To bring clarity to these food labels, we need to understand what these ingredients are and how to navigate the supermarkets to our health desires.

Tri-Sodium Phosphate (TSP)

Often used in large quantities in degreasers & paint stripers and you will find a product called TSP in your hardware store, paint aisle. If you read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Skin contact can produce inflammation and blistering. Inhalation of dust will produce irritation to gastrointestinal or respiratory tract (characterized by burning, sneezing and coughing).

Severe overexposure can produce lung damage, choking, unconsciousness or death. Apparently is not something that we associate with our food supply, yet you would be shocked that you can find the majority of breakfast cereals, toothpaste, processed meats, cheeses, canned soups. They get away with this because it is provided in smaller dosage than Health Canada & the FDA consider safe.

Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Used extensively by the food industry to prevent oil from oxidizing. Many studies create confusion on how the human body reacts to a synthetic preservative like BHT, of note University in California Berkeley has put it on their caution and avoid list due to studies showing cell damage in the liver, lungs, and reproductive organs.

Again you will be shocked that it is widespread in our breakfast cereals, potato chips, butter, instant potatoes, processed meats, beer and chewing gum.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

A shocking fact is the majority of doctors, dietitians and public health know very little about the toxic effects of MSG. Did you know that 30-40% of the population is expected to be experiencing the harmful effects of what medical society is calling “MSG SYMPTOMS COMPLEX” What is MSG complex? It is a group of symptoms that appear after prolonged exposure to MSG, these indications can be but are not limited to Diabetes, Adrenal gland malfunction, Seizures, High blood pressure, Excessive weight gain, Stroke, Headaches, Rashes, Joint Pain, Loss of concentration, and Irritability. MSG symptom Complex is often referred to as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome”

Alternative Names

MSG has developed a bad reputation, and many of us are watching for it on labels, but did you know that it comes in many different forms/names? If you are avoiding MSG or going to start, watch for these additives names as well:

  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Secret Recipe
  • Spices & Seasonings
  • Soy Extracts
  • Protein Isolates

NATURAL FLAVOURINGS find Natural flavouring as an ingredient hard to swallow, pun intended. The name sounds very inviting and welcoming, as that is what consumers like me are looking for NATURAL INGREDIENTS. What is natural flavouring when it is an ingredient? As you saw it, it could be MSG, and it could be several things. We don’t get to know because the food manufacturer used an ingredient they are sure we would not be happy about it. Instead of listing that additive by the real name they choose a cover word, something that they think we, the consumer like us will like it and smile.

Natural flavouring could also be things like Castoreum, which is a substance extracted from the castor sacs of beavers which is located right next to the anus. It is natural alright, naturally gross, and probably not something many of us wants our food to be flavoured with, and Castoreum is mostly in perfumes and mostly found in raspberry, strawberry & vanilla flavourings.

Sodium Nitrates

Sodium nitrates are another common food additive, found in almost any type of persevered or packaged meats. It adds an attractive colour, adds smoke ‘flavour’, and slows down bacteria growth. These nitrates can inhibit oxygen transportation via haemoglobin!

High levels of nitrates in our foods can lead to a health condition called methemoglobinemia, which is where there’s a slowdown or even stops in the body’s ability to transport oxygen; this makes it clear to me the dangers of too many nitrates from foods. Over and above this Sodium Nitrates have also been linked to several types of cancers, and believed to increase the risk of Diabetes, rapid heart rates, IBS, Cohn’s, and Colitis.

The list goes on and on

This topic of food additives is apparently a vast subject, as the more, we dive into it, the more additives we discover. With each limited safety studies and fewer, if any, studies showing safety in combination with a vast array of other additives already in the market (like Aspartame and Nitrates, or Yellow 5 with MSG). Here are a few of the other additives I think you should be on the watch for:


Subway restaurants used to use this component up until 2014 when a public outcry of its toxic effects forced them to remove it. Since then Subway has eliminated this additive in their bread, but be on the watch as not all bread suppliers have done the same.

► Potassium Bromate

This additive is banned within Canada for foo manufacturer’s products but easily found in many imported food products.

► Olestra Oil (OLEAN)

Considered one of the worst food inventions by Time magazine back in 2010! It is a fat so large you cannot absorb it, it was “considered” fat-free due to this inability for your body to process it; but there were some very drastically unpleasant side effects, such as anal leakage of fat, and the loss of many fat-soluble vitamins.

► Soy & Soy Protein Isolates

Soy is a very hormone-rich food, which can mess with our bodies natural hormones very easily. It may wreak havoc on both male and female bodies, respectively as hormones affect us all. Soy is also linked to Thyroid disorders as it is believed to have a negative connection with the body’s natural iodine that the Thyroid relies on to function.

► Sodium Benzoate

Used as a preservative, and found in pharmaceutical drugs, vitamins, cola beverages, fruit juices products, vinegar, wine, pickles and many other jar style foods. The real dangers are when this preservative and citrus foods containing Ascorbic acid combine they form Benzene which is a well-known carcinogen (Cancer causing) ingredient. Look for this as “benzoic acid,” “benzene,” “sodium benzoate,” or “benzoate; Sodium benzoate is also known as E211. There are also several studies linking Sodium Benzoate to ADHD and other behavioural disorders.


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