Dear Food World, It’s Scary out there!

What is in our food and do we know it?

Nowadays, it is really hard to get “all-natural” food. The food industry is under constant pressure to modify their product for beauty, flavor and satisfying the customer’s palette. Clean foods are a growing necessity, and typically we find artificial flavoring, coloring and sweeteners in everything we eat.

An article on Flavorwater.com mentioned so many dangers to artificial flavoring that would scare any health-conscious individual or parent away from these types of foods. Some possible effects were chest pain, headaches, fatigue, nervous system depression, allergies, and even brain damage. These were a few off of a long list. Other symptoms included seizures, nausea, dizziness, and many more. Over three thousand artificial flavorings are currently in production and the thought of it is disgusting!

Artificial coloring and sweeteners are no better and no less scarce.

According to studies, 40% of food contain food dyes. Seven dyes still remain on the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved list – Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Green 3, Blue 1, and Blue 2. ¹ These have been argued to incur negative effects to our bodies, especially in children. In kids’ food choices, 90% of kids fruit flavored foods contain these artificial dyes! These are known to trigger hyperactivity or ADHD-like activity from certain children. What parent wants their kids acting like a hyped up, non-focused Tasmanian devil? Not I said the dog.

As for sweetener additives, the US FDA says artificial sweeteners are currently permitted for use and meet strict safety requirements. But this is not always as regulated as we think.

A high intensity sweetener is anything used to sweeten your food. A high intensity sweetener is regulated as a food additive, unless its use as a sweetener is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). To use a food additive, it has to be okayed by the FDA, but using GRAS does not require a premarket approval. So in that case, anyone could use a “GRAS” as long as it fits under the FDA rules.² Makes you want to grow and produce all your food at home and without the tainted touch of the world!

The fact that everything produced has possible dangers to it, makes the key words and phrases such as farm-to-table, homemade, organic and clean foods more appealing and sought after. The evangelistic effort of clean eating in the food industry to maintain the integrity of these offerings is very much appreciated. Snowbaby™ tries to uphold this value in their creamy shaved ice. Other establishments in Texas, whom we won't name, sell similar shaved ice - some refer to it also as snow cream, frozen cotton candy, or ribbon ice - with unwanted additives. Most use milk powders, artificial flavors, coloring, sweeteners, and thickeners that contain ingredients that may irritate the digestive systems. At Snowbaby, the core ingredients consist of all-natural organic whole milk, organic cream, pure cane sugar, and the fundamental flavor ingredient such as ground strawberries, 100% cocao powder and chocolate, as well as real vanilla bean seeds.  Wherever possible, the integrity of clean food is always top-of-mind.

The risk of dangerous ingredients is always there, but with an effort of many food establishments trying to eliminate most of the scary artificial ingredients, it’s better than the typical, mass-produced foods full of these demons. 

¹ http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/truth-behind-america-s-biggest-foods-artificial-food-coloring-something-i-need-worry-about

² http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm397716.htm