The non-profit – Citizens for Health – sponsors a Website called Food Identity Theft. The idea is that much of the food we eat has been changed through additives, preservatives and toxins that can enter anywhere along the food chain. Recently, in celebration of National Read Your Labels Day (4/11/15) Food Identity Theft listed the top 10 food additives that you should avoid.
Starting from #10 we’ll work up towards #1:
#10 – Artificial Colors. These chemicals are suspected of bringing contaminants into the food chain for no practical reason other than visual promotion.
#9 BHA and BHT. Preservatives made from coal tar or petroleum that are banned in Japan and much of Europe. BHA is listed as a carcinogen in California. BHT is popular in cereals.
#8 Potassium Bromate. Used to make flour more uniform resulting in more attractive bakery products, Potassium Bromate has been banned many other countries. Brominated Fours are popular with commercial bakers. Suspected risks include tumors of the kidney, thyroid and other organs
#7 Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO). This additive is used to keep beverages from appearing cloudy. The substance has been shown to cause heart damage in research animals. It has never been approved by the FDA.
#6 Hidden forms of MSG. MSG is not just a designation for monosodium glutamate, but for more than 40 other ingredients containing “free” glutamate or glutamic acid. These additives turn up in all kinds of products where even small amounts can cause devastating reactions in highly sensitive people, making nearly all processed foods a dangerous proposition for them.
#5 Monosodium Glutamate. This is the big kahuna of flavor enhancers used to perk up the taste in all manner of foods. Effects have been labeled the Chinese Restaurant Syndrome. More extreme reactions include atrial fibrillation, exciting of the brain cells in the hypothalamus causing death especially in children and the elderly. It was removed from baby food years ago.
#4 Aspartame (a.k.a. NutraSweet or Equal). Found in most diet drinks. It was allowed on the market over objections of FDA advisors after having been known to cause brain tumors in rats and grand mal seizures in rhesus monkeys. It has been suspect in affects including migraines, vision problems and memory loss.
#3 Carrageenan. Used to give a wide variety of products a nice texture to make foods feel good in the mouth and in appearance. This tasteless non-nutritive seaweed derivative has long been known to cause harmful gastrointestinal inflammation and intestinal lesions. What is especially disturbing is that it is found is some organic foods. The National Organic Standards Board approved its use by a one-vote margin in 2012.
#2 Partially Hydrogenated Oil, or PHO (a.k.a. trans fat) It will soon be a year and a half since the FDA proposed removing this artery clogging substance which gives products a longer shelf-life but causes and estimated 7,000 fatal heart attacks a year from the Generally Recognized as Safe list. The FDA has yet to take concrete action. PHO has also been associated with memory impairment. Objections to its removal from food still comes from the food and baking industries.
#1 High Fructose Corn Syrup, or HFCS (along with ‘fructose’). Nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t want this cheap laboratory sweetener in their food, according to a recent Nielsen health survey. Studies indicate (including a recent one for Harvard Medical School) that HFCS is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This has led to a number of companies specifying their products do not contain High Fructose Corn Syrup. However, a couple of products claiming no HFCS, contain ‘fructose” that is a HFCS product.
Uploaded here is a revealing news video by Kenya TV on dangerous food additives. It illustrates the full circle impacts of adopting Western-style foods processed foods. On their path upwards, Kenya is stifled by the crises emerging from food additives and processed food.