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Monday, December 13, 2010

Care to dine on Chemicals?

Dining on chemicals sounds pretty gross right? However, many of us do not take the time to read labels. Whether its a food label or a hygiene product we seem to think that the words on the label like "Natural," "Pure" or "Clean" actually mean something. However, most of the time we are using dangerous chemicals that we wouldn't actually eat or drink. Take a look at the small list below or browse out to the main site and then review your prepackaged foods. Take a few minutes to review the items you frequently eat and drink and see if there are any chemicals that might be of concern.

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Acesulfame Potassium - May cause cancer. This is found in diet soda, chewing gum, no-sugar-added baked goods and desserts

Artificial and Natural Flavorings - May contain MSG or HVP. Found in breakfast cereals, candy, soda, and many other foods

Aspartame (NutraSweet) - May increase the risk of leukemia, lymphoma, breast cancer, dizziness, hallucinations, headaches. Found in frozen desserts, diet soda, tabletop sweetener (Equal).

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) - Small residues of BVO remain in the body fat, but it is unclear what, if any long-term risks exist. Found in Soft Drinks

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) - Based on animal studies this is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" says the federal government's National Toxicology Program. Found in cereals, chewing gum, oil, potato chips.

Caffeine - May interfere with sound sleep, cause jitteriness, mildly addictive, causes headaches, irritability, may increase the risk of miscarriage or rare birth defects. Found in soft drinks, flavored waters and naturally occurs in coffee, tea, cocoa and chocolate.

Casein - If allergic to milk avoid. Used as a thickening agent, found in coffee creamer, ice cream, ice milk, ice milk.

Cochineal or Carmine - May cause a range of allergic reactions. Coloring made from the bodies of pulverized insects - TASTY! Found in beverages, candy, ice cream, yogurt.

Corn Syrup - Promotes tooth decay and has no nutritional value. Found in beverages, cake, candy, cereals, cookies, syrup, yogurt.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) - Contains MSG. Found in beef stew, frankfurters, instant soup, sauce mixes.

*Adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, May 2008 "Chemical Cuisine: A guide to food additives"

These are just a few of the chemicals typically found in prepackaged products.

More detailed list found here: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

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