Artificial Sweetener In Your Organic Dinner?

January 28, 2011

Recently, the FDA approved an artificial sweetener, Neotame, for use, including in certified organic and kosher foods, without requiring that it be on the ingredients list on the label.

Fourwinds10 has more on the politics of Neotame

Many people choose to use artificial sweeteners in drinks in an effort to consume less calories, although studies find people who drink diet sodas tend to consume more calories than they would if they were drinking real sugar and moderating consumption (tip—if you ask for a cherry soda and it’s not on tap, you’re adding hundreds of calories to your drink).

Neotame is designed as a cheap substitute for real sugar, and is potentially used in any packaged food. Like many sugar substitutes, Neotame is thought to be a neurotoxin, effective even in small doses.

Neotame is also being marketed as Sweetos, an artificial sweetener for livestock feed (sweetening feed allows ranchers to trick livestock into eating food they might otherwise reject for being rotten, etc.).

How Do I Avoid Artificial Foods?

The best, but hardest, action is to buy whole foods from local farmers that you get to know and trust, and then cook from scratch.

If that’s not an option, then you can do a little research. In time honest companies will likely add “no neotame” to their labels similar to “no msg” and “rBGH Free” labels (foods can contain msg under “trade secret” ingredient headings-those generic bits usually at the end of a list, such as “natural flavors”, etc.). In the meantime, try to focus on smaller companies who are less likely to cut corners and protect brand reputation, and avoid cheaper organics such as many grocery store lines.

If you aren’t sure, call customer service for your favorite brands and ask about Neotame in particular and artificial sweeteners in general. Let them know how you feel.

Click Here to learn more about GMO

What brands do you trust? What ranchers in particular? Not everyone lives near fresh food, so share trusted brands in the comments and let’s hope their products cross state lines!

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