Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What is BHA/BHT & should I avoid it?

{Photo Credit}
Our family used to be big Johnsonville bratwurst eaters, until we looked at the ingredients. Along with other questionable ingredients BHA and BHT are on that list. So we started to avoid them. I went to a local farmer recently to purchase some Real Milk and among other dairy products they had pastured pork products in the freezer. So I quickly snatched up some ribs, bacon, pork-chops, and some lovely looking bratwurst. It wasn't until I got home that I read the label figuring these are good farmers, who care about the things they produce I don't have to worry. Boy, was I wrong! The only thing I needed to check the label on before buying was the bratwurst, everything else was literally one ingredient, Pork. The bratwurst was another story, it had a list of spices and right at the end in capital letters was BHA. I saw this and I was flat out mad, not necessarily at the farmers they may not have actually known that BHA was bad or that it was even in their bratwurst. From the looks of it they had their meat processed some place else. 

So what did I do. I threw it in the pan and served it for dinner. I mean come on, I spent good money and 6 hours of travel time just to get this milk and meat. I wasn't going to waste it. But unfortunately I will not be going back for meat. Until our cow has her calf however I will get milk. Anyway, that is not what this post is about. 

What is BHA/BHT anyway?

Butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are two preservatives that are used to keep animal fats and shortenings from going rancid or oxidizing. Isn't it funny that the chemical companies have to abbreviate it because they can't even pronounce it or don't have enough room on the food label for it. 

Is it safe?

I don't care how safe the USDA or FDA says something is. That is just a given. But just to see what they do say I looked up the FDA's listing on BHA and BHT. Here are some of the findings I had.

  • Doses of 50 mg per kg or more when fed chronically to animals produced significant liver growth which is also accompanied by proliferation (or growth) of endosplasmic reticulm ( I had to look up what that was here is Laman's terms - "The endoplasmic reticulum (ER), has two different sections. The Rough ER and the Smooth ER, both of which have different jobs. The Rough ER makes things for the cell to use, or to ship to other cells. The smooth ER takes bad things out of the body."
  • In man it takes about 10 days to eliminate BHA from the system. And with a Standard American Diet, the chronic tissue levels should be determined for man. 
  • While no evidence in the available information on BHA/BHT demonstrates a hazard to the public when it used in levels that are now current (1978) and the manner now practiced, uncertaintied (what ever the heck that means) exist requiring that additional studies be conducted. 
Okay so it says on the FDA website, that this was from 1978 and it was assessed again in 2006. However, they still say the need more studies to be conducted. It seems to me as if we are unknowingly being used as guinea pigs.  The FDA is corrupted and sometimes they make the truth sound better than it really is. While reading the two listings directly from the FDA they state that BHA/BHT is not considered a carcinogen. 

  • However, the United States Department of Health and Human Services find that it is indeed a carcinogen, and it causes hyperactivity in our children.
  • BHA/BHT has been found to cause cancer in lab animals. What about us? the children's cancer rate has increased an alarming 50%!!!
  • If swallowed BHA is moderately toxic. (That's great for it being  a FOOD PRESERVATIVE!!!)
  • BHA/BHT is a suspected endocrine disrupter, meaning it messes with your hormones. In test tube studies BHA mimicked the hormonal actions of estrogen.
WHAT?! Why are there two separate findings. Shouldn't all the findings be the same, or at least state that this other party found something different to what was originally found? 

What is BHA/BHT found in?

  • Sausages 
  • Meats
  • Microwavable dinners
  • Cereals
  • Butter (yes the thing we love so much)
  • Beer
  • Chewing Gum
  • Potato Chips
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Pet Food
  • Cosmetics(Go HERE to see actual name brands that contain it. )
  1. Lipsticks (in one study it showed a brand of lipstick to contain 10% BHA!!!)
  2. Mascaras
  3. Eyeshadows
  4. Lip Glosses
  • Shortening
  • Lard
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Dry Beverage Mixes
  • Margarine
  • Ice Cream
  • Cheese Spreads
  • Medical Drugs
  • lotions/creams
  • Shampoo/Conditioners
  • Livestock Feed
Workers who are in plants that produce these things are at a high risk of exposure, as well as fast food workers who are constantly around the oily, fried products. 

The list goes on. Just follow the golden rule. "Research what you are going to bring into your home, or your body."




http://wiki.answers.com/Q/In_a_cell_what_is_the_function_of_the_endoplasmic_reticulum (and yes.. I know everything from wiki is true... trust your gut)




  1. Thank you for this. I am researching what I am actually eating and this is very helpful! As a female, I really appreciate the make-up section!

  2. Thank you so much

  3. I really appreciate your vision, passion and hard work. Your site was very clear! It is our responsibility to educate our self and assist others when/where we can.

  4. Thanks for the info! sad we have to scrutinize every minute detail about our food. Glad sites like this make it easy to educate yourself.