WHAT IS ACTUALLY PACKED IN PACKED FOODS
As a parent we want our kids to provide best of everything be it education, environment, food anything. If we talk about foods, we can judge on the basis of what we see or flavor for example if we buy a Fresh apple from the Bazar we can see if it smells good, is fresh it should be red in color, etc. Now the question is what if we are buying packed foods? We can inquire about the ingredients, packaging, expiry date, company, etc. The truth is really far from what it is written on the packaging. First of all, let’s find out what are processed foods.
Foods are divided into three categories:
Group 1: unprocessed, minimally processed.
Group 2: substances extracted from whole foods
Group 3: ultra-processed (group 3 foods).
Unprocessed foods are found in their born form, such as growing on a bush, tree, or in the ground. Picking guava right off the plant and eating it is an example of this category. Neither we have added anything to it nor we have extracted anything out of it. Examples are frozen and canned vegetables and fruits; milk; intact whole grains such as barley, oats and cracked wheat; dried beans; and shelled nuts. Raw meats are also group 1 foods.
Substances Extracted From Whole Foods
Substances extracted from whole foods are things like oils, flours, starches, and fats. These items have been removed from food because of their usefulness in these modified forms. They are not typically eaten by themselves and are most often used as ingredients. You may not even acknowledge their name on a constituent list (modified starch, for example, can come from many different carbohydrates whole foods).
Ultra-processed foods are what many of us usually think of when we hear the phrase ‘processed foods.’ Cookies, ice cream, soda, frozen dinners, hot dogs and sugary breakfast cereal. For example, instead of pieces of the actual fruit, there are artificial fruit snack bars. If you were to make biscuits at home it would contain only a handful of ingredients. However, mass-scale food processing, requires an entirely different system of assembly, one fraught with often conflicting expectations. Why do you think food companies manufacture dissimilar products?
The first priority for the business that makes processed food, is that they sell that food to consumers so that the agency makes a profit. That’s one of the main reasons why agency process foods in the first place. When a food manufacturer takes a relatively cheap raw ingredient, like corn for example, and then strips that food of most of its nutrients, the food is going to last lengthy. Because pests like a mold, for example, are less enticing to foods that are low in nutrients. Manufactured food needs not only to taste good but also to withstand the wear and tear of processing. It has to Good-look and Very-taste exactly the same every time.
The chemical causes a “disturbance of the metabolic functions” and “injury to digestion” have never been scientifically proven. Yet it remains a controversial ingredient, implicated in childhood hyperactivity when used with artificial food colorings. If more parents would actually eliminate foods that contain all of these additives from their children’s diet, instead of drugging them up, their children would be a lot healthier.
Many children today drink a lot of sodas, which contain sodium benzoate, not to mention high fructose corn syrup. Kids should not be allowed to drink sodas! They’re fattening and increase hyperactivity. When used in foods with high acidity, sodium benzoate combines with the acids to form benzene, which is a carcinogen. A research study published in a British medical journal illustrates that drinks containing food colorings and the preservative sodium benzoate nearly double children’s hyperactivity levels. The study used approximately 300 children in two age groups: 3-year-olds and 8-9-year-olds.
Some of the children were given drinks with amounts of dyes and sodium benzoate contained in a typical British child’s diet; the second group was given drinks with a lower concentration of the two additives; the third group was given drinks with no colorings or sodium benzoate. Teachers and parents (who did not know which children were drinking which drinks) were given different rubrics to determine their levels of restlessness, concentration, fidgeting, talking and interrupting. These tests revealed that children in both age groups given the drinks with the colorings and sodium benzoate had greatly increased hyperactivity levels.
Also, this is troubling that sugary drinks accounted for at least 20% of America’s weight gain between 1977 and 2007 Here are some other foods that may contain sodium benzoate that you should check the labels before you buy:
• Salad dressings
• Jelly, lam and other spreads
• Fruit juices
• Sports & energy drinks
• Flavored water
• Mixed dried fruit
• Canned fish
• Sweet treats & cakes
• Dessert toppings
is another one of the most commonly used food additives. It was banned for use in food in 1911 and then un-banned during World War I, saccharin has had a roller-coaster record of safety. Studies done in the early seventies linked the chemical sweetener to bladder cancer in rats, prompting the FDA to attempt to ban it again.
