4/11/2008

On food additives

What is with all the things commercial food producers put into food these days? The Ferret and I were shopping today for a cottage pie, and pretty much all the ones contain MSG (621) or similar related flavour enhancers (627 and 631 are the main culprits). So we ended up getting none of them.

The same comments apply to such things as potato chips, instant noodles, etc. Yes, I know some people say that healthy people don't eat such things, so people who eat them are unhealthy and therefore shouldn't care about flavour enhancers. I disagree with that stance, but even so, the use of flavour enhancers has crept into supposedly-wholesome foods too, such as the shepherd's pie I just mentioned, as well as many varieties of supermarket roast chickens, just to name a couple of examples.

Just in case people think this sort of stuff applies to savoury foods only, think again. A lot of desserts I see contain aspartame (951) and/or other artificial sweeteners (950, much of the time). Now, I can understand products made for diabetics and the like, who must watch their sugar intake. However, most of the artificially-sweetened items I see actually contain sugar too, in which case, why the artificial sweeteners?!

The Ferret and I can both taste MSG and aspartame when they've been added to food, and the aftertaste isn't particularly pleasant; furthermore, she is sensitive to these substances, which will give her headaches. So, we avoid any food items that contain them.

But really, why?! Do these additives actually make food that much more saleable? And in that case, why are they less saleable in the first place?

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