We’ve given you a ton of information on cosmetic ingredients to avoid, and since starting to sell food, we have had a lot of requests to provide similar information on which preservatives and additives should be avoided in food. We’ll do our best, but bottom line is that we urge you to bring as much fresh food into your diet as possible. It does mean that you have to shop more regularly and that your fridge will swing from being full to empty a lot quicker, but you will be doing a great justice to your body, mind and soul.
Have you Tried our Growing Selection of Organic Foods?
You should! Every single product has been carefully selected because it has been ethically produced and is good for you and your family. This is the future of food that we want – help us support this growing market by treating yourself with these delicious healthy treats! Visit our organic food section now.
We believe that fresh and natural is best for you. It has been said in the past that our view point is too simple, but that’s ok. We believe that intelligence and elegance come hand in hand with simplicity and so if our viewpoint or policy comes across as being simple, we’ll take it as a compliment.
When you have little choice however, to reach for foods that have been preserved or tampered with, we hope that the guideline below will give you some peace in deciding what to add to your shopping basket and what to leave on the supermarket shelves.
But why is our food being tampered with in the first place? Basically, preservatives and additives are added to food to slow down the
natural process of decomposition. They prevent bacterial, mould, and yeast growth and preserve the colour and flavour of our foods. Synthetic preservatives,
which are generally known to be harmful, are found in most of our foods and so it can be very hard to avoid these. But there are also many natural
preservatives such as salt, vinegar, and sugar which are starting to appear more frequently in stores like ours.
Furthermore, food additives in and of themselves don’t always connote something “bad” and there are some additives you don’t need to avoid such as the ones listed below. For example, anti-oxidants like ascorbic acid which refers to vitamin C and tocopherol which is actually vitamin E are good for you in the right doses and they help prevent spoilage, flavour changes and loss of colour caused by exposure to the air.
The list of preservatives and additives to be avoided is so long, that we have put together a list of those that are ok – try and avoid everything else. To balance this, we have put together a list of what is believed to be the worst of the bunch.
Preservatives and Additives that DON’T Need to Be Avoided:
Vitamin C – Ascorbic Acid
E300, 301, 302, 304
Vitamin E- tocopherol
E306, 307, 308, 309
Mono and diglycerides
Alginate – derived from seaweed
E401, E402, E403
Casein – a milk protein
Gum Acacia (Gum Arabic)
E330, E301, E302, E303
Sorbic Acid & Sorbates
E200, E201, E202, E203
or Hydrogen Carbonate
Propionic Acid and Propionates
Why not print these tables out so that you can keep them in your wallet?
Some of the Worst Preservatives and Additives that DO Need to Be Avoided:
Banned in the U.S. Avoid if you suffer from asthma, rhinitis, urticaria or other allergies.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Has been known to cause pressure on the head, seizures, chest pains, headache, nausea, burning sensations, and tightness of face. Many baby food producers have stopped adding MSG to their products.
Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphites
E220, E221, E226
Sulphites destroy vitamin B1, are linked to hyperactivity, and can cause severe reactions–especially in asthmatics. They have caused at least 12 known deaths, and there are probably many more unknown deaths linked to sensitivity to these chemicals. Some people lack the enzyme needed to break these down. Sulphur Dioxide is derived from coal tar.
May cause allergic reactions and asthmatic attacks and has been implicated in bouts of hyperactivity disorder in children. Those who suffer from asthma, rhinitis and urticaria may find symptoms worsen after consumption.
E249, E250, E251, E252
Carcinogenic. Are meant to be controlled so that they do not form hazardous quantities. Children and babies in particular need to be kept away from nitrates. Can cause intestinal disorders and skin upsets. Highly restricted in some countries.
Carcinogenic, and can cause tumours. Adverse reactions to BHA are common and include
hyperactivity, asthma attacks, and allergies. Our limit should be only 1 gm a day, and infants and thin persons may be more susceptible to toxicity. Higher quantities can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, as well as confusion and dizziness. BHT is banned in Japan, Romania, Sweden, and Australia, and the US does not permit it to be used in baby food. BHA is banned in Japan, too. Both are derived from petroleum.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) includes the artificial sweeteners aspartame, saccharine, and acesulfame K as part of their list of the Ten Worst Additives; all three of these sweeteners have been found to cause cancer in animals and may increase your risk of cancer.
Benzoic Acid & Sodium Benzoate
Both cause dermatitis (pseudoallergy) and eczema, and these reactions are worse in people with asthma or urticaria (rash). They may be carcinogenic. Benzoic Acid is also used as an active ingredient in cough syrup and ointments. It may cause neurological disorders and react with sulphites. Sodium Benzoate is an active ingredient in many oral medications.
Saccharin & its Na, K amp; Ca salts
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that saccharin is possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Sunset Yellow, FCF Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6
Some animal studies have indicated growth retardation and severe weight loss. People with asthma, rhinitis, or urticaria should avoid this additive.
Stannous Chloride (tin)
Acute poisoning has been reported from ingestion of fruit juices containing concentrations of tin greater than 250 mg per litre.
May affect people with PKU (phenylketonuria). Recent reports show possibility of headaches, blindness, and seizures with long-term high doses of aspartame.
Please note: Benzoic Acid & Sodium Benzoate are used in some of our skin care ranges, because although
they are food grade preservative that are harmful when ingested they have excellent skin compatability. Certification bodies like the Soil Association standards do allow them.