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What Are the Dangers of Preservatives?
Manufacturers use preservatives in many products that you eat and depend on for health. Many companies also use them in cosmetics. The intent of preservative use is well-meaning, because they prevent botulism, mold and bacteria, which gives products a longer shelf life and protect you from illness. Unfortunately, many preservatives have dangerous side effects that cause cancers, hyperactivity, nervous system damage and other problems.
Many soda manufacturers use sodium benzoate to prevent mold. This chemical can damage mitochondria in cells, which leads to neuro-degenerative diseases. Professor Andrew Kemp from the University of Sydney mentions in an editorial that children “were significantly more hyperactive after they ate a mixture of food colorings and a preservative [sodium benzoate].”
Sodium nitrate, which is found in many packaged meats like hot dogs, sausages and bacon, is used as a curing agent. The curing of meats reduces the possibility for botulism-causing bacteria. Although MeatSafety.org, a website sponsored by the American Meat Institute trade association, says that sodium nitrate is “safe in the levels used” according to a study done by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, some studies link pancreatic and lung cancers to an increased consumption of meats containing sodium nitrate.
Food manufacturers use propyl gallate as a stabilizer in packaged meats, dried milk, candy, potato chips and baked goods. It is also used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The National Toxicology Program reports that this preservative causes prostate inflammation and tumors of the thyroid, brain and pancreas.
Many bread companies still use potassium bromate to strengthen bread dough. Although countries like Britain and Canada banned the preservative as a carcinogen because significant evidence shows that it causes cancerous kidney and thyroid tumors in rats, it is still found in some baked goods in the United States. Potassium bromate is especially dangerous if the food product is not baked long enough at a high enough temperature.
BHA & BHT
Food manufacturers use BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) to prevent oxygenation. This keeps many breads and snack foods fresh for longer periods of time because the fats cannot turn rancid from exposure to oxygen. The Center for Science in the Public Interest cites studies which show that BHA causes cancer in animals. It also asserts that the safety of BHT is unproven.
Mamas, there is nothing better for you body than eating fresh, natural, whole foods- eating clean. I challenge you to not buy or consume anything for the rest of the challenge that has preservatives in it. Shop around the outsides of the store. It is easier than you think. Your body will thank you and you will feel and look great!