What’s all the Fuss about Artificial Ingredients?

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I’ve been noticing an increase in the number of TV shows about artificial colourings, flavours and preservatives (aka E numbers) in children’s food. One show was about children going on a “War Time” diet whilst others simply were complaining about E numbers in general.

The one thing that strikes me about all of these shows is how parents want to blame everyone else for these foods except themselves. Often to demonstrate the problem they would show huge amounts of “kids” foods laid out on a table. There would be fairy cakes, sweets, jelly beans, cola, 1950s Candy and all sorts of other junk.

The parents would then be shown the foods and be told about all the bad stuff in it. I find it difficult to believe it when the parents turn round and say they didn’t realize the food is unhealthy.

C’mon, if something is fluorescent pink it’s hardly going to be healthy is it??!!

Of course it’s the supermarkets that get the blame for it all. I’m not saying that supermarkets are holier than thou but there are a lot of foods clearly marked as not having artificial additives in it too.

What ever happened to home baking?

I think back on my childhood with fond memories of baking cakes, pancakes and flapjacks. Because they were home made we had total control over the ingredients. Don’t parents bake with their children any more? Is really all too much bother? If it is I think it’s really sad.

Why is Kids Food also Junk Food?

When I was on a bus in Malta a couple of years ago I noticed an English couple with two kids. One of the children probably wasn’t even a year old yet the mother was stuffing marshmallows into its mouth. You’d think it was something healthy the way she was shoving them down, the kid didn’t even look like it wanted them.

Then my parents saw a woman feeding a baby cola from a babies bottle along with white chocolate. Wow, I suppose that’s considered a balanced diet in some parts!

Am I the only person who sees the madness? Yes, of course I think artificial ingredients should be removed from food but ultimately we all have a choice in what foods we eat. No one is forcing us to buy these unhealthy foods.  However there are those who concern themselves over such topics as how to clean your liver but then eat all the junk of the day.  There isn’t any point.



  1. Slevi says:

    “Because they were home made we had total control over the ingredients.”
    This isn’t completely true, unless of course you grow everything yourself and such or go to special stores. But even the basic ingredients you buy in supermarkets these days have preservatives and coloring.

    The reason for this simply is, it sells better. Do you think oranges are naturally that nicely colored orange? No, they’re usually greenish or quite pale orange, but when dyeing them they simply sell better.

    Basic stuff you use to make pancakes and such with tends to be stuffed with preservatives, why? Because it comes in packages you can use a couple of times, since people tend to eat pancakes very little in a lot of countries though these days they got preservatives added to them so you can keep the mix for a long, long time.

    But preservatives isn’t the real issue here, it’s just the fact that they’re getting way too much of preservatives, food coloring and sugar. Diets are completely out of balance with vegetables being rare and kids basically living from sugar. It makes you quite active though I must say, but give a kid a little too much and… well, you probably know what an average school break looks like these days ;).

    As for kids food being junk food, that’s going to change it seamed as I went through writing about the interesting health and medicine related articles of last week. I came across an article of burger king going to create a healthy kids menu with no more than 305 calories, it will contain stuff like apple fries and such :). Read about it over at Burger king promises healthier kid’s meals.

  2. Excellent post! I agree infinite percent, and no
    you’re not the only one who “sees the maddness”.

    Enough is ENOUGH! The food processors/manufacturers
    will stop when people stop buying that crap.

    Thanks to the Internet, articles, and blogs like
    yours the general public is becoming better informed
    about their health, and what they can do to make
    positive and effective changes.

    Keep up the good work!



  3. April says:

    Slevi, I didn’t know about oranges being dyed. I’m not sure if that happens in the UK or not. I do know that farmed salmon is dyed because they aren’t getting the food they would normally get in the wild.

    Again it comes down to consumers. In countries like Spain and Italy they don’t care what their food looks like as long as it tastes good. Most fruit and veg in the UK is tasteless because growers have had to work on making them look pretty. Taste then suffers. People simply don’t buy ugly mis-shapen foods.

    I just can’t understand why parents don’t realise that brightly coloured jelly beans have artificial additives.


    Luckily food producers in the UK are wakening up to these complaints. A lot of crisps (chips)are now cooked in sunflower oil. Plus, the other night I didn’t feel like cooking so put a convenience meal in the oven. I saw on the packet that there’s no artificial ingredients at all. Also many supermarkets are working on making their own-brand foods free of trans fats. Although I think that’s more to do with the fact that they’ll be forced to do so sooner or later.

  4. I like to think that I eat healthy. Most of the time I try to stay away from processed foods and meats. Anything that has preservatives in it is most likely not all that great for you.

    But this whole “natural” argument also brings to mind a conversation I had with my mother years ago. She was eating a McDonald’s burger and I told her that it was unnatural. She told me that if I want to be that natural I should look into hemlock and deadly nightshade.

    It really should be a balance that we look for – all natural can kill you the same way all preservatives can. Granted natural might take a lot longer and with some grievous mistakes.

  5. April says:

    Jerad, true about natural products being as deadly. I bought a book on identifying mushrooms and there’s plenty of them that can kill. I have decided I’m not going to try and pick my own mushrooms after reading the descriptions!

  6. Crystal says:

    I am so sick of processed foods. Even markets like whole foods have unnatural ingredients in their products. I never eat donuts because of the trans fat.

  7. I think if you were raised eating a certain way you might not know how bad a food really is. I’ve encountered that with my outreach so I’m not really surprised anymore.

    There are many people that are looking to be healthy and quite a few of those people don’t know what healthy is.

    I don’t think that everyone has access to the same healthy food once again it might depend on where you live and your socioeconomic background.

    I’ve been in grocery stores where the food provided was extremely unhealthy for the residence living in those communities. They could not just drive to another store because many of them relied on public transportation.

    However I and others are trying to change that by offering quality produce at low prices for these residents. In Maryland we have a lot of wonderful farmers willing to help out. I also help by contributing produce from my garden.

  8. April says:

    Opal, certainly, I’ve been brought up to eat home made foods and I view convenience meals as only an occasional meal.

    I know that the UK government want to put Fluoride in the water to prevent teeth decay. They say that poor people can’t afford to buy toothbrushes. If that’s the case then why can they afford to buy chocolate and cigarettes?! Also why don’t the government just give them toothbrushes instead of making everyone else put up with fluoride?

    People eat what they know but at the same time often don’t want to change their habits and even come up with excuses for doing so.