One Woman's Laments Over Food Additives
Some things just don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It’s not like I have time to kill as they say, but I have to ask these questions. Perhaps they’ll be answered on Jeopardy or Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? The category is food additives. Now, here is the first in the series of questions:
- Why is it we’re ecstatic that there’s real lemon in Pledge furniture polish, but don’t care that there’s artificial lemons in lemonade?
- Why do most folks seem to have a problem with any green vegetable on their plates (as in broccoli or brussel sprouts), but D&C green food dye excites their senses when added to a cake or other food?
- If monosodium glutamate isn’t harmful, why is it hidden?
- Since farmed fish could give humans Mad Cow Disease and an aquaculture company has used artificial flavorings to give its farmed fish the taste of wildcaught pollock, would the fish now be safe from transmission?
- The tongue can only sense four values—sweet, salty, sour and bitter; the nose can sense thousands of different odors. Since most artificial flavors contain taste as well as numerous smell components from scents or fragrance, does that mean we would enjoy our food more if it was inhaled rather than chewed?
- Dough relaxers are added so you don’t have to “fight” the dough when it’s shaped and rolled. Why would dough fight being shaped and rolled? Doesn’t a massage do the same thing? Who fights a masseuse?
- Why are people asking questions like, “Will the phenylalanine in diet soda be bad for my health?” Why aren’t they asking, “Is diet soda bad for my health?”
- In fresh fruits and vegetables, adding sulfites prevents an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) from working properly to prevent brown pigment formation. Sulfites are thought to inhibit browning by acting as a reducing agent that combines with ortho-quinones, converting them back to colorless diphenols. If none of this makes sense, why not just squeeze a lemon over your fresh fruits and vegetables? (Lemon juice works! Oh, that’s right! Make sure the lemon is artificial. The real lemon will go in the polish.)
You see my dilemma. With about 3,000 different food additives, I’ve just gotten started with these questions. I have miles to go before I sleep. Perhaps I’ll make the Guinness Book of Records for the most questions ever asked about food additives.