Double Life of Food Preservatives
Food is an essential part of human existence. It is the fuel that keeps people from doing their daily tasks. Without food, the human population would be nonexistent. It is a fact that most foods are perishable such as produce and meats. If these foods remain in their natural state from the time they are grown to the time they are sold to consumers, most of these items will be decayed or rotten. So scientist and food experts have developed a process wherein foods can be preserved for a long period of time using certain chemicals for the benefit of the food-eating public. It has been noted that for centuries the practice of extending the expiration date of food has been evident. Historically, “salt and vinegar have been used as pickling agents on various foods to help extend their life” (ExploreENumbers). Because of this, it is obvious that food preservatives are considered as necessary tools needed in order for mankind to benefit from the bounty of mother earth. In hindsight, it may seem that food preservatives are harmful but beyond its innocent purpose lays an unnecessary evil. For many naïve consumers, food preservatives may be perceived as a god sent invention but under a watchful eye, it can turn out to be a health conscious person’s nightmare. Like any other innovative discoveries, the use of food preservatives has always a good and bad side to it.
Generally, food preservative preservatives are utilized to prolong the “quality and flavor” of food. Most often than not water builds in food that lead to the formation of harmful “bacteria, fungi and yeasts.” Through preservatives, this type of situation is avoided. More so, preservatives keep food fresh and of high quality as much as possible. “They also maintain palatability and wholesomeness of the food, improve or maintain its nutritional value, control appropriate pH, provide leavening and color, and enhance its flavor.” On the other hand, the intake of preservatives can also be the source to numerous health problems. If taken on a regular basis, it can cause “different allergies and conditions such as hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder”(Jirage). The most commonly used preservatives and their adverse effects are the following: (1) Benzoates are usually found on fruit juices and other processed beverages which are believed to induce the occurrence of allergies and even brain damage; (2) Bromates eliminate food nutrients that can cause “nausea and diarrhea;” (3) Butylates are chemicals that aid in the build up of “high blood cholesterol levels;” (4) Sodium chloride causes “high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack;” (Jirage) (5) Calcium Dlsodlum has been proven to instigate problems in the kidney and liver. Also, it is believe to produce mineral and vitamin deficiency (Dotson); (6) Nitrates are normally found on preserve meats which has been verified to set off nausea and headaches; (7) Sulfites are used to avoid fungal spoilage but can cause allergic reactions to some people; (8) Sodium nitrate can turn into nitrous acid when consumed that can cause cancer; and (9) Sulfur dioxide “is a toxin used in dried fruits and molasses as well as to prevent brown spots on peeled fresh foods such as potatoes and apples” which prevents consumers from receiving vitamin B (Jordan).
Given all these chemicals present in the majority of our daily sustenance, it cannot be prevented to feel a little bit paranoid or skeptical. In exchange for comfort and being economical, people whether unknowingly or intentionally buy processed foods without thinking that their temporary comfort can cause long-term health problems. To avoid this situation from happening, consumers must be vigilant of what food they buy and use. It is important to note that we only live once and that we must try to live life to the fullest and this can only be done if we remain healthy by eating right and choosing organic food.
TO: Professor’s Name
FROM: Student’s Name
SUBJECT: Reporting Information
This essay is intended to educate readers about the negative effects of using food preservatives. I want the people to know about the double life of food preservatives, their benefits and proven bad side effects. In carrying out this objective, I have conducted a research on the subject matter that made me realized that there are numerous preservatives being used to prolong the shelf life of food and at the same time to satisfy the demand for people’s craving for processed food. The most difficult part in doing this paper is summarizing all the information that I have found in just two pages. But on the positive side, this obstacle taught me how to evaluate data and resources making my paper more substantial and relevant to the topic. In terms of strength, I believe this paper has incorporated many facts that added to its credibility. However, I would have added more information on how to lessen the intake of food with preservatives but due to page limitations, I was not able to do this.
Overall, I think that I have created a good paper that is very informative and delivered in a concise manner. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this paper with a nine. The one point is missing is for the additional information that I would have included if there was no page limit. Based on the technical aspect of writing, I believe that I have made well constructed sentence with proper grammar and punctuations.
Dotson, Emily. “Preservatives.” N.d. Emilydotson.com. 25 April 2009 <http://www.emilydotson.com/preservatives.pdf>
Jirage, Reshma. “Dangers of Food Additives and Preservatives.” 17 July 2008. Buzzle.com. 25 April 2009 <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/dangers-of-food-additives-and-preservatives.html>
Jordan, Jo. “Processed Foods.” 2008. Puristat.com. 25 April 2009 <http://www.puristat.com/standardamericandiet/processedfoods.aspx>
“Preservatives and Their Role,” 2009. ExploreENumbers. 25 April 2009 <http://www.exploreenumbers.co.uk/Preservatives-and-Their-Role.html>