I admit it. I am pretty neurotic about what I eat. I’m sure that it’s not a surprise to anyone that a woman who owns a therapeutic cooking business has all kinds of food sensitivities herself.
I read every label and ingredient before it goes into my cart. Over the years, I have developed one simple rule: If I can’t pronounce it or I don’t know what it is, I don’t buy it. This applies to pretty much everything including things with “natural flavors”. My opinion is that if you want to put lemon in my food, use lemon and label it as such. Even if it’s organic and sold in the best stores, I will still read every label and avoid anything that doesn’t make sense to me.
As it turns out, more and more research is coming out that supports my simple theory. Today I read a fascinating article in The New York Times about some of the most common additives in our food and what they are doing to our gut microbiome. It’s a pretty dense read, but well worth it: https://www.nytimes.com/…/germs-microbes-processed-foods.ht…
The bacteria that live in our digestive system are vital to our survival. They help us digest food and provide important support to our immune systems. But like any system in our body, it is a fine balance between many kinds of bacteria. If that system gets out of whack and the wrong bacteria take over, we can get very sick. Imbalances in our gut bacteria have been linked to all kinds of issues including Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel disease. It turns out that maltodextrin, a common food additive, nourishes a strain of E. coli linked to Crohn’s disease.
This is just one additive out of many discussed in this article. More and more research is showing that these wonderful new substances that help us preserve and enhance food are actually causing disease in our population. So why would we eat any of them? Who knows what long-term effects will be caused by some chemical experiment that we think is totally safe today and hasn’t been extensively tested. I’m not willing to be a guinea pig for the food industry – are you?