10 top food additive no nos

When America sneezes Britain catches a cold and when stats show America spends 90% of its household food budget on processed – don’t say you haven’t been… Gesundheit… too late!

In sourcing ocean fresh* food, here’s a list of the top ten food additives we avoid and, by way of caution, these additives often give consumers more than a yanky cold.

1. Artificial Sweeteners

Aspartame (E951) is found in foods labeled ‘diet’ or ‘sugar free’ and is believed to be carcinogenic, accounting for more reports of adverse health reactions than all other foods and food additives combined.

Aspartame is not your friend it is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Known to erode intelligence and affect short-term memory, the components of this toxic sweetener may lead to a wide variety of ailments including brain tumor, diseases like lymphoma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, parkinson’s, alzheimer’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, dizziness, headaches, nausea, mental confusion, migraines and seizures.

Aspartame is found in: diet or sugar free sodas, diet coke, coke zero, jelly, desserts, sugar free gum, drink mixes, baking goods, table top sweeteners, cereal, breathmints, puddings, ice cream, ice tea, chewable vitamins, toothpaste.

2. High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a highly-refined artificial sweetener and, being found in almost all processed foods, has become the number one source of calories in America.

HFCS packs on the pounds faster than any other ingredient, increases your LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels, and contributes to the development of diabetes and tissue damage.

HFCS is found in: most processed foods, breads, sweets, flavored yogurts, salad dressings, tinned vegetables, cereals

3. Monosodium Glutamate

MSG (MSG / E621) is an amino acid used as a flavour enhancer in soups, salad dressings, chips, frozen entrees, and many restaurant foods.

MSG is known as an excitotoxin, a substance which over excites cells to the point of damage or death. Studies show regular consumption of MSG may result in adverse side effects which include depression, disorientation, eye damage, fatigue, headaches, and obesity. MSG effects the neurological pathways of the brain and disengaged the ‘I’m full’ function which explains the effects of weight gain.

MSG is found in: Chinese food (Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) many snacks, chips, biscuits, seasonings, most Campbell Soup products, frozen dinners, lunch meats

4. Trans Fat

Trans fat is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products and is among the most dangerous substances that can be consumed.

Found in deep-fried fast foods and certain processed foods made with margarine or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats are formed by a process called hydrogenation.

Studies show trans fat increases LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels while decreasing HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, increases the risk of heart attacks, heart disease and strokes, and contributes to increased inflammation, diabetes and other health problems. Oils and fat are now forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids exceeding 2%.

Trans fat is found in: margarine, chips and crackers, baked goods, fast foods

5. Common Food Dyes

Studies show artificial colorings, found in fizzy drinks, fruit juices and salad dressings, may contribute to behavioral problems in children and lead to a significant reduction in IQ. Animal studies have linked other food colorings to cancer. Watch out for the following:

Blue #1 and Blue #2 (E133)

–Banned in Norway, Finland and France. May cause chromosomal damage
–Found in: candy, cereal, soft drinks, sports drinks and pet foods

Red dye # 3 (also Red #40 – a more current dye) (E124)

–Banned in 1990 after 8 years of debate from use in many foods and cosmetics. This dye continues to be on the market until supplies run out. Has been proven to cause thyroid cancer and chromosomal damage in laboratory animals, may also interfere with brain-nerve transmission
–Found in: fruit cocktail, glacé cherries, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products

Yellow #6 (E110) and Yellow Tartrazine (E102)

–Banned in Norway and Sweden. Increases the number of kidney and adrenal gland tumors in laboratory animals, may cause chromosomal damage.
–Found in: American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy and carbonated beverages, lemonade and more!

6. Sodium Sulfite (E221)

Preservative used in wine-making and other processed foods. According to the FDA, approximately one in 100 people are sensitive to sulfites in food. The majority of these individuals are asthmatic. Individuals who are sulfite sensitive may experience headaches, breathing problems, and rashes. In severe cases, sulfites can actually cause death by closing down the airway altogether, leading to cardiac arrest.

Sodium Sulfite is found in: Wine, beer and dried fruit

7. Sodium Nitrate / Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is used as a preservative, colouring and flavouring and is highly carcinogenic once it enters the human digestive system.

It forms a variety of nitrosamine compounds entering the bloodstream that wreak havoc with a number of internal organs: the liver and pancreas in particular.

Sodium nitrite is widely regarded as a toxic ingredient, and the USDA tried to ban this additive in the 1970’s but was vetoed by food manufacturers who complained they had no alternative for preserving packaged meat products. Why does the industry still use it? Simple: this chemical happens to turn meats bright red. It’s actually a color fixer, and it makes old, dead meats appear fresh and vibrant.

Sodium nitrate  is found in: hotdogs, salami, bacon, ham, sandwich meat, cured meats, corned beef, smoked fish or any other type of processed meat

8. BHA and BHT (E320)

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT) are preservatives keeping foods from changing color, changing flavor or becoming rancid. Effects the neurological system of the brain, alters behavior and has potential to cause cancer. BHA and BHT are oxidants which form cancer-causing reactive compounds in your body.

BHA and BHT are found in: Crisps, chips, gum, cereal, frozen sausages, enriched rice, lard, vegetable oils, shortening, sweets, jelly

9. Sulfur Dioxide (E220)

Sulfur additives are toxic. Adverse reactions include: bronchial problems particularly in those prone to asthma, hypotension (low blood pressure), flushing tingling sensations or anaphylactic shock. It also destroys vitamins B1 and E. Not recommended for consumption by children. The International Labour Organization says to avoid E220 if you suffer from conjunctivitis, bronchitis, emphysema, bronchial asthma, or cardiovascular disease.

Sulfur dioxide is found in: beer, soft drinks, dried fruit, juices, cordials, wine, vinegar, and potato products.

10. Potassium Bromate

An additive used to increase volume in some white flour, breads, and rolls, potassium bromate is known to cause cancer in animals. Even small amounts in bread can create problems for humans.

Octane sources ocean fresh* foods so these additives are as unnecessary as they are academic. Octane operates from an off–grid island with no cars — it is as free of chemicals as it is from traffic wardens.


Octane offers gastro wilderness expeditions – employing Octane’s Eight* methods of sourcing wild food for the pot, we eat the world’s best food, ocean fresh**

*Octane’s Eight is our philosophy – we believe our travelling guests, being closest to the world’s wildest fresh foods, might quite like to eat the world’s wildest fresh foods. 1) We line fish, 2) we lobster pot, 3) we spear fish, 4) we sea forage, 5) we land forage, 6) we deer stalk, 7) we seed the sea, 8) we seed the land

**Ocean fresh – the term fresh fish is of course relative. On the high-street, at supermarkets and in city restaurants fresh fish really means days old so, when patiently waiting for your number to be called at the fish-counter, be ready to ask where your fish is from and how many days ago it was likely caught. Supermarkets invent terms to suit their needs and, as a discerning consumer, it really is your right to challenge nonsense. At Octane we have made a new, differentiated and entirely transparent definition – Ocean fresh. Simply put, it means caught and eaten same-day

See OCEAN FRESH in practice – with the post ‘Drive-by calamari’ – ocean fresh calamari caught, cooked and served in under an hour

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