Category Archive for: ‘Additives’
More Reasons to buy Organic

If you haven’t gotten on the organic band wagon, I’ve got some more convincing to do.  The following is largely from an article in Organic Gardening Mag.

Think about it

You should be eating a heavily weighted diet of plants and raw foods.  I don’t want to hear the same old BS that we are meat eaters and should be eating red meat.  That may have been true 100 years ago, but not know.  Chemistry has gotten into our diet.  Chemists have found ways to increase the yield of everything and haven’t thought about the long term costs until recently.  If you don’t eat organically grown food you are ingesting 12 or more chemicals  and pesticides that can  HARM you, your family and your future family.  The hormones in the dairy and meat we eat are changing the size of the human race.


Maybe you’ve heard of the chemical “Roundup”?  Supposed to be one of the safest weedkillers around.  So safe that chemists have genetically engineered crops like corn to be “Roundup ready”, meaning that a corn crop can be planted then when the weeds start to grow and compete with the corn, Boom, just fly by with a crop duster and spray Roundup on everything and the genetically engineered corn being resistant to the Roundup lives on while the weeds die.

Sounds great, doesn’t it.  Not so much.  Roundup is not just salt as we might have heard.  The main component of Roundup is GLYPHOSATE.  Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, which means it is absorbed into the root system of the plant.  People being lazy, greedy, bastards, farmers are no exception.  They found that using Roundup increased the yield of their crops and was a whole lot easier and cheaper to use.  So much so that researchers can find glyphosate in RAIN and in the air and of course our ground water and streams.  In 2009 the USDA says that farmers sprayed 57 million pounds of glyphosate on food crops.  That alone is reason to buy and eat organic.  Not convinced?  I’ll proceed.


To be brief – glyphosate is a hormone-disrupting chemical.  It is linked to metabolic damage, infertility, obesity, learning disabilities and birth defects.  Need More?  Really?  If you are smugly thinking that you are a meat eater and don’t eat much corn, think again.  Most cattle are raised on CORN and that corn is Roundup ready.  Don’t believe me – take a trip to Nebraska.

In fact if you live in a corn growing state like Nebraska, you are drinking glyphosate in your household water unless you have a granular activated carbon filter to remove it.

We are eating Crap!

I’m not just being crude.  Human sewage sludge is used as fertilizer in farm fields.  Yes, that is a potential source of salmonella out breaks or worse.  I make this point because another huge problem is hormone-disrupting phthalates which are very common fragrance chemicals used in soaps and shampoos.  Phthalates are being found inside our produce and the only reasonable source is the sewage sludge.  EAT ORGANIC- the use of human sewage is banned in organic farming.

Fat and don’t know why?

May be you eat too much.  But maybe it is the pesticides that are making us fat.  Even in very low doses, pesticides tamper with our body’s natural weight loss chemistry.  These are also linked to cancer and type 2 diabetes, go figure.

The nice thing is that eating organic for just five days can rid the body of virtually all pesticide residues.

What to avoid?

Avoid synthetic fragrances, soft vinyl products and “slow release” or gel-coated medications to eliminate phthalates.  And of course eat organic.

More reasons

Pesticides can interfere with your vitamin D levels.  Organophosphates are a class of pesticides that include 20 or more different pesticides and account for more than 70 percent of the pesticides used in the US.  It is known that these pesticides interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize vitamin D.  D, known as the sunshine vitamin protects us from cancer, diabetes, infections, heart desease, broken bones and boosts our immune system.

Feed Lot Farming – now this is a story in its own right, but hopefully you’ll read it anyhow.  Feed lots are a farming method to raise a large number of cattle or fowl in a small space.  The animals are herded into tightly packed pens or corals.  They are fed in situations that force the animals to eat their own feces.  These “Lots” are so filthy the farmers inject low levels of antibiotics into the animals to keep them health, which in turn end up in the meat we eat and cause antibiotic resistance in humans.  All mass produced animals including cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs, dairy cattle and sheep are raised this way.  In such conditions pests can also be a problem, so farmers spray the herd or flock with pesticides which also get into their food.

Conditions are so bad that e.coil bacteria is a problem, so to prevent it from getting into the food supply, after slaughter, one method is to wash chickens in a chlorine bath that contains 30 times more chlorine than a swimming pool.  To mask the chlorine odor and supposedly to keep the bird moist while cooking, the chickens are then injected with a solution of water and phosphate.  Phosphate can increase our risk of kidney disease, weak bones and even cause premature aging.

