What We Do Not Knowingly Stock
Although additive-free sources of tobacco are available, smoke contains
many carcinogenic compounds once combusted. According to the American
Lung Association, the use of tobacco is implicated in a variety of
cancers, emphysema and asthma. The EPA ruling about second-hand effects
on health has resulted in the gradual phasing out of smoking in public
The health effects of alcohol range from extremely detrimental when
used in excess to potentially beneficial when used in careful
moderation. Any amount of alcohol is considered detrimental to children
and to women during pregnancy (ref 3). HWFC does not carry alcohol
because it does not have a license to sell it as required by law.
Containing Artificial Preservatives, Artificial Food Coloring and
Conflicting studies bring into question the safety of many commercially
developed food additives. Political interference in regulatory agencies
further complicates this issue. These additives are often used to
extend product shelf life, avoid refrigeration or to compensate for or
disguise the use of inexpensive, inferior ingredients (ref 4). For
these reasons and those listed below, HWFC has chosen to avoid
artificial preservatives, artificial food coloring and artificial
sweeteners in favor of products with high quality ingredients and
natural additives. The co-op attempts to rotate stock quickly.
Several artificial preservatives, such as sulfites, nitrites and
salicylates, are allergens that can cause severe reactions in
susceptible individuals or are suspected carcinogens (ref 5). Natural
preservatives are available and effective. Examples are salt, hot
pepper, vinegar, ascorbic acid, and sugar.
Most artificial colorings are synthetic chemicals that do not occur in
nature. Critics charge that they have been inadequately tested. Yellow
#5 has recently been implicated as an allergen creating responses from
hives to death (through anaphylactic shock) (ref 6). Effects in the
developing nervous system are now being studied, as a potential cause
of Attention Deficit Disorder (ref 6). Artificial colors are often used
in non-nutritional food without real fruit.
Artificial sweeteners include aspartame (Nutrasweet), saccharin and
sucralose (Splenda). Original aspartame studies showed that the drug
triggered brain, mammary, uterine, ovarian, testicular, thyroid and
pancreatic tumors; new studies show that the toxin increases the risk
of heart attack and stroke (ref 6). Studies on animals have shown that
saccharin can cause cancer and it is listed by the World Health
Organization as a carcinogen (ref 6). Congress intervened to permit its
use in the United States with a warning label. Splenda, the brand name
for sucralose, has not been subjected to long-term health studies in
humans (ref 6). There are natural low calorie alternatives available.
Examples are the sugar alcohols (maltitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and
xylitol). These products contribute less calories than sugar but may
have a laxative effect if consumed in large amounts.
Products from Cows that are given Growth Hormones:
Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is used primarily to increase
milk production. Its use results in increased mastitis in cows who in
turn are given antibiotics. There is a public health concern that
antibiotics are becoming ineffective because of their overuse in the
treatment of animals (ref 7, 8). Our milk and dairy suppliers advise us
that growth hormones are not given to their cows. However, it is
difficult to determine the source of dairy ingredients in other
processed, pre-packaged products.
Fructose Corn Syrup:
High fructose corn syrup is a highly refined product, devoid of
nutrients. It may unfavorably alter blood lipids, notably
triglycerides, raising the risk of heart disease (ref 3). There are
also detrimental environmental effects from growing corn to produce
corn syrup, including soil depletion, nitrogen runoff and use of
Genetically-Modified Organisms (ref 2).
Scientific studies have confirmed that hydrogenated oils (trans fatty
acids) are harmful to health. Expert recommendations for intake of
trans fats are currently zero, or extremely low (ref 3). HWFC currently
stocks one hydrogenated oil margarine that the co-op has carried for
many years. In 2006, all manufacturers must label the presence of
hydrogenated oil on the "Nutrition Facts" panel of packages.
Continue to Section 8:
Additional Deli Guidelines