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Is There Such a Thing As Good Additives?

sodium_alginate_food_grade_.jpgLet’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.

One comment
  1. josh

    while I appreciate being informed about the various addatives put there, I rather avoid them all together. I’d rather focus on foods where all the ingredients sound like food, not like chemicals.

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