Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and Preservatives are included in a number of different products and I needed to understand the effects they had on my body, below are the initial findings.
What are GMO’s?
I have always heard about GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) but what are they? Should we be consuming them? I wanted to find out more about these so I started looking into it.
GMO’s are foods which are genetically modified, their genes have been altered by scientists. It is fascinating to know that scientists can mix different species of foods. We all know that scientists love experimenting and as a result of that we can benefit in many ways, but sometimes the results of these experiments are not as beneficial.
There are studies to suggest that GMO foods are safe to eat, some argue that the concept behind having such foods can eradicate food shortage in certain parts of the world. This seems like a good idea but it has not ended starvation as there are numerous people around the world who do not have access to food and are starving.
Having looked at some of the studies, the positive outcomes of these foods are that they are supposed to be cheaper and have a longer shelf life. As they are genetically modified they do not perish as quickly as non GMO food due to weather and climate. This sounds quite good and helps in reducing waste.
However I have found that there are various studies to suggest that these food have side effects and their long term effect make them bad for you. There are, for example, studies which suggest that there is a link with food allergies and genetically modified food consumed. There are concerns that these food have low nutritional value when compared to non GMO food. Now the alarm bells are ringing in my head. There are some studies that try to discredit such studies.
Whichever side of the fence you sit on, for me I believe if I could avoid such foods why not. GMO is relatively new, I don’t think there are sufficient long term studies to win me over. I know that I can avoid these foods and do not want to incorporate them in my diet.
We have ensured that our supplements at mySisterhood contain no GMO food in our meal replacement shakes. You can lose weight with the comfort knowing that only natural ingredients go into mySisterhood and we would not compromise with quality.
What are Preservatives?
Whilst looking into GMO products, I thought that it is important to look into preservatives and learn more about them.
Preservatives are used to make food last longer. It delays the spoiling of food from temperature, light, oxidation etc. Foods that are exposed to bacteria can cause food to go bad and mould. Preservatives are good to delay the spoiling of food.
There are many natural preservatives out there but unfortunately companies do not use enough of the natural preservatives.
Not all preservatives are bad for you however, some preservatives can cause adverse reactions for example, inorganic sulphite additives (E220-228) and benzoic acid (E210-213) can trigger asthma/breathing difficulties in some people. That is why food labelling is compulsory as it is governed by European Law. This ensures all products state what preservatives and additives are included for consumers to make an informed choice about exactly what they are consuming. Well that is a relief to read.
I am going to list some of the preservatives that are safe and unsafe allowing you to understand your food label and making an informed choice.
Is a form of vitamin C, which can be found naturally in fruits and veggies, ascorbic acid is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals (molecules that are produced when the body breaks down foods or is exposed to things like cigarette smoke or radiation). Typically, ascorbic acid is used to help prevent food spoilage in a wide range of products from cereal to beverages
It is found naturally in meat, fish, and even breast milk. Taurine helps maintain water and electrolyte balance in the blood.
It gets negative press because it is found in many energy drinks, in large quantities. Generally taurine is considered safe as long as up to 3,000 milligrams per day is consumed. Research suggests that up to 4,000 milligrams can be found in energy drinks. Now if you are going to drink more than one can you will see why the body may experience some adverse effects.
That is why it is important to be alert of what you are consuming and the amount being consumed.
This preservative is mainly used for its anti-bacterial properties. It is primarily used in meat products, poultry products, cheese, liquid eggs, and salad dressing. Nisin grows on dairy products, it is natural and considered safe. Some research suggests that this preservative can wipe out cancer cells and can combat antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Sulfites are used to prevent the browning and discoloration of food, but have been linked to asthma and allergy in some cases. If you are asthmatic it may be advisable to avoid this preservative.
Sodium Benzoate is known to help stop the fermentation or acidification of foods. It is commonly found in soft drinks as well as some fruit juices. Studies suggest when this preservative is combined with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid mentioned above) it can create benzene, a known carcinogen. However, you would need to drink gallons of these benzene-filled beverages to suffer any adverse effects.
Nitrite is used as a food colouring. This preservative is often found in meats. For example, it is responsible for the red colouring in hot dogs. It has been linked to cancer, therefore, the consumption of processed food containing this preservative should be reduced if not avoided.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (try to say that five times fast) helps to preserve fats and oils in food and cosmetics. They are generally considered safe. However, some studies have found that BHA has the potential to be a carcinogen, while BHT has been linked to both increased and decreased risk of cancer.
Now you know a little more about preservatives. They say knowledge is power and I agree! Now when you are reading a food label you may have a better understanding of what you are putting in your body.
Again, I wanted to avoid anything unnatural in the development of my shakes designed to help people lose weight, become fit and heathy without feeling guilty about what is in it. It is not just about my product but I want to encourage my family to question and check what they are eating or drinking. I want them to embrace the goodness of natural ingredients.
We try and grow some fruit and vegetables in our garden and green house, I get really excited, when I see my children getting involved. In turn I hope they develop a love for natural, organic food free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. Once they are equipped with this knowledge they will be able to pass it on to forthcoming generations.
mySisterhood supplements are designed for slimming and weight loss, they do not contain any preservatives or additives. We are ensuring that our product is natural, healthy and of high quality. They are free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives. They contain healthy, natural ingredients like, black seed, aloe vera and green tea extracts packed with goodness.