A recent study conduced by Italian researchers found that two commonly used food additives have the ability to alter human hormones. From The Daily Green:
More than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added to food in the United States, and none of them are required to undergo testing for estrogenic activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The two suspect additives are:
1. propyl gallate – used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling. Used in baked goods, shortening, dried meats, candy, fresh pork sausage, mayonnaise and dried milk.
2. 4-hexyl resorcinol – prevents shellfish such as shrimp and lobsters from discoloring.
What you need to know:
Food additives are part of food, and always have been. Sugar, salt, and vinegar are probably the oldest known kinds of additives, used as preservatives. Other additives are used to preserve or enhance coloring, improve a food’s texture or viscosity, and to add vitamins and minerals.
As food engineering advances, so do the chemical compounds that make up the various additives. Unfortunately, not all effects of a certain chemical are immediately apparent. It may take decades to understand that a certain compound is responsible for averse health conditions.
Additives won’t be going away any time soon. The B2B market for additives is projected to grow to $33 Billion in a few years!
What to do at the supermarket:
By law, a product’s ingredient list must show the additives used. If you see a long list with unknown terms, you can be sure that some are additives. The best way to avoid them is to buy minimally or non processed foods, usually found in the outer perimeter of the supermarket. These basic products require you to cook, bake, or otherwise prepare them. It will take you more time and effort than popping a TV dinner in the microwave, but you’ll enjoy a healthier and tastier meal.
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