It is good to see that the mainstream media is now calling out potentially problematic food additives. The reason? They cast a wide net and can potentially reach tens of thousands of consumers. In this latest media report from Business Insider several food chemicals we have reported on as potential chemicals of concern are highlighted:
8 unhealthy ingredients that could be hiding in your kids’ lunch
“Your go-to lunch choices might be hiding some unhealthy ingredients.
While it’s not always possible to pack a perfectly healthy lunch every day of the week, it’s worth knowing which sneaky, unhealthy ingredients and health risks to watch out for…”
Artificial sweeteners could be hiding in drinks and snacks.
According to a recent study conducted by Experimental Biology, the overconsumption of sugar substitutes can yield similar results. As noted in Time magazine’s “The problem with sugar-free kids,” over 85,000 frequently purchased foods contain six Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved high-intensity sweeteners.
Time explained, “Many parents don’t even know all the products that artificial sweeteners are in. Nearly half of waters (both plain and flavored) contain them, as well as more than a third of yogurts.”
Food additives are often used to preserve food.
…the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), revealed over 10,000 FDA-approved additives are often used to preserve, package, or modify common foods. However, the AAP’s “Food Additives and Child Health” policy indicated a correlation between additive consumption and developmental, hormonal, and weight challenges in children.
Such additives include synthetic artificial food colors, commonly found in processed foods and beverages like fruit juices, and nitrates/nitrites (often used in processed meats, fish, and cheese).
The AAP advised parents to purchase fresh or frozen products and avoid processed foods whenever possible.
Phthalates are typically found in packaging.
According to CNN, “Phthalates are potentially harmful chemicals found in… the plastics used in food processing and packaging.”
According to the piece, scientists believe there could be a connection between phthalate exposure and behavior problems, hormonal disruptions, childhood obesity, cancer, and a host of other conditions.
The story also examined a study published by Environment International— indicating an increase in phthalate levels of adolescents who dined at cafeterias and restaurants.
Ami Zota, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University and a leading author on the study, told CNN the increase was likely due to plastic-softening additives called plasticizers found in mass food preparation products like plastic gloves and food tubing.
One way to avoid this could be packing lunches at home to avoid cafeteria food as often as possible.
To read about other hidden ingredients you my want to avoid go here.