Conventionally packaged foods may have as much as 2,000 untested chemicals
04/02/2021 / By Winnie Martin / Comments
Conventionally packaged foods may have as much as 2,000 untested chemicals

That bag of potato chips you just bought from the supermarket may not contain just your favorite snack. It may also have dangerous chemicals that can compromise your health in the long run. And it’s not just limited to potato chips. Conventional packaged foods you can easily buy from the grocery contain as much as 2,000 untested chemicals. These additives usually help keep these foods fresh for a longer period – at the cost of negatively impacting your health.

Environmental and public health non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) outlined these chemicals in packaged foods back in March 2019. These chemicals are considered legal despite the dangers they pose to our health because they are considered permissible food additives.

Brighteon.TV

EWG study co-author and nutritionist Dawn Undurraga lamented the outdated laws on food additives. “Unfortunately, our current policy on food additives was written in 1958 and has been completely co-opted by food and chemical companies,” she said. The nutritionist pointed out that certain additives deemed “generally recognized as safe” by a food manufacturer or chemical company are exempt from scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The EWG study noted that instead of updating legislation and closing any loopholes, “the FDA has instead allowed companies to voluntarily notify the agency about food chemicals.” To make matters worse, “independent” scientists who conduct reviews of these food additives are paid by the industry and the FDA itself does not review existing biological and chemical data for these substances. The study remarked that consumers themselves “literally do the dirty work” of examining foods for these dangerous chemicals.

Given that there are more than 2,000 chemicals in conventional food, what are some common ones you should watch out for? Here are five food additives you should be wary of.

Butylated hydroxyanisole

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a common preservative found in fatty foods such as lard and butter. Foods treated with BHA resist turning rancid due to oxidation, making them fresher for longer. However, BHA has been noted to cause cancer – prompting the state of California to include it in its list of carcinogens. A study from 1985 found that rats given BHA had a higher chance of developing cancers in the digestive system and the urinary bladder.

Sodium nitrate

Sodium nitrate is used as a preservative in processed and cured meat products like hotdogs, salami and sausages. It works similar to regular salt by drawing out water from bacteria, dehydrating them as a result. Products treated with sodium nitrate keep their flavor for a longer period and do not spoil easily. But a 2015 report by the World Health Organization‘s International Agency for Research on Cancer found that processed meat products that contain this preservative causes colorectal cancer.

Disodium guanylate

Disodium guanylate is an additive whose main role is to improve the taste of food. It is typically derived from fermenting vegetable sources such as tapioca starch. Disodium guanylate is oftentimes used alongside disodium inosinate and monosodium glutamate, two vegetable-derived additives, to make food more palatable. Excessive consumption of foods containing disodium guanylate is discouraged, as the body converts the compounds in this chemical to purines. In turn, these purines cause uric acid levels to rise – leading to diseases such as gout and kidney stones.

Polysorbate 80

Polysorbate 80, also called Tween 80, is a chemical additive used as an emulsifier in various foods. It is used to keep ice cream and pudding snacks creamy without separating. Other than these two, polysorbate 80 can also be found in wines and condiments. A 1993 study found that polysorbate 80 had negative effects on the reproductive system of female rats. It is not surprising, then, that the Environmental Protection Agency included the additive in its list of chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system.

Natamycin

Natamycin is commonly used to combat fungal eye infections, but it is also used as a preservative in cheeses and dry meats due to its pathogen-inhibiting qualities. Harmful yeasts and molds do not grow on the surfaces of foods treated with this additive. Natamycin is made by fermenting Streptomyces natalensis bacteria in a controlled environment and processing the end product. A 2009 paper released by the European Food Safety Authority mentioned that natamycin may potentially disrupt the balance of good and bad bacteria and cause gastrointestinal problems because of its antimycotic properties.

Ultimately, EWG suggested going organic when it comes to shopping for your food. These may be more expensive than the common variants, but you are definitely paying a premium for you and your family’s safety. Organic foods undergo much more rigorous scrutiny – and the permitted additives for these more so.

Undurraga mentioned that in 2018, almost 70 percent of conventionally grown fresh produce contained pesticide residues. “This is especially concerning for pregnant women and small children,” she remarked. Traces of lethal pesticides are not a cause of concern when you purchase organic food due to the much stricter standards they undergo.

Organic food is definitely a safer and better option for you and your family’s health!

Visit CleanFoodWatch.com and find out the different kinds of organic foods you can safely enjoy.

Sources:

EcoWatch.com

EWG.org

LiveScience.com

OEHHA.CA.gov

TandFOnline.com

TheSpruceEats.com

IARC.WHO.int [PDF]

LiveStrong.com

Healthline.com

InternationalJournalOfCardiology.com

EnvironHealthPrevMed.BioMedCentral.com

TheGoodHuman.com

ScienceDirect.com

EPA.gov

Go.DrugBank.com

FoodAdditives.net

EFSA.OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Related Articles
Comments
comments powered by Disqus

100% Fresh Food News, Right at Your Fingertips!
Find out everything you need to know about clean and healthy eating when you sign up for our FREE email newsletter. Receive the latest news on all the top superfoods, recipes, natural remedies, diets, food tips, and more!
Your privacy is protected. Subscription confirmation required.

Popular articles