Need more reasons?

You are beyond hope – it was nice knowing you – jughandle




Much of this post has been copied from my post of almost 2 years ago.  I’m re-publishing this information because I find it more important today than ever.  The focus of this blog is to help improve or health and eating standards.  No better way than to avoid eating additives.  Read the labels. – Jughandle

Eat Natural ingredients!!!

The 11 Most Controversial Food Additives

Do you know what’s hiding in your food? We reveal the truth

A calorie-free artificial sweetener 200 timessweeter than sugar. It isoften used with other artificial sweeteners to mask a bitter aftertaste.

FOUND IN More than 5,000 foodproducts worldwide, including diet soft drinks and no-sugar-added icecream.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWAlthoughthe FDA has approved it for use in most foods, many health and industryinsiders claim that the decision was based on flawed tests. Animalstudies have linked the chemical to lung and breast tumors and thyroidproblems.

Denotes any of hundreds of allowable chemicals such as butyl alcohol,isobutyric acid, and phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal. The exactchemicals used in flavoring are the proprietary information of foodprocessors, used to imitate specific fruits, butter, spices, and so on.

FOUND IN Thousands of highlyprocessed foods such as cereals, fruit snacks, beverages, and cookies.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas approved every item on the list of allowable chemicals, but becausethey are permitted to hide behind a blanket term, there is no way forconsumers to pinpoint the cause of a reaction they might have had.

A near-zero-calorie artificial sweetener madeby combining two aminoacids with methanol. Most commonly used in diet soda, aspartame is 180times sweeter than sugar.

FOUND IN More than 6,000grocery items including diet sodas, yogurts, and the table-topsweeteners NutraSweet and Equal.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Overthepast 30 years, the FDA has received thousands of consumer complaintsdue mostly to neurological symptoms such as headaches, dizziness,memory loss, and, in rare cases, epileptic seizures. Many studies haveshown aspartame to be completely harmless, while others indicate thatthe additive might be responsible for a range of cancers.

AKA, Butylated HydroxyAnisole and ButylatedHydroxytoluene are petroleum-derived antioxidants used to preserve fatsand oils.

FOUND IN Beer, crackers,cereals, butter, and foods with added fats.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Of thetwo, BHA is considered the most dangerous. Studies have shown it tocause cancer in the forestomachs of rats, mice, and hamsters. TheDepartment of Health and Human Services classifies the preservative as“reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

A corn-derived sweetener representing more than40 percent of allcaloric sweeteners in the supermarket. In 2005, there were 59 poundsproduced per capita. The liquid sweetener is created by a complexprocess that involves breaking down cornstarch with enzymes, and theresult is a roughly 50/50 mix of fructose and glucose.

FOUND IN Although abouttwo-thirds of the HFCS consumed in the United States is in beverages,it can be found in every grocery aisle in products such as ice cream,chips, cookies, cereal, bread, ketchup, jam, canned fruits, yogurt,barbecue sauce, frozen dinners, and so on.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Sincearound 1980, the US obesity rate has risen proportionately to theincrease in HFCS, and Americans are now consuming at least 200 caloriesof the sweetener each day. Some researchers argue that the bodymetabolizes HFCS differently, making it easier to store as fat, butthis theory has not been proven.

A semi-soft fat created by chemically blendingfully hydrogenated andnon-hydrogenated oils. It was developed in response to the publicdemand for an alternative to trans fats.

FOUND IN Pastries, pies,margarine, frozen dinners, and canned soups.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Testingon these fats has not been extensive, but the early evidence doesn’tlook promising. A study by Malaysian researchers showed a 4-week dietof 12 percent interesterified fats increased the ratio of LDL to HDLcholesterol. Furthermore, this study showed an increase in bloodglucose levels and a decrease in insulin response.(think diabetes)

The salt of the amino acid glutamic acid, usedto enhance the savoryquality of foods, MSG alone has little flavor, and exactly how itenhances other foods is unknown.

FOUND IN Chili, soup, andfoods with chicken or beef flavoring.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Studieshave shown that MSG injected into mice causes brain-cell damage, butthe FDA believes these results are not typical for humans. The FDAreceives dozens of reaction complaints each year for nausea, headaches,chest pains, and weakness.

