Opt For Chemical Free Organic Food: Food Additives such as preservatives, colourants, artificial sweeteners, and flavour enhancers are best avoided like the plague. Of course, not all food additives are harmful. This post will include a list of some chemical food additives which are considered to be harmful.
Once you understand what a bad effect these things have on your health and the health of your children, you will want to make all your food at home from scratch, with untreated, unprocessed organic ingredients.
Some things which are added to pre-packaged food, such as Calcium, Lecithin, Vitamins such as Ascorbate acid, Vitamin E, or Folic acid which is put into many breads, are not harmful. These things are essential vitamins which are present in many foods anyway. But many food additives are very harmful to our health, and especially to the health of the growing child. These harmful food additives can affect hormone production in the body, and when this fine balance of hormone production is upset, then the stage is set for disease to set in.
Toxic food additives disturb the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals in the body, and so nutritional deficiencies can occur when a regular diet includes the intake of certain chemicals. Troubles such as obesity, binge eating, binge drinking and addiction, diabetes, depression and hyperactivity in children can all be triggered by the common chemical additives in processed food.
Food additives can affect the immune system. They can affect the delicate balance of bowel flora which includes things like acidophilus and candida, and this affects the immune system. Candida yeast infections can develop when the bowel flora is upset through chemicals. Exposure to areas which have been sprayed with toxic chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides can also upset the natural flora of the bowel, which leads so sickness. Degenerative conditions such as arthritis and cancer can be set off by regular ingestion of the many common additives put into packaged food.
Preservatives To Avoid: Some of the most harmful food additives are the preservative chemicals. These are the benzoates; the sulphates and sulphites; the nitrates and nitrites; the galates; and the antioxidants BHA and BHT.
Flavour Enhancers To Avoid: The glutamates are especially bad
Artificial Sweeteners: These are all bad. Saccharine, Aspartame, Sorbitol and other chemical sweeteners are all foreign to the body. Unless you are diabetic, it is better to use brown sugar, molasses, treacle, maple syrup or honey, than anything which has artificial sweetener in it. These other sugars are real foods which the body can digest. Artificial sweeteners are not foods, but are chemicals foreign to the body: Artificial sweeteners cause ill health.
All Chemicals Not Found Naturally in Food are Bad for the Body: Obesity, Depression, Diabetes and Hyperactivity are some of the first conditions of ill health to show up from the regular use of food additives, as well as exposure to other toxic chemicals such as household insecticides. Because the body does not know how to process any of these chemicals, the body can mistake them for other necessary chemicals. This leads to the introduction of these foreign and destructive chemicals into the liver and the body system. This not only upsets hormones and the absorption of vitamins and minerals: These foreign chemicals react with other chemicals in the body, and many of these toxic chemicals get stored into the liver, leading to cancer, arthritis and other things over time.
Food Additives are generally coded with numbers, although not all additives are required to identify with a given code number. For instance, the artificial sweeteners do not all carry an additive number. Here is a general listing of Food Additives and their code categories, mainly taken from the research of Jan Greig, who wrote ‘Kids’ Snacks’, 1991, published by Sally Milner, NSW 2041, Australia..I have added my own notes to her basic list of food additives and their effects.
List Of Common Food Additives:
100-181 are the Food Colourants. Many of these contain coal-tar dyes which can can cause sugar imbalances in the body, and hyperglycaemia. These food additives can also cause asthma, hyperactivity, depression, and skin troubles such as eczema and rashes. The problematic food colourant numbers are E 102, E 104, E 107, E 110, E 112, E 123, E 124, E 127, E 128, E 131, E 132, E 133, E 142, E 151, E 154, E 155, E 180. Many of the common food colourants are suspected of causing cancer, depression, as well as behavioural problems in children. Tartrazine, Number 102, is a yellow dye which has been banned in many countries. Japan, UK and the USA have already banned this chemical. It causes hyperactivity, runny nose, blurred vision, and bad skin. ‘Sunset Yellow’ dye, Number 110, can cause digestive disturbances and vomiting. It is especially bad for people who are allergic to aspirin. ‘Sunset Yellow’ has already been banned in the USA, the UK, and Japan. Amaranth, the red dye which is Number 123, was banned in the USA in 1976, because it caused malignant tumours in test animals. South Africa has banned this chemical also. Number 127, Erythrosin, is a known carcenogen. It is a red dye. The American FDA were planning to get this chemical banned from food in the 1990’s. This has probably been banned in America, but you still need to watch out, as other countries such as China do not have the same rules as America on additives. And even in Western countries, many of these carcenogenic chemicals are still being used.
