Monday, 14 June 2010

Once bitten forever smitten - Food Additives

Should you be worried?

Are E numbers in food bad for you and your family – well that depends on which ones you eat, how much and how often. First some facts and then some practical pointers. E numbers are allocated to all products that can be added to food – so even the red food colouring made from beetroot juice has a number E162 and acetic acid is E260 but its only the Latin name for vinegar! Both these ingredients are likely to be used in cakes but especially in this Red Velvet cake. 

  • No kids or elderly relatives you cook for regularly – then don’t worry – the really bad additives are banned. If you feel unwell after eating certain foods check the label next time for additives (some people are sensitive to gum derived additives, colours and preservatives leading to upset stomach’s headaches, increased chance of asthma and hyper activity in children) Use this link to check 
  • Children under 3 will have had food additives if they've eaten processed food. In youngsters even natural additives like salt should be had in moderation so the best thing is to restrict processed foods and look for ‘no artificial additive’ labels. Obviously sweets are high in sugar and brightly coloured foods will probably have more enumbers so make sweets a treat and look for natural colourings such as fruit and vegetable purees.

  • Older children may already have a taste for processed foods. Try to introduce some home made foods  to reduce additives and remember if its highly coloured and not a fruit or vegetable its bound to be full of enumbers. Don’t panic just make a few changes and give kids a different treat like Toffee Apples or Frozen Chocolate Bananas instead of a whole bar of chocolate.  (freeze bananas in skin – when required, skin banana and place on non stick paper, pour over melted chocolate. Ready to eat when set.

    Best wishes, 
    Janet 01732 843518

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