• Question: If we know preservatives are bad for you why do we use them so much

    Asked by Em12 to Ciara, Elaine, Gonzalo, Yvonne on 16 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Gonzalo Delgado-Pando

      Gonzalo Delgado-Pando answered on 16 Nov 2017:


      Preservatives are needed to keep some food safe to eat. Preservatives are bad if we eat loads of them, and not all of them are equally bad. Preservatives have also saved millions of life, because they make some nasty bacteria not able to grow. The thing is the food where we add the preservatives is usually not healthy, not because of the preservatives but because of the type of food and composition. So sometimes we blame the preservatives when we should blame the food.

    • Photo: Yvonne Lenighan

      Yvonne Lenighan answered on 16 Nov 2017:


      Preservatives are a vital part to food processing.. Some foods contain more preservatives than others e.g. processed red meat (sausages etc.) and eating high levels of these foods has been associated with disease, however little amounts are okay for us! They help keep some foods edible for longer!

    • Photo: Ciara O' Donovan

      Ciara O' Donovan answered on 16 Nov 2017:


      As the other scientists here have said preservatives are not bad for us when we eat them. Without them there would be a lot more food waste and also foods might be more likely to make us sick. Also not all preservatives are artificial.. vinegar for example is a preservative in things such as pickles. We are also very lucky that the artificial preservatives are very well tested before they can be used in food. But sometimes foods with high percentages of these (which can have a lot of other ingredients which are not great for us) as Gonzalo and Yvonne have said so foods with a lot of preservatives (or additives in general) should not be eaten in huge amounts.

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