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No news to share. On with preservatives.

Preservatives can be natural or man-made and are necessary to keep food from going bad and to prevent foodborne illness.  We add preservatives to allow for food to be shipped all over the world and to arrive with plenty of shelf-life. As with dyes and artificial additives, we have crossed over to use far too many artificially made preservatives.

Just like with additives, the body does not know how to process preservatives and thus stores them in our bodies. In recent studies preservatives have shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, reproductive abnormalities, testicular cancer, prostate disorders, and sperm problems in boys exposed to it at a young age ( Studies also show an increase in hyperactive behavior from children who ingest preservatives, dyes, and additives. The list goes on and on. Just do a search in Google on ‘preservatives’ and up pops hundreds of articles stating all of the reasons why you shouldn’t consume them, along with the risks of eating foods containing chemical preservatives. Here is a small list below of just some, not all, of the preservatives we consume.

Some common preservatives used are:

  • Benzoates and sorbates- used in the preservation of many beverages, jams, pickled products, salads,cheesemeat and margarines. Might cause cancer.
  • Butylated hydroxytoluene/ hydroxyanisole; tert-butylhydroquinone; BHA and BHT, propyl gallate - used in oils and lipids to prevent it from becoming rancid. Causes cancer in rats.
  • Citric and ascorbic acids (vitamin C) – Used for cutting down the phenolase action in fresh cut vegetables and fruits.
  • EDTA (ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid) – Also used to preserve freshly cut fruits and vegetables
  • Heptyl Paraben – This preservative, found in beer and non-carbonated soft drinks, is relatively uncommon. Although studies suggest it is safe, it has never been tested in the presence of alcohol, so it may pose unknown safety risks.
  • Nitrites and nitrates – used mostly in packaged meat.
  • Sodium Nitrite (Sodium Nitrate)-is used as a preservative, coloring and flavoring in bacon, ham, hot dogs, luncheon meats, corned beef, smoked fish and other processed meats. These additives can lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. Some studies have found a link between consuming cured meats with nitrites and cancer in humans.
  • Propionates – used for preserving bakery products
  • Sodium Benzoate (aka Benzoic Acid)- This preservative is used in fruit juice, carbonated drinks and pickles to help prevent the growth of microorganisms in these acidic foods. Sodium benzoate may cause hives, asthma, or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, and may adversely affect behavior in children, particularly those with ADHD.
    Further, when sodium benzoate is used alongside ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in an acidic solution, a reaction occurs that causes the formation of benzene, which causes cancer.
    Though generally safe for most people, sulfites used in wine and dried fruits can cause severe allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to it.
    U.S. officials and members of the beverage industry have known about this problem for some 15 years, and drink makers were supposed to reformulate their products to prevent the problem over a decade ago.
    However, tests have uncovered that some beverages still contain high levels of benzene, particularly when exposed to high heat, raising consumer concerns and prompting the filing of a class-action lawsuit.
  • Sulfites – used as a preservative in dried fruits, wines (particularly red wines) and fruit juices. Sulfiting agents destroy vitamin B-1 and may cause severe allergic reactions, particularly among people with asthma.
  • Sulphur Dioxide – Preservative in a wide range of food products.
  • Ultra Pasteurization- Not technically an additive, ultra-pasteurization refers to a type of high-temperature processing that gives milk and dairy products an extended shelf life of up to 50 days. Also known as “ultra-high temperature” (UHT), this process may damage the fragile components of milk, for instance flattening milk proteins so that enzymes can no longer help break them down.
    According to Lee Dexter, microbiologist and owner of White Egret Farm goat dairy in Austin, Texas, stated in a Weston A. Price article, “If such proteins pass into the bloodstream (a frequent occurrence in those suffering from “leaky gut,” a condition that can be brought on by drinking processed commercial milk), the body perceives them as foreign proteins and mounts an immune response. That means a chronically overstressed immune system and much less energy available for growth and repair.”

Some preservatives are fine while others are risky and should be avoided. I will include all of the additional sites where you can see massive lists of preservatives to avoid.

So, the question is, how do I avoid them? First, stop buying processed foods and purchase fresh fruits and vegetables grown locally, preferrably from a repuatble organic farm. Make everything from scratch unless you can guarantee that the ingredients are safe. If you want a turkey sandwich for lunch, plan ahead. Don’t go to the deli and buy the sliced processed meat. Cook a turkey breast and slice it for your sandwich. Read the labels and buy foods that state “no preservatives or artificial additives.” This doesn’t have to be hard. Someone once told me, “If you can’t grow it, pick it, or milk it, then don’t eat it.” That is a pretty simple way to look at it.

If you are short on time, like many of us are, do what we do. We keep things really simple in our house when it comes to cooking. We eat a lot of the same things. You’ll probably find this funny, but I’m not the cook in the house. Not because I don’t want to cook or can’t cook. It is because I originated from Pennsylvania where comfort foods are the norm. I now live in Nevada with a high amount of health conscious people and eating styles. My husband loves to cook and is an amazing chef. He makes everything from scratch. We decide every Sunday what we are going to cook for the week and he goes to Costco, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. He cooks once, maybe twice, in an entire week. How? Well, we decide on 1 or 2 different meals for the week. He then cooks them on Sunday and Monday night and then we reheat those meals for dinner each night. We do the same for lunch. One or two nights of cooking and the rest is easy. We all know what we are eating every day and it is a no brainer. We also use the crock pot a lot. Throw in some carrots and a roast and you’re done. Bake chicken or lamb chops in the oven. Steam some veggies and your dinner is made. Breakfast is easier. Eggs and a green vegetable or oatmeal. When you plan on eating leftovers for a week it makes life easier and creates less mess to clean up each night. Plus, you are always eating healthy. No last minute runs to McDonald’s.

Here are the links to many sites with additional info on the preservatives to avoid:

Medical Disclaimer: Certain sections of this Blog deal with health and medical related issues.  Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on Any information received from this blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure. This site is for information purposes only. The information on this blog is not intended to replace proper medical care.

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  1. manuel

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    July 30, 20144:25 am

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