Let’s talk food additives. Even when I go to the health food store and pick up all-natural, gluten-free, sprouted hemp, vegan cookies (okay, especially when I pick up items that have been so worked-over…), I find ingredients on the back like phosphates, lactic acid, or carrageenen. What should I make of such seemingly blatant contradiction? How am I supposed to know what is safe? Are the labels lying or have I been brainwashed into find fault in anything with a vaguely chemical sounding name? Now there is a database that can help decode the polysyllabic ingredients on the back of food packaging.
Researchers at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have compiled a list of all food additives currently in use, rated by safety level. Some of the additives are considered safe, others warrant moderation, some are unsafe to certain people and quite a few should be avoided altogether. Along with the rating, each additive’s description includes its origin, use and where it is most likely to be found. And while I am certainly not rushing to incorporate the described “perfectly safe” chemicals into my diet, I am glad to have a go-to database that explains what all of these chemicals are supposed to do, what they are made from and where we can find them. At least this way, I can pick my poison.
You can see the list here.