Preservatives: What Are They and Why Should I Avoid Them?

Jul 10, 2018

Mother Earth


When choosing which foods, supplements and products to give your baby, there are lots of things to keep in mind. And one of the most important things? Preservatives. If you’ve done a good amount of reading on baby food and products, you’ve probably noticed that preservatives get a pretty bad rap. Wanna know why? We’re here to fill you in.

What are preservatives and why are they bad?

To put it simply, a preservative is a chemical that’s added to a food or product to extend its freshness. You probably think of them mostly when it comes to food, but preservatives are actually added to all kinds of products like cleaning products, wellness products, personal care products, medicine and makeup.

When it comes to consumable products and food, preservatives are added chemicals whose purpose is to extend shelf life. Shelf life is basically how long something is good before the quality begins to deteriorate. The idea sounded great when preservatives first started making their way into our homes in the earlier parts of the 20th century. Preservatives prevented food from rotting which allowed it to last longer and ultimately reduce waste. But is the price we pay by consuming them worth it? Not to mention, do we really want to consume food that should have gone bad but hasn’t because of a chemical?

Preservatives to look out for

One of the most common preservatives added to food and consumable products, sodium benzoate, has shown to cause hyperactivity in children. Sodium nitrate, another common preservative, evolves into sodium nitrite once it’s in the body, which is a known carcinogen. What’s a carcinogen you may ask? It’s a substance capable of causing cancer. Although the amount of studies done on the long-term, negative effects of preservatives are limited, those that have been done indicate its best to consume food sans preservatives. Why risk it if you don’t have to, right?

When shopping for your family, be sure to check the labels  for the word “preservatives” or for the chemical name of the preservative. Since marketers have a nifty way of hiding scary words like preservatives, look out for these chemical ingredients:

  • Sodium benzoate
  • Sodium nitrate
  • BHT
  • BHA
  • Propyl gallate
  • Sorbic acid
  • Benzoic acid
  • Calcium propionate
  • Disodium EDTA
  • Potassium Sorbate

Why be part of the experiment? 

We can all appreciate the very real struggle between convenience and what is often the better choice, especially as a parent! It’s important to keep in mind that food and fresh ingredients are actually intended to go bad. Because we understand the risks of consuming preservatives, especially when it comes to your little ones, we make all of our products preservative-free. The way we look at it, why be part of the experiment? Our products will always be certified organic and preservative-free, and if we can’t make them to meet those standards, we won’t make them at all.

Join the Conversation