MNN Galleries

Gulf-friendly guide: Alternatives to oil-based products

Canned food

Photo: Unhindered by Talent/Flickr

11 of 13

Canned food

THE PROBLEM: Food additives — including sodium benzoate, FD&C red 40 and yllow 5 — put in canned goods to extend their shelf life and give them an unnaturally appealing color are yet more petrochemicals. The human body is not designed to consume petrochemicals, so there are many possible risks behind over-processed foods. New studies are linking food dye consumption to ADHD. Bisphenol-A (or BPA), a chemical commonly found in can linings, is widely known to interfere with hormone production and is therefore associated with various diseases. Many varieties of additives have already been banned (for a full list see the Center for Science in the Public Interest), but still more of these ingredients remain in grocery stores.

THE ALTERNATIVE: Wherever possible, buy fresh, organic produce and limit purchases of canned food. Frozen food in recyclable cardboard as well as foods packaged in glass also make a suitable alternative to cans.