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Aspartame safe says FDA


Kouign Aman
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It's a bit of a semantic argument, I think. A color is a color. It can't be artificial. Red is red. There is no such thing as "artificial red." What there can be is "artificial red coloring" ("artificial" meaning "contrived by art rather than nature"). Of course, there are plenty of "natural" coloring agents that are produced from a fairly intensive refinement process that may strike some as "artificial" (such as cochineal, the red coloring in Campari, which is derived from beetles).

Edited by slkinsey (log)

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put differently, there is such no such thing as "natural" coloring agents.

(is it theoretically conceivable that someone could have an adverse reaction of some sort to a specific coloring agent (of any kind)? sure. but to every coloring agent? no.)

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Personal experience does play a role. It can be someone's unpleasant personal experience that inspires further scientific study. Which can identify the small subgroup of people with previously unidentified ill effects from a substance. The fun part is that identifying these small groups greatly increases scientific knowledge of physiological mechanisms, because its just too fascinating to figure out why that group is affected and most folks are not.

Sugar, which is a natural substance, is very very bad for a small group of people. Shall we discount the 'personal experiences' of diabetics? Shall we believe in the experiences of those who are troubled from infancy, but not in those who are affected later in life? (Type I vs Type II)

How about discounting those folks who are only affected by one form of sugar (lactose)? [tongue in cheek]After all, milk didn't bother them as babies. Doesn't bother me as an adult. Must not be real. [/tongue in cheek]

I'm interested that there is a group showing up on this board that show consistent issues with aspartame. It would be less interesting if it were blamed for every symptom under the sun (as seems to be the case for MSG). (And yes, I understand that those with a negative experience are more likely to post it than the many who have no negative effects).

<editted to repair grammar>

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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For me, it's mostly red 40. I don't know why, but it affects my muscles. I didn't mean to imply that it was all artificial/natural coloring agents. Red's the worst, but blue and green can also be a problem.

As for aspartame or splenda, I realize there are alarmists who will insist that both are bad for you. I don't know, except that splenda doesn't give me a bad reaction, and aspartame does. Plus, you can cook with splenda without the taste changing.

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I don't trust that any of the artificial sweeteners are completely safe. I'd rather be sparing with sugar and honey than use any of the lot, personally.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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And let's not forget the danger posed by angry bees!

I don't know anybody who was stung by a packet of Equal.

I know someone who get SEIZURES eating Equal. I do not think its one bit safe!

And I know people who've gotten seizures from eating bees!

(Well, not actually. But make sure those bees are cooked, or at least dead, before you eat them.)

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put differently, there is such no such thing as "natural" coloring agents.[...]

Turmeric (yellow), beets (red), cashew fruit (blue)...

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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put differently, there is such no such thing as "natural" coloring agents.[...]

Turmeric (yellow), beets (red), cashew fruit (blue)...

the point is...they're processed.

You don't have to process them to get colors from them.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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The point I think Nathan is making here is that, yes, some processing is needed if you want, say, the red coloring from beets but not beet flavor and other potentially undesirable things that come along with using beets. If you happen to get a red color because you use beets (or turmeric or whatever), then they aren't "coloring agents," they're ingredients.

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And back on topic... I don't consume aspartame because I get a nasty aftertaste from it. It's a genetic trait, nothing special. Same for sucralose and saccherine (also genetic traits, but the sucralose is likely a recessive... my sister and I can taste it, parents can't, brother can't). I've never tried stevia, so I don't know if that gives me trouble or not. I'm also sensitive to the taste of several other chemicals that mark genetic tasting traits. I'm not a supertaster, but I do have a pretty impressive collection of genetic taste sensitivities. They hold even in double-blind tests too, which I find amusing. My father has a similar but less broad package of taste sensitivities, my sister's is about the same as mine. My brother's is about on par with Dad's, and mom has the fewest. She seems to have at least one recessive gene for all the ones I do have tho.

And well, given my avoidance of aspartame, I don't think it's very likely my ADD was caused by it. Parental consumption prior to my birth *can't* have caused it, since it wasn't available for sale until I was 6. It seems far more likely to me that my ADD is a genetic tendency, since my mother has been diagnosed with it, and my father shows many ADD traits.

It also seems quite unlikely that aspartame taste sensitivity would be a linked trait with ADD. I've lost track of the number of other people diagnosed as ADD I've met who can't taste the stuff (including mom). And barring family members, few of the people I've met who experience the aspartame aftertaste have ADD.

Not data, but the timing and diagnosis pattern in my family better supports the increased diagnosis hypothesis.

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People have been known to go into anaphylactic shock and even die from eating honey.

Very true. It depends on the flowers from which the pollen is gathered if an individual is extremely allergic to the pollen.

Bee pollen caution.

There have also been a few fairly recent cases of adults poisoned by honey produced by bees gathering pollen from oleander.

poisoned honey

This is why beekeepers are very careful about the placement of hiives and why potential beekeepers need some instruction from experienced people.

The poisoning incidents that I heard about, happened in the 1970s on a commune in central California.

Azaleas are another plant that can be a problem.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The point I think Nathan is making here is that, yes, some processing is needed if you want, say, the red coloring from beets but not beet flavor and other potentially undesirable things that come along with using beets.  If you happen to get a red color because you use beets (or turmeric or whatever), then they aren't "coloring agents," they're ingredients.

Well, cashew fruit gives an indelible dye without any processing other than, I suppose, juicing. Fresh turmeric can be simply pounded with a mortar and pestle to give a yellow dye. Anyway, so what if there's "processing"? Any type of cooking is also "processing," in that case, isn't it?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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The point I think Nathan is making here is that, yes, some processing is needed if you want, say, the red coloring from beets but not beet flavor and other potentially undesirable things that come along with using beets.  If you happen to get a red color because you use beets (or turmeric or whatever), then they aren't "coloring agents," they're ingredients.

Well, cashew fruit gives an indelible dye without any processing other than, I suppose, juicing. Fresh turmeric can be simply pounded with a mortar and pestle to give a yellow dye. Anyway, so what if there's "processing"? Any type of cooking is also "processing," in that case, isn't it?

The point is that, if you juice a cashew fruit and use the juice as a coloring agent you also get cashew fruit juice flavor, etc. If you only want the color, you must take more intensive steps. The end result is that you end up with something "artificial" because you have extracted and refined the coloring agent. Is there any difference between a coloring agent extracted from cashew fruit and a coloring agent with the same molecular composition made by chemical synthesis?

I agree that processing isn't always a big deal. But, then again, I also think that making something out of "chemicals" (as if everything weren't made out of chemicals anyway) isn't always a big deal either.

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