by Peter Taubert

How many people would add the following when making a simple Lamington?
Non fat milk solids, Gelatine, Salt, Artificial flavor (typically a petrochemical of some kind). A Humectant (a Sugar alcohol that can change the way the human body absorbs nutrients and drugs). A Preservative, (that has induced chromosome aberration). Two Vegetable gums, (one a fermented carbohydrate and the other a carbohydrate described as a tumorigen and mutagen). Two Emulsifier’s (both from fatty acids), and finally a dash of Citric acid.
The above ingredients were listed on a label for a packet of Chocolate Lamington Fingers. Not quite the list of ingredients that our Grandparents might have handed down as a prized family recipe!

A report published by the Pesticide Action Network of North America has found that the American people are exposed to approximately 70 daily doses of persistent organic pollutants (POP’s) through their diets. They state that “Virtually all food products are contaminated with (POP’s) that have been banned in the U.S.”
These are only the chemicals used on foods before processing begins. Once the processors get their hands on natural ingredients they start adding even more chemicals:
Preservatives, Artificial colouring, Artificial flavoring, Flavor enhancers, Humectants, Emulsifiers, Thickeners, Vegetable gums, Anti-caking agents, Food acids, Mineral salts, Stabilisers etc, etc, etc!

The “Food Safety and Inspection Service” of the United States Department of Agriculture (FSIS) reported in November 2001 that there are approximately 2,800 substances used as food additives.
In Australia we are informed by “Food Standards Australia and New Zealand” (Formerly ANZFA) of approximately 295 food additives.

Cancer, asthma, hyperactivity etc are all rampant throughout Australian society and it is now well established that a great number of the most common additives in processed foods are linked to these and many other illnesses. It is vital for all Australians to be, and to remain, informed about the possible harmful effects of certain food additives.

Somebody once said, “Knowledge is power.” I believe that it follows that knowledge can assist us all in maintaining a healthier life style.
Remember it is not necessary to go without, but it is important to make change and to continually be on the lookout for safer products. For every nasty product in the market place there is a safer equivalent!

Peter M. Taubert
Monday, October 14, 2002