If you’ve ever read the ingredients on the back of the package of any sort of food, you might have come across those extra-long words that are so complicated you can’t even pronounce them. And most of the time, there are so many ingredients for some simple product, like orange juice. Don’t you just need to squeeze the oranges and add some sugar? Why is there a super long paragraph filled with some words that seem to be in some strange exotic language? Actually, most of these words are pure English, and they are called Preservatives.
The dictionary definition of Preservatives is “substances added to food products or to organic solutions to prevent decomposition due to chemical change or bacterial action.” Which basically means that they are chemicals added to food, to keep the food from rotting, smelling bad, and helps to maintain the appearance of the product.
Food preservation is an ancient method to keep food eatable for longer periods of time. But our ancestors used natural unharmful ways to preserve food, such as drying and salting. At that time, there was shortage of food, so preserving food helped them to survive. Nowadays, despite the abundance of food, corporations are using preservatives, including harmful ones in almost all foods,. There is over use in fertilizers and overproduction of food, and unfortunately, portions of it end up in dumpsters. It makes you think the main reason behind all this, is greed, and making money.
Although they do help food last longer, and have longer shelf life, preservatives can be harmful, and can affect your health. For example, BHAs (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHTs (butylated hydroxytoluene), which studies have shown to cause cancer. BHA and BHT were both completely banned in Japan, Romania, Sweden, and Australia, and from baby food in the U.S.
Many fastfood restaraunts, especially ones like mcdonalds and burger king all have tons of preservatives in them, which is why, if you bought a meal, and left it for a long period of time, it will still look and smell almost the same as when you purchased it earlier. If you ever tried burgers, fries or chicken nuggets from, for example, McDonalds, from anywhere in the world, they all look, taste and smell exactly the same. You couldn’t pay me to eat at McDonalds, because personally, I don’t see it as food. I find it absolutely disgusting.
This subject had helped me to be more aware of what I eat, and I believe it will affect me positively and help me take care of my health, and I hope it will have the same impact on you, the way it did on me.