The old saying goes that we eat with our eyes first. And when it comes to catching our eyes, especially our kids’ eyes, few things work as well as color.
Perhaps this is why Americans today consume five times more synthetic food dye than they did in 1955. Artificial dye is to foods, beverages and cosmetics what Technicolor was to Oz, a burst of manufactured vibrancy that is hard to resist. Synthetic dyes in fact give products an edge: Their brilliant appeal has tremendous influence on our food and drink preferences – this goes especially for children.
Butylated hydroxytoluene, butylated hydroxyanisole, sodium nitrate and erythorbic acid. Who’s hungry? These preservatives and many others exist in the foods we purchase and feed our families every day.
If they sound synthetic, it is because they are – at least in comparison to natural preservatives such as sugars, salt, vinegar and citrus.
These hard-to-pronounce preservatives are created in laboratories and may contribute to health and behavioral problems ranging from hyperactivity to cancer,
Many good parents consider the ABCs and 123s as building blocks of child development, but we also can improve children’s intelligence, and health, by learning about the I+Gs.
I+G is the manageable term food scientists use to refer to the food additives disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, two flavor enhancers often used together to boost a food product’s savory flavor.
I+G may in fact be among the most common ingredients you didn’t know.
If the quest for all-natural foods is a journey toward good health, then consider the search for MSG-free meals as a process to escape the processed.
The foods most likely to contain MSG are just that – processed. Salad dressings, frozen meals and soy sauce. Still, some of the products that contain MSG may surprise you – it is in many foods we consider healthy, including veggie burgers and chicken soup.