We're Eating What?
Just having over three-thousand additives that are legal in the United States that can be used for preservation, enhancing taste, color, texture, and more doesn't always mean you want to ingest them. There are at least twelve that are commonly used, but can cause health problems. Unfortunately many of these additives are hard to avoid, but if you can look on an ingredient list and know what you are reading, you may be able to steer clear of some.
BHT, butylated hydroxytolune, is an additive that is legal in the US, but illegal in England. BHT is used to keep fats and oils from going rancid. It sounds wonderful to keep your potato chips, vegetable oil, and gum from spoiling, but it is also wonderful to get your filling of liver and kidney damage, behavioral problems, nerve damage, and possibly even cancer. BHA, butylated hydroxyanisole, is a very similarchemical to BHT, used for the same reasons.
"The oxidative characteristics and/or metabolites of BHA and BHT may contribute to carcinogenicity or tumorigenicity; however the same reactions may combat oxidative stress. There is evidence that certain persons may have difficulty metabolizing BHA and BHT, resulting in health and behavior changes. " BHT and BHA
Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that is in almost any food: Campbell's soup, Top Ramen, Lay's potato chips, Kraft salad dressing, and Chinese food is infamous for MSG. Also called hydrolyzed vegetable protein, MSG is added for flavor, and even to get people to eat more. The site MSG Facts, proponents of MSG, said about a study with elderly people:
"Studies have found that adding MSG to certain foods, such as soup and mashed potatoes, has been successful in increasing the food intake in institutionalized elderly populations."
The study was only done on elderly people. They did not prove or disprove whether it causes younger people to eat more, but there is a high chance that MSG does exactly the same. MSG is creating food addicts nation wide. Besides the addiction, which leads to overeating, MSG also causes headaches, itching, nausea, high blood pressure, and damage to the reproductive and nervous systems.
Everyone has heard that those little NutraSweet or Equal packets can give you cancer. Fake sugar, can it really give you cancer? The substance that makes these artificial sweeteners is Aspartame. Yes, these are one of the most dangerous additives in our food. People use these artificial sweeteners to save themselves the calories from sugar, but instead they recieve numerous health risks. Not only does it make you gain weight, but it can cause at least ninety other adverse reactions: Blindness, decreased vision, decreased tears, bulging eyes, pain in one's eyes, ringing or buzzing sounds in th ear, intolerance of noise, decreased hearing, epileptic seizures, migranes, headaches, dizziness, confusion, memory loss, tremors, numbness of the limbs, phobias, irritability, insomnia, high bloodpressure, shortness of breath, nausea, abdominal pain, itchiness, asthma, hives, PMS, thinning or loss of hair, birth defects, and many more, listed at http://www.sweetpoison.com/aspartame-side-effects.html.
Splenda is another artificial sweetener substitute to sugar, and it contains sucralose. Tests have shown that sucralose can cause a forty percent shrinkage of the thymus gland. It also causes a calcification ofthe liver, swelling of the liver and kidneys, and it has been heavily chlorinated, which is not healthy in large doses.
Sodium nitrite is a preservative, coloring, and flavor that is added to lunch meats, hot dogs, corned beef, bacon, sausage, smoked fish, and other processed meats. What could be bad about it? It keeps the food fresh, adds flavor, provides color. It also provides cancer causing chemicals called nitrosamines. Sodium nitrite is responsible for a sixty-seven percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer.
These have only been a number of dangerous food additives. I encourage you to check out this list of twleve, the list from Vital Earth, and the list from NewsWeek. I also encourage you to read my post about Food Coloring and my small petition.