The Colourant Brilliant Blue FCF, which is number 133, is linked to hyperactivity, asthma and skin troubles. This used to be common in iceblocks and some icecreams in New Zealand. I think it is already banned here. It has been banned in many European countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Holland and Finland.
The Colourings 150 and 160b are known to be bad for the health. 150 is a brown dye obtained from producing caramel from chemically treated burnt sugar. This chemically treated sugar is thought to damage the genes. It also reduces the white blood cells, which can lead to various health problems, and may cause cancer. It destroys Vitamin B6 in the body, and probably affects the utilization of other vitamins and minerals too. The Colouring 160b is called Annatto. This is a yellow or red dye which is related to asthma attacks and skin troubles.
Cochineal, E120, which is an organic food colourant derived from the Cochineal beetle, can cause hypersensitivity and other reactions in some people, especially in children. Best to avoid this one, even though it is a ‘natural’ food colourant. The synthetic chemicals used to produce red colours all cause health problems of some sort: Ponceau 4R is a scarlet dye which can cause asthma. People with intolerance to aspirin must avoid this chemical. The red dye Erythrosine, Number 127 is a carcinogen. The red dye Amaranth Number 123 was found to cause malignant tumours in rats, and so was banned in the States in 1976. The red dye Allura Red Number 129 can cause puffy skin which is a symptom suggestive of kidney trouble.
200-297 are the Preservatives. Some food acids are also listed in the 200-297 category. The Benzoate Category of Preservative are E 210, E 211, E 212, E 213, E 214, E 215, E 216, E 217, E 218, E 219, and these can cause asthma, hyperactivity and eczema.
The Sulphite Category of Preservative are the numbers E 220, E 221, E 222, E 223, E 224, E 226, E 227. Any of these can bring on asthma attacks, hyperactivity and eczema. These are all thought to destroy Vitamin B1 in the body. Sulphur Dioxide, which is 220, is a common preservative used in gelatine and many other products. This is very bad for the kidneys, the liver, the heart, and the lungs. People who suffer asthma need to avoid this one completely. Sulphur dioxide also destroys Vitamin B1. Potassium Metabisulphite Number 224 has a similar effect to Sulphur Dioxide 220, because it also can damage the liver and kidneys and heart muscle, as well as cause asthma.
The Nitrites and Nitrates E249, E 250, E 251 and E 252 are all dubious because they produce poisonous nitrosamines in the body, which cause cancers of various kinds. These nitrosamines are all thought to lower oxygen levels in the body, and an oxygen starved body is the ideal environment for cancers to begin.
300-381 are mainly Antioxidants. Vitamin E is an example of a healthy antioxidant which occurs naturally in food. Some food acids and mineral salts are also included in this section. The Gallate Category of antioxidant are the numbers E 310, E 311, E 312, which are linked to liver damage. Irritable bowel syndrome can result from regular use of foods containing these Gallates. Food intolerances can also develop. The BHA and BHT category of Antioxidant are thought to cause hyperactivity, eczeman and rashes, and are linked to cancers of various types.
The Emulsifier, E 385, Calcium Disodium, or EDTA, is thought to be carcenogenic.
