Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate


I have a challenge for all of you today! That challenge is to rid your pantry and refrigerator of Sodium Benzoate. This chemical preservative is used to help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus in acidic products. It’s the cheapest mold inhibiter on the market, which is why it is so often used. Acidic foods tend to grow bacteria, mold and yeast more easily than non-acidic foods, so the Sodium Benzoate extends the shelf life. It is widely used in foods, beverages, cosmetics, dental care products, and pharmaceuticals. I even found it in Hyland’s Homeopathic Cough syrup. It is also found in a lot of food in restaurants. For example, Subway’s jalapeños, pickles, banana peppers and teriyaki glaze use Sodium Benzoate as a preservative.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is considerably more toxic than either processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It may exacerbate asthma, hyperactive behavior (when consumed in products with certain food colorings), and cause skin rash upon contact. A study in 2007 indicated that it may cause serious cell damage associated with cirrhosis of the liver, aging, and Parkinson’s disease. In animal studies, there are reports of possible weight gain, liver and kidney issues, and birth defects. (Source)

This ingredient has been linked with creating free radicals in the body, destorying mitochondrial DNA, and thus adding to the body’s aging process. Readily absorbed by the skin, Sodium Benzoate’s presence in anti-aging products may, ironically, actually age you faster, by damaging your DNA.

Sodium benzoate has been linked to cancer, but is not known to be carcinogenic on its own.  There have been concerns by the FDA that when both vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and sodium benzoate are mixed, they form benzene, a known human carcinogen and DNA damager. This creates a serious concern, because sodium benzoate is commonly used in acidic foods with vitamin C, such as juices, sodas and salad dressings. The FDA says it’s safe because the amount used to preserve foods is very low, but don’t ever combine it with vitamin C, as this causes benzene to be formed.

Outside of our foods, benzene is the main ingredient in various paint stripper products, rubber cements, and spot removers, due it its highly destructive and solvent qualities. It was discontinued in rubber manufacture in the U.S. because it caused large percentages of workers to get leukemia. (Source)

When reading your labels to confirm if Vitamin C is in the product, look for any of these names: Ascorbic Acid, Acide Ascorbique, Acide Cévitamique, Acide Iso-Ascorbique, Acide L-Ascorbique, Acido Ascorbico, Antiscorbutic Vitamin, Ascorbate, Ascorbate de Calcium, Ascorbate de Sodium, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Calcium Ascorbate, Cevitamic Acid, Iso-Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbate, Palmitate d’Ascorbyl, Selenium Ascorbate, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamina C, Vitamine Antiscorbutique, Vitamine C.

Cancer is all about the cumulative effect. When the human body is exposed repeatedly to any level of this carcinogen, which is found in thousands of products, the immune system, over time, is depleted to the point that one acquires an immune deficiency. Then the body does not have enough essential nutrients to detoxify, and this occurs at the cellular level. Parkinson’s, neuro-degenerative diseases, and premature aging have all been attributed to this infamous preservative. – Natural News

When going through your pantry look closely at the labels for:

  • Vinegar (salad dressings, pickled foods)
  • Carbonic acid (carbonated drinks)
  • Citric acid (jams, fruit juices, cough syrups, baby wipes, liquid hand soaps)
  • Alcohol (alcohol-based mouthwash)
  • Other high acids (soy sauce, Chinese food sauces)

We found replacements for many of the products in our pantry/refrigerator that contained Sodium Benzoate. Read about them here.- below

This was somewhat of a drastic week. I spent a good part of the day going through our pantry and refrigerator reading every label and discarding products containing preservatives, refined oils and sugars. This may sound wasteful, but a lot of the condiments in the refrigerator were actually expired anyways Innocent. A lot of the canned food and boxed food that was not expired was donated to food banks over the holidays. Once you go through this activity you will be shocked at how many products contain Sodium Benzoate and how many creams and alternative milks contain Carrageenan.

We went FROM –> TO:

1. Soy Sauce –> Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos is a healthy alternative to Soy and Tamari sauce. No table salt or preservatives are added — soy sauce contains sodium benzoate. (Soy sauces contains soybeans and 91 percent of soy crops are genetically modified.) The most notable nutritional benefit is the amino acid content compared to soy-sased sauces — commonly described as the building blocks of protein.

Although it’s often lauded as a healthy, cholesterol-free, cheap, low-fat protein alternative to meat, soy is NOT a health food. Any foods that list soy in any form as an ingredient should be avoided. Soy protein, soy isolate, and soy oil are present in about 60 percent of the foods on the market and have been shown to impair fertility and affect estrogen in women, lower sex drive, and trigger puberty early in children. Soy can also add to the imbalance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The only soy products fit for human consumption are fermented and organic and you will never find this type of soy in any processed foods.

2. Pancake Syrup –> Pure Maple Syrup, Organic Grade A or 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup, Grade B

I was shocked when I realized my pancake syrup contained Sodium Benzoate, and most of them do.

There are two varieties of maple syrup to choose from, USDA Grade A and Grade B. Grade A is the most popular, with a light maple flavor and a relatively thin consistency. It’s a good choice for pancakes, and can make a great topping for desserts and other foods.

Grade B maple syrup is much darker and has a stronger flavor. It also is a bit thicker, tending towards the consistency of pancake syrup rather than the runnier Grade A. Grade B is often recommended for baking because its stronger flavor comes through more readily, but it can be a better choice for pancakes or waffles than Grade A if you are a fan of the flavor of maple in general. The two are interchangeable as far as what will work in a recipe that calls for maple syrup. Grade C maple syrup, it is now called Grade B. Thus, Grade B & C are the same.

3. Ketchup –> Organic Ketchup

4. Pickles –> Organic Pickels

Most pickles contain Sodium Benzoate. We find the organic ones in the organic section of our grocery store. If you shop at Wegman’s they can be found in the organic section near the salad dressings.

5. Salad Dressings –> Homemade or Bragg’s Ginger & Sesame Salad Dressing are good choices.

Most salad dressings, even the organic ones, contain canola oil. Over-consumption of oils like canola cause an abundance of Omega 6 fatty acids — this imbalance increases the risk of inflammation, heart disease, obesity, and prostate and bone cancer. Further, 75 percent of canola crops are genetically modified. If you do purchase salad dressing, you want to make sure it contains ONLY olive oil and not a combination of olive oil and other oils (i.e. canola, vegetable, soybean, etc.).

Our pantry now consists of the following:

  • Coconut Milk
  • Organic Diced Tomatoes
  • Organic Tomato Paste
  • Organic Chicken Broth
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Coconut Flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Arrowroot Flour
  • Raw Almond
  • Raw Pecans
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Almond Butter
  • Grass-fed Beef Jerky
  • Canned Wild-Caught Salm0n
  • Canned Wild-Caught Tuna
  • Olives
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Dried Unsweetened Fruit
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Tons of Spices

Our refrigerator consists of the following with fruit varying through the seasons:

  • Free Range Eggs
  • Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • Organic Chicken
  • Organic Deli Meat
  • Organic Bacon
  • Organic Mustard
  • Salsa
  • Veganaise
  • Sriracha Hot Sauce
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Organic Lettuce Mix
  • Romaine
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Organic Apples
  • Organic Blueberries
  • Organic Limes
  • Organic Lemons
  • Organic Pears
  • Organic Grapes
  • Kiwi



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