Perserve Me Not

Angel Hair with Garlic Spinach

I have been blessed to have been raised in an Italian home with a mother who loved to cook.   I am sure it was at her apron strings that her love for cooking gave me the passion I have today.  Since we had the luxury of my dad being the butcher, we always had the best cuts of meat, along with fresh chicken and fish.   Summertime was reflected with a big vegetable garden that both mom and dad loved to tend.  We always had fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, parsley and one of my dad’s favorite herbs; pepermint.  To fix up a beautiful Italian meal was right at our fingertips.  When mom got out the extra virgin olive oil, along with the fresh garlic, green oinions and fresh tomatoes, look out, a great dish was in the making.  Everything, and I mean everythin, was made from scratch.  I really never knew what the word perservatives meant.

So, fast-forward about 50 years, and consider the mass production of packaged foods, bottled dressings, pre-made sauces, and an array of persertives that keep our foods lasting far beyond their natural span of time.  Yes, I still advocate to take a little time, and make that meal yourself.  Only then, do you know what is actually in the food you are serving your family.   But, because of sheer convience, many have resorted to popping open a package and having a meal in about 10 minutes.

So, people, we must read lables!  There are a few things that I will not to resort to, and one of them is High Fructose Corn Syrup!  Okay, so let me list a few of these perservatives, and their ugly side effects, because the more informed we are, the better choices we can make.

The Most Common Chemical Additives and potential side effects:

1. Artificial Flavorings – causes behavorial changes in children.  2.  High Fructose Corn Syrup – Raises blood leves of cholesterol and triglycerride fats, and accelerates the aging process.  3. MSG – Reported to cause seizures, chest pains, headache, nausea and burning sensatons.  4. Sodium Benzoate – suspect  to increase hyperactivtiy in some children.    5. Aspartame – Suspect of causing CA and reported to cause seizures, headaches, mood disturbances.   6. Benzoic Acid – Can inhibit function of digestive system, causes headaches, stomach upset, asthma attacks.   7.  Potassium Bromate – used to increase volume in whole flour, breads and rolls.  It is known to cause CA in animals and even small amounts in bread can create a risk for humans.   Banned in several countries.  8. Sodium Caseinate – Allergic reactions can vary widely in severity ranging from general stomach upset to rashes to respiratory arrest. Ingesting sodium caseinate in a large quantity has the potential to cause harm to your kidneys.   9. BHA – Butylated Hydroyanisole – World Health Organization’s International Agency for research on CA consider BHA to be a possible carcinogen.  10. Canthaxanthin – Producers use this pigment to make egg yolks more appealing and acceptable.  Greater quantities of canthaxanthin can cause retanal damage.  11.  Nitrates/Nitrites – During frying process, nitrate converts to nitrite and combines with secondary amines to form nitrosamines, which are powerful cancer eacerbating chemicals.   12.  Maltodextrin – side effecgts including allergic reactions unexpected weight gain, bloating and flatulance.  13.  Trans Fats – increase bad LDL cholesterol levels and may decrease good HDL cholesterol levels.  Increases risk for diabetes.  14  Soy Lecithin – In higher doses, soy lecithin found in foods and sublements could cause weight gain, rashes headaches, nausea, etc.

Well, there you have it, and I say…Perserve Me Not!  Just pick up a copy of one of my cookbooks, Rosalie Serving Country, or Rosalie Serving Best Loved Italian and let’s get to cooking!  Fix it yourself, know what’s in, and enoy a healthy meal!

Happy Cooking,

Rosalie