How to Avoid Additives for Better Health

How to Avoid Additives for Better Health

We all want to be as healthy as we can be in life and if you’re choosing our beef then you’re likely already quite conscious about your health and your food choices.  There are however, times when we might purchase something that is not a whole food – which can have some undesirable additives in them!   I have written about additives in food before and explained why we choose to have all of our cuts, including sausages and silverside, preservative free.

I thought however that I might expand on this a little and tell you some more specifics about food additives that you may not realise, how to identify the bad ones and how to avoid them!  It’s also a great time to consider this if you have children, with school lunches being packed. Children’s systems are more at risk and less able to cope with such additives given their smaller mass relative to the additive amount.  Similarly, as we get older our systems are not as robust as they were when we were young and are less able to cope with additives.

Different additives have different effects on our bodies. So, if you have someone in the family with asthma, certain additives may impact this, while behavioural problems in children might result from another. For people with sensitive tummies, there are other things to watch out for. And then there are some additives, which have no adverse reactions associated with them at all – like citric acid. All of these additives however, are given a number and it’s difficult for us to know an additive that may be linked to cancer (such as 133) or behavioural problems in children (like 200), from one that has no known reaction (such as 330).

Since my children were young, I have relied on a fabulous book called ‘Additive Alert’* by Julie Eady. It gives the background on food additives, the standards in Australia (which are not as strict as other countries), and most importantly, a list of all additives and their potential adverse impacts on us – ranging from behavioural and hyperactivity issues, to asthma impacts, carcinogenicity, kidney damage, intestinal upsets and more.  For me, if I unknowingly eat something with a sulphite additive in it, I will toss and turn in bed for much of the night – unhappy gut, unhappy brain.

The great thing I’ve just recently discovered is that the information from the Additive Alert book is now available via an app – so it can be at hand when shopping.  It is also called Additive Alert – very simple to use, just type in the number or additive name and it will list if there are any adverse effects. I highly recommend it and a great tool to have with you when shopping (and it’s free).

I sometimes find that a product in one brand may have no additives or a benign additive, while another brand will have a nasty additive.  Knowing this guides my choices.

In meat products it is the sodium nitrates and nitrites that are in most sausages and cured meats (unless you consciously choose otherwise), that can negatively impact our health.  Additive Alert indicates that these are “widely considered to be toxic and carcinogenic in humans”, which is why Derek and I choose not to have these in our beef products.

So, if you’re packing school lunches, instead of a sandwich or salad with cold meats that contain preservatives (such as most hams), pre-roast a blade or silverside roast from one of our grass fed beef hampers  (or even some chicken or lamb) and slice up for lunches for the week. Not only will you be healthy, you’ll be organized!

If you’d like to enjoy our preservative free sausages and our other range of chemically free produced cuts, while also reaping the benefits that come with choosing grass fed beef, you may like to order one of our hampers.

Also, we’re always happy to talk health, or to chat about what we do on the farm – any enquiries, please call us! My number is 0417 894 474 and Derek’s is 0429 674 724. Derek and I are quite particular about growing & producing products that are the cleanest they can be – we only produce to the high standard of what we want to eat ourselves. We hope you appreciate and enjoy our products!

In good health, Kirrily.


*Eady, Judy. Additive Alert. Additive Alert Pty Ltd. Mullaloo, WA. 2004