Food Additives starting with M

Food Additives – M

Margarine – vegetable oils hydrogenated to make them solid. This process convert oils into saturated fats. Sometimes milk or fish oils such cetyl palmitate or spermaceti (derived from whales and dolphins) may be used. During processing, the oils are also degummed, bleached, hydrogenated, deodorized and combined with salt, color preservatives, flavor, emulsifiers and vitamins.

Marine Oil – fish oil, also used in margarine and soap.

Magnesium carbonate – see Talcum Powder The typical accommodation of a calf farmed for veal. It spends the entire of its short life in these abysmal conditions.

Meat production – It has been estimated that the amount of grain used to fatten one cow for meat could feed up to 16 people for the same period of time.

In the US cattle consume 90% of the soybean crop, 80% of all corn grown and yet 20 million people will die from starvation this year. (The US department of Agriculture and Oxfam America statistics)16.

Not only do cattle consume half the worlds grain crops, but meat farming contributes significantly to soil erosion, desertification and deforestation especially of rainforests, global warming through the use of fossil fuels in transport, slaughter, processing and storage, and 20% of the total production of methane. Meat farming contributes to pollution of water ways with manure and pesticides in amounts greater than the pollution of cities and industry combined. (Cross and Byers, etal 1990)16.

In Australia clearing for pasture is the foremost reason for clearing, and as resulted in the state of Queensland having the highest rate of land clearing in the western world, killing many animals and trees, putting our Great Barrier Reef in danger from runoff, increasing the already likely incidence of salinity and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. For more on the ethics of land clearing and meat-eating see links: ecophilsophy.

Meat production involves much suffering and degradation of the animals at all stages. Animals are branded with hot irons, sheep are ‘mulsed’ (a brutal process which involves cutting away the flesh at either side of the anus), dipped or sprayed with toxic chemicals, whipped and nipped by dogs, packed tightly into trucks or ships for transport where they are often dehydrated and may die in transit. At the slaughterhouse animals may be strung up by their feet alive and unstunned, as is the practice for “Halal” slaughter, their killing may be botched, so that the animal is not yet dead when it is bled and dismembering begins. The whole process is brutal, immoral even, resulting in much avoidable torment and waste of life and resources. 16, 39, 50, 60

Meat substitutes – see TVP

Melaleuca oil – see tea-tree

Mercury – Exposure to high levels of Mercury is proven to cause serious foetal abnormalities. Mercury may be present in canned fish, especially Tuna fish, who are contaminated by factory effluent. Some weed killers and fungicides contain mercury, so take care handling seeds dusted in fungicides. In Iraq 6000 people were hospitalized and 500 died as a consequence of eating bread made from flour made from grain treated with a mercurial fungicide. Dental amalgam contains mercury. Garlic has been found to help prevent Mercury been absorbed by the body. Phenylmercuric salts are used as a preervative in some eye medications and cosmetics. See also toxicity, fish, phenylmercuric salts 34, 47

Microwave ovens – The CSIRO report that “food cooked in microwave ovens does not represent a radiation risk”, however radiation leakage can occur during cooking if the oven door is faulty. A more significant problem with microwaves is the tendency of some additives found in plastics “particularly those which make it pliable, (to) migrate into food.” Soft plastic containers designed for storing frozen or refrigerated items should be avoided. 10

Milk – like meat production, the animals concerned are often treated as commodities, fed hormones and doused in pesticides. In order for a cow’s milk to be taken for human consumption, its young must suffer, first being taken from their mother prematurely, often to be raised for veal – grain fed in small pens for the remainder of their lives.14, 64

“5.5 million dairy cows from the United States are said to live under factory conditions. Cattle are forced to eat saw dust, ammonia, feathers, toxic ink, processed sewage, poultry litter, grease, and plastic hay. The female claves born to dairy cows are bred for milk production and the male calves are immediately processed for veal. The calves raised for veal are confined to small, dark, damp cells where they are fed only iron-deficient gruel that they will become anemic and that their flesh will become tender. Small calves may be chained by their necks for months at a time while milking machines are wheeled to them. The life expectancy of cattle raised for milk production is usually decreased by 15 years in factory farms. These cows are always pregnant and give three or more times the milk they would naturally give. Hormones are injected into the cows causing their udders to swell and drag on the ground getting cut, bruised, and infected. “64

Milk products are often mixed with additives , including peroxide and gelatin, milk is sometimes fortified with Vitamin D derived from fish oils.

