Kitchen Think: How Safe Are Those Ingredients?


Did you know that there’s a good chance that those unpronounceable ingredients that you see listed on the side of food packages were never tested, or even approved, by the government?

I sure as heck didn’t. I thought that EVERYTHING had to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration before being allowed on grocery shelves.


I was floored when I read  that for the past 15 years, most new food ingredients (including things like flavorings, preservatives, thickeners and binders) have not been checked out by the government to determine whether they were safe for consumers.

And even though it’s all perfectly legal, it’s also scary and dangerous.

Food manufacturers who want to add a new ingredient to a product don’t need to let the FDA know… they just have make sure that that “the substance is not harmful.”

Now, I know money and manpower make it impossible for the government to test every single new ingredient. But why not have food manufacturers do what pharmaceutical companies do and pay the FDA a testing fee?

I’m sure there isn’t a food maker out there who’d want to risk their reputation (not to mention a lawsuit) by using an unsafe ingredient. But doesn’t it make sense to have the testing go on before the ingredient goes in?




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posted under The Kitchen Think

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: