News stories about dangerous chemicals in foods often feed into scaremongering. Many people use these stories as evidence that chemicals like formaldehyde are poisoning our food supply, which isn’t true. Learn what you need to know about formaldehyde in food.
Natural vs. Chemical: What Those Terms Actually Mean
There’s an ongoing trend in the world of health and wellness that touts everything “natural” as being good for the body. Anything made of “chemicals” is not “natural” and is, therefore, bad for people.
While this argument sounds good, it completely misses one basic scientific concept: chemicals make up everything in the world, so chemicals are natural. What’s important to watch out for are dangerously high levels of chemicals in foods, not chemicals in general.
Formaldehyde in Food Is Natural
Formaldehyde is a naturally-occurring chemical found in many plants and animals. Even humans naturally produce it as a part of our metabolic cycle. We also rely on it to make certain amino acids.
The reason formaldehyde is naturally in our food is it’s a byproduct of metabolism, the chemical processes that support life. Many common foods have trace amounts of formaldehyde in them, including these ones:
Formaldehyde and the Human Body
The good news is that the small amounts of formaldehyde in food and most cosmetics are easy for the human body to break down. In fact, most of the formaldehyde in your food is chemically bonded in a way that makes it inactive. Your body’s gastrointestinal system processes it before it ever hits your bloodstream, meaning you’re unlikely to feel any effects.
When Formaldehyde Is Dangerous
If you want to be extra careful about the amount of formaldehyde you’re eating, one thing you can do is buy only local fish. While the US regulates the fish imported into the country, sometimes officials don’t catch instances of excess formaldehyde in seafood. This happens because other countries sometimes use formaldehyde to preserve fish traveling long distances. The main thing you need to know about formaldehyde in food is that it’s usually not dangerous. The naturally-occurring formaldehyde in our food doesn’t hurt us, and it’s not there because of modern food chemistry.
If you’re looking for a formaldehyde manufacturing partner for agricultural or industrial applications, check out Capital Resin. We specialize in research and development, helping our clients acquire the optimal chemicals for their needs. Contact us today for more information.