What the Hexametaphosophate Is In My Food?!
By Lisa Johnson
Food is not what it used to be. Former generations didn’t have to worry about the high chemical component of the foods they were purchasing at the grocery store. When grandma went to the store to get a loaf of bread there were normal ingredients in it, like wheat, honey, yeast, and salt, or she just made it herself at home. These days if you can make a loaf of bread at home you are considered to be a real pioneer woman! I lament the lost knowledge and wisdom of old ways of living, the times when food was food and we knew how to get it from the ground to our bellies!
I became aware of the abnormalities of our food ingredients one day when I looked at a food label to determine the nutritional content. As I began reading, I started to question the very long and unpronounceable ingredient list… just what the heck is Hexametaphosophate or disodium EDTA and why is it in my food? I discovered that most packaged “food” was actually a chemical mixture of food-like substances. The taste made me think I was eating something that was feeding my body well, but instead it was just tricking my brain into thinking I was. The more food labels I read, the more I became aware that the long aisles of “food” on the shelves in the grocery store was really just a gigantic science experiment; unfortunately, no one told me that I was the guinea pig!
So what does it matter? If it tastes good it must be good right?! It is advertised as healthy so it must be healthy. The manufacturer would not dare mislead consumers and all of this is approved by the FDA? The government is here to protect us, right? Here is an entertaining, wholesome, well filmed video that explains the relationship between our food manufacturers and the FDA and why it matters not just for us, but for future generations. When you have a former big wig from a chemical company sitting on the board of the FDA, be sure there is a little bit of collusion going on behind the scenes.
A favorite quote from my daughter; “Mom I really want cheese puffs, can you please not read the label?”
Yes I read labels. All of them. I am that person in the grocery aisle reading the food label then putting box after box back onto the shelf. My keyword search includes the words; hydrogenated, maltodextrin, aspartame, corn syrup solids, corn syrup, aluminum, artificial flavoring, Monosodium Glutamate, BHA and BHT, and Potassium Bromate to name a few. A great place to find out what these chemicals are and to help make a decision whether or not to eat them is the Be Food Smart Ingredient Database. I want to know if the chemicals I am consuming are irritating to the skin, cause asthma, kidney problems, or even cancer. When I see that a chemical compound like Disodium EDTA is “debatable as to its safety for humans”. Yet, it is found in soda, canned beans, sauces, dressing, and spreads. I want to make an educated choice whether to put it in my body or not.
Two of the main sentiments I get from people that are not concerned about chemicals in the food are; I like the way it tastes and it’s not a big deal if it’s just a little bit.
Let’s consider the first opinion, keeping in mind the CDC’s description of Food Flavorings;
“Flavorings are often complex mixtures of natural and manmade substances. The Food and Drug Administration evaluates flavoring ingredients to determine whether they are “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) to be eaten. Even if they are safe to eat, these ingredients might still be harmful to breathe in the forms and amounts to which food and chemical industry workers may be exposed.”
An additional excerpt from the same publication highlights the cost for the flavor and smell of microwave popcorn;
“In general, flavoring chemicals are very volatile, so they evaporate into the air from their liquid or solid form and can be easily inhaled. They can also be inhaled in the form of a powder if airborne dust is created in the production process. Many of these chemicals are highly irritating to the eyes, respiratory tract, and skin. At flavoring and microwave popcorn production plants where workers developed severe lung disease, workers routinely handled or were exposed to open vessels containing flavorings or their chemical ingredients.”
The chemicals butter is harming the workers in the factory! Why are we eating fake chemical butter and flavoring instead of being satisfied with the real deal? People are being desensitized to the taste of real food and taught to believe these chemicals are the way food is supposed to taste. Natural applesauce is now no longer sweet enough although the natural sugars are about 23 grams compared to unnaturally sweetened apple sauce which has up to 36 grams.
“A little bit of chemical flavoring in my food is not that big of a deal”.
I believe it is. When you have a little of a particular chemical in one food and then a little of the same chemical in another 2 or 3 items in your shopping cart, then into your body, you now have a cumulative effect. The amazing article “Overloaded: approaches to assess cumulative effects of food additives on brain development” exposes that the FDA did not establish a method to group related food additives based on their cumulative biological effects and why we need more research before we ingest these chemicals. One additive by itself may not be enough to cause harm; however when you start mixing different chemicals or large doses of chemicals found in numerous food sources our health is being dramatically affected. Feel free to check out this article on preservatives in your fast food.
So what can we do? Eat Fresh, Think Fresh! Eat organic whenever possible. Ditch the prepackaged processed foods for fresh foods, grow your own vegetable garden, and educate yourself! Just because it’s on the store shelf does not mean it is actually food. Here is a link to the “Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15” If you cannot afford to buy solely organic produce, you can at least see which ones carry the highest pesticide risks and which ones are the lowest. Start with one food item and swap it for a non-chemical item. I started with bread.
Courage Sowers will continue to post our solutions to living a more chemical free lifestyle. We choose to oppose the synthetic food assault by gardening, food preservation, eating fresh, and meal prepping. The only way we can fight effectively is with our wallets. If we continue to defund the synthetic food industry they will not be able to endure.
My friend and wellness coach, Laura Vann always says “I would rather pay the money NOW for organic food instead of paying the GREATER price for my health later.” How many farm fresh vegetables can you purchase for the price of an overnight stay in a hospital? Food is essential for life!
I encourage you to be a fearless label reader and take the time to educate yourself on the corporate food system!