Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Food safety (part one of...hmm, don't know)

Many people who are just starting out on SCD don't realize why it's so important to make your own foods. Why can't we just trust that the applesauce is 100 percent apples? Or that juice is 100 percent juice? Or canned tomatoes?

There are a variety of laws which allow manufacturers to add things to products without telling you, or to conveniently leave out things that are dangerous. A contributor on the Pecanbread Yahoo! group recently said that Elaine Gottschall, who wrote Breaking the Vicious Cycle, had seen this firsthand. In the manufacturing process, it is accepted practice to add sugars to certain batches of tomato products in order to 'balance' the flavor -- without listing it on the label. That is why canned tomato products are illegal.

I have been trying to research food law, without much success, but I did come across something interesting. In March of 2006, the House passed a controversial food safety bill that would nullify state laws, which in many cases are stronger than what the FDA has in place.

For example, Prop 65, which was passed in California in 1986, would have been nullified. The proposition requires labeling on foods and products that contain carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) or potential carcinogens.

Due to that legislation, bottled water companies cut arsenic levels. Bakers stopped using potassium bromate, a potential carcinogen which is banned in many countries, in their products. States stepped up, and our food supply is safer (at least in California) because companies were afraid of being slapped with that label.

The bill passed the House with flying colors. Of course the food lobby was delighted. Luckily, the bill's run through the Senate was not successful.

As I find out more about food labeling laws, I will keep you all posted.


Emily said...

You are spectacular. This is an amazing post.

That being said, does this mean that we RA girls are off the sauce (applesauce, I mean)... :-) I am getting mine from Santa Cruz Organics, who swear that they are legal. As you know, I don't think my (our) hands can handle it... if you are back to the real deal, I will do it too (or send you cases of mine!) lol.


The SCD girl said...

Emily, I wish I could say that I was but...I just can't. Tree Top is working for us, and I know it's not strictly legal but...it's just not feasible right now for us to be doing it.

I would NOT be eating it if I thought it was giving us a problem. But I have reacted to other things and I have not reacted to that applesauce. And I have a signed letter. You can never be sure, but I feel OK with my decision. :)

I'd feel better about organics, that's for sure. But we are single income and that's a huge challenge on this diet.

And thanks for the kudos, lady. :)


docspencer said...

Thanks for the clarification on why BTVC shuns canned goods. Thanks also for the sidebar mention of my blog.
Be well,

Beth said...

Thanks for the clarification on why BTVC shuns canned goods. Thanks also for the sidebar mention of my blog.
Be well,