have fallen in stature since their days as the crowning
achievements of modern nutritional technology. With
the invention of chemical additives in the 1930s,
the storage and shipment of food suddenly became much
easier. Many foods also became cheaper, as spoilage-caused
waste dropped. Consumers could suddenly enjoy the
agricultural bounty of distant lands that had vastly
different growing climates. As the profits of chemical
companies increased, the additive industry expanded
with relentless force. Hundreds and eventually thousands
of additives made their way into the U.S. food chain.
Today, over 3000 additives are used in the U.S. food
These additives have become the defining characteristics
of most processed and packaged foods. Common additives
include coloring and flavoring agents, sweeteners,
preservatives, bleaches, emulsifiers, binders, and
Similar to the case with GM foods, the testing and
research to justify the widespread use of food additives
does not exist. What we do know, however, is that
all chemical additives are artificial. That means
our bodies have to work harder to process and remove
these additives. While some additives serve useful
purposes and appear to be safe for human consumption,
we also know that many others substances are proven
toxins, carcinogens, and allergens.
Consumers are told that small amounts of substances
such as Red Dye #3 are completely safe for human consumption.
This fails to take into account, however, the damaging
effects of these chemicals on the body over time.
After becoming lodged in the tissues of the body,
they can lead to free-radical damage, weakened immune
function, and a host of other medical problems.
Over the last fifty years, our senses have been conditioned
to artificial additives. The taste, look, feel, and
smell of foods are widely governed by these agents.
In the commercial food industry, every measure is
taken to make the nutritionally void appear and taste
appetizing. Crops grown on nutrient-deficient lands
are augmented by artificial tastes and coloring agents.
Even the smells in the typical fast-food meal today
are concocted in chemical labs.
If it seems like the infiltration of additives into
our food is irreversible, consider this fact: while
the United States allows thousands of food chemicals,
some European countries allow fewer than 20. Once
again, we have a case of corporate profits winning
out over collective health. Buying unrefined, fresh,
organic whole foods is a direct way to curb the market
for artificial food products.