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Have you ever wondered what additives are going into our food?

Here is a list that EWG published and a few I researched myself…

Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a new Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives designed to help people figure out which additives to avoid and why. The guide covers food additives associated with serious health concerns, ingredients banned or restricted in other countries, and other substances that shouldn’t be in food. It turns the spotlight on some of the worst failures of the federal Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory process for additives and underscores the need for better oversight of our food system.

  • Nitrites and nitrates
  • Potassium bromate
  • Propyl paraben
  • BHA
  • BHT
  • Propyl gallate
  • Theobromine
  • Secret flavor ingredients
  • Artificial colors
  • Diacetyl
  • Phosphate-based food additives
  • Aluminum-based additives

Nitrites and Nitrates:

Are often added to cured meats, made EWG’s list because they are classified as probable human carcinogens when ingested.


Is used as a butter flavoring on microwave popcorn, is linked to a severe and irreversible occupational respiratory condition that can cause scarring in the lungs.

Scientists have raised questions about the safety of propyl paraben, BHA, BHT, and propyl gallate. The FDA classifies them as “Generally Recognized as Safe” or GRAS. Propyl paraben, for example, often added to tortillas, muffins and food dyes, is a recognized endocrine disruptor. The National Toxicology Program has classified the preservative BHA as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” and BHT, its cousin, has been shown to cause cancer in animals.

Potassium Carbonate:

As a major component of the mined salt potash, this white powder was derived for centuries by heating potash in a kiln to remove impurities, says food scientist Kantha Shelke, PhD. Today, it is made synthetically by subjecting the chemical potassium chloride to an electrical current. It is a key processing aid in the manufacturing of alkalized, or Dutch cocoa.

Magnesium Stearate:

According to Dr. Mercola suppresses T cells—your natural killer cells and causes the collapse of cell membrane integrity—an effect that was found to be time and dose dependent—which, ultimately, can destroy cell function.

Microcrystalline Cellulose;

Our cells cannot stop the micro-nano particles from entering them, and once there they are not able to be useful, but float in and out of the cell membranes, and basically clog up tiny places in our bodies, bioaccumulating as we take more, and causing background inflammation to rise. George Burdock


In April 2012, University of Illinois researcher Joanne Tobacman, MD, petitioned the National Organic Standards Board to ban carrageenan from organics because of mounting research suggesting it prompts an inflammatory immune response similar to that of salmonella. In 2013, the nonprofit Cornucopia Institute petitioned FDA to remove carrageenan from the food supply. Both petitions were denied.

What science says about Maltodextrin:

GMOs and allergies aside, some researchers have raised a different concern about maltodextrin: that it may alter the bacteria in the gut exacerbating gastrointestinal problems like Crohn’s disease. Christine McDonald, PhD, an irritable bowel disorder researcher with the Cleveland Clinic published a study in July 2014 showing that mice exposed to maltodextrin suffered a breakdown of anti-microbial defenses in their gut, enabling salmonella to proliferate. Lab studies have shown it can promote growth of E. coli.


Also known as cochineal extract, carmine is a deep red acid expelled from the bodies of dead cochineal beetles when they are crushed. The powdered scale insect bodies are boiled in ammonia or a sodium carbonate solution, the insoluble matter is removed by filtering, and alum is added to the clear salt solution of carminic acid. Ammonia, sodium carbonate and alum.

If we’re not eating organic or natural fruits and veggies, it’s important to read the labels.

Bon Appétit, Sher

See the EWG list at

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