Checking the ingredients on any packet of food is something that we should do just as a matter of course and when you’re looking through those ingredients and you start coming across things you don’t recognize, it’s probably time to put that particular food item back on the shelf.

Processed food by necessity, perhapsly without exception have to contain preservatives and the sad thing is that the cheaper the processed food is the more preservatives it will contain as a general rule. That is simply because not only are cheaper processed foods filled with cheaper ingredients, quite often the price of those ingredients also means that they’re inferior in quality quite a lot of the time.

That means if they are containing a lot of “meat” products you will quite likely find that those meat products were coming towards the end of their useful life when they were actually used to make the food that you’re eating and in order to make sure that those ingredients don’t turn off the manufacturers put just a little bit extra amount of preservatives in so that they’re not faced with an expensive recall situation.

Another reason why cheap processed foods have lots of preservatives in is to give them a longer shelf life. This makes sure that shops don’t find themselves with goods that have gone pass their sell-by date and maybe want to return or at the very least get credit from the manufacturers. At the very least it ensures the stores continue to order the same quantities rather than ordering smaller quantities just in case the goods don’t get sold before the sell-by date.

Canned food

So what with the quality of the ingredients going into processed foods being inferior, the quantity of preservatives and other questionable ingredients they contain. Continuing to eat processed foods is possibly not the best course of action to take if you want to improve your health.

Below you’ll find a very good explanation of how to eat foods without preservatives.

If you are trying to avoid preservatives in your diet, it is essential to learn how to identify them. Food preservatives are commonly added to slow or prevent undesirable spoilage, discoloration, flavor loss, bacterial growth, mold or microbial growth, and texture loss. Follow the steps below to learn how to eat foods that do not contain preservatives.


Learn How to Read a Nutrition Label

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[column third]Always scan the entire ingredient list. Preservatives will be listed with a statement about their intended purpose. For instance, the ingredient list may declare “ascorbic acid to improve color retention” or “sulfur dioxide to prevent rotting of food”

Learn common preservative names. Although there are hundreds of food additives that function as preservatives, some of the most common appear in a wide variety

– Once you learn to identify common preservatives you can quickly avoid selecting foods with those preservatives in the future.

– Some of the most common preservatives include citric acid, sulfur dioxide, ascorbic acid, propionic acid, nitrates and nitrites, sodium bisulfite, sulfites, and even formaldehyde.

Shop for Foods Without Preservatives

Avoid heavily processed foods. Foods that spoil quickly or that are minimally packaged are unlikely to contain preservatives. Buy fresh, unprocessed produce and natural whole foods to reduce the time you spend reading ingredient lists.

Shop for foods labeled as Certified Organic. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration only allows foods to be labeled as Certified Organic if they are preservative-free and meet other standards for production and processing.


Make a note of preservative-free products you enjoy. After you have identified foods that are free of chemical preservatives, add them to a “cheat sheet” list to take shopping; this will spare you the trouble of re-reading the ingredient list on future grocery trips.


In the United States, approved chemical food preservatives must be declared on ingredient lists. By carefully reading food labels you can identify and avoid food preservatives.

If you do not live in the U.S., search for a government public health or agricultural website to learn your country’s policies on preservative use and declaration on ingredient lists.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Eat Foods Without Preservatives. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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