I read an excellent article by the food writer Joanna Blytheman recently. Using a fake id, she got into the annual food industry trade fair in Germany. I take an interest in nutrition, but what she says in the article is really disturbing. Here are a few troubling facts:

If you thought “mature cheddar” meant that the flavours have developed over time (not unreasonable), the likelihood is that enzymes create the intense flavour over 24-72 hours

6,000 food additives are routinely in use

I assumed that “rosemary extract” wasn’t too many steps removed from the actual herb; in reality, using CO2 or chemical solvents (hexane, ethanol or acetone), the herb’s antioxidant chemicals are extracted (along with any rosemary taste/smell), leaving a brown powder

If you ever see L-cysteine E910, you may want to know it is derived from animal and human hair, and is used in flour and bakery products as an improving agent and in chicken stock cubes to improve flavour

Another food writer, Michael Pollan, springs to mind. His 7 word mantra: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” (By “Eat food” he means unprocessed.)

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