Okay, let’s talk about Sulphites 🙂
They are a preservative and a sanitizing agent and can sometimes occur naturally, but the biggest reason for their use is because they stop food from turning brown, they prevent bacterial growth, as well as preventing microorganisms growing during fermentation and food processing.
Why are they bad?
There are a lot of people who are sensitive to this compound. When ingested, the symptoms include:
Headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, skin rash, swelling (especially of the throat), wheezing, hives, irritable bowel, behavioural problems, skin rashes, however, the most common reaction is triggering asthma attacks in people suffering from asthma.
Sulphates destroy thiamine (Vitamin B), in fact in Australia, a number of pet cats and dogs have died from thiamine deficiency because the pet food they were consuming included sulphites which were not listed.
Where can they be found?
The short answer is, everywhere.
They were originally used in wine production, then meats (you know, so they don’t go brown during transport), and now it is pretty much everywhere, especially in fries and hot chips 🙂
These are the listings you need to look out for on the ingredient labels:
E220 to E228 and E150b and E150d
The foods you will find these in, include:
Bottled lemon juice
So, as I said, pretty much everything. Just check the labels. If you are buying items from the deli, ask the manager if the foods contain sulphites. If you are dining out, ask the manager if the food contains sulphites.
What you need to keep in mind is that depending on the country where you live, there will be different regulations as to the amount of sulphites contained in the foods and the amount that is actually required to be listed on the ingredient list. Thus, you could in fact, be consuming sulphites without being aware of it. What I need you to remember is the CUMULATIVE effect and how it all adds up.
Once again, the cleaner you eat, the safer you eat. So, if you must consume a food which is processed, check the ingredients.
If a food doesn’t have it listed, but you suspect it does, in fact, contain sulphates, you can actually now purchase a testing kit.
With the kids, the foods you need to be the most vigilant with are “hot chips” or “fries”, sausages, minced meat, cordial/flavoured drinks and dried fruit.
In the 1970s and 1980s they used to put sulphites on salads at restaurants and this caused many deaths in asthmatics, it was quite well publicised.
Personally, I have had reports of people whose children have adverse reaction to sulphites causing behavioural and health issues.
Whatever it is that you are eating and drinking, if you find it contains this substance, do not alarm yourself, because there will always be a safe alternative out there. If you have trouble finding one, let me know and I will try to source it for you.
Now, excuse me, I have to go and check the ingredients on the back of that bottle of wine I have been drinking….