Understanding Additives

What’s the deal with additives?

We take for granted that salt has iodine in it, that our drinking water has flouride and that our milk includes a dose of vitamin D, but have you ever wondered how and why these additives got there?

Well one of Gastrokid’s good friends, Thomas Goetz, has penned a smart little post over on his Epidemix blog demystifying how and why some of the healthy added extras get added in the first place.

Tom explains that "food has long been seen as a delivery vehicle for public health – mostly for kids" and also expectant mothers. Take folic acid. It’s been added to flour and cereal since 1998 "not because iron makes sense as a baking ingredient, nor because most
Americans want more iron, but rather as a way to raise the folic acid
level in prenatal women, thus preventing neural tube defects (which
afflict 2,500 newborns a year," writes Tom.

We as consumers don’t have any say in which additives the government decides we need. And that might give cause for thought about what exactly our kids do or don’t need added to their nosh?

- Matthew

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