Alphabet Soup – What is in Our Food?

toxic food ingredients

food ingredients

It was over 8 years ago when I found out I had Celiac’s disease. And it became the beginning of a long journey for me. For the first couple years I brought a list of ingredients that were off limits to me. After a while I got use to that list, knowing what had hidden gluten in it, and of course what didn’t. But in the last couple years I’ve started reading my labels more closely – Things don’t look right! There is added chemicals, colors, flavors and more.

We are eating more a clean diet in our house, and we feel better for it. That’s not to say we don’t eat some junk, or that I don’t have a large glass of soda next to me. But what it does mean is we are more aware of what we’re putting in our systems. We are selective about what we eat, what we drink and what the decide to enjoy we learn what is in it.

ingredients list

Remember I’m not a doctor, or even play one on TV, but I do a lot of research. Part of this was spurred by my allergies and my boyfriends food sensitivities. Part of it out of curiosity (that later turns to horror). And my students know that I will tell them what’s in their food and most likely ruin their appetite for it.

I’m not here to tear down anyone’s food choices, but maybe encourage you to do your own research. My biggest questions start when I see things as simple as pickles with food coloring in them, dill flavoring instead of real dill. Yes it’s cheaper, but why are we compromising our health as well as flavor for a few hundredth of a cent. Yes money is tight, but honestly I’d rather be healthy and have better ingredients over all.

These are some of the ingredients we avoid, and just a bit of the reasoning behind it. Be sure to do some more research to find the best options for you!

BVO: Also known as Brominated Vegetable Oil. You will find this most often in citrus type sodas. Bromine is a radioactive element, when it is combined with the vegetable oil it helps keep the drink separated. The FDA says that it’s safe for consumption, but studies have shown that it inhibits thyroid function as well as causes other health issues.

Click here for more information on BVO

Aspertame/Amino Sweet: This is a synthetic sweetener that is 200 times sweeter than sugar. It’s in most “low sugar/fat” products you find, and is in the sugar alternative packets you can find at the coffee stand or at the restaurant. It is cheap to make, but has been linked to migraines, cancers and many other health issues.

Click here for more information on Aspertame

Vanillin: Also known as Ethyl Vanillin is a mass produced chemical used as fake vanilla flavor in many products. It is used in initiation vanilla extract since the flavor is stronger than natural vanilla flavor. It is often made from the off product from paper factories. It can be an eye and skin irritant, and is often used in food as well perfume.

Click here for more information on Vanillin 

PGPR: Also known as Polyglycerol polyricinoleate is a new chemical compound on the food additive scene. It is an emulsifying additive that is put in a lot of chocolates to cut cost. Basically they take out the cocoa butter and add in PGPR to cut the costs. Isn’t cocoa butter what makes it chocolate in the first place? Well one of the key ingredients! I’m not a fan of eating pure chemicals instead of my lovely chocolate. I’m looking at you Hershey… why are you messing with my chocolate?! OK so the FDA says there isn’t any known health issues from it – but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

Click here for more information on PGPR

Phosphoric Acid: This bad boy is in your soda and a lot of other places. It’s highly corrosive and shouldn’t touch your skin. It can burn your eyes, and in  lab has to be handled carefully. Yet – we drink it. Tasty right?

Click here for more information on Phosphoric Acid 

Ethyl: or Ethyl Alcohol has been linked in some studies to cancer, liver and gastro-intestinal toxicity. You find it in food, nail polish, air fresheners and more.

Click here for more information on Ethyl

Propylene glycol: This bad boy is in any food that has fake blueberries. But it’s also what they put in antifreeze and other things. The FDA says it’s generally safe to eat but has been linked to respiratory issues, skin issues, urinary track issues and more.

Click here for more information on Propylene Glycol 

TBHQ – TBHQ is a preservative – I found that bad boy on taco shells the other day. Also called tert-Butylhydroquinone – but what the heck is it?! It’s preservative made from Butane – yup the same stuff you light fires with. It can cause vomiting, delirium, ringing in your ears and nausea as well as other issue. The FDA allows .02% in your food, but that’s enough to cause some damage.

Click here for more information on TBHQ

I’m sure there are plenty of more out there, I encourage you to do research on all of these and others. The more you read your ingredients, you are going to start questions more. Do you feel like you’re eating a lot of alphabet soup when you read the ingredient lists on your food?

What is the ingredient or additive you avoid? What would you add to this list?



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