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By TLB Staff Writer: Christina England

What child does not enjoy a brightly colored birthday cake on their special day? Mine certainly did, however, despite the fact that millions are sold every day, a store-bought birthday cake is one of most toxic treats that you can give a child.

After we were alerted to the dangers, The Liberty Beacon decided to investigate to see what we could find out about this birthday tradition.

First, a Little History

Early birthday cakes were made of flour, yeast, nuts and honey and were eaten at weddings and at special birthdays in Ancient Rome. In Germany during the 15th century, bakers began to promote cakes with one layer to their customers to celebrate their birthdays. It wasn’t until the 17th century that cakes began to have multiple layers and bakers began to decorate them with icing and decorations for the aristocracy.

Over the years, as cakes became far easier to bake, the tradition of birthday cakes became more popular, and by the 19th century, bakers had begun to add the words “Happy Birthday” to the top of their cakes for decoration.

How Did this Humble Tradition Turn Toxic?

It is estimated that children’s birthday parties cost parents more than £19,000 over a lifetime, and with every birthday party comes a cake. Manufacturers picked up on this fact and to enable their cakes to appeal to both parents and children alike, cakes became more and more colourful and elaborate. Sadly, this comes with a downside, as manufactures found they had to add artificial colorants, preservatives and additives to their products to preserve them. This has meant that far from being the tasty treat that they once were, today’s birthday cakes are full of toxic ingredients.

In fact, supermarket birthday cakes are becoming so toxic that, according to the website 100 Days of Real Food, many of the cakes investigated by organic living expert Vani Hari contained over 80 ingredients.

Ms. Hari wrote:

“When you look into these three different cakes from three very different places – a regular grocery store vs. a huge wholesaler warehouse store vs. a specialty market – you don’t see much difference in the ingredients. They all resemble one big science experiment…”

To prove this was true, Ms. Hari provided photos of many of the labels that she had discovered during her investigations and concluded:

“You make a decision to vote with your dollars every time you take out your wallet, whether you realize it or not. With the right information and enough conscious decision making about what we eat and how we spend our money, together we can make a change. They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too – but why not?”

Sadly, many parents are completely unaware that by continuing to buy such toxic products they are putting their children’s lives at risk, a fact relied on by the manufacturers to enable them to get away with their crimes.

The Dangers Within

To discover more about the dangers of the ingredients listed in many of the birthday cakes that we buy today, The Liberty Beacon decided to investigate, and what we discovered is truly shocking.

According to the website Chi Machine International, self rising flour, a wide range of food additives, cake mixes and baking powder all include aluminum as an ingredient.

Aluminum has been named as the second-most used metal in the world after steel, largely because it is so versatile. According to U.S. Department of Energy, the United States’ aluminum industry is the world’s largest, processing 9.6 million metric tons of metal and producing about $40 billion in products and exports in 2003.

However, despite its versatility, aluminum has become one of most negatively talked about products used today. In recent months, scientists have linked its use to autism, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, memory problems, speech impairments and aphasia, dementia, depression, muscle weakness, motor disturbances, and other neurological difficulties. See information by Dr. Mercola, Professor Christopher Shaw, Dr. Lucija Tomlejenovic and Professor Christopher Exley for details.

One of the professionals exposing the dangers of aluminum is Dr. Mercola, who became so worried about the effects of aluminum that in March 2014, he wrote the article titled First Case Study to Show Direct Link Between Alzheimer’s and Aluminum Toxicity.

After listing the foods containing aluminum, which once again included self rising flour, baking powder and food colorants, he wrote:

“Aluminum is to your central nervous system as cigarette smoke is to your lungs. Scientists are clear that toxic metals damage brain tissue and lead to degenerative disease by producing oxidative stress—and aluminum is one of the worst offenders. With Alzheimer’s rates skyrocketing, today’s multiple avenues of aluminum exposure are of great concern. Just as with particles in the environment, once aluminum is in your tissues, your body has a difficult time releasing it. This toxic metal serves absolutely no biological purpose, so the less of it you ingest, the better.

Once in your body, it travels around easily, unimpeded, piggybacking on your iron transport system. It crosses biological barriers that normally keep other types of toxins out, such as your blood-brain barrier. Over time, aluminum can accumulate in your brain and do serious damage your neurological health—regardless of your age. Aluminum toxicity may be doing as much damage to our children as to our seniors.”

For information on how to avoid foods containing alunimum, we recommend parents read the website earthlink.net, as it not only provides parents with a list of foods containing aluminum, but also a list of the fast food outlets that they should avoid.

For parents wishing to have more detailed information on the dangers of aluminum, The Liberty Beacon recommends Children’s Safety and Medical Research Institute.


