The Secret’s In the Sauce: How Food Manufacturers Hide Ingredients in Plain Sight: Part 3

So far, the problems we have looked at concern how the food companies work the loop holes in the labeling laws to their advantage. This is critical to these companies in order to keep the necessary ingredients, good or bad, hidden or in plain sight secured in their final recipes. What we haven’t addressed are some of the additional additives, pumped into our foods like fillers, preservatives and coloring. These additives are added without proper warnings or explanations and sometimes they just slip them into our foods and onto the labels using the same disguise techniques we have discussed.

Let’s look at an additive that can be found in most meat products called sodium nitrite. At first glance, the majority of people looking at labels and happen to see this additive wouldn’t give it a second thought. Most would assume that sodium nitrite must play an important enough role for it to be included and the name makes it sound like some kind of generic salt or flavoring additive. Sodium nitrite sounds harmless and I think most people would tend to agree. So, what is sodium nitrite? It is a coloring additive used in meats to help with the visual presentation and aesthetics of red meats. From steaks and bacon to pepperoni and ham, sodium nitrite is in the majority of these products. Sodium nitrite is actually extremely carcinogenic and toxic to humans. When mixed with saliva and digestive enzymes, it has also been proven to produce cancer-causing compounds called nitrosamines. Sodium nitrite has also been linked to brain tumors, cancers in the digestive tract and leukemia. Guess it isn’t just a harmless salt additive, yet there it sits on our labels with no warnings or any indication of the potentially lethal diseases it has been linked to. Again, it seems doubtful that someone reading their labels would sound the alarm when coming across an additive with such a misleading, unassuming name.


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