Additive-free is the way to be!

When our grandparents were kids, food was food. A cake was flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Simple. Not a list of ingredients a mile long that contain a lot of chemicals.


Is this really a cake?? 14+ chemical ingredients

The Food Industry has changed drastically over the past 50 years. We are now consuming food that is not real. Full of additives, preservatives, artificial flavours and colours – all meant to increase shelf life and enhance taste and appearance of these substances so our tastes buds think we are eating real food. These foods don’t have the nutritional value that real food do, and yet are full of calories. This lack of nutrition in current foods is now seen to be linked to the increase in chronic diseases in recent decades.

Did you know:

  • Over 300 food additives are permitted in Australia of which at least 30 are known or suspected carcinogens
  • Chronic diseases are on the rise (diabetes, obesity, cancers, asthma, as well as allergies, autoimmune diseases, ADHD, autism etc) and can be linked to these substances.
  • In Australia, additives are still being used that are banned in other countries, either because they have not been conclusively proven safe, or what is more disturbing, they have been found to be unsafe for human consumption.
  • According to Bill Statham from Chemical Maze, synthetic additives can cause or exacerbate symptoms and conditions like hyperactivity, asthma, learning difficulties, headache and migraine, behavioral problems, sleep disorders and organ damage.
  • Food Additives are tested in isolation, so no one knows the cumulative nor long term effects of consuming a combination of different additives. There is definitely an assumption out there that if a product is on our shelves, then it must be safe. I know I used to think this! This sadly is not the case.
  • In testing for safety, issues such as behavioral problems and learning difficulties are not considered.
  • So many additives are ‘prohibited in foods for infants’, and yet we unknowingly feed these products to our young children. What exactly makes them safe for adults, or the elderly, or those with already compromised immune systems?
  • ‘Flavour’ can be listed as just one ingredient on packaging, but in reality can be made up of 40 or so chemicals! According to Changing habits, Strawberry flavour has 48 ingredients (all chemical of course!)
  • We all know people that react to MSG – but did you know there are 40 other ingredients on our labels that contain the chemical in monosodium glutamate?
  • There is a 5% loophole that means manufacturers can get away with not including something if it makes up less than 5% of the whole product.

These chemical ingredients can be a source of inflammation in your body – image credit – The Farmacy

As life has become busier, we have come to rely on these heavily processed foods as being a quick and easy option. We have resorted to fueling our bodies with chemically laden products that are doing more harm than good. These have effects not only on our health, but effect our moods and behavior also. Our health is our greatest asset, and yet we are not fueling our bodies correctly. A great analogy i read long ago – would you put diesel in a gasoline engine?

Let’s look at some healthy, natural changes you can easily make to ditch the additives in you food.

  • Read ingredient lists carefully! Use the chemical maze (book or app), or Additive alert (book) to check what the actual numbers mean and if you are ok with them. If your child has asthma or eczema, then focus on additives that can have an effect on those conditions. Get the Additive-Free Shopping guide from Additive-Free Pantry.
  • Make changes gradually. Making the shift from processed foods to whole, real additive-free foods is a gradual process that takes time. Kids (and other grown-ups too!) will need to be slowly weened off things and introduced to new tastes and ideas. Taking small steps in the right direction is better than biting off more than you can chew.
  • Replace things as need be. Gradually, as you run out of something, take the time to look for a better additive-free alternative. (Probably best to get to the supermarket on your own – without the kids!). Read ingredient lists (not just the fancy advertising claims on the front of the packet!). Use a resource like the additive-free pantry guide or the chemical maze app or book.
  • Eat ‘plain’ versions of things – For example plain chips will have three ingredients (potato, oil of some description and salt) whereas flavoured chips have a list a mile long.
  • Eat fresh. Eat in season. Buy plenty of fresh fruit and veg – if it’s in the house you will eat it. Don’t have processed foods in the house and they can’t be eaten – simple! Always have carrot and celery sticks cut up, and a dip ready for nibbling. Hard boil some eggs at the beginning of the week for a quick, filling snack.
  • Make things from scratch. This, I know, takes time. But you’d be surprised by how little time once you have made something a few times. Make in bulk too, and freeze leftovers for when you are short on time. It’s just as easy to make two cakes as one, or an extra batch of biscuits for morning tea throughout the week.
  • Water. Lots of it. This is what your body needs – not soft drinks, cordials or juice from the supermarket shelves.
  • Be wary of ‘low fat’ claims – These will have ‘fillers’ in them. Not to mention the extra sugar. Embrace the fat! (As long as it’s healthy fats, and not vegetable, canola or soy – the hydrogenated nasty fats) – You are always better off with full fat.
  • Go back to basics. Nothing wrong with meat and three veg! Real food doesn’t need to be fancy!!
  • Avoid store bought sauces. Yes, those sachets of stir-fry sauces may be quick and easy, but they are full of sugar and additives. Make your own with a splash of soy, garlic, honey and sesame. Simple and additive-free!
  • Be wary of processed meats. Make a roast on the weekend for lunches throughout the week – processed meats contain sodium nitrate – an additive in processed meats that increases rates of heart disease , type 2 diabetes and colon cancer  so best to avoid!!


Now if you are just shaking your head, wondering how on earth you can begin to transition to an additive free diet, then this is the e-course for you! I’m proud to be affiliated with ‘Additive Free Made Easy‘  – a 30 day e-course that will teach you all about chemical free foods and literally change your life. Jo and Tracey from Sistermixin’ have had HUGE success with this course and there are plenty of testimonials from those that have been through the course and have had fantastic results with their families health, kids behavioral issues etc. You must check this out! And hurry as you will save $50 through Early Bird pricing. Next round begins 18th July!


¹ Eady, Julie (2004): Additive Alert, Additive Alert, 2nd Edition, Australia




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