A manufactured fat created by forcing hydrogengas into vegetable fatsunder extremely high pressure, an unintended effect of which is thecreation of trans fatty acids. Food processors like this fat because ofits low cost and long shelf life.

FOUND IN Margarine, pastries,frozen foods, cakes, cookies, crackers, soups, and nondairy creamers.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Transfathas been shown to contribute to heart disease more so than saturatedfats. While most health organizations recommend keeping trans-fatconsumption as low as possible, a loophole in the FDA’s labelingrequirements allows processors to add as much as 0.49 grams per servingand still claim zero in their nutrition facts. Progressivejurisdictions such as New York City, California, and Boston haveapproved legislation to phase trans fat out of restaurants, andpressure from watchdog groups might eventually lead to a full ban onthe dangerous oil.

Food dyes that are orange-red and cherry red,respectively. Red #40 is the most widely used food dye in America.

FOUND IN Fruit cocktail,candy, chocolate cake, cereal, beverages, pastries, maraschinocherries, and fruit snacks.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The FDAhas proposed a ban on Red #3in the past, but so far the agency has beenunsuccessful in implementing it. After the dye was inextricably linkedto thyroid tumors in rat studies, the FDA managed to have the lake (orliquid) form of the dye removed from external drugs and cosmetics.

An artificial sweetener 300 to 500 timessweeter than sugar. Discoveredin 1879, it’s the oldest of the five FDA-approved artificialsweeteners.

FOUND IN Diet foods, chewinggum, toothpaste, beverages, sugar-free candy, and Sweet ‘N Low.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  Ratstudies in the early ‘70s showed saccharin to cause bladder cancer, andthe FDA, reacting to these studies, enacted a mandatory warning labelto be printed on every saccharin-containing product. The label wasremoved after 20 years, but the question over saccharin’s safety wasnever resolved. More recent studies show that rats on saccharin-richdiets gain more weight than those on high-sugar diets.

The secondand third most common food colorings, respectively.

FOUND IN Cereal, pudding,bread mix, beverages, chips, cookies, and condiments.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Severalstudies have linked both dyes to learning and concentration disordersin children, and there are piles of animal studies demonstratingpotential risks such as kidney and intestinal tumors. One study foundthat mice fed high doses of sunset yellow had trouble swimming straightand righting themselves in water. The FDA does not view these asserious risks to humans.


Oneglance at the back of a label and you’ll see the food industry haskidnapped real ingredients and replaced them with science experiments.And lots of them. Milkshakes with 78 ingredients? Bread with 27? Evenmore troubling is the fact that some of these additives have beenlinked to bad news, like cancer in mice or ADHD in children. Next timeyou’re scanning labels in the aisle, look out for these 11 downrightfrightening food additives. For the complete list, including thenutritious additives, check out our book, Eat This, Not That!

Casein Hydrolyzed

(Thickening Agent) Casein, the principal protein in milk, is a nutritious protein containing adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids. People who are allergic to casein should read food labels carefully, because the additive is used in some “non-dairy” and “vegetarian” foods.

A word about “Partially Hydrogenated” Oils:

It is now known that the process of hydrogenation creates “trans fatty acids” (TFAs), which are toxic entities that enter cell membranes, block utilization of essential fatty acids (EFAs) and impede cell functionality. TFAs also cause a rise in blood cholesterol. These substances are not present in natural oils.

Trans fat, which is also called hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fat is found in margarine and shortening and foods — such as cookies, crackers and other commercially baked goods — made with these ingredients. Trans fat raises LDL cholesterol and lowers high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” cholesterol.

Hydrolyzed: A protein obtained from various foods (like soybeans, corn or wheat), then broken down into amino acids by a chemical process called acid hydrolysis. Hydrolyzed plant or vegetable protein is used as a flavor enhancer in numerous processed foods like soups, chilis, sauces, stews and some meat products like frankfurters. Hydrolyzation of protein inevitably creates some (processed) free glutamic acid (MSG).

Manufacturers are acutely aware that many consumers would prefer not to have MSG in their food. Some manufacturers have responded by using “clean labels,” i.e., labels that contain only ingredient names they think consumers will not recognize as containing MSG — names such as “hydrolyzed soy protein.” Others advertise “No MSG,” “No MSG Added,” or “No Added MSG,” even though their products contain MSG




Aug 11, 2011 | By Allan Robinson
Sodium phosphate is a generic term that may refer to any sodium salt of phosphoric acid. They’re commonly added to food and may serve a variety of purposes. Sodium phosphates have been well studied and are generally considered safe when used as a food additive.


