By Felicia, on October 24th, 2011
Now that fall is here and the colder months are approaching, we start to think about snuggling in, putting on a pot of soup or baking something comforting. Back in the day, canning, drying and preserving food was a way of life. Now preserved food lines the shelves of the stores and are found in almost all cupboards.
While there are a few natural preservatives, citric acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), honey and salt; most preservatives are chemicals that can cause serious issues in our bodies.
Benzoates can cause allergies, rashes and is considered a cause of brain damage. Nitrates, often found in cured meats, has been linked to lung disease. Propylene Glycol is used as a thickener and texturizer and is also used in antifreeze. The most infamous preservative is MSG. People have reported that MSG causes nausea, breathing difficulties, headaches and chest pains. (1 & 2)
If any of those things scare you, you can preserve your own food easily. Dehydrating, pickling, freezing and canning are processes you can use to preserve food. Using citrus juice keeps fruit and vegetables from browning, honey and salt use “osmosis” to preserve food, pulling the yeast and bacteria out of foods.(3) Really a good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it, it is not natural.