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Food Additives: A Shopper's Guide To What's Safe & What's Not Perfect Paperback – July 28, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


This is a nice compact reference for all the times you are shopping and wonder what those mysterious ingredients are in your foods. The reference tells you which ones are safe and which ones will be harmful... An easy way to get educated while you shop or looking through your food pantry to make sure you consume what is safe. --Lisa Jeanne, Walpole, Ma

This little book should be in every food buyer's possession. I highly recommend it. Anyone who takes the responsibility of buying food ... should have this book as a guide. It gives the bottom line of what many of the common chemicals that are used in the processing of our foods do to our bodies. You don't have to be a PhD to understand what's spelled out so well in this pocket size book, you only have to have the courage to follow its inherent message and be well on your way to being healthy again. --Razel

This book is fabulous and every one should not only read it but carry it with them when they shop. --Chelsea Thompson

From the Author

If you buy packaged foods, you need to read labels more today than ever before! Because of increasing consumer awareness about eating more healthfully, manufacturers are designing food packages to make it look like the food inside the package is healthy. But if you read and interpret the ingredients on the label, there's a very good chance that you'll find that is not the case. Many of the ingredients added to food are harmful. And it's even legal for food manufacturers to add cancer-causing substances to the food they produce.

Almost all packaged foods, even so called "health foods," have additives in them, and many are harmful or inadequately tested. For example: Aspartame, also known as NutraSweet and Equal, breaks down into substances called excititoxins which excite nerve cells in the brain to death. Ninety-two different symptoms from aspartame were reported to the FDA, including headaches, dizziness, seizures, speech and visual impairment, blindness and even death. It can cause symptoms which mimic the symptoms of numerous diseases, including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Gulf War Syndrome and mental illness. Even people who don't experience symptoms can suffer long term damage. Carrageenan, a seaweed derivative often found in "health food" products, is a suspected carcinogen; it may contain hidden MSG. BHT, legal in the U.S. but banned in England, is associated with liver and kidney damage, behavioral problems, infertility, weakened immune system, birth defects and cancer. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO), an ingredient in a popular sports drink, and pediatric electrolyte replacement beverage is considered unsafe by the FDA, but can still lawfully be used until the FDA takes further action. It is linked to major organ system damage, birth defects and growth problems. Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, found in most packaged products, are associated with heart disease, breast and colon cancer, atherosclerosis and elevated cholesterol. MSG is an excitotoxin which can excite nerve cells in the brain to death. Even people who don't experience reactions from consuming MSG can suffer long term damage. MSG can be hidden in many different ingredients, including broth, hydrolyzed protein, barley malt and whey protein. Nitrates and nitrites, powerful cancer-causing agents, are considered dangerous by the FDA, but are not banned because they prevent botulism. These are only a few examples of the many harmful substances legally added to our food.

So, be sure that what you're eating is healthy. With this book, you will discover how quick and easy it is to tell if the food you're buying contains dangerous ingredients. It contains all the information about food additives contained in the previous editions and more, updated information on the safety of the additives, more information on MSG, hidden MSG and free glutamates and new additives, like Olestra, Salatrim, Sucralose and Splenda. It even contains information on the additives, Alitame and Neotame, that are awaiting approval as of this writing.

