Illinois Wants to Ban 5 Food Additives – Here’s Why

Hey Angels and Alphas,

When examining the nutrition labels of packaged foods, you’ll often encounter a list of ingredients that are not only difficult to pronounce but also unfamiliar in terms of their actual function. Some of these ingredients are harmless, such as cyanocobalamin (which is Vitamin B12), while others can be harmful.

This concern is particularly relevant when considering common items like candy from grocery stores. In an effort to address these issues, Illinois has introduced a new legislative proposal.

The Illinois Food Safety Act seeks to ban five food additives commonly used in processed foods. These additives are already prohibited in various countries around the world. The aim of the legislation is to encourage manufacturers to replace harmful chemicals with safer alternatives.

Here’s an unbiased perspective on five food additives and whether they should be avoided in grocery stores, irrespective of the bill’s outcome.

BROMINATED VEGETABLE OIL

This substance is a combination of bromine and vegetable oil, used to prevent separation in beverages by thickening flavor syrups and oils.

Typically found in:

Citrus-flavored sodas, sports drinks, and energy drinks.

Should it be avoided?

Yes, it’s advisable to avoid drinks with brominated vegetable oils, opting instead for seltzer or water. Studies have shown that bromine can accumulate in tissues like the thyroid, potentially leading to hormonal imbalances and affecting growth and development.

POTASSIUM BROMATE

This chemical additive is used by bakers to strengthen dough and improve the texture of bread and baked goods.

Typically found in:

Bread and baked goods.

Should it be avoided?

Yes. Studies have linked potassium bromate to oxidative stress causing DNA damage, altered blood cell counts, increased LDL, and liver toxicity. It has been found to be carcinogenic in animal studies and is banned in several countries.

PROPYLPARABEN

Propylparaben is an artificial preservative used to inhibit the growth of microorganisms in food, extending its shelf life.

Typically found in:

Processed foods, baked goods, and some beverages.

Should it be avoided?

Yes. Propylparaben and other parabens are known endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with hormone functions, potentially leading to various health disorders and impacting fertility.

RED DYE NO. 3

This synthetic dye is derived from petroleum and is used to color food, medicine, and drinks red.

Typically found in: Candy, fruit snacks, and other processed foods.

Should it be avoided?

Yes. It has been linked to carcinogenic effects in lab animals and an increased risk of certain cancers, as well as adverse behavioral effects in children. Additionally, it is often found in foods with low nutritional value.

TITANIUM DIOXIDE

A natural chemical, titanium dioxide is added to food and other products to create a whiter appearance.

Typically found in:

Candy, cake frosting, and powdered foods.

Should it be avoided?

Potentially, as it has been suggested to be possibly carcinogenic to humans, though more research is needed.

Bringing it all together…

If the Illinois bill passes, it will become effective from January 2, 2027.

The legislation, if passed, would not only align with global health standards but also prompt manufacturers to seek safer alternatives, thereby positively impacting public health.

Regardless of the bill’s outcome, it’s evident that being mindful of these additives and reducing the consumption of processed foods can significantly contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

This proactive approach towards food choices empowers consumers to make informed decisions, ultimately fostering a culture of health consciousness and wellbeing.

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