At Red Rabbit, we are advocates for whole foods rather than processed foods, especially for our kids. We feel strongly that food that comes directly from the farm, prepared with as few processes as possible and ends on the table are better for our bodies, but why?
In an effort to accommodate population growth as well as leverage modern manufacturing technology, much of the foods Americans used to grow and eat have been replaced by packaged and processed foods found in stores. Food manufacturing companies spend millions of dollars marketing to us to try and win our wallets and our taste buds. Though these processed foods last longer and taste sweeter, what are the unintended consequences to our health and wellness?
You may find it as unbelievable as I did that three common food additives that show up in many ‘kid friendly’ foods are actually very harmful:
- Sodium/ Potassium benzoate is a preservative that when combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) can form benzene, a known carcinogen (this is a cancer causing agent that has adverse reactions in kids-see below).
- Artificial colors are developed from petroleum. The most commonly used in the United States are Red 40 (Allura Red), Yellow 5 (tartrazine) and Yellow 6 (sunset yellow). These dyes contain benzidene, a known carcinogen permitted in low levels by the FDA.
- Citrus Red 2, allowed by the FDA in the skin of Florida oranges to provide the ‘ripe’ look rather than the green tint of naturally ripe Florida oranges, has been proven to create cancer-causing chemicals in animals.
In a 2007 study, artificial colors and/or sodium benzoate preservative increased hyperactivity in 3 and 8/9 year olds when consumed. These food additives are found in cakes, candies, pork sausage, gelatin desserts, soft drinks, juices, ice cream, cheese, butter, pasta and even Maraschino cherries. Check out the study here!
If we aren’t diligent about checking the ingredients in the foods we serve our children, we could be inadvertently giving them food known to cause cancer and hyperactive behaviors such as inattention, impulsivity and over activity. And these three chemicals are just examples of many manufactured additives now found in factory produced food.
At Red Rabbit, we want to make sure that all children are given the best chance at personal health, wellness and academic success. We check all of our suppliers to make sure they meet our rigorous requirements and standards and make sure that the food we make here has ingredients free of food additives and unwelcome chemicals.
We believe that eating should be a beneficial experience…not a harmful one. Red Rabbit kids deserve to perform to their fullest potential, powered by food they love that also loves them back. Here are a few articles that you can find more information.
Food Additives and Hyperactive Behaviour in 3-year Olds.
12 Common Food Additives
Artificial Food Dyes Blues
Red Rabbit Education Department