You can't depend on the FDA or the food manufacturers to make sure the food you buy in the grocery store is safe. It's up to you! Use this book as your constant grocery shopping companion and you'll never again wonder about the safety of the ingredients listed on the package. You'll know. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: KISS For Health Publishing; 2007 edition (July 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963563572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963563576
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 3.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #732,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
About 1 year ago, I began having a lot of pain in my joints. After several doctors, I still did not have an explanation of why my joints hurt and why I was gaining weight eventhough I had always exercised and watched my diet. One doctor mentioned that red meat could trigger arthritis. I decided to find out more about nutrition and since I have a severe peanut allergy, I wanted to find out if any of the "safe" foods I was eating could contain peanuts. When I bought "Food Additives : A Shopper's Guide To What's Safe & What's Not, 2001 Revised Edition",
I was shocked to find out that many of the additives that I assumed were safe actually contained peanuts. This book has become my "nutrition bible" I carry it with me wherever I go. Since using this book, I have been able to avoid many additives that could be harmful to me. Within 1 month, I was able to begin an exercise program again without pain and I actually lost the weight I had gained. Christine Hoza Farlow's book is very easy to use and small enough to fit in your pocket or purse. The material is straight forward and lets you make quick choices that fit your nutritional needs whether you have allergies or simply want to avoid all the carcinogens that are popping up everywhere. I have several other books about food additives, but I still seem to go back to this one. If you're looking for a simple approach to understanding labels, A Shopper's Guide To What's Safe & What's Not is definitely the book for you!
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Format: Paperback
This book is very convenient because in just fits in your back pocket. It serves as a guide for food additives found in almost all food. I liked the convenience of this book, as I was able to slip it into the back pocket and refer to it as I shopped. Although I enjoyed the book, it is very basic, generally publishing most info from the FDA guidelines on food safety. The only problem with that is that the FDA leans towards the "everything is safe [fit for consumption] until it is absolutely proven to be harmful" philosophy (GRAS); instead of, "it is unsafe [unfit for consumption] until it is absolutely proven safe. This philosophy benefits the food industry and not the individual consumer.
Why does the congressional Food Protection Committee receive funding from the food industry and still claim that they are looking out for your best interest? Dr. George Schwartz who found a pamphlet published by the FDA on the safety "facts" on MSG had in fact been compiled and published by The Glutamate Association (Blaylock, Excitotoxins. 1997. Health Press).
With these kinds of inconsistencies we all must become aware consumers of food, water and other products, because money is the issue, not safety.
This book is a great start, but I would suggest further reading to get a better idea of what is in our food.
A Solid Book! Great Info! 5 - stars
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Format: Paperback
The size of this book is excellent for carrying in your pocket or handbag, and facilitates use in the supermarket. The contents are generally good, and very helpful, but I believe the author should review it with an eye for being under-critical about some listings. For example, there are those of us who, due to recent reports, believe that the yellow artificial sweetener should be consumed with great caution, if at all, but the book does not address this. Considering the fact that this is a book concerned with health, I would strongly urge the author to be more critical in the evaluation of food ingredients. Those of us who are highly sensitive to food additives require stringent guidelines.
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By A Customer on November 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
Even though you know instinctively that many food additives are bad for you, you will be shocked when you actually read what these things can do to you. The rating system is very helpful to know which items are poorly tested and unsafe to eat, versus those that may only cause an allergic reaction. The book is small and I carry it with me every day.
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Format: Paperback
In order for people today to protect themselves from harmful ingredients, even walking through a so-called "Natural Foods" or health foods store is not enough.

"Mrs. Gooch's," in Los Angeles, was created by a woman who nearly died. Yes, Sandy Gooch, was fortunate to have a chemist-father, as the story goes, who discovered she was literally dying from the chemicals in a popular soda that many people drink. Often this soda is even recommended to assist with "upset stomach!" Such products are so commonplace and present similar dangers to ANYONE who, unthinkingly, just drinks/eats/wears what is out there because it is convenient, handy or close by.

After Mrs. Sandy Gooch's nearly lethal health challenge was reversed, she decided to create "Mrs. Gooch's" as a way to protect the consumer. It was possible to walk through the store and NOT read the ingredients, because so much care had gone in to protecting consumers. But when "Mrs. Gooch's" Stores were acquired, products began appearing on the shelves with ingredients that indicated it was NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO FEEL SAFE. Yes, products appeared that contained ingredients known to be harmful. Some naturopathic doctors even recommend that all so-called "healthy" oils, for example, are not so healthy and that it may be preferred to concentrate on specific oils that are better or healthier for us.

The point is that NO ONE IS SAFE, even in health food stores. It does not matter, it seems, where you shop.
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