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Funky food additives

November 18, 2009

One of the first things I did when I changed my eating habits was throwing away food containing hydrogenated fats, white flower and white sugar. Avoiding processed food was another important step. I didn’t want the additives. My body was worth better. Read this article on neurotoxic additives

When journalist/writer Mats-Eric Nilsson in 2007 released his book “Den hemlige kocken” (The secret chef) about the widespread cheating with additives in the food processing industry it sparked quite a stir. Suddenly other media followed: why did processed food need all the additives? often with strange names like Monosodium glutamate (MSG, or “the white powder that make asian fast food taste so much”).

Hey Dude, do you carry any funky additives? Ph: F.Ö

However this debate didn’t of course stop the food processing companies from continuing cheating with additives. They just needed to give them new names and get better at hiding their methods. To their support they had Livsmedelsverket, which is the Swedish equivalent to FDA, a lobby organisation for farmers and processed food producers, disguised as a consumer organisation. Ever since the 70’s we swedes have tried to follow their dietary recemmendations of 60% carbohydrates (suitable for Sumo wrestlers), which I think is one of the main reasons why the general health in Sweden has reached such a low point. 10% between 40-49 years are on allowance. Thanks to the nutritional “experts” of Livsmedelsverket. Not surprisingly they still haven’t banned hydrogenated oils.

Monday evening this week I attended a “lecture” about additives in food. But as I had suspected it was only the food production industry who wanted to tell their story without any critics. First there was an “expert” from Livsmedelsverket who ranted about how harmless the 350 approved additives were. He also managed to refer to the now infamous study on antioxidant supplements for Finish smokers, and claim that there were no proven nutritional differencies between organic and conventional produce. But why was he there to defend the use of additives in the first place?

Next up was the young vice CEO of Dafgårds (frozen meals and industrial catering for schools and prisons) who were telling about his fantastic company that had cut down the use of food additives from 46 to only 9 – after having been targeted and rightfully critizised in Nilsson’s book “Den hemlige kocken” (more than 110 000 copies sold). But why would anyone want to listen to this? and why didn’t they invite Mats-Eric Nilsson? Well, it’s not that strange after all when you look at the website of the group organising the lecture: Svensk Förening för Näringslära (Swedish Nutrition Foundation SFN/SNF), which obviously is just another lobby organisation for the biggest and baddest food production companies out there – at least in Sweden. So now multinational food companies want to teach us about nutrition. Yeah’right!

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