Artificial flavourings and preservatives are used to enhance the flavour, appearance or texture of a product, or to extend its shelf life. Some of these substances have been associated with adverse health effects and should potentially be avoided, while others are safe and can be consumed with minimal risk. Most processed / fast foods contain additives, some in more quantities than others.
Some common names of ingredients that you might see on the back of packs are some of the following:
- MSG (Monosodium glutamate)
- Artificial food colouring
- Sodium Nitrate (we covered this in a previous blog)
- Guar gum
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sodium Benzoate
- Trans fats
- Xanthan Gum
- Artificial flavouring
It’s important to get a couple of things straight before we continue. Just because something has a long name that we cant say properly, or looks like it should be in a laboratory rather than your food, doesn’t make it harmful. Many of the list above (if not all) are likely safe when consumed in small amounts or at the concentration in a certain food that it is meant for.
There are numerous reports linking some of these ingredients to conditions like neurological disorders, behavioural problems, certain cancers, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
So what’s our take on it?
As we always say, no one thing causes disease. It’s a melting pot of lifestyle factors combined with an element of genetics. Sometimes it’s just shitty luck, and we have no idea why it happens.
However, we feel that the problem with these ingredients lies in the fact that many rely on processed / fast food options to form the majority of their diet, so the likelihood is that many are consuming a lot of these ingredients in a compound type effect.
In terms of their negative effects, we prefer to look more at the fact that these ingredients turn “food” into something that does not taste like real food. They turn them into something that is the food form of crack for many people. They just can’t stop eating them, because they taste so damn good.
The problem is that most of the foods that contain these additives are often low-quality sources of food, meaning that the individual is undernourished, but overfed on energy. This eventually leads to poor body composition and obesity, which in themselves are precursors to pretty much every disease we know about.
When we developed Roam, it was important for us to deliver a product we could rely on first and foremost. We would not be comfortable filling the gaps in our diet with a product that was laden with ingredients that we have no solid long term data on in terms of their health effects.
That’s why our bars are hand made in small batches using traditional methods and flavoured with ingredients that you probably have in your cupboard at home.