Food Additives – E
Eggs – Chickens are subject to mass farming techniques for both meat and eggs. Laying hens are usually crammed 4 or more to a small cage in which they cannot even stretch their wings, often stacked in tiers to fit more into a shed. With only wire to stand on, the birds develop sore and deformed feet, sores develop on the chest and neck where feathers are rubbed off. Every aspect of their environment is controlled – heating, food supply and water, they are given additives and hormones to improve egg quality and antibiotics to alleviate infection. (The deep yellow color found in battery eggs is the result of an additive in the chicken feed). They endure this miserable existence for a year or so, after which they are killed for chicken soup or pet food. Birds kept for meat are often painfully debeaked to reduce excessive pecking caused by an inability to establish a social hierarchy where there are hundreds of other birds. ‘Piling’ is another problem in meat hens, where the animals panic and rush to one end of the shed where many are suffocated under the bodies of their fellow inmates. see also factory farming 2,12, 14, 28
Elastin – protein substance found in connective tissue, bone and cartilage of all animals. Used in cosmetics. Plant proteins can be substituted. 1, 3, 14
Emulsifiers – prevent mixtures from separating 1
Energy, alternatives – there are many renewable sources of energy that are being underutilized by current systems. some of these include: Micro-hydro Small-scale systems tap the energy of flowing water. Wind power Modern turbine technology has improved the efficiency of this source Biomass is vegetal or organic material – including dung and plants – and biofuels are the solid or liquid or gaseous fuels that derive from it. Wood, methane and alcohol. Geothermal heat stored in rock below the earth’s surface. The heat is ‘mined’ by drilling a bore hole and used to generate electricity or to heat water. Solar using photovoltaic cells to generate electricity; by using thermal collectors to heat water or cook food, or on a larger scale to make steam to generate electricity; using passive solar materials that maximize or retain the sun’s heat. Tidal power harnessed by building a barrage across an estuary. At high tide the barrage traps a head of water which is released at low tide to drive turbine electricity generators. 21, 59
Energy consumption – There are some simple things one can do to conserve energy. Simply replace all the bulbs in your house with 25Wt ones, remove any bulbs in unnecessary places, turn them off! Light colored paint, thin curtains, adjustable blinds and skylights can improve indoor light. Energy saving fluorescent bulbs are expensive, but last longer than regular bulbs and can cut electricity consumption significantly.
Most new appliances have an energy rating. Older refrigerators are less efficient, but may be improved by fixing the seal by replacing it if decayed or reseating the door hinges. A full fridge is more efficient as the food store the coldness and there is less air to cool down.
Computers are estimated to consume almost 1% of all energy produced in Australia. In the US an “Energy Star” rating system has been introduced which requires that both CPU and monitor power down to 30Wts each when not in use for 15 minutes or more. The US government will only purchase Energy Star rated office equipment, and this has been a driving force behind compliance. The US EPA expects that by the year 2000 Energy Star equipment will have saved $US40 billion in energy costs. Michael Egan, NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy claims that “If all the offices in NSW were equipped with Energy Star office equipment, and that facility was activated, businesses could save $25 million a year in energy costs. From a greenhouse perspective, that’s equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road.” While many computers available in Australia also sport the Energy Star logo, many are not enabled. The New South Wales government has embraced the Energy Star program, and introduced the “Green power” initiative where consumers can choose to have their power supplied from the national grid from renewable technologies such as wind, solar, hydro and biomass. A similar program is being initiated in Queensland. 21, 29
Enzymes – protein substance produced by living cells that influences chemical reactions without being changes itself, known as catalysts. Enzymes aid digestion. 1, 3
Enzyme detergents – water soluble enzymes are added to soap powders to assist the breakdown of stains. They are know skin and respiratory irritants and efforts are being made to have them banned in the UK. 12,
Essential Fatty Acids – the ‘building blocks of life are essential to form nerve cell membranes. EFA’s cannot be manufactured in or bodies, so they must come from our diet. The best sources for a Vegetarian or Vegan diet are Canola, Flaxseed and Soy Oil. 2, 3
Estrogen – often derived from cow ovaries, but also found in significant amounts in soy milk. Estrogen is used in contraceptive pills and skin creams (thought there is no proof of their efficacy in the latter). It is harmful to children in large doses. See also soy products. 1, 47
Ethanol – Undenatured alcohol. Not permitted as a food additive in Australia, however ethanol is used in mouthwashes as well as hairspray and perfumes. Also used in cough elixirs.3, 47