My experience with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder)
This obviously isn't an acute life threatening condition, though it can be when it continues over many years. It is something I had so severely growing up, that on top of going to bed every night with an intense burning throat sensation, sometimes the acid would make its way up to my nose with a belch. Obviously not something you want happening. So, I went on Nexium for a couple of years until I read about what it silently can do to your body, such as deplete your body of magnesium, an extremely crucial mineral needed for living. Also, it can cause the decrease in absorption of nutrients, also not good. Nexium decreases stomach acid, food needs stomach acid to digest and to absorb nutrients, so it makes sense that with less of it you'll absorb less nutrients. I had already started my transition to clean eating, so I stopped taking the medication and had no more heart burn. The test came when I was craving a turkey hoagie. A stop at a local deli "Proudly Serving Boar's Head" and a turkey hoagie later, yielded terrible heart burn for days. There were a couple more instances like this, where I isolated the lunch meat, with the same results. Traditional lunch meats are very much processed and contain a long list of additives that always cause a reaction for me in the form of heart burn. Now I know that I have a sensitivity to any one or all of the common preservatives and additives that, for me, cause gastritis. The trigger, a food/drink additive and the resulting symptoms are individual and can be anything a person consumes.
So what can be hidden in your favorite beverages?
I read a blog post by Vani aka Food Babe yesterday that really resonated with me. I stopped ordering Starbucks beverages with syrups or flavorings a couple years ago but I was disappointed on how it is was nearly impossible for
Starbucks isn't the only big company putting this in their food or beverage. Coka Cola and Pepsi are also doing it. After Prop 65 was going into effect, the makers of Coke and Pepsi announced they would use a different caramel coloring for their beverages. In this post, a study performed by Consumer Reports, shows that Coco Cola and Pepsi, among other soda beverages, all contained 4-Mel. Pepsi and Malta Goya showed higher amounts than 29 micrograms, and there was no warning on their labels. These tests were run on samples in 2013 and did show a decrease in 4-Mel amounts later in the year compared to the beginning, but still remained above 29 micrograms. Consumer Reports used a relatively small sample size of sodas and did not look at popular iced teas and other types of brown sodas. Though California set 29 micrograms as the cut off because at that level, the associated risk of cancer is 1 in 100,000, some researches say that even 29 micrograms of 4-Mel is too much.
What about bottled water?
Yup, there's additives in there too. I saw this blog post a couple months ago and people were surprised and angry that bottled water could contain additives. My first thought was, why would water be different, all other packaged or processed food and beverages have additives. But I realized that a lot of people don't read food labels and even if they do, don't know what more than half the additives are. This is an article from TIME, it states that the same ingredients listed within Dasani, are in many bottled waters but doesn't make it seem as terrible. You be the judge!
Vote with your wallet
It often feels like we have little to no power in how our food is handled, prepared, processed or packaged. The fact is, that without consumers, there would't be these products. If everyone voted with their wallets, stopped buying poor quality, pre-made products, maybe then a change can be initiated!