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IPFS News Link • Health and Physical Fitness

Widely Used And Deemed Safe, These Food Additives Are More Harmful Than Thought

•, by Flora Zhao

"Why are there so many additives?" she exclaimed in surprise. Nearly every loaf she picked up contained ingredients that made her uneasy. After lingering by the shelves, she reluctantly chose a bag.

"At that moment, I thought: It looks like I will have to choose the best from the worst when shopping in the future," Ms. Dunford, project consultant for The George Institute for Global Health and adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina, told The Epoch Times.

Today, over 73 percent of the U.S. food supply is ultra-processed. While both natural and ultra-processed foods are referred to as "food," there is a vast difference between them. For instance, ultra-processed foods are not grown in soil but manufactured in factories, using many ingredients that cannot be found in the average home pantry.

Beyond conventional additives such as preservatives, colors, and flavorings, many new additives are emerging. Stabilizers, emulsifiers, firming agents, leavening agents, anti-caking agents, humectants, and more have been invented to modify and improve the taste and texture of food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists at least 3,972 substances added to food.

Perhaps driven by a growing desire for richer and more varied flavors or by the pressures of fast-paced living, people have become accustomed to these substances, even considering them a natural part of the modern diet.

Then and Now

In the old days, families used salt and vinegar to preserve food. But with the advent of the industrial age, people became increasingly reliant on ready-made foods available on supermarket shelves.

"By the mid-20th century, more and more food additives were being used," said Mona Calvo, who has a doctorate in nutritional sciences and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Only recently have people begun to pay closer attention to what goes into the foods they eat.