The necessity of avoiding all chemically preserved foods and foods to which chemicals have been added cannot be stressed too strongly.
The era in which we live has rightly been called the era of chemistry. The chemical industry has grown by leaps and bounds, and influences our existence in many ways. Practically every other industry is dependent upon it, and the food industry is no exception. However while its contributions to industry as a whole have been of tremendous value, its use in the food industry has turned out to be a menace to health and life.
Congressman James J. Delaney, Chairman of the House Selective Committee to Investigate the Use of Food Products, pointed out that 704 chemicals are now being used in the food industry of which 428 are known to be safe.1 In other words, Congressman Delaney pointed out, 276 are unknown and untested, and some of them may be slowly poisoning us!
There is strong support for Congressman Delaneys conclusion. It was not so very long ago that the papers were filled with the story of agene (nitrogen trichloride),2 a chemical used to bleach the flour used in baking our bread and cakes. Research workers suddenly discover^ that when this chemical was fed to animals it induced various nervous reactions, including fits of an epileptic-like nature; as a result of these findings the Food and Drug Administration finally prohibited its use.
Agene had been in use in the baking industry for over a quarter of a century, and 95 per cent of all breads and cakes sold commercially were prepared from flour containing it. Although some of our foremost nutritionists had warned against the use of this chemical, the baking industry continued to use it without restraint until it was actually banned by the Food and Drug Administration.
We cannot help wondering how many cases of heart disease or other diseases of a degenerative nature may have had their inception or may have become intensified as a result of this dangerous chemical.
Not too long afterward, another chemical, lithium chloride, used as a salt substitute in cases of heart and kidney diseases and high blood pressure, was found injurious to health and was ordered withdrawn from use.
Fortunately lithium chloride was not in use for very long, but even for the short time that it was used, a number of fatalities were reported.3
More recently a group of chemicals used as bread softeners in the baking industry, polyoxyethylene monostearate and related compounds, were ordered discontinued by the Food and Drug Administration, which explained that the ban became necessary because these chemicals could deceive consumers as to the age of the bread‚ and because they had not been tested adequately for their safety as ingredients of bread.4