Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cosmetic Chemicals: Yet Another Reason to Avoid Fast Food

Fast food contains potentially dangerous chemicals that can also be found in cosmetics.
Do YOU know what you're eating? Hint: It's not always food!
Image from fitbodylife.com
If I needed another reason to avoid fast food (other than all the reasons I already know about), I just found it: fast food often contains chemicals found in cosmetics. If you’re thinking, “Wait, what?!” you’re on the same page as me. And yes, I’m totally serious. Here are some cosmetics chemicals you can also find in fast food:

Ammonium Glycyrrhizin

  • Ingredient in facial masks
    Ammonium Glycyrrhizin is found in facial masks--
    and in fast food.
    Image: Shutterstock
  • Flavor enhancer, flavoring agent, and sweetener 

Benzoyl Peroxide (banned in China)—
  • Active ingredient in acne creams
  • Used in fast food to bleach wheat flour white (e.g. buns and breads) 

Calcium Disodium EDTA—
  • Used as a stabilizer in skin products and hair conditioner
  • A “flavor protectant” in fast food sauces, dips and dressings 
Benozyl Peroxide, the active ingredient in many acne medications, is also used to bleach flour white.
The active ingredient in Proactiv is Benozyl Peroxide.
It's also used to bleach flour white.
Image from clearclinic.com

Disodium Phosphate—
  • Used in mascara and mouthwash
  • Food preservative

Propylene Glycol—
  • Found in shampoo, mouthwash and hand sanitizers
  • Used in sodas, salad dressings, and spice concentrates

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

  • Used in shampoo and soap
  • Widely used in baked goods, cereals, pastas, instant rice, desserts, icings… and more

OK, first of all, you should know that all of these are FDA approved additives. That means the FDA has studied them and determined that in specified quantities they are “relatively safe” to eat. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have negative impacts on our health. Propylene Glycol, for example, is a toxin at any level of ingestion. Though it would be extremely difficult to reach serious toxicity levels, it is nonetheless still a toxin.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL) is used in baked goods, cereals, pastas, instant rice, and more. It's also in your shampoo.
They may be FDA approved, but I don't want these chemicals
in MY food. Do you?
Image from blog.fooducate.com
Ammonium Glycyrrhizin can also cause hypertension and edema (water retention) since it inhibits our cortisol metabolism. Benzoyl Peroxide is a whitener and researchers have long argued over the safety of its use in food.

Perhaps I’m too big a fan of natural living and eating (can one be too big of a fan?), but I don’t think I want to put any unnecessary chemicals in my body. There is so much we still don’t know, and I for one don’t want to wake up and find out one day that the chemical the FDA said was safe really isn’t. Call me paranoid if you’d like to, but I think there’s no harm in being safe.

Besides, what “flavor” are they protecting? The processed, bleached, over salted and sweetened flavor? Because I think I can go without that.