Hormones and antibiotics are often present in dairy products because of these drugs are used on most farms. Genetically engineered Bovine-Growth Hormone, is supposed to increase milk production when injected into dairy cows. BGH is manufactured by the Monsanto Corp., was approved by the FDA despite potential human health problems associated with consuming milk from BGH cows: ” the drug was approved without one single test examining its impact on humans ingesting products from animals treated with it.” (Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Pure Food Campaign, a consumer advocacy group in the US). 45

Milk replacements – soy drink is an excellent milk substitute. Coffee whitening powders usually contain hydrogenated palm oil, corn syrup and sodium caseinate -the latter is derived from milk.

Mink oil – derived from dead minks left over from fur production, used in shampoos, conditioners and skin creams 14,78

Mineral oil – often called ‘baby oil’, or white mineral oil and found in many cosmetics, mineral oils is petroleum derived liquid paraffin. Paraffin is not easily absorbed by the skin. 12, 47

Mineral salts – increase moisture retention, modify flavors. Mineral oil is sometimes used to polish apples and cucumbers, and liver abnormalities have been attributed to ingestion this way. 47

Moisturizers and facial creams – Many commercial moisturizers are made with animals fats, including stearates derived from beef fat, and lanolin. The more expensive brands often sport excessive packaging and sell by exploiting women’s insecurities.

There are simple and cheap alternatives to hand, face and body moisturizers: sorbolene is inexpensive and available at chemists and supermarkets. Health food stores often sell unperfumed bases in bulk containers.

Home remedies are also effective: Lemon juice restores the skins acid mantle. Almond oil is an excellent moisturizer and suitable for use on baby’s skin. Acne scrubs can be made from colloidal oatmeal and almond meal mixed 2:1 and added to soap when cleansing. Other facial scrubs can contain alfalfa, corn meal and/or carrot juice for acne, grated apple and almond oil for rough skin, cucumber and oatmeal for oily skins, or apple cider vinegar. Raw cucumber rubbed on the face helps reduce oiliness and is astringent and is soothing on sunburnt skin. 14, 33 see also cosmetics, shampoo, draize test, LD50.

Monosodium Glutamate – Manufactured by the fermentation of molasses from sugar, MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. Its strong salt flavor is used to increase the palatability of protein rich foods. Used in packet soups, noodles and sauces. MSG is not permitted for use in children’s foods in Australia, though it has been classed as a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) substance in the US. Some people may be sensitive to MSG, symptoms include nausea, headache, dizziness, palpitations and weakness: called ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’. Sensitivity is thought related to dyspepsia or reflux. MSG occurs naturally in some foods, especially yeast, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheeses and vegetable extracts. Because of this, some processed foods may be high in MSG without having the relevant additive number, look for terms such as hydrolyzed vegetable protein (which is 10-30% msg), hydrolyzed plant protein, natural flavor, flavoring, or Kombu extract. Often used in stock cubes, condiments, canned soups, processed and cured meats. (Additive 621) 1, 13, 44, 47

Musk – extracted from the genital of musk deer, must rats, civet and beavers by a cruel and painful process. Used in perfumery, as a flavoring. Musk can be replaced with plant based labdanum oil. 14

Musk ambrette – is a synthetic product, containing toluene (a known carcinogen) although it is on the USFDA’s GRAS list. It is used to simulate blackberry flavor in foods; as a fixative in fragrances, dentifrices and deodorants. Musk ambrette can cause contact dermatitis. 2, 39, 47

Myristic acid – Isopropyl myristate. Myristyl. Etc. In most animal and vegetable fats. In Butter acids. Used in shampoos, creams, cosmetics, food flavorings.

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