Healthy Eating: Read the Food Labels


Why is the subject of healthy eating appearing in a professional HR Practitioner’s web-site? The answer is health costs in terms of absenteeism due to medical reasons and health costs is a significant spending for every business. The worst case is to lose a key employee through disease. A lot of our company health programs focus on physical activities and health screening; very little goes into promoting healthy eating and community activism. It is time that we do something.

Just a Bottle of Tartar Sauce

My kids were having breaded fish at home. I thought it will be good to have tartar sauce to go with it. I bought a bottle of Cold Storage Essential tartar sauce. No one else was having it except me. I was half way through the bottle when I was curious to check the ingredients shown on food label on the back.

The bottle contained:

  • Permitted thickeners E412, E415
  • Permitted acidity regulators E260 and E270
  • Permitted food preservative E211
  • Permitted stabilizer E385

Let Us Investigate

E211: Sodium benzoate – The sodium salt of benzoic acid, sodium benzoate fulfils an antibacterial and antifungal role, and to disguise taste, as of poor-quality food. Known to causes nettle rash and aggravate asthma. Suspected to be a neurotoxic hazard.

E260: Acetic acid – Acetic acid (ethanoic acid) has been used for hundreds of years as a preservative (vinegar, French for “sour wine”).Acetic acid is strongly corrosive and causes serious burns, as well as being a lachrymator.

E270:Lactic acid – No side effects in adults. D- or DL-lactates (stereoisomers) should not be given to babies and small children, as they have not yet developed the appropriate enzymes in the liver to metabolize these forms of lactate

E385: Calcium Disodium (EDTA) Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetate – Synthetic flavour, texture retainer, anti-gushing agent in beer, preservative, sequestrant and colour promoter. Causes mineral imbalance. Known enzyme and blood coagulant inhibitor. Gastrointestinal disturbances, blood in urine, kidney damage and muscle cramps are side effects. Banned in Australia. Avoid it.

E412: Guar gum – Derived from the Seeds of Cyamoposis tetragonolobus of Indian origin; fed to cattle in the US; can cause nausea, flatulence and cramps, may reduced cholesterol levels.

E415: Xanthin gum – Derived from the fermentation of corn sugar with a bacterium. Improves ‘flow’. No know affects.

Food Labels

When people read the food labels, they look only at the nutrition label and get confused and they failed to read the ingredients. Here is the right way to do it:

 Label Reading: Are there any healthy cereals?

 Label Reading: Avoid this Kate!

Label Reading – Is Fruit Juice Worse Than Some Colas?

Label Reading: Soy Sauce Alternative is Worse?

Home Made Tartar Sauce

It is healthier to make your own tartar sauce because you know and control what is put into it.

Kitchen Insider: How to Make Tartar Sauce

Tartar Sauce Recipe by Marco Pierre White


Food Additives


Acids, Anti-oxidants, mineral salts

Vegetable Gums, Emulsifiers, Stabilisers etc

Recipe for Home-Made Tartar Sauce