The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now

The Dirty Dozen – The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now – Part 1


Do you know what you’re eating or drinking?

Many food products you see and some that you probably eat contain food additives!

Why should you care? Well, one reason you should care is the fact that some of these food additives could be dangerous to your health. Ahhh …. just because it’s called a FOOD additive doesn’t mean that these additives are found only in foods. These additives can be found in DRINKS too. So, just be aware that we are talking about ingredients that could be found in BOTH foods and drinks! Even, scarier, right!! Indeed, there could be some scary food additives that you are eating and DRINKING at this very moment. The World Health Organization has written technical reports on various food additives and some of these additives contain aluminium, silicon and modified starches [1]. This does not sound appetizing, right? No WAY!! These are not items we should be consuming!

Let me tell you about 12 of the really scary (and TOXIC) food additives which you may be consuming. In Part 1 of this article, we’ll discuss 6 of these scary food additives that you should be aware of and in Part 2 of the article, we talk about 6 more food additives that you should also avoid. In the last 50 years, man-made preservatives have become the more common method for holding or preserving food item and this has taken the place of using salts, herbs, boiling, vinegar and refrigeration [2]. There have been various people and groups who have raised awareness regarding the impact that an adequate diet, nutrition and exercise or the lack thereof could have on the body including the absence or occurrence of certain chronic diseases. A thought-provoking quote on the topic is presented below:

“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.” – Mike Adams

The dirty dozen food additives including artificial coloring and artificial sweeteners can be pretty much everywhere and there is a relatively high probability that you have come into contact with at least one of these dirty dozen and scary food additives TODAY, whether you were grabbing a drink or food item from your fridge or buying a meal outside your home. These scary additives can be ANYWHERE! WOW … so much bad news and really depressing stuff about some of the foods that you may really love eating. Indeed, it’s time to be careful or more careful with what you eat or drink. The first 6 scariest food additives in the dirty dozen are:

1. Azodicarbonamide. This name, by itself, is long and scary. No kidding … and things that end with “mide” may also make people quite weary as well. There are concerns regarding the use of azodicarbonamide because there have been some situations where it was linked or closely associated with the occurrence of asthma [3]. Where do you find this food additive? Well, if you see or eat certain brands of bread buns and other food items like bagels, you may pretty much be starring at the azodicarbonamide food additive.

2. Propylene glycol. If you have seen glycol, it typically does not look like something you’d wanna eat. No way!! It may seem thick and slimy. Certainly not something you want settling in your tummy. So, why do food producers include this item in our foods? Well, a property that propylene glycol has is its ability to THICKEN something. You name it … propylene glycol would probably be able to thicken it. You may find this food additive in some of your salad dressings or creams that are used for cooking or to make a sauce. Dairy products may also contain this additive, which may result in the seemingly rich texture and appearance that such products may have.


3. Saccharin. Apart from additives that are added to foods and drinks, there are also artificial colors and artificial sweeteners too. One of these artificial sweeteners you should be aware of is saccharin. When tested on rats, this artificial sweetener was seen cause cancer in the rats. Not a good sign at all, especially for humans. Yes, rats are different from humans. HOWEVER, note that many tests for drugs and other substances are usually conducted on rats and the effects that these substances have on rats should NOT be ignored. Scary, right!!! Yes, indeed. Actually, a connection to the likely carcinogenesis of saccharin in human beings has also been mentioned [4]. So, pay attention to the potential consumption of this artificial sweetener.

4. Red #40. Red #40 is an artificial food color that you need to also avoid. This food color can be sourced from petroleum and SHOULD WE be eating anything from PETROLEUM? NO!!! If we can find petroleum and extract it, this in NO WAY means that we need to eat or consume it as well. It may look harmless and pretty. However, this still DOES NOT mean we need to eat it. Unfortunately, people include these products in foods and because the side-effects may not be immediately obvious or readily apparent, we all assume its fine. NOT SO!!! Down the road, these artificial food colorings could be linked to cancer. Hence, it is best to AVOID the artificial colorings despite the attractive appearance such items may provide.


5. Sodium Nitrate. The way that processed meats remain fresh and also seemingly healthy to eat is that these foods are packed with sodium nitrate. This food additive can stop the growth and persistence of bacteria. Great, RIGHT? Well … you guess it …. No, NOT GREAT! While you may be avoiding getting sick from bacteria by eating meats that have been processed with bacteria, the additive that is keeping the bacteria away is not good for the human body. When things are diverted from their natural state, this can lead to trouble! In this case, the use of this additive could be linked to cancer. SO, dear friend …. STAY AWAY from it.

6. Potassium Bromate. Unfortunately, another food additive that has been linked to the occurrence of cancer is potassium bromate. This is found in food items like bread or other foods that are usually made to expand during processing. Potassium bromate is used to cause this expansion. Thus, bakeries could use this food additive to multiply their product, and at whose expense? Unfortunately, food producers are generally not thinking about your best interests. Of course, why should they?!! It’s usually all about the money and profits to be made. Hence, guess who has to look out for you? YOU DO!!! You need to ADVOCATE for yourself by knowing more about what you are eating. Thus, watch the labels of bread and similar foods that list potassium bromate as one of the ingredients.

Potassium_bromate_by_Danny_S._-_001 (1)

There are toxic additives and there are also toxic artificial colors and toxic artificial sweeteners. Some of these artificial sweeteners were discovered by accident [5]. Can you imagine eating something that was concocted by mere chance and now marketed in a form different from that for which it was originally intended? I don’t know about you, but it certainly does not leave a HAPPY THOUGHT in my mind. All three categories of these additives stuff need to be AVOIDED …. PERIOD!!! Including all these accidental discoveries too! Apart from the dirty dozen, and we have only mentioned the first 6 of these food additives in this part of the article, there are other food additives that also do not come with any good news. Hence, do pay attention to other food additives that may be listed as being contained in the food item or drink.

food label

DON’T BE DISMAYED. You can avoid toxic and scary food ingredients and additives. FIRST, you need to know what these toxic and scary food additives are. Some may be somewhat obvious while others may come as a bit of a surprise. Either way, MAKE SURE that you get rid of these products if you are consuming these toxic food ingredients. Another sure way to stay away from dangerous food additives, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners is to focus on more wholesome, natural foods and less of the PROCESSED stuff. If you consume natural foods that contain one ingredient LIKE as grains, fruits and vegetables or ingredients that are EASY to PRONOUNCE such as coconut oil or cane sugar, your body will love you for it! It’s time to know what you’re putting into your mouth! There are ways to increase you knowledge even further such as learning about 101 toxic food ingredients that you may also not know about [6]. Now, it’s time to learn about 6 other scary food additives that you need to avoid. Let’s take a look at the next section of this discussion – The Dirty Dozen – The 12 Scariest Food Additives You’re Eating Right Now – Part 2.

Want to learn about the toxic additives in your food then check out 101 Toxic Food Ingredients They Never Told You About here:


Rick Kaselj, MS

[1] World Health Organization Technical Report Series
[2] Dangers of Food Additives
[3] Almost 500 Foods Contain the ‘Yoga Mat’ Compound. Should We Care?
[4] Carcinogenicity of Saccharin – NCBI
[5] Artificial Sweeteners – MedicineNet
[6] 101 Toxic Food Ingredients They Never Told You About