The following is the most comprehensive article about food labels that you could possibly want. If you are not a label reader, it may be a good idea to try in the future. You can gain a lot of knowledge about that product to make an informed decision on whether you want to spend your money for economic and/or health reasons.
Ever since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906, have we had so much food adulteration occurring in our food supply. Here is the current problem:
- Food allergies are on the rise that began about 2007. Many allergic reactions can cause a serious health crisis (i.e. anaphylaxis) which can be fatal.
- This anomaly occurs primarily in the U.S. and is less common in most other countries in the world.
- Despite the widely known fact that correlation does not equal causation, research suggests a causative factor may be something in the U.S. environment (food supply).
- The food supply currently has many new ingredients that did not exist in the past; some or one of these may be triggering subtle reactions of our immune system since its primary function is to recognize foreign proteins.
- GMO ingredients are just one of these relatively recent additions and critics suggest a connection with allergic reactions. Another possibility is that intentional food additives have been added without proper safety testing such as emulsifiers, artificial colors or flavors, for example. One unintentional additive includes the explosive use of glyphosate on food crops, and is a widely used herbicide. The World Health Organization suggests it may be carcinogenic although this has not yet been officially established.
- Food allergies are contributing to burgeoning health care costs as well as affecting our health, especially our children.
What can we do? Recent surveys indicate that consumers want GMO labeling and have expressed a growing interest in fewer ingredients and more organic choices. The problem is enhanced by the fact that some of these ingredients are controversial as to their toxicity potential. More clarification is certainly needed.
FYI: A proposal to label GMO foods was on the 2012 ballot in California and designated as Prop 37. By the way, the legislation did not pass. For a previous post, CLICK HERE.
When you read those long lists of ingredients on a processed food label, you may be finding some that do us no favors. Check out the following article about some common ones found in varying amounts that may affect our “friendly” bacteria of the microbiome. Not only are our friendly bacteria affected, but our overall diet may also encourage more harmful species of bacteria to flourish or contribute to antibiotic resistance, a serious problem.
A previous post HERE discusses the microbiome and its proposed functions that can contribute to our overall health.
Amazing !! Will this be a trend? Will more companies see that some changes are needed in our present food culture? Maybe.
Food additives are listed on the ingredient lists of packaged food products. There are many that have been used for decades. If they were used before 1958 when the Food Additives Amendment was passed, they are considered prior-sanctioned substances since they were already in common use. Another group of substances were described as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) . Both these categories were excluded from the food additive regulation process. Just because an additive is on either of these lists doesn’t mean it’s safe. if new evidence emerges that suggests it is unsafe, the FDA may take action to remove the substance from food products. Some ingredients are not welcomed by consumers recently. To see the most common ones:
A lot more attention is being paid by consumers as to what is actually in the foods we eat. The ingredient list is one way to find out. In general, the longer the ingredient list, the more reason to stay away from the product. The trend is to simplify the ingredients and begin to keep them as simple as possible – i.e. ingredients the consumer can understand.
Have you ever really read an ingredient list on a food label? An article from Fooducate is very informative on what a few of these commonly used ingredients really are and what they do. Campbells is trying to clean up labels using more real food ingredients. Interesting!!! Sounds like a good idea.