400-492 are the Vegetable Gums, Emulsifiers, and Humectants. Some emulsifiers, such as Lecithin, are natural food items, and are truly healthy ones. However, E 407 which is a ‘natural’ seaweed extract derived from Carrageenan, also used in some cough syrups, has been linked to ulcers in the colon. Carrageen has been used in herbal medicine for centuries, but it is possible that in making a more potent extract from the plant, as used in the E 407 emulsifier, its healing qualities are negated. Jan Greig says that research suggests that the preparation E 407 has been linked to foetal damage in animals. Tragacanth Gum Number E413 can cause reactions in some people, although this is an organic compound. It is thought to be linked to liver damage and can cause food sensitivity. These naturally occurring gums are used in some laxative preparations. But because of the high concentration of these gums in certain products including laxatives, gums such as Tragacanth E413 , Sterculia Number ?, and Karaya gum 416 can be problematic, causing hay-fever like symptoms, allergy, skin rashes and asthma-like symptoms.
The Emulsifier 420, which is Sorbitol, is extremely bad for children. It has been prohibited for use in children’s processed food because of its harmful effects.
The Thickener Gelatine, number 441, is a natural food item which is recommended by some healers for cancer patients and other people with serious illness. Gelatine can help the assimilation of vitamins and minerals in the intestines. It can also aid the immune function, and increase ones resistance to infection. However, some people cannot tolerate gelatine. This may be because of the Sulphur dioxide, 220, which is often added as a preservative. Sulphur dioxide can cause asthma attack, swelling of the ankles, hands and fingers. Sulphur dioxide is not good for the kidneys or the heart or lungs.
The Humectant 422, which is Glycerin, is very bad for the heart and weakening to the veins. It can cause heart palpitations, in my own experience. This food additive can play havoc with your blood sugar levels, cause swelling in the legs and body, cause extreme thirst, and headaches.
The Stearates and Polysorbates, which are emulsifiers, are definitely bad. These have been related to skin and intestinal disturbances, and degenerative conditions such as cancer. These numbers to watch out for are 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436.
The Polyphosphates, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphates, are other types of emulsifiers which are destructive to the health. These numbers are E450a, E450b, and E450c. Sodium Phosphate Number 450 is used as a thickener. These are believed to cause kidney damage.
500-579 are the Mineral salts and free-flowing agents. Number 554 is Sodium Alumino-silicate, which is an anti-caking agent. This is sometimes found in cosmetics, as well as in some food items. It causes nerve damage. The aluminium salts from sodium alumino-silicate can easily be absorbed by the body, and blood, and find their way into the brain tissues. This chemical can cause alzheimer’s for this reason.
620-637 are Flavour enhancers, such as MSG. These are the Glutamate category of flavour enhancers, which are 620, 621, 622, 623. These can cause palpitations and dizziness in some people. Test animals have had reproductive damage with these flavour enhancers. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, Number 621, is one of the worst flavour enhancers. This can lead to reproductive damage, as it has with animals. Migraine headaches, heart palpitations, bladder weakness, nausea and thirst are all indications of MSG ingested in foods. Some Chinese restaurants in New Zealand still use this ingredient, although it is banned.
Other Flavour enhancers to avoid are 627, which is Disodium Guanylate, and 631, Disodium Inosinate. Both these, and 621 Monosodium Glutamate, are especially bad for children. 621, 627 and 631 can all cause fluid retention and gout.
900-1202 is a miscellaneous list of things not found in the other categories. Bleaching agents and ‘improvers’ used in processed flours, propellants, lubricants, etc belong to this category. Numbers 924, 925 and 926 are used in processing flour. These can irritate the stomach and intestines, as well as destroy vitamins and affect the absorption of important vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E is known to be affected by these bleaching agents.
1400-1450 are food thickeners.
1505-1520 is an extension of the miscellaneous list.
Artificial Sweeteners are very toxic. Saccharine is weakening to the bladder, and has caused bladder cancer in animals. Aspartame is another sweetener to beware of, as it is lined to nervous disease such as multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease. All artificial sweeteners are weakening to the immune system, the nervous system, the liver, kidneys, bladder and heart, and all will affect the digestion and vitamin and mineral absorption to some extent. My experience with artificial sweeteners is that they definitely affect the kidneys, for a start, and usually cause fluid retention, which is evidenced by a slight puffiness of the legs or finger joints.