Healthy Eating
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Food Additives - do we even know what they are?

Pick up almost any container of food and you;ll see a lengthy list of chemical ingredients, most of which only a professional chemist could explain. Have they been properly tested to ensure their safety in our bodies? Has money, and the potential profits to pharmaceutical companies done the talking? Have government agencies chosen to 'overlook the odd danger' in return for the tax revenues that big companies generate? In the USA a food tester was convicted of receiving $50,000 from a pharmaceutical company for 'passing' a chemical additive as 'safe' when it was later shown to have been 'passed' without any proper testing. Is this the tip of an iceberg? Some of this stuff can take up to thirty years for its cumulative effects to show up in a human body / mind. And some, it seems, have now been shown to cause hormonal changes - even affecting your perception of your own gender. The plot thickens. But what can we the public do? Answers in a plain brown envelope!

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Hi Brydon2018,

This is why many of us do not eat processed foods and cook our food from scratch.

This is a very good list of E-no's that explains types and their sources, please see:

duncanlock.net/pages/e-numb...

I'm a great believer in 'us' the consumer knowing exactly what we are eating and I for one vote with my pocket...

Jerry 😊

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Hi Brydon2018,

I try to avoid processed foods and cook from scratch, and I have to say I'm glad I try to do that, as I've just looked at that very extensive list that Jerry has posted, and wow, there are so many E-numbers out there in the processed foods. I'd prefer to avoid them, whenever possible.

Hope you are having a great week.

Zest :-)

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Hi Brydon

I’m assuming that most testing on additives will be to see if they are toxic, likely to cause death etc, but not to test their effects on overall health. There are some studies showing the adverse effect of emulsifiers on the gut of mice, which may well apply to humans.

livescience.com/54839-food-...

As Jerry and Zest have said, best to avoid processed foods as much as possible..

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The public can start thinking & acting, & maybe read a little instead of staring at the magic box of mistruth & disinformation.

I posted an article by Mark Hyman a few months ago, where he talks about "food-like" substances as opposed to food. Most additives have to be tested on critters to find a supposedly safe point that isn't toxic, though they're rarely tested for safety in combination. As I remember, a substance is safe when it takes 400 times an amount to kill a critter, though that's something that stuck in my head from a lecture circa 1990. I read somewhere, since, that M&M workers have to wear hazmat suits for handling the toxic colourings, & people give that stuff to kids as a treat.

I also posted a link about half of the "food" sold in supermarkets as being processed. (Sorry no links, I spend ages looking to find my past posts have vanished). I have to admit to cringing when I see what's in people's baskets at the supermarket, & stare in horror when I go past junk food outlets with people stuffing their faces with diabetes & cancer causing c**p. It seems normal that so many people have accepted trash as their dietary default, exacerbated with an inability to cook even basic meals with real food ingredients. The government & food industry need a good kick up the a**e for wrecking the NHS with preventable lifestyle diseases, & my conspiracy theory is they're in cahoots & getting backhanders from pharmaceutical companies. Nutrition & cooking need to be taught properly in schools, so that people can be better informed & eat properly instead of obsessing over unhealthy television food porn! Just think what someone could make in the 30-60 minutes it takes to watch one of those programmes?

ps Found links: theguardian.com/science/201...

healthunlocked.com/healthye...

healthunlocked.com/healthye...

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>> The government & food industry need a good kick up the a**e for wrecking the NHS with preventable lifestyle diseases, & my conspiracy theory is they're in cahoots & getting backhanders from pharmaceutical companies.

This. Eye-watering amounts of money being poured down the toilet on diseases that could be prevented (or at least reduced substantially). There are really only three possible explanations: utter incompetence, wilful ignorance, and corruption. Maybe it's all three? Wouldn't be the first time in human history. The press don't help with the 'fat shaming' nonsense and similar memes, which tend to normalize disease and symptoms of disease. They achieve this by conflating BLAME with CONTROL: it might not be an individual's FAULT that they're fat and unhealthy (incorrect information about food is pervasive and persuasive) but everyone ultimately has the power to learn how food works, how bodies work, and how they can make themselves better.

Incidentally, food manufacturers have a new thing going on called "clean label". In one way it's a laudable effort - in that they're attempting to use proper ingredients - but inevitably the fallback position is spin and half-truths, because microwave meals with a long shelf life, low price, and appetizing appearance just aren't possible without a bit of food-science jiggery-pokery. A lot of them, for example, are still full of 'modified starch' - custom-engineered polysaccharides with specific mechanical properties. They sound innocuous, but they aren't actually starches (they have various chemical substitutions) and nobody actually knows what they do to humans long-term.

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I try to eat only those "processed" foods which have simple ingredients. If I can't pronounce it or the list is longer than me it doesn't go in my basket. I generally batch cook my own "ready meals" and freeze them. e.g. I'll make the filling for a pie and freeze it in portions then I just need to make the topping and pop it in the oven when I want it for dinner.

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Most of the processed food we buy contains class 2 preservatives such as KMS or sodium benzoate.

SOdium Benzoate is considered as cancer inducing if taken above certain level, that's why countries in their food laws have put legal restrictions on the amount to put in any packaged food.

But the problem is that the law is not enforced properly and the manufacture take advantage of this by putting the chemicals above the recommended level.

For example, In India the government has limited the quantity of sodium benzoate to 1% but you can find food items with as high as 8%.

So its better to limit these foods as much as possible

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Most of the foods I eat have just one ingredient, and that is often unlabelled except on the tray on the shop shelf they are bought from. Perfect.

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