The other day I was having a conversation with my friend about recipes. The recipes were for our children. She had made these pizza bites out of crescent rolls and turkey pepperoni. I told her the crescent rolls were something I didn’t eat because of preservatives, and processed flour and a whole list of things that are bad for you. However she brought out the turkey pepperoni and said, “I switched to this kind because its healthier.” To which I replied, without much thought, “Well, yeah…it is…” and she gave my son a piece of the “pepperoni” and he loved it. Then I began to think…how do they get turkey to be so…red? And pepperoni-y? So I turned the package around, and read the ingredients. And I did what I hate doing….I lectured. I hate being the know-it-all friend. I just can’t sit back and knowingly do nothing. So what was it that I found so upsetting? Besides the huge percentage of salt, the main ingredients besides turkey are BHA and BHT. These two preservatives were banned in most countries and were quite dangerous. (The USA is a bit behind when it comes to food safety) I told her they could lead to cancer, brain damage, and altered behaviors such as ADD. So, like all people should, she looked it up for herself.
This is where it gets interesting, because according to about.com, BHA and BHT are ANTIOXIDANTS. So then I had to explain to her that an antioxidant means that something is preventing (anti) oxidation (oxidant), AKA a preservative. However, in the human body, BHA and BHT do not act as antioxidants. I could not believe about.com would say that. That is the most misleading information I have ever come across. No wonder people are confused! BHA and BHT are preserving the oils in the food. They are preserving the fat. In fact, they are made from oil. Like the oil they refine to make gasoline for your car. I went on to explain to her that these toxins are not water soluble They latch on to your fat cells and they don’t let go, making it VERY hard to loose weight. In fact, one of the best ways to get these toxins out of your body is by eating chia seeds and other gel forming foods such as aloe and okra. The gel from these foods pick up the toxins that are not water soluble and carry them out of the body. So just to be clear to anyone reading this blog, the only things that work as an antioxidant in the HUMAN BODY, is fresh fruits and vegetables. No man made chemical is ever going to make you look or feel younger. None.
BHA and BHT are just one of the many preservatives and additives that are found in our foods today. I’m going to list a few here and then give you a link to site that has a printable version.
Aspartame, (E951) more popularly known as Nutrasweet and Equal, is often found in foods labeled “diet” or “sugar free”. Aspartame is believed to be carcinogenic and accounts for more reports of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined. Aspartame is not your friend. Aspartame is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue, emotional disorders like depression and anxiety attacks, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener which has become the number one source of calories in America. It is found in almost all processed foods. HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage, among other harmful effects. Found in:most processed foods, breads, candy, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, canned vegetables, cereals.
MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods. MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which overexcites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show that regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the “I’m full” function which explains the effects of weight gain. Found in:Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, cookies, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats.
Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that you can consume. Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation. Numerous studies show that trans fat increases LDL cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2 per cent, a move that effectively bans partially hydrogenated oils. Found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods.
Studies show that artificial colorings which are found in soda, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for these ones: Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133) – Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods. Red dye # 3 (also Red #40) (E124) – Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out! Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission. Found in: fruit cocktail, maraschino cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products and more! Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102) – Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage. Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!
Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people is sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic, suggesting a link between asthma and sulfites. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest. Found in: Wine and dried fruit.
Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. This ingredient, which sounds harmless, is actually highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system. There, it forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds that enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular. Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA actually 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. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical just happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant. Found in: hotdogs, bacon, ham, luncheon meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat.
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in cereals, chewing gum, potato chips, and vegetable oils. This common preservative keeps foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body. Found in: Potato chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, shortening, candy, jello.
Sulfur additives are toxic and in the United States of America, the Federal Drugs Administration have prohibited their use on raw fruit and vegetables. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease. Found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.
An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans. Found in: breads
Please read labels, be aware of what you are eating. Children are at a much greater risk with these toxins because, obviously, it takes less of something to effect their little bodies plus their brains are still developing. You might be reading this and thinking, “The FDA would never allow harmful products to hit the market.” but the truth is the FDA is often pressured to allow things to go out quickly, and they are often brought research that is funded by the companies selling the very products in question. On top of that, many of the people who sit on the board of the FDA are same people who sit as the CEO’s of major chemical companies. The head of the FDA is also the CEO of Monsanto. And don’t even get me started about GMO’s. But this isn’t about politics, this about your health. Take control of your well-being and avoid processed foods. Or, look for companies that strive to provide quality products, like Annie’s (http://www.annies.com/) and Pacific Organic’s (http://www.pacificfoods.com/)
I am very happy to see so many bloggers talking about this. I will link to a few articles that are talking about the same things, it is so important that once you read this you go into your pantry, read the labels, see how prevalent these toxins are, and then throw them out! The sickness they cause is preventable, but you must take the first step.
- American Foods Chockfull of Ingredients Banned in Other Countries (articles.mercola.com)
- 6 Food Ingredients You Should Avoid (blissfullyrawkristine.wordpress.com)
- Suprise!!!!! Your Eating Petroleum (rcrfitnessusa.wordpress.com)
- 7 Most Unhealthy Processed Foods You Need To Avoid (lunginews.wordpress.com)
- 13 Banned Foods Still Allowed In The U.S. (dprogram.net)
- Soul Nutrition ~ 10 Ingredients to Avoid! (beyoutifulliving.com)
- BHT and BHA…The Inside Scoop (knowwhatureating.wordpress.com)
- 8 Alarmingly Unhealthy Snacks for Kids (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)
These two blogs have the recipe which brought up this debate with my neighbor:
- Pepperoni Rolls (thebakersbite.wordpress.com)
- Homemade Hot Pockets (notanothernavywifeinthekitchen.wordpress.com) –
- 8 Alarmingly Unhealthy Snacks for Kids (refreshingnews99.blogspot.com)