Food Additives starting with S

Food Additives – S

Saccharin – sweetening agent banned in 1977, but reinstated subject to strict labeling stating “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. this product contains saccharin which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals”. Smolinske writes: “It is generally recommended that saccharin be avoided in nondiabetic children, patients with sulfonamide allergy, pregnant women, and young women of childbearing age. Excessive use should be discouraged” 13, 47

Salt – Sodium is a vital though often over consumed mineral found throughout the body, usually in the form of sodium chloride or table salt. It is added to every processed food and occurs naturally in many fresh fruits and vegetables. Iodine is usually added to salt, although it is only required in trace amounts. see also, Iodine. 1, 3, 46

Seitan – wheat gluten based vegan meat-substitute.. Made from whole wheat flour which is mixed with water and kneaded. This dough undergoes a simple process of rinsing and mixing, to remove the starch and some bran, until a gluten is obtained. After boiling in water, this glutinous dough is called Kofu, which can be further processed in many ways. One of which is seitan. Kofu becomes seitan by simmering in a stock of tamari soy sauce, water and kombu sea vegetable. 43

Shampoo – Many shampoos contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Most are tested on animals. Alkylphenyl ethoxylates, commonly used in detergents, shampoos, and cleaners as well as in many industrial chemicals, have been found to have estrogenic effects on the human body. “Exposure to excess estrogenic compounds can cause developmental and reproductive problems in both sexes, but especially males. Excess estrogen may possibly be linked to breast cancer in women.” 82 (also see estrogen) . Concern is high because exposure to these chemicals is so widespread. They are commonly used in many detergents, shampoos, and cleaners as well as in many industrial chemicals.

A herbal substitute for commercial shampoos: an infusion of soapwort leaves, simmered for five minutes, to which may be added (3:1) a small amount of the infused leaves of another herb such as rosemary (for dark hair), chamomile (for blonde hair), sage (for its conditioning properties) or lavender and rose (for scent). Almond oil, rosemary and nettle can be used to strengthen the hair. Supermarkets stock a range of compassionate alternatives. see also moisturisers, cosmetics, draize test, LD50. 17, 33, 39
Sheep -Merinos bred for wool are unnatural and unsuited to the hot climate of Australia where they are a popular breed. They suffer flystrike, perspiration and heat exhaustion from their overloaded wool growth which is the product of human manipulation. Sheep are subject to having their tails removed by means of a rubber band that causes the limb to die, and “mulesing” where an area of skin around the sheep’s anus is removed to create a wool-free scar supposed to prevent flystrike. Australia is also involved in the export of live sheep to the Middle East where they await slaughter, often a prolonged death by the requirements of ‘Halal’ methods. Since 1980 as many as 191,000 sheep have died from suffocation, drowning, heat exhaustion or burning on badly maintained and overcrowded ships where cruelty and overcrowding is the norm. The practice continues, as exporters earn more from a live sheep than a pre-slaughtered one. 70% of the world’s clothing quality wool comes from Australia. In the UK, almost 30% of wool comes from the carcasses of dead animals. British wool is most often used in the making of carpets. 2, 15, 39

Shellac – a varnish made from the wings of an insect, sometimes used to wax fruit. Also used to coat tablets (including Sudafed), in hair sprays, eyeliners and mascara 1, 39, 47

Silk – fiber derived from the cocoons of silkworms, who are steamed alive, gassed or killed in boiling water or the process. Alternatives to silk include alginate fibers from seaweed, ardil from peanuts and vicara from maize. Used as fabric, some taffettas, powdered cosmetics and soaps. Can cause allergic reactions. Milkweed, cotton, kapok, rayon and synthetic silks are substitutes. 14, 39, 55

Smog – Nitrogenous and Sulphurous emissions in the air undergo photochemical conversion to ozone, sulphuric acid and nitric acid gas. These chemicals then contribute to acid rain, respiratory illnesses like asthma, and breathing difficulties, even deaths, not to mention the filth. Particulate matter and gases emitted from car exhausts and industrial pollution forms a haze in the air over cities when anti-cyclonic weather conditions occur which prevent the smog from being dispersed by wind. Solutions: reducing car emissions through a combination of pollution controls devices on vehicles and reduced numbers of vehicles. Encouraging public transport usage. 92, 95, 96

Sodium Benzoate – additive 211. An antimicrobial preservative. Orange soft drinks contain a high amount of it, up to 25mg per 250ml. Also in milk and meat products, relishes and condiments, baked goods and lollies. Used in many oral medications including Actifed, Phenergan, and Tylenol. Known to causes nettle rash, and aggravate asthma. 3, 47, 48

