Introduction

Smith, Matthew and Gentilcore, David (2018) Introduction. In: Proteins, Pathologies and Politics. Bloomsbury, London. ISBN 9781350056893

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    Abstract

    If the 1980s may have been the high point of food additives—with Coca-Cola able to double the sales of ‘Tab’ in test markets by fortifying the fizzy diet drink with calcium —one of the more recent food trends has been not of additions but subtraction. We have all seen it on our supermarket shelves. A whole range of foods, from soy milk to sausages, are advertised as ‘additive-free’. This conveys a positive and healthy image to a public interested in health and wellbeing but anxious and suspicious about the nature of food additives. The expression has taken the place of abused terms like ‘natural’ or ‘all-natural’ on product packaging. It also makes it easier to rationalize the consumption of less healthy foods, which are at least perceived to be free from added artificial ingredients. Why not have another sausage; after all, it has ‘no synthetic preservatives’ and ‘no artificial flavours’? Additives we are understood not to like or approve of are thus removed (even whilst being simultaneously replaced with others).