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Yoga Mat Sandwich, Anyone?

Yoga mat sandwich, anyone?

Bottle of pills and FDA APPROVED rubber stamp
Daniel Hurst Photography

Chances are, you've been eating this chemical foaming agent for most of your life!

As children, we don’t think about the things, we eat as possibly being harmful to our bodies! But now, after learning about all of the harmful additives in our food, over the years and now, the new culprit, azodicarbonamide known as ADA, a chemical foaming agent used as a dough conditioner, I think the seriousness of the situation is beginning to register with us all!

The funny thing about it, ADA is far from being the new kid in town and has been used as a food additive, since 1962. The champagne to plastics, it’s mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles resulting in strong, light and spongy materials, and in this case making large batches of dough easy to handle and finished products puffier and tough enough to withstand shipping and storage.

According to the new EWG Food Database of ingredients in 80,000 foods, now under development, ADA can be found in nearly 500 items and in more than 130 brands of bread, bread stuffing and snacks, including, many advertised as “healthy.” You can find more information about the synthetic additive and the entire list of these commercial baked goods which contain the agent at

Julie Johnson, one proponent on the ban against this synthetic additive thinks, Americans should be leery of all processed foods consumed on a daily basis and of any authorities who back such artificial additives. She said these are the same authorities who stamp the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) symbol of approval on many of these products.

“I think, if you are ingesting this baked chemical in other products, as well, then that should be a massive alarm bell for everyone! Couple that with the accumulative effect, the other tens of thousands of artificial additives, currently present in our environment have on our kidneys, liver, food, water and air every day.The human body is under extreme attack, and we should reject every single unnatural additive added to our food and go back to the 1950’s made from scratch, home cooking and all natural way of eating when cancer rates in humans were 1 in 50, not 1 in 2 like today,” said Johnson.

Heather Voke thinks this information is misleading and based on bad reasoning.

“The whole thing is inflammatory and bias! Just because the chemical is in both a thing we eat and don't eat doesn't make the chemical bad. To determine whether it's bad for you, you need to know what the chemical is, at what levels it's dangerous to humans and in what form it's dangerous. Carbon, oxygen and water are all chemicals. Likely you will find them in yoga mats and food, too,” Voke said.

Danny Chavarro, a restaurant chef disagrees. He said it doesn’t make sense to consume an artificial substance, just because it’s supposedly safe. “We need to eat healthy foods that will positively contribute to our bodies. Any chemicals require extra work from our digestive system to filter them out,” said Chavarro.

He said, it’s interesting how azodicarbonamide is banned both in Australia and Europe. Biurea is a byproduct of food created with ADA. It’s made with urea and hydrazine, an inorganic compound that is used in rocket fuel etc. ADA breaks down into urethane when it’s baked so it becomes carcinogenic.

“As a cook and a baker, I’ve never used those chemicals in my creations. And they taste just as good, if not better than store bought stuff,” said Chavarro.

The use of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients in American food comes out of necessity for Americans to have convenience in their busy lives! One being the need to prepare food in the fastest and cheapest way possible! There is a choice to be made.

Do Americans want a fast and cheap meal, may eventually make them ill and perhaps, even shorten their lifespan, or do they want to sacrifice a little time in their busy schedule to have a freshly prepared meal, may cost them more money but will benefit their health in the long run? Many chain supermarkets offer organic food, and it won’t hurt to visit a whole foods or farmers market to actually know from where your food comes. Also, bakery chains are great too!

Want to know which breads are ADA and preservative free? You can visit for the 12 best breads! Hint: Earthgrains earned an A minus, the highest score among the breads listed!

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