“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.” -Winston Churchill
I picked up my copy of The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham last week after I found myself in a debate about how blue Powerade got to be blue and the risk you put your health in when consuming brightly coloured artificial flavourings. Additives are commonly used in conventional foods to improve colouring, taste, texture, smell and appearance. These additives are often poisonous in large quantities, yet companies are allowed to add them into our food supply. The chemical maze offers insights into the often obscure names and numbers on product and food labels.
Bill Statham opens with this: “Ignorance may once have been bliss; but now it spells danger in our mass-manufactured, profit driven, long shelf life, chemical romanced society.” Most people are aware by now of the potential health risks associated with pesticide and herbicide use, but have you considered the dangers that the toxic ingredients and chemical additives hidden in packaged food have on your health?
Common additives cause or magnify complaints like asthma, hyperactivity, skin rashes, headaches and migraines to name a few conditions. They may also be associated with organ dysfunction, reproductive abnormalities, birth defects and cancer. You might not even be aware that the nasties hidden in your food are causing these symptoms that recur in your body.
Parents should be particularly wary of the food additives and ingredients hidden in the foods they feed to their children. Considering the first seven years of a child’s development are critical for establishing a foundation for their ongoing health, parents should be very concerned. Food additives currently approved for use in Australia are associated with asthma, hyperactivity and learning difficulties in children.
While the toxicity of some chemicals within the long list of numbers detailed in The Chemical Maze may be recognised as relatively low, we cannot dismiss the fact that any compromise to health, regardless of the reasoning is yet another nail in the coffin of our already chemically-overloaded immune systems. We take these foods for granted and consider them to be safe yet they are manipulated, contaminated, adulterated, and generally rendered devoid of nutrition and value.
For a list of the Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid check out this link from Food Matters.
Of course the best way to avoid the effects of harmful toxins and chemicals in our bodies is to simply not eat them. Base your diet on real, whole food (that don’t come from a packet) and when choosing packaged foods, find the most natural products with the shortest ingredients list and with no numbers or long tongue-tying names.
Have you experienced allergic reactions or symptoms like the above when consuming processed and packaged foods? How do you get around eating the numbers?