You are probably asking, “sodium benzoate what?”.
Sodium benzoate is a preservative added to foods mainly to inhibit mold growth. Benzoic acid is naturally occuring, but when made in a lab, they make the sodium salt of benzoic acid called sodium benzoate. This chemical is particularly frightening as when it combines with vitamin C, it forms benzene–a known carcinogen.
If you are interested, you can read more about benzene here at The American Cancer Society. This is all assuming that the sodium benzoate gets converted to benzene.
Many of you may ask, “Well if I don’t take in vitamin C, can’t I keep eating or drinking the sodium benzoate-containing foods?”.
I surely don’t. You must remember that there is vitamin C in a large percentage of the foods that we eat–most all fruits and vegetables, and vitamin C is often added to foods under the name ascorbic acid.
Common Sources of Sodium Benzoate
- some fruit drinks
- refrigerated grocery store boiled eggs
- some brands of hummus (read your label!)
- MANY condiments–don’t forget to check your ketchup and salad dressing
- pickled foods
- pie fillings
These are just a few, but if it is from a package, read the label 🙂 I searched my house for sodium benzoate-containing foods and I could only find a relish jar with it! Haha. Some may think I am crazy for being this picky, but my goal is to limit my exposure to as many toxins as possible and keep things as natural as possible. Then, I figure when I come across harmful things once and a while, it won’t matter as much.
Don’t become OCD with this, but if you regularly drink soda, I would recommend ditching the drink regardless. The overall goal is to eat less processed foods, and eat more from home. I know we all live busy lifestyles and it is hard to make things from scratch, so the next best thing is to read your food labels!