To articulate the reason behind many of our beliefs is more of a task than we may be equipped for. I know that I postulate, parrot, and practice many things that society feeds me, and I believe that we all are, to some extent, a retainer for popular opinion. The areas in which our beliefs are shaped are vast, influenced by commercials, literature, news, hearsay, and celebrities. Whether you believe that buying is better than leasing or that organic is better or that bpa-free water bottles are the only way to drink, I would challenge you to explain. This is why 5-year-olds get on people’s last nerves when they ceaselessly asky “why, why, why?’ It’s because they’re exposing the fact that many of us DON’T KNOW WHY! Well, to end this rambling, I’m going to attempt to retain this information that I’m reading currently about why we are to avoid certain additives in our foods: msg, aspartame, trans fat, etc. I once read that the best way to retain information is to pass it on, and so, thank you for helping me retain this! ASPARTAME: This is an artificial sweetener. It’s your “Equal,” “Nutrasweet,” etc, and is believed to be carcinogenic and bad for your brain, physically and emotionally. It resides in diet drinks, diet gums, and things labeled “sugar-free” HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP: This is a highly-refined sugar, taken from corn, not the sugar cane at all. It’s cheap to produce and packs more sweetness than real sugar, so this is a business “do” for manufacturers of everything from cereal to bread to candy. However, the health costs include diabetes, weight gain, and bad cholesterol (LDL). MONOSODIUM GLUAMATE (MSG): This is an amino acid used as a flavor enhancer. It’s an excitotoxin, meaning it excites the cells to the point of damage or death. It turns off the “I’m full” function, explaining the usual accompanying weight gain. Known as a major player in Chinese food. TRANS FAT: This is used to enhance and extend the shelf life of food products. Through hydrogenation, the molecular makeup of fat is altered, turning unsaturated fat into saturated fat and effectively, That our body has a difficult time digesting these unnatural fats is slightly better than the fact that trans fatty acids lower the good cholesterol and raise the bad cholesterol as well. This is found in shortenings, margarine, any fat that is solid at room temperature and effectively, deep-fried foods, as they are usually fried in these. COMMON FOOD DYES: Artificial colorings are used in fruit juices, soda, salad, dressings, etc, and are a frivolous hazard to our bodies. Blue dyes abound in sports drinks, red dyes in maraschino cherries, yellow dyes in mac and cheese, just to scratch the surface. These dyes are actually banned in certain countries: Norway, Finland, etc. These are just 5 of 10 of the top additives to avoid listed in my latest Hungry For Change Newsletter. I cannot go any further…not because it’s emotional for me…haha! But I’m just out of time. Continue reading on your own and I know that I’ll be reading them labels with a much wiser eye now and I hope you will too!