Artificial Intelligence

Avoid food additives and artificial preservatives to naturally preserve your body’s health.

by Ellen Parker
Food additives and artificial ingredients are added to many food items to create a longer shelf life, making it hard for people to avoid purchasing these items.
However, there are many restaurants, farmer’s markets and grocery stores within the area that pay attention to avoiding unnatural ingredients. In an interview with Molly McCook, the Chef at Ellerbe Fine Foods, she talks with us about how she implements clean ways of cooking and alternatives to food additives and artificial preservatives.

How would you define food additives and artificial preservatives in your life? For my own health and the restaurant, my belief is to always cook as clean as possible and from the ground up. Anything that is going to have a shelf life for a long period of time is going to have something added to it to be able to do that.

What effects do you see these additives and artificial preservatives having on the body? Some people have to believe that a calorie in versus a calorie out, and that is all that matters when you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I feel that if I am eating clean and not putting those preservatives and additives in my body, it is much easier for my body to break down calories. I think when you are eating those things that also you usually see in more junk food, it is harder for your body. You’re asking your body to break something down that it naturally would not be taking in.

What are foods that you find have these food additives and preservatives in them where some people might not expect to find them? A lot of places that you find that people will slip additives or preservatives in is when you’re using like can stock or can soup, instead of taking the extra time to make your own chicken stock or your own veal stock. It is much easier and quicker to grab a can, but if you make chicken stock one time once every two months and put it in the freezer in small amounts, you can have clean, all natural chicken stock to cook with for a couple months.

Where do you suggest people to shop for food in order to avoid food additives and artificial preservatives? I love Central Market and Sprouts and use both for my personal cooking, especially for meats because they are very conscious about selling all-natural, hormone-free products. Sprouts is really good when looking for breads. That is another place that a lot of additives and preservatives get slipped into food without you even realizing it. Sprouts does a great job bringing in a lot of all-natural, whole-grain breads that they make themselves.

What are your tips for cooking in a clean way? I do not own a microwave, and I do not use a microwave at the restaurant because I think that if you take the time to cook what you are going to put in your body, you’re going to think about it more. It is really easy to grab a frozen dinner and stick it in the microwave and three minutes later you’re going to eat it, but 20 minutes later you’re going to think about what you just did to yourself. So if you make a conscious effort to realize what you are going to put into your body, respect the food that you are going to put into your body, you will think about it more.