Congratulations to the Environmental Working Group for publishing a list of nearly 500 brand names and products that contain an ingredient, which I jokingly would call “yoga-mat nutrition.” The ingredient that gives absolutely no nutritional value but has questionable health effects is Azodicarbonamide (AZ).  According to EWG, AZ
is mixed into polymer plastic gel to generate tiny gas bubbles, something like champagne for plastics. The results are materials that are strong, light, spongy and malleable. Some brand names that use AZ in their products, according to EWG, are:
Ball Park, Butternut, Country Hearth, Fleischman’s, Food Club, Harvest Pride, Healthy Life, Jimmy Dean, Joseph Campione, Kroger, Little Debbie, Mariano’s, Marie Callendar’s, Martin’s, Mother’s, Pillsbury, Roman Meal, Sara Lee, Schmidt, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker’s, Sunbeam, Turano, Tyson, Village Hearth and Wonder. According to Science Lab 
Potential Acute Health Effects:
Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation (lung sensitizer).
Potential Chronic Health Effects:
Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (sensitizer).
CARCINOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.
MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast.
TERATOGENIC EFFECTS: Not available.
DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY: Not available.
The substance may be toxic to kidneys. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Why carcinogenic and teratogenic effects are not available refers to one of two probable reasons:
- the information is known but considered part of proprietary ‘trade secrets’ information that does not have to be divulged under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act  or,
- the studies to ascertain the damage from AZ, also known at the chemical Formamide (C2-H4-N4-O2), may not have been done either deliberately or otherwise.
Reading food ingredient labels should become a key food-shopping routine for everyone concerned about what goes into one’s body as food. However, AZ probably is not listed as such on brand labels or may be considered an ingredient that does not have to be divulged.
Thanks, Environmental Working Group. for exposing ‘yoga-mat foods’. I encourage readers to study EWG’s list nearly 500 foods containing azodicarbonamide .
Here’s what I’d like to remind readers: Remember, you have the “power of the purse” to make food purveyors take chemicals out of products. It’s called boycotting or stop buying products. Also, send emails and letters, or make phone calls to corporate headquarters telling them how you feel about their products. If they get enough input from consumers, they will listen, if they want to keep selling products.
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine’s latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don’t Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine’s more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008).
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