If you are like me, you avoid processed foods as much as possible with perhaps a few exceptions. In my case that may be tinned tomatoes or tuna. Foods that are pickled like capers or…well, pickles, are something else you may find in my refrigerator. These are traditional foods with one or few ingredients preserved with either an acidic medium, salt or oil so the ingredients list is often one plus the preserving media.
However, increasingly seemingly simple foods like supermarket ‘flavoured’ teas or even apple juice have either ‘flavouring’ or ‘nature identical flavouring’ added. Strange, isn’t it? Why would apple juice or orange juice or that new tea with ‘Natural’ in large letters on the box need ‘flavouring’?
‘Nature Identical Flavouring’ or aroma is…not natural. It is laboratory produced.
To create new flavor additives, chemists sometimes use fungal and tissue cultures—both of which can produce flavorings classified as “natural.
Step back a moment and understand that all foods have natural chemicals in a synergistic balance that gives flavour and aroma to the product. Laboratories can and have isolated the precise flavour and aroma components for the food industry – in fact, there are over 2,000 approved flavourings. Why? Because processed food loses its flavour quickly if not immediately. Then there is the transport and storage problem that may also adversely affect foods.
There was a time when labels had to show what was natural, artificial or as in more recent years, ‘nature identical’ label. However, this is no longer the case for most of those 2,000 lab produced flavours and aromas thanks to government deregulation.
The flavour of the produce we consume is highly variable, depending on the harvest, time of harvest and transport. Too much rain, for example will result in a less than optimal watery tasting orange – yet the orange juice of any particular brand will be consistent. Lab produced ‘nature identical flavouring’ pack solves this problem and also that of flavour consistency. Good news for the mega-food industry. They can sell consumers substandard product that has been artificially flavour boosted. Read about the orange juice fraud in the reference section below.
It may be true – if one listens to the scientists – that there is no chemical difference between natural orange flavoring components and that of the lab produced. And this is not the entire problem. The problem is the concentrated doses not otherwise found in nature. Scientists may make no differentiation between lab produced and truly natural – but the body does.
A family whose meals consist mostly of highly processed convenience foods is consuming large amounts of chemicals along with their foods which in the short and long term will affect the health. Most vulnerable are young children, whose little bodies are still developing.
Flavor engineers get consumers addicted and most food manufactures would rather not have it known that their processed foods are flavored with a concoction of chemicals.
The problem is the long term, accumulative effect on the body that may produce vague symptoms difficult to identify as to the cause. A short list of known symptoms are:
- skin rashes (eczema, hives, itchy skin)
- asthma or worsen existing asthma of any kind
- headaches, migraines
- joint pains
- susceptibility to frequent colds
- lack of concentration
- aggressiveness, overreactions to normal situations
Add to these lab produced flavors and aromas the flavor enhancers (MSG etc) chemical colorings and preservatives, soya and unknown fillers, less than optimal vitamin content due to the mass production processing and it is no wonder that society is faced with far more health problems than just a few generations ago.
Isn’t it better to eat simpler and ditch the chemical concoctions passed off as ‘food’? Reintroduce oneself and family to real food? Start with one or two products at a time. Ditch the flavored yogurt with the syrupy ‘fruit’ and add chopped fruit instead. Cook homemade meals such as stews and soups in larger quantities and freeze them in portions to save time.
Your health starts with how you fuel your body. If not for your sake, think of those young, vulnerable and still developing bodies of your children.
- Flavors: Natural or Artificial? Flavors and Flavor Enhancers: natural or artificial, what’s the difference?
- Allergy Avoid Gluten – Natural and Artificial Flavor
- Upton Tea Understanding Flavoring in Tea
- The Flavor Industry What’s the Difference Between Natural and Artificial?
- Waking Times Food Labs Use An Average of 2000 Chemicals To Create 500 ‘Natural Flavors’ You Would Never Suspect Are Artificial
- The Alternative Daily Commercial 100% Orange Juice Fraud: Toxic Perfume Flavor Packs Added