Fortified Food- Is it a health food hazard?

Written by Changing Habits

September 14, 2011


I am not a fan of breakfast cereals, never have been.  They are the most profitable food on the supermarket shelf, they have outlandish false health claims and their marketing and advertising is full of extravagant claims.  The food is barely a food, it is highly processed and as a result must be fortified with dubious nutrients.  And if you read the ingredients on many of them you’ll see there are more additives then a luxury car.

You can imagine my absolute horror when I found out that you can down load a fact sheet from the ABC website that shows you how to get the iron out of the breakfast cereal.  All you have to do is crush the cereal that has been fortified with iron.  If you then put a magnet near the crushed cereal a black powder will be attracted to it.  If you want to do this experiment go to the following url, it might be a fun experiment to do with your children.

At the end of the experiment it tells you that the iron is perfectly safe.  I beg to differ on this one.  I’ve tried this same experiment with real oats, real corn and real wheat and there was no magnetic pull and no black powder emerged.  Plant based minerals are the way we have always received minerals, not some sprayed on black powder with magnetic pull.  

The fortification of foods has been a long term endeavour by the health authorities to stop nutritional deficiencies.  All flour has been fortified with B vitamins for many decades.  In 2009 the compulsory fortification of bread with folic acid and iodine was imposed on all bakers in Australia, except organic bread. (thank goodness).  

I am opposed to fortification because I don’t want to be mass medicated.  But having said that I don’t eat any fortified foods, I stay right away from them.  And maybe it is a good thing for the people who blindly eat these ridiculous so called foods with fortification.  But for people who are concerned about their health it is a matter of reading your labels.

There have been studies that show if males consume too much folic acid (synthetic form of folate) then the chances of prostate cancer increases by some 30%.  If a pregnant woman during 30 and 34 weeks takes folic acid then the chances of her baby having asthma increases.  While we consume fortified foods with vitamins and minerals made in a chemical laboratory we risk the chance of being caught up in some huge experiment that we really don’t know the health outcome.  I’m not prepared to be a part of it.

Salt is fortified with iodine more specifically potassium iodate and bread is then fortified with the iodised salt.  When this potassium iodate is imported  into the country it comes in barrels with danger labels saying the following; “DANGER! STRONG OXIDIZER. CONTACT WITH OTHER MATERIAL MAY CAUSE FIRE. HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED. CAUSES IRRITATION TO SKIN, EYES AND RESPIRATORY TRACT. MAY AFFECT CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, BLOOD, AND KIDNEYS.

You could bring tons of dulse into the country which is high in iron and iodine, naturally within the seaweed and there would never be a danger warning nor would you be able to move it around with a magnet despite the iron levels.

Food is so highly processed that there is a need for this fortification.  But if you don’t eat processed foods then you don’t have to worry about these matters.

It is interesting to note that Denmark has banned yeast extract spreads Marmite and Vegemite, citing a law which restricts vitamin-fortified food products. Interestingly, the country has also banned rice crispies, ovaltine, horlicks, Kellogs fortified breakfast cereals, and shreddies.

Denmark has been at the forefront of banning foods that they believe may endanger the health of the community.  In 2003 they banned trans fats from any food that was sold in the country, such bans have not happened in many other countries but the trans fats are known to be a fat that are not conducive to health.

Foods that are not fortified are real foods, these are the foods from nature that have not been refined to the point where fortification is needed.  Fortification of foods is something that needs to be addressed but for most people they blindly consume foods without even checking the label for what is in it.  Check your labels!!

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1 Comment

  1. IMP-India

    Really interesting article to read…


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