Sodium phosphate may refer to any of three specific compounds, although it most often refers to trisodium phosphate (Na3PO4) unless otherwise specified. Sodium dihydrogen phosphate (NaH2PO4) may also be called monosodium phosphate. Disodium hydrogen phosphate (Na2HPO4) may also be called disodium phosphate.


Disodium hydrogen phosphate can serve as a texturizer and texture-modifying agent. This form of sodium phosphate may be added for the purpose of changing the appearance or feel of the food. A texturizing agent is frequently added to increase the shelf life of the food.


All three forms of sodium phosphate can serve as an emulsifier. An emulsifier is added to allow for the uniform dispersion of two or more ingredients that would otherwise be immiscible. The most common specific purpose of an emulsifier is to prevent oil from separating from the rest of the mixture. Sodium phosphate is commonly added as an emulsifying agent to processed cheeses, processed meats and canned soups.


Sodium phosphate may be added to a baked product to help the dough rise. The most common uses of sodium phosphate as a leavening agent are in batter for breaded chicken or fish and commercially sold cakes.


Sodium phosphates can also be added to food to change the surface tension of the liquid components of the food. This is typically done to serve as a foaming or whipping agent.


Sodium phosphate can be added to food to keep it from becoming too acidic or alkaline.


Sodium phosphate can be added to food as a dietary supplement. These compounds provide phosphates which are an essential nutrient.

Article reviewed by MER Last updated on: Aug 11, 2011

Read more:

Is potassium chloride safe as a food preservative?

KCl is generally safe for consumption. It is already sold in a pure state in the spice section of your grocery store as Nu Salt. However, it is more bitter than standard salt. Consuming way too much can cause dehydration since it is a diuretic.

As a preservative, it would not be a good substitute for regular salt (NaCl). It would taste horribly bitter and really dehydrate you.

Also consider that potassium chloride is the 3rd shot in the process of “lethal injection”.

What is “Natural” flavoring?

The definition of natural flavor under the Code of Federal Regulations is: “the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

Certainly a mouthful!

In other words, it could include beef by-products, but not necessarily.

Any other added flavor therefore is artificial. (For the record, any monosodium glutamate, or MSG, used to flavor food must be declared on the label as such). Both artificial and natural flavors are made by “flavorists” in a laboratory by blending either “natural” chemicals or “synthetic” chemicals to create flavorings.

Gary Reineccius, a professor in the department of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota, says that  the distinction between natural and artificial flavorings is based on the source of these often identical chemicals. In fact, he says, “artificial flavorings are simpler in composition and potentially safer because only safety-tested components are utilized.

“Another difference,” says Reineccius, “is cost. The search for natural sources of chemicals often requires that a manufacturer go to great lengths to obtain a given chemical…. This natural chemical is identical to the version made in an organic chemist’s laboratory, yet it is much more expensive than the synthetic alternative.”

End result: We shoppers wind up paying the price for natural flavorings, and according to Reineccius, these are in fact no better in quality, nor are they safer, than their cost-effective artificial counterparts.

So what about the flavorings used in organic foods? Foods certified by the National Organic Program (NOP) must be grown and processed using organic farming methods without synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes, petroleum-based fertilizers and sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic livestock cannot be fed antibiotics or growth hormones. The term “organic” is not synonymous with “natural.” The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) defines “natural” as “a product containing no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed (a process which does not fundamentally alter the raw product) may be labeled natural.” Most foods labeled natural, including its flavorings, are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes.

The NOP food labeling standards (effective October of 2002) include a National List of Allowed Synthetic and Prohibited Substances. This list has a section on allowed non-synthetic substances, some with restrictions (205.605(a)) for products labeled “organic” or “made with organic ingredients.” Four categories of organic labels were approved by the USDA, based on the percentage of organic content: 100% Organic, Organic, Made with Organic Ingredients, and Less than 70% Organic. Natural flavors, then, can be considered NOP compliant as “organic” when used under the 95% rule (flavorings constitute 5% or less of total ingredients and meet that meet the appropriate requirements) if their organic counterparts are not available. “Made with organic ingredients” can be used on any product with at least 70% organically produced ingredients.”