But the outcry from the beverage industry and millions of diet soda drinkers forced the agency to shelve this plan. Instead, they required all products containing saccharin to carry warning labels stating that the substance is a proven animal carcinogen. Three decades later, when scientists discovered that the urine of rats is different from that of humans in ways that make their bladders more susceptible to cancer when saccharin is consumed, the FDA repealed the warning label requirement.
In 2000, they declared the 130-year-old chemical safe. Foods that contain saccharin are Low-calorie or diet baked goods, soda or artificially sweetened beverage, powdered drink mixes labeled as “diet” or “sugar-free, Fountain Diet Coca-Cola contains a mixture of aspartame and saccharin, low-calorie jams or jellies might contain saccharin, Low-calorie candies, and dessert toppings.
Yet another ingredient popularly added to the packed foods are Synthetic vitamins. Parents also think that these packed foods contain added vitamins so they must be healthy for our kids. lust as vitamin D doesn’t begin with egg yolks or cod liver oil, vitamin C has not been squeezed from an orange, and vitamin A has absolutely nothing to do with a carrot.
Nor does calcium somehow originate from milk or cow bones. Vitamins can be derived from foods, but doing so is inefficient and wildly expensive, so hardly anyone does it. A French company called Naturex sells vitamin C from acerola cherries, a fruit loaded with the nutrient. But their product ends up being five times more expensive than the standard synthetic variety. Getting manufactured vitamins from food might also be problematic from a supply-demand point of view since food-based vitamins could potentially gobble up edible crops.
Now a day’s most of the synthetic vitamins come from China. Half a dozen Chinese companies, for instance, are making 90 percent of the vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, that goes into the food as both a vitamin and a preservative. Chinese firms make the bulk of the world’s 81, B2, and 612 and vitamin D.
But while studies routinely show that various fruits and vegetables are effective in warding off modern ailments like cancer and heart disease, the same can’t be said for synthetic vitamins. According to a lot of recent studies, most of which were done on pills, not fortified foods, supplemental vitamins fail to offer the health benefits we once thought they had.
In some cases, taking large amounts of these compounds appears to have exactly the opposite effect, increasing your getting diseases like cancer. In one study, men who took high doses of synthetic vitamin E and selenium had a slightly higher risk of developing cancer.
A few of us are even getting too many vitamins, something that, at the very least, places an excessive burden on the kidneys. This is of particular concern in kids, who need fewer nutrients than adults and whose kidneys are more susceptible. Some 24 percent of children are going over the upper limit for zinc, 16 percent for B3, and 15 percent for vitamin A and folic acid. An upper limit is defined as the highest level of daily intake that is likely to possess no risk of adverse health.
One thing all of us must have seen in the ingredients list is Artificial flavors. So let’s find out what are they? Think of an orange or a banana. Modern chemical engineers found a way to combine unnatural substances to mimic the natural taste of foods. For example, octyl acetate is used to create an orange flavor, and isoamyl acetate has a banana flavor. Foods claiming to have naturally occurring flavors, such as orange, banana, apple, etc. are often made purely with artificial ingredients.
These Items are more regularly consumed by adults, but also pose a higher threat because they’re less blatantly unhealthy. Now one can say that both “natural” and artificial flavors are considered “safe” by the Food and Drug Administration, which is why they are allowed to be added to food.
But most of them have not been studied for safety or toxicity, especially when combined together. They may cause allergies, have a negative effect on the thyroid gland, chromosomes, and enzymes. They have been linked to indigestion, headaches, chest pain, fatigue, irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, and other health problems. Some may cause seizures, confusion, and dizziness. Cinnamyl formate can irritate the skin, gastrointestinal tract, affect the kidneys and caused cancer in mice.
Many times flavoring products and potential products are designed to block certain sensations like bitterness—a more targeted form of taste masking—or to heighten them, allowing companies to trim back their use of sugar, sucralose, and MSG in products, while still preserving the sweet taste.
Man-made chemicals are not always the same thing as what’s found naturally in foods. Food’s chemicals are often packaged differently, come in doses our bodies have adapted to handle, and are found in combinations with other elements that make them work beneficially. Phosphate is just one example.