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – sometimes contains formaldehyde as a preservative. Used in some medications, medicated shampoos. The lauryl component is derived from fatty acids, sometimes found in spermaceti, but more widely sourced from laurel oil derived from trees in the bay family. Widely used in cosmetics, especially shampoos, bubble baths and hair dyes. Known to cause dermatitis. 3, 47

Sodium Stannate – salt of tin. 3

Soap – most soaps contain animal fats in the form of sodium tallowate. An inexpensive and plentiful source, sodium tallowate can also be found in some shampoos and shaving creams. Don’t be fooled by glycerine soaps either, many contain sodium tallowate. Vegetable oils soaps are readily available, and more palatable than the alternative of smearing ones body with animal fat! Yuk. 3, 14

Sorbic Acid – Potassium Sorbate. Additive 200. `Preservative. Either obtained from berries, or synthesised. Found in a wide range of processed foods, some pharmaceutical syrups and ophthalmic preparations and is the seventh most widely used preservative in cosmetics. 3, 47, 48

Sorbitol – commonly found in fruits, sorbitol is used as a sweetening agent in elixirs and as a humectant in toothpaste, and cosmetics. 3, 47, 48

Soy Lecithin – Used in foods, cosmetics as an emulsifier in foundations, lipsticks and moisturisers. 47, 48

Soy products – the soy bean is used in myriad ways: milk, flour, oil, sauce, tofu, cheese, miso, veggie burgers, tempeh. Soy milk is made by soaking, draining, grinding then cooking and draining the beans. Soy milk contains the same amount of protein, half the fat, but less calcium than cow’s milk. Calcium fortified soy milk is available. Soy beans are proven to reduce the risk of hormonal cancers and osteoporosis, Vegetarian Times reports that “the same estrogen-like compound that slows tumour growth and bolsters bones may also prevent heart attacks and strokes by discouraging the clogging of arteries.” Isoflavones in soy have been shown to enable new bone growth and prevent the bone loss characteristic of osteoporosis. see also Phytoestrogens, Gene technology, Roundup, Meat. 10, 2, 14

Soy Milk – often made from soy isolate and not the entire bean. Additives are then substituted to make up the calcium and vitamin content and change the flavour. These include 101 riboflavin, 300 ascorbic acid, 332 potassium nitrite, 338 phosphoric acid, 339 sodium phosphate, 340 potassium phosphate, 341 calcium phosphate, 375 niacin, 509 calcium chloride, 529 calcium oxide. 48

Sponges – Once the dead shells of a marine animal, most sponges are now synthetic due to over fishing making real sponges rare. 14

Squalem, squalene – shark oil used in hair colors, cosmetics, perfumes 3, 14

Stainless Steel – Steel, chromium and nickel mixture, commonly used for cooking and eating utensils, inert in cooking. see also toxicity

Stearates -stearic acid, stearamine, stearamide etc. Mainly derived from animal fats, usually obtained from pigs. Found in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and hair products, food flavoring. 14,78

Steroids – derived from animal gland or plant tissues. Used in hormone medications, creams, conditioners and perfumes

Succotash – dish combining corn and beans, a good combination of amino acids. 1

Sugar – despite the fact that sugar has no nutritional value, it makes a lot of otherwise unpalatable foods edible. Sugar is detrimental nutritionally when it is used to replace complex carbohydrates available from fruit, veg and grains.
White sugar is decolorized by mixing liquid sugar with activated carbon. Ten years ago, this probably would have been bone char, but now they use coal or wood charcoal. A third alternative is a chemical resin, albeit more expensive. Sugar produced from cane in the US may have been decolorized with bone char. 74

Sulpur dioxide – preservative derived from coal tar used to control the growth of bacteria. All sulphur drugs are toxic and restricted in use. Sprayed on grapes after harvesting and frequently used in wines. Produced by the combustion of sulphur or gypsum. see also Active packaging. 1, 3, 38

Sulphites – along with aspartame, are the most often blamed for adverse reactions to food additives. The Adverse Reaction Monitoring System in the US has recorded that half these reactions can be classed as serious. Symptoms include: “difficulty breathing or seizures”, especially in those susceptible to asthma. Most of the poisonings were traced to salad bars where a sulphite preservative had been used to keep the food looking fresh. Sulphites are commonly used in processed orange juice, wine, packet potato chips, sweets, jams, condiments, processed vegetables, soups, sauces, and dried fruit (221-224). Banned in the US in 1986 for use with fresh fruits and vegetables (excepting potatoes) Also used as a preservative in hair permanent wave products and some medications.13, 47

Synthetic fabrics – Around 25 thousand barrels of oil a day are used to create synthetic fabrics! Being of petrochemical origin, they do not biodegrade. Burning nylon fabrics release nitrous oxide, a gas contributing to ozone depletion. 2, 55

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