Many raise concerns over the amount of preservatives in foods.

The history of preservatives dates back to centuries ago when people used to freeze, smoke, and salt foods to allow the food to stay fresh longer. In recent times, advanced methods have been utilized using chemical and artificial means to preserve foods longer. Artificial preservatives benefit third world countries the most because of the lack of resources to natural and fresh foods. They also benefit those who are not able to buy fresh foods that were made without modified products because of their long shelf-life. While this has many benefits, many of these unnatural preservatives have harmful effects on people.

Senior Chianti Davis said that she learned about checking nutrition labels for artificial preservatives used in foods in her Nutrition and Wellness class.

“Preservatives have been used to feed a lot of people that wouldn’t have access to fresh foods, but I think that we should move to become a society in which we enforce healthier and less artificial options,” said Davis. “I check the nutrition labels a lot because I worry about all the additional chemicals that they add into the foods I eat.”

These artificial preservatives are chemical substances added to foods, either added to foods when made or sprayed on the outside of food. Due to the amount of chemicals added, there are concerns raised about how much the addition of chemicals changes the composition of the food.

Studies published by the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications prove that the additives used in some meat products are suspected of causing certain cancers while acids added to other foods as antimicrobial preservatives have been reported to cause skin reactions.

There is a difficult choice to make between keeping foods longer and the risks associated with certain artificial additives. In the end, however; the benefits of eating whole and healthy foods outweighs the dangerous effects of preservatives. Developing countries can make the best use of preservatives due to the lack of constant access to fresh foods; however, preservatives are not always the healthiest option for anyone, regardless of whether or not they live in a developed or developing nation.