 21st century is all about fast paced, convenience and technological advances and this shows in almost every aspect of our lives. We enjoy being connected via social media through a variety of apps, a huge choice of fitness and exercise classes to participate in , grab and go meals and snacks and a multitude of products for every and any of our desires.
The convenience of our food choices does come with the price of food additives. Now, the concept of adding things to our foods to enhance it's lifespan and flavour is not a new concept, however with lots of new research being done on the items we place in our bodies these days, we are becoming more aware of the affects of these ingredients on our bodies and health.
Some food additives are worse than others. Here’s a list of the food additives the team at Organics on a Budget like to avoid:
- Artificial Sweeteners
Aspartame, (E951) is found in foods labeled "diet" or "sugar-free". It is widely believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. With all the choices available these days of natural low calorie sugar alternatives, we say skip the aspartame and reach for some xylitol or stevia instead!
- Common Food Dyes
Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in fizzy drinks, juices, jelly, cakes and lollies may contribute to behavioral problems in children. In particular red food dye or Red #40/ E124 has been found to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals and may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission. If you are looking to avoid artificial colourings but still want to add colour to your baking at home, then Hopper's range of food grade colours are free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives.
- Sodium Sulphate (E221)
If you or any one in your family suffers from asthma or skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, this is a big one to avoid! This preservative is used in wine-making and other processed foods, including dried fruits. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulphates in food. Individuals who are sulphate sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. Sulphates help to preserve the look of foods and stop them from going brown or discoloured. We love the organic dried apricots that are sulphur free to add to our recipes and snack on.
- Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative in processed meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, corned beef, smoked fish and more. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient. The USDA tried to ban this additive in the 1970's but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Can you believe that? It is used to keep meats looking fresh, which really makes you think!
- BHA And BHT (E320)