Australians can take their family's health into their own hands with the launch of a national online, additive-free food resource, www.thetrustedtrolley.com.au
The Trusted Trolley was established by four mothers from WA who believe in safe and healthy eating without harmful food additives which can cause adverse health effects. Through a collective dissatisfaction with Australian food regulation and labelling laws, which allow harmful additives in everyday foods, the group developed a simple solution.
Co-founder of The Trusted Trolley and mother of three, Michelle Bowles, said the new online resource will allow families to customise an additive free shopping list online, with products that are readily available at leading supermarkets.
'There needed to be an easier way to go shopping, without carrying books or having to spend hours researching products or reading labels while juggling children at the supermarket.
'That's why we created The Trusted Trolley which is a simple alternative to decoding confusing food labels and it will help families steer away from harmful additives which can affect the health and behaviour of not only our kids but also us as adults," said Michelle.
The Trusted Trolley shows families that it is easy to make small changes that can make a big difference to the health and wellbeing of their family. The resource is a simple and user friendly tool, with the following features:
Tips on how to get started eating additive free
Referenced list of additives, their functions, food types, adverse reactions and research
Access to Traffic Light Tracker (provided by The Obesity Policy Coalition) to determine the healthiness of foods
Access to a list of safe foods which are free from harmful additives and the option to compile your own tailored safe shopping list
Despite the recent international ban of six colours in food and drink products in the US, UK, Sweden and some Scandinavian countries, Australian manufacturers and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) still allow these colours in everyday foods. Such colours can have adverse effects such as hyperactive behaviour, asthma, rashes, allergic reactions, gastric upset, and migraines.
Australian labelling laws ensure that either the name or the numbered code of the additive are displayed, however, under current Australian legislation, manufacturers don't need to advertise ingredients that make up less than 5% of the final product.
For example, the ingredient -vegetable oil' may be listed on a product but many people may not realise that there are often antioxidants (310, 319 or 320) within the oil. Despite being called antioxidants, which are usually a good thing, these additive antioxidants have been linked to cancer. Although they can't change Australian food regulation and labelling laws, the founders of The Trusted Trolley can empower other Australians to reduce their consumption of unnecessary and unsafe food additives in order to improve their health, behaviour and performance.
The Trusted Trolley team used PlanBig.com.au to help make their dream a reality. PlanBig helps anyone with a plan or an idea to access the resources and support they need online to make their plan happen in the real world.
The Trusted Trolley Fact Sheet
Effects of Food Additives can include:
Irritability, restlessness, insomnia,
Mood swings, anxiety, depression, panic attacks,
Inattention, difficulty concentrating or debilitating fatigue,
Speech delay, learning difficulties,
Eczema, urticaria and other itchy skin rashes; angioedema or swelling of the lips (often associated with rashes).
Reflux, colic, stomach aches, bloating and other irritable bowel symptoms including constipation and/or diarrhoea, sneaky poos, sticky poos, bed wetting,
Headaches or migraines.
Other interesting facts and statistics: New research into food allergy in Australia has alarmingly revealed that 1 in every 10 children is now food allergic: www.ausfoodnews.com.au
The Southampton research, linked some additives to hyperactivity in children, and the researchers estimated that 30% of cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) could be prevented if manufacturing companies removed the colours used in foods and drinks. (The Links Between Diet and Behaviour, The Influence of Nutrition on Mental Health Report, Associate Parliamentary Food and Health Forum, January 2008)
Consumers are questioning the accuracy of health claims and ingredients on labels, and upwards of 80% indicated they either never or only sometimes believe these claims. (Neilson, Global Healthy Eating Report, Jan 2012)
28% of respondents' greatest concern of food was the additive and chemical residues in it. More than half believed that additives and preservatives are harmful to their health. (Williams, Sterling & Keynes, 2002, Food fears: a national survey on the attitudes of Australian adults about the safety and quality of food, Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004, Vol 13, Issue 1, p32-39, 8p,)
The average consumer eats 20 additives per day (19 if foods are home cooked) FedUp
To find out more about The Trusted Trolley, go to www.thetrustedtrolley.com.au