According to the National List, under section 7CFR205.605(a)(9), non-agricultural, non-organic substances are allowed as ingredients that can be labeled as “organic” or “made with organic,” including “flavors, non-synthetic sources only, and must not be produced using synthetic solvents and carrier systems or any artificial preservative.” Other non-synthetic ingredients allowed in this section include: acids such as microbiologically-produced citric acid, dairy cultures, certain enzymes and non-synthetic yeast that is not grown on petrochemical substrates and sulfite waste liquor.

So, the bottom line is that you have to read those labels carefully. “Natural” might not be so natural, and that even some organic foods might contain some of these “natural flavors.” There are still many grey areas for consumers and producers alike.

Research is being done and attempts are being made to produce more organic flavorings, but the process is slow. We as consumers need to be more aware of what ingredients go into our foods and also demand that the government sticks to its responsibility to regulate these ingredients and make sure that the information is discloses on EVERY label.

Phil Lempert is Food Editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to If he uses your question in one of his columns, it may be edited for length and clarity. (Your full name and e-mail address will not be used.) You can also visit his website

Some FactsBelow iRed 40Allura Red AC (also known as Red 40) is a red azo dye that goes by several names including: Allura Red, Food Red 17, C.I. 16035, FD&C Red 40, 2-naphthalenesulfonic acid, 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-, disodium salt, and disodium 6-hydroxy-5-((2-methoxy-5-methyl-4-sulfophenyl)azo)-2-naphthalene-sulfonate. It is used as a food dye and has the E number E129. Allura Red AC was originally introduced in the United States as a replacement for the use of amaranth as a food coloring.

It has the appearance of a dark red powder. It usually comes as a sodium salt but can also be used as both calcium and potassium salts. It is soluble in water. In water solution, its maximum absorbance lies at about 504 nm. Its melting point is at 300 degrees Celsius.

Allura Red AC is one of many High Production Volume Chemicals. Some manufacturers of Allura Red AC include: Asim Products, Sanchi Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., and Warner-Jenkinson Europe Ltd.

Red AC was originally manufactured from coal tar but is now mostly made from petroleum. Despite the popular misconception, Allura Red AC is not derived from any insect, unlike the food coloring carmine which is derived from the female cochineal insect.

Related dyes include Sunset Yellow FCF, Scarlet GN, tartrazine, and Orange B.

Allura Red AC has fewer health risks associated with it in comparison to other azo dyes. However, some studies have found some adverse health effects that may be associated with the dye.

Potential behavioral effects:

On 6 September 2007, the British Food Standards Agency revised advice on certain artificial food additives, including E129. Professor Jim Stevenson from Southampton University, and author of the report, said:

“This has been a major study investigating an important area of research. The results suggest that consumption of certain mixtures of artificial food colors and sodium benzoate preservative are associated with increases in hyperactive behavior in children.”

“However, parents should not think that simply taking these additives out of food will prevent hyperactive disorders. We know that many other influences are at work but this at least is one a child can avoid.”

The following additives were tested in the research:

  • Sunset yellow (E110) (FD&C Yellow #6) – Coloring found in squashes
  • Carmoisine (E122) – Red coloring in jellies
  • Tartrazine (E102) (FD&C Yellow #5) – Yellow coloring
  • Ponceau 4R (E124) – Red coloring
  • Sodium benzoate (E211) – Preservative
  • Quinoline yellow (E104) – Food coloring
  • Allura red AC (E129) (FD&C Red #40) – Orange / red food dye


The study found that increased levels of hyperactivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and lower IQs were observed in children. Based on the study, the UK agency advises that cutting certain artificial colors (Sunset Yellow, Quinoline Yellow WS, Carmoisine, Allura Red, Tartrazine, and Ponceau 4R) from hyperactive children’s diets might have some beneficial effects.

On 10 April 2008, the Foods Standard Agency called for a voluntary removal of the colors (but not sodium benzoate) by 2009. In addition, it recommended that there should be action to phase them out in food and drink in the European Union (EU) over a specified period. The European Food Safety Authority was requested by the UK FSA to review the study, however, and concluded that the study provided only limited evidence for a small, statistically significant effect.[citation needed] On the basis of this, EFSA concluded that the acceptable daily intake of the colors analyzed in the Southampton study did not need to be altered.

UK ministers have agreed that the six colorings will be phased out by 2009.

Want to read more – Click here for the full article on WikipediA