If Artificial Foods Taste Good, Why Are They Bad?
Food is a necessity for all life, and throughout history, mankind has found innovative ways to make it taste better, while also increasing size and quantity. As a society, we have changed food in so many ways and created products that are exactly as we want them to be. This also includes the mass production of food.
One thing that has led to the success of mass-produced foods is artificial flavoring. Unfortunately, artificial flavoring has many unexpected side effects that aren’t necessarily the best for humans.
While we here at Baked Smart Cookie are proud to say we do not use any artificial flavors in our non-GMO, vegan, organic, peanut-free and soy-free treats, we know that most other food companies do. That’s why it’s so important for families to know what artificial flavor products are and how they can impact our health.
What Are Artificial Flavors?
Artificial flavors are basically additives put in processed foods that are used to mimic the taste of natural ingredients.
A vast amount of products use artificial flavoring, such as chips, cookies, breads, pastas, among many, many more. Of course, these products may taste great, but at quite a cost.
In essence, artificial flavors trick our brains into believing that we are getting nutrients from the foods we are eating, but oftentimes they lack in real vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Because our bodies aren’t receiving the right foods, they are likely to get hungrier more quickly, resulting in more processed foods being eaten.
The Negative Side of Artificial Flavoring
The scary truth is that artificial flavors have been shown to cause a range of negative health effects. Some possible short-term effects include:
- Chest pain
- Allergic reactions
- Hyperactivity (especially in the developmental stages in children)
Over the long run, a lifetime of eating foods full of artificial flavors can lead to:
- Kidney damage
- Respiratory/ circulatory depression
- Brain damage
- Worsened allergies
Why Are Artificial Flavors Used If They’re Bad?
The main reason artificial flavors are used so often is that they make the mass production of foods faster and more cost-effective.
For example, if a company specializes in selling banana muffins, they are not likely to use actual bananas in the product as this would lead to a number of issues that would need to be addressed - such as shelf life.
Businesses use artificial flavors to increase production while lowering costs, to increase storage and shelf life, and to ensure that products sell more readily.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that “the source of artificial flavors is not natural therefore all ingredients used are chemicals.” Shockingly, there are approximately 1,300 ingredients that are approved for use by the FDA, and the agency doesn’t require companies to state the exact ingredients used in an artificial flavoring product.
Are Natural Flavors Better?
So, are natural flavors a better alternative?
You may think so, but just because a product states that it is “natural” on the label, doesn’t mean there aren’t any chemicals used. Only a small portion of ingredients are natural and you will hardly know the origin of the “natural flavors” used.
This is something to consider when going on your next grocery trip.
What Can Your Family Do?
Now, you may be thinking whether “natural” or artificial flavors, it's all bad.
The truth is that you don’t have to completely cut these products out of your life, but you do have to be mindful of the amount you consume.
One way to reduce your consumption of products with artificial flavors is to make food more frequently at home. Like this, you’ll have more control over what you eat and what goes into the dishes you make.
A quick Google search will introduce you to countless recipes featuring clean and healthy ingredients.
Another step you can take is to buy from companies that use healthy practices and organic ingredients. Have kids who won’t eat vegetables? Our cookies are kid-approved and will be a snack your little ones will surely never get tired of.
So place an order with us today, and rest assured that you will be one smart cookie for providing your family with a snack that is both healthy and delicious.