What Does “Food Additive” Really Mean?
The dictionary definition of a food additive is: “(noun) A substance added to food to enhance its flavour or appearance or to preserve it.”
While this definition explains a bit about what additives do it also means that there is an extremely wide range of ingredients that can be considered an ‘additive’.
The Functions of Food Additives…
According to MedlinePlus, food additive is a term used to describe any ingredient added during the food making process that:
- Adds Nutrients
- Helps process or prepare the foods
- Keeps the product fresh
- Makes the food more appealing
There are both direct additives & indirect additives. Direct additives include: herbs, spices, pickling ingredients such as vinegar & salt (often used to preserve meats).
Indirect food additives are anything that gets added to foods in processing.
Concerns About Food Additives…
Most concerns about food additives are based on man-made ingredients that are added to food such as:
- Antibiotics given to animals that produce foods
- Artificial sweeteners
- Dyes & colouring substances
- Nitrates in meat substances
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Sulfites in beer, wine & packaged vegetables
- Lecithin, gelatins, corn starches, gums & waxes that stabilise & emulsify foods
While many of these are considered safe by most scientific studies they are listed as safe in the following way: “reasonable certainty that no harm will result from use” & are included on the “generally recognised as safe” (GRAS) list.
All in all, it sounds like there is a margin of uncertainty about the safety of these products, which warrants further testing & caution when eating these products.
It is also worth bearing a thought for long-term ingestion of these substances. For instance it may not cause ‘harm’ in the doses contained in one portion of a certain product.
But what about if you eat 5 of those portions, per day, everyday, for a year? Will that amount cause harm? The answer is that the food industry does not know for certain. It is potentially a slow poisoning.
The Bottom Line…
While it’s totally up to you whether or not you want to gamble with ‘reasonably’ safe foods – my question to you is why leave it to chance?
Especially when there are hundreds of natural & organic foods that are both healthy & proven safe with a 100% certainty of providing you health benefits.
Your body will always function better when it is given the foods that it was designed to ingest.
Natural fruits, vegetables, grains & lean meats are not only going to be your best bet when it comes to creating optimal health & fitness but you also avoid adverse reactions to the potential chemical cocktail that some foods contain.
You have some facts, now the choice is yours.
To Your Best Health,
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