Take phosphate, for instance, an essential mineral that occurs naturally and quite commonly in foods such as meats, grains, nuts, and legumes. We’ve been consuming it since the beginning of humanity and its safe, as long as you don’t consume too much of it. When found in natural sources, phosphate occurs in a bound form, intertwined with either plant or animal tissue in such a way that our bodies can only absorb 40 percent to 60 percent of it.
The phosphate used in food additives like sodium phosphate, on the other hand, is unbound and quite available, according to scientists who’ve studied the issue. Taking in too much phosphate can place a heavy burden on our vascular system, actually turning muscle cells in our arteries into hardened bone cells, thereby increasing heart disease risk and accelerating the aging process. It can also interfere with the assimilation of calcium. The phosphate load of today’s food is a lot bigger than it used to be with food without additives.
Let us summarize the need and use of food additives mentioned above in the food industry taking the example of bread. What’s really needed to make this five-thousand-year-old staple is four ingredients—flour, water, salt, and yeast. Many recipes need some type of sugar and fat, and to create different variety one can use spices, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. But at base, the four-ingredient approach is more or less the way bread is still made in many places around the world.
When we make bread in the food industry it requires a whole lot of ingredients in order to get the dough to survive all this puffing up and thrashing that happens inside machines, “dough conditioners” are needed. Subway’s bread contains five of them: sodium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides, diglycerides, ascorbic acid, and diacetyl tartaric ester of monoglyceride, known as DATEM. Without these ingredients. Subway’s dough would break down, losing its elasticity and sticking in gooey clumps to the machines. These additives, which are used in most fast-food and supermarket varieties as well. The possibility of problems from chemical interactions isn’t just theoretical. In 2006, the beverage industry acknowledged that when ascorbic acid and either
sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate were combined in certain conditions, small amounts of benzene, a substance known to cause leukemia and other cancers, were formed. This occurred in products like Sunkist Grape and Orange sodas, Kool-Aid Jammers orange drink, Crystal Light Sunrise Classic Orange drink, and Giant Light Cranberry Juice Cocktail. The solution in many cases was the addition of another chemical that could blunt the formation of benzene—the preservative calcium disodium EDTA. Widely used in sauces and condiments, calcium disodium EDTA (the EDTA part stands for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) has been shown to cause kidney damage in laboratory animals, and in sensitive individuals, it can result in upset stomach and muscle cramps.
We all agree that processed foods are appealing for instance if we open a pack of potato chips even after reading in the ingredient list that it contains 30% of fat we will keep on eating till all the chips are finished. It is the main reason why some people just can’t stop eating these foods, no matter how hard they try. This is actually supported by many studies.
One of the industry’s popular clichés is “Everything in moderation,” and this strikes me as useful advice on how we might approach the consumption of processed food. The food industry intends this expression to mean all of their various products consumed daily in reasonable quantities. A more meaningful interpretation of this edict is that all engineered food products go into one big, hulking category of what Cookie Monster would call “sometimes foods.” It means after knowing what is being packed in packed foods we should convince ourselves and our kids that we have to eat these foods in moderation.
Even some Best brands of the foods you might consider to be inherently Well can turn out to be heavily processed, like Fresh yogurt, or even pasta sauce. Especially, if those ingredients are not easily recognizable to you. Mothers have to provide other interesting options for kids in order to keep them away from processed foods. We have to teach our kids what is good for their health and what they should eat to be healthy and strong. We should inculcate good eating habits from the very beginning.
Another important thing one should keep in mind is the child will eat what his or her parents are eating. If we choose less processed foods most of the time, and if we go out of our way to find foods that are grown or raised close to home, these actions will likely have an effect on their Later Option. The simple thing to do is not to bring such foods in the home at all. Kids should be told that they can eat packed foods only when they are away from home.
Parents need to be strict it is their responsibility to buy and provide them with the right whole food choices even if it might require a little extra work on their part. And then talk to them. Explain to them in whatever language is appropriate to their age that ads can sometimes make things seem better than they really are, and that often, ads can make us want things that we don’t need and that aren’t even good for us. Show them examples.