Monday, January 19, 2009

What's in that stuff anyway?

If you're like me, when you pick up a bottle of shampoo or, worse yet, peanut butter you are confused by all of the scientific jargon contained on the label. I know the government thought it was a great idea to label all of our goods so that we knew what we were using. But, let's face it, unless you loved science in school or are a chemist now you probably have no idea what half of that stuff is on the label.

Last year in an e-mail I received this fantastic link to Skin Deep. This website allows you to punch in products that you may have in your home or are about to buy and see what the contents are. Each listing provides a hazard rating for the item along with any notes about why the item has been deemed dangerous or safe. This is terrific for tracking down allergies!

Okay. Now to the scary part! I have researched food additives for hours now and can find no website that will translate the additives. I found several sites that confirm they exist and are used. Several will tell you the scientific names of said items. However, none will tell you exactly what the names mean or what the additives are derived from. I guess you could determine whether or not the item is also used as an additive for household products. If it is, then you can obtain the information from the Skin Deep website listed above.

There are hundreds of websites that tell you not to ingest food with certain additives. Some give you detailed reasons why and others simply give references of other websites that refer you to other websites. I tried to avoid linking to websites that give what appear to be uneducated guesses or baseless rhetoric. After all of the searching I did find a link to Alternative Medicine Angel . This chart appears to be logically written and gave tangible connections to real life.

When I started this blog it was my intention to provide a well-informed perspective on additives. As I end, I realize that we may be slightly better informed than before but we're no where close to where we should be in the information age. I'm stumped...

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