You’re consciously trying to eat healthy so you choose leafy green salad—full of nutrition, vitamins and…paint chemicals. What are paint chemicals doing in my salad, you ask? Well, if you’re using store-bought salad dressing, there’s a high likelihood it contains titanium dioxide.
Titanium dioxide, a component of the metallic element titanium, is a mined substance that is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead. Although it is usually found in paints and sunscreens, the food industry tends to add it to lots of edibles as well, such as processed salad dressing, coffee creamers, and icing, to make them appear whiter.
Classified as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), titanium dioxide is considered a low to moderate hazard ingredient, depending on use, and has raised concerns regarding cancer, allergic reactions, biochemical and cellular changes, organ system toxicity and irritation. Animal studies showed that very low doses were able to cause respiratory and cardiovascular harm.
Avoid buying bottled salad dressing at the supermarket, and switch to organic versions made at your local delis and specialty stores. If you have the inclination, making your own is easy and fast, not to mention, cheaper too. You will be sure of what’s going into your body, and your salad will truly be healthy again. Here are some dressings you can prepare from scratch:
- Creamy Vegan Avocado Salad Dressing
- Tangy Sesame Dressing
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- Lemon Tahini Dressing
- Spicy Sesame Dressing
- Garlic Dressing
- Horseradish Dressing