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Readers Respond: Sound Off - What Do You Think of Food Additives?

Responses: 16


Updated September 18, 2014

From the article: Common Food Additives

There are many types of processed foods and most of them contain some type of food additives to make them prettier, tastier or to help them last longer. At the grocery store, you'll see aisles of convenient foods ranging from cartons of milk to jugs of orange juice to greasy snack chips to box mixes of macaroni and cheese (and everything else in between).

Food additives make our lives more convenient, but not everyone likes them, although some nutritional ingredients are good for you. Do you prefer to avoid food additives like MSG and artificial sweeteners or do you think the they're a good deal? Maybe you just can't imagine eating cheesy puffs that aren't neon orange.

Suckered By Marketing

Words like "Whole Grain" and "Fortified" on packaging are 100% marketing techniques. Milk "fortified" with calcium, for example, may be literally one eye dropper drip's worth of calcium in a vat of milk the size of a semi truck. Same with creams "fortified with vitamins C & E" - a miniscule amount of vitamin in a giant, giant vat of cream. Ask any chemist who has created these things.
—Guest Dani

I Agree With Will G.

People seem to condemn some things that they don't really know much about. I'm not saying I'm in favor of all types of additives nor am I trying to insult anyone's knowledge, but I think that ideas tend to get planted in people's heads by exaggerated headlines or unreliable sources. You could go out in a park with a petition to "ban Dihydrogen monoxide" and fill up your sheet in an instant. You could correctly tell people that it is "a chemical that has caused many deaths and is found in virtually every body of water today." The scientific name indicates its untrustworthiness, right? I've borrowed this example from an episode of Penn and Teller Bullsh*t, but I think you get the idea. Dihydrogen monoxide is water.
—Guest person

You Get What You Pay For

And not just for clothing and furniture anymore. Sadly, the healthy lifestyle grows more expensive as the lower middle class' grip on financial security continues to erode. A tip for the young: idealism won't pay for an organic lifestyle.
—Guest Boston Rob


I'm a dietitian from Africa, our problem here is that now people are shifting from our traditional food and food habits to the Western one. Most people now love carbonated beverage and processed food, you know, because of the flavor and advertising. Some people collect the money of others and harm their health.
—Guest nagwa

Additive Substitution

I think that additives can be substituted in certain cases for more healthy additives. For example, natural food colorings exist, although they probably aren't as cheap as artificial ones. Ascorbic acid can be used as an antioxidant instead of BHA or BHT. Preservatives are harder to replace, though, as they are vital to some foods. Refrigeration may be a solution to some foods' preservation.
—Guest Chemist


Gluten and especially monosodium glutamate are the root cause of many undiagnosed diseases.
—Guest JOHN

What Do I Do?

Wow,I'm a guy but I love to cook and now that I know food additives are very unhealthy. I may just start fresh out of the garden!
—Guest Tracy


I think most people have sold out to the convention of making money off people through foods. For example an additive listed on the ingredient list is probably made of multiple other ingredients, including man-made chemicals. Therefore, the main central flow of the food industry is to make money, not food quality, and since most of you have been taken out to lunch by the modern day greedy LOSERS who make up the "Green" washed out BS organic complexities, and as well, the conventional non-organic genetically manipulated (most foods produced) is all about dollars and no sense. You and I can almost bet that these CEOs and their Chief Financial Officers will cut the cost to the cheapest and most unhealthy ingredients if it saves them, you, and the company money, because let's remember you're also involved in demanding a cheap supply through your demand.
—Guest Real Nutrition


I find it very hard to believe your article saying that reactions to MSG are mild and or not proven to be linked rather that they are co-incidental. I am coeliac and live on a remote island so therefore make the majority of our food from scratch. However I am highly allergic to MSG and have been so since being ill with Typhoid 5 years ago. My reactions are skin related, I get hives that burn and itch all over my body. The only time this happens is when I eat food with MSG in it. I live in a resort so am privy to what they are putting in their food so can pin point the culprit as MSG very easily. They are currently phasing this out. Since my allergy began I have spoken with numerous other people who all have allergic symptoms when they have MSG, I believe that it is not a safe additive and completely unnecessary if you are eating quality foods.
—Guest Victoria Kruse

Disease in Food Additives

I have done some research recently because of a diagnosis of Multiple Scerosis. By last count, there is about 450,000 diagnosed in the USA and 2.5 million in the world. Staying away from food additives is a positive step for those diagnosed to try to keep from having debilitating attacks. I never even thought about all the other things that it could effect but knew it was probably a range of things such as what was mentioned above. Hydrogenated oils, mono and diglycerides and dyes, to mention a few, are the worst thing even for the healthiest person. We are clogging up our arteries with plastic(that is essentially what hydrogenation is) and... Okay I will get off my soap box. I am growing my own veggies and slowly going to all "clean" foods. I can't afford the health food stores so I am doing what I can.
—Guest Angie


Recent generations have been taught to fear chemistry and know nothing of the advantages of helpful additives. They know they need salt, but "don't put any of that there sodium chloride in my food". Our sanitized life style has compromised our immune systems and lack of exercise has brought obesity to the fore as a far greater danger. Live life, fear not, think critically. Will G.
—Guest Will G.

Food Additives

I found out that I have celiac disease. When that calmed down, I found out that I'm also allergic to lots of other things. I now cook from scratch a few times a week. I buy plain frozen veggies and make soups, using fresh onions, garlic and stuff like that for flavor rather than buying broth. I cook organic meat once a week, divide it up into daily portions and freeze it. My other splurge is real olive oil. I don't fry but use it afterward because frying with it ruins the health benefit. For a treat, I have fruit with a bit of coconut milk. I only use a minimal amount of sea salt, no sugar. I've lost a bit of weight and feel so much better. Hope this helps. Good luck.

Celiac 25+years

Being on a Celiac (Gluten free) diet for so many years, I find that food additives are my problems, especially in processed foods. Cooking for two people, me and my husband who is diabetic, is difficult at our ages, 78 and 79. Has anyone else had the same problems? Please reply and share.
—Guest Billie Hord


My boyfriend says his ADD is affected by certain red dyes in foods and drinks.
—Guest Virgo

But They Are Fun

I'm a teenager now, but when I was younger I loved to eat brightly colored foods. I didn't know they were bad for me, but now I don't think I want to eat foods that have artificial colors in them.
—Guest Kayla


You bring up a good point. Mentally we expect food to look a certian way. Marketing plays a big part in this because they want to make food look more attractive, even if that means putting unnecessary additives in it.

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