In a recent investigation, the illustrious Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe, explored how many brands were peddling an artificial preservative known as “tBHQ”. You’ve probably heard of tBHQ, the artificial preservative, but did you know how toxic AND prevalent the Food Babe claims it is?
“You can’t get much more toxic than TBHQ. This synthetic preservative is a form of butane and has been linked to vision disturbances, liver enlargement, childhood behavioral problems, and stomach cancer in animal studies. It’s also banned for use in food in other countries including Japan.”
Her blog post, which went viral, targeted the Cheez-It brand, and a slew of other super popular products, such as Keebler snacks, Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, Hidden Valley Ranch, Pillsbury products, and a lot more. Lots of outrage from people who didn’t realize they were unknowingly ingesting butane! I mean, c’mon, butane is a lighter fluid!
However, there were a few rebuttals. Snopes, for example, covered her story, and stated that tBHQ, or tertiary butylhydroquinone, is a “synthetic antioxidant that is commonly used as a food preservative”, but that it does not actually contain lighter fluid.
While most commenters were generally supportive of Vani’s push for removing artificial preservatives, one particular commenter put extra time into researching the chemical components of tBHQ, and found that there was evidence based on a multitude of scientific studies that the ingredients of tBHQ “exhibit anti-carcinogenic effect”. He said that “Many potentially toxic compounds exhibit this type of behavior, like water for example, when you are exposed to too much of it. Looking at the structure it has many similar properties to compounds already in your system naturally.”
What do you think?