In recent years, there has been a “back to basics” movement within food culture, with movements promoting matters such as organic growing or raw food consumption. While there is nothing wrong with these movements in and of themselves, some have begun to take the matter too far by attacking all food additives and preservatives, without differentiation.
We think it is excellent that people are taking an interest in what they are ingesting, but this runs the risk of a serious case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Many food additives and preservatives are absolutely necessary and, moreover, they are entirely natural and quite possibly have been in use for most of human history!
The History of Food Is the History of Food Preservation
One of the biggest single problems faced by our ancestors was simply how to feed themselves – particularly when times were bad. A large number of the cuisines we now take for granted in the modern world, from cheeses to curries, began as food preservation efforts. Many of the techniques and the natural products they used to preserve their food are still in use today, such as salting, pickling, or the use of citric fruits / citric acid.
Then and now, the world needs ways to safely store food so that it can be consumed at a later date.
Unfortunately, many people don’t understand just how common and ubiquitous food preservatives are. Part of this may boil down to labeling standards, and a tendency to obfuscate simple additives. Vitamin C is usually listed as “ascorbic acid.” Salt is called “sodium chloride.” Vitamin B2 is “riboflavin.” While these are all accurate scientific terminology, they can often mislead consumers into thinking their food is full of artificial chemicals when the additives are actually entirely natural and commonplace.
Without these additives and preservatives, food would be far less safe. Mold, mildew, and bacteria would form far more quickly. Food would spoil within days, rather than lasting for weeks or months. Outbreaks of deadly illnesses such as botulism would be far more common. We’d also lose the clear benefits of fortified foods, with added vitamins and minerals to make them healthier.
FBC Industries is committed to safe, healthy, and sustainable food additives and preservatives. We want your products to be safe, and your customers able to enjoy them in good health. Contact us to learn more about our products.