The Dangers of Artificial Sweeteners

Many of the birthday cakes manufactured today include artificial sweeteners as one of their ingredients. However, far from being a safe alternative to sugar, studies have found that continual use of artificial sweeteners can lead to many serious complications, including diabetes, cancer and obesity.

Another fact that parents may be completely unaware of is that many of the sweeteners used today have been genetically modified; these include sucralose, aspartame, neotame and erythritol, which are made from corn, soy, or sugar beets. See Rodale’s Organic Life for more detailed information.

Many of these sweeteners were included on the labels provided by Vani Hari when she investigated supermarket birthday cakes.

What is Propylene Glycol?

Another ingredient that is hidden in many birthday cakes is propylene glycol, a synthetic substance that absorbs water, listed as a toxic substance by ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry). They stated that:

“Propylene glycol is also used to make polyester compounds, and as a base for de-icing solutions. Propylene glycol is used by the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food.”

If this is not frightening enough, this substance can also be found in brake fluid, acrylic paints, tile grout, primer, shoe polish, antifreeze, floor polish, tire sealant and sealant paste. See information by Vani Hari for details.

Taking these facts into consideration, not many parents would associate this product with children’s birthday cakes. Parents need ask themselves why this chemical is believed to be safe by the manufacturers. Well, it could be because the FDA has approved this product for use in food. They stated:

“The food additive propylene glycol alginate (CAS Reg. No. 9005-37-2) may be used as an emulsifier, flavoring adjuvant, formulation aid, stabilizer, surfactant, or thickener in foods.”

This is extremely interesting, because on further research, I came across a public health statement that stated:

“This statement was prepared to give you information about propylene glycol and to emphasize the human health effects that may result from exposure to it. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified 1,416 hazardous waste sites as the most serious in the nation. These sites make up the National Priorities List (NPL) and are the sites targeted for long-term federal clean-up activities. Propylene glycol has been identified in at least 5 of the 1,416 NPL sites.”

The statement continued:

“Propylene glycol can enter your bloodstream if you breathe air containing mists or vapors from either compound. It can also enter your bloodstream through your skin if you come in direct contact with it and do not wash it off. If you eat products that contain propylene glycol, it may enter your bloodstream. Exposure of the general population to propylene glycol is likely since many foods, drugs, and cosmetics contain it.

Propylene glycol breaks down in the body in about 48 hours. However, studies of people and animals show that if you have repeated eye, skin, nasal, or oral exposures to propylene glycol for a short time, you may develop some irritation.”

All very scary, I am sure the majority of parents would agree.

The Dangers of Hydrogenated Oils

The final ingredients that we investigated were hydrogenated oils. Hydrogenated oil is used in products such as cakes, pastries and pies to increase its shelf life. According to the website Healthline, hydrogenation is a process in which a liquid unsaturated fat is turned into a solid fat by adding hydrogen. During this processing, a type of fat called trans fat is made. While small amounts of trans fats are found naturally in some foods, the majority of trans fats in the diet come from these processed hydrogenated fats.

The Mayo Clinic stated that:

“Some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans fat. But most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature.

This partially hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so foods made with it have a longer shelf life. Some restaurants use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in their deep fryers, because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as do other oils.”

Despite the fact that this product is included as an ingredient in many of the foods that we consume on a daily basis, many professionals believe that it increases the risk of heart disease because it lowers the good cholesterol and heightens the bad.

Foods known to contain hydrogenated oil, listed by the Mayo Clinic are:

“Baked goods. Most cakes, cookies, pie crusts and crackers contain shortening, which is usually made from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Ready-made frosting is another source of trans fat.

Snacks. Potato, corn and tortilla chips often contain trans fat. And while popcorn can be a healthy snack, many types of packaged or microwave popcorn use trans fat to help cook or flavor the popcorn.

Fried food. Foods that require deep frying — french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken — can contain trans fat from the oil used in the cooking process.

Refrigerator dough. Products such as canned biscuits and cinnamon rolls often contain trans fat, as do frozen pizza crusts.

Creamer and margarine. Non-dairy coffee creamer and stick margarines also may contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.”

If you read this list carefully, many of these foods are being given to children by their parents on a regular basis and would especially be given to children at their birthday parties.

The Mayo Clinic concluded that:

“Reading food labels

In the United States if a food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat in a serving, the food label can read 0 grams trans fat. This hidden trans fat can add up quickly, especially if you eat several servings of multiple foods containing less than 0.5 grams a serving.

When you check the food label for trans fat, also check the food’s ingredient list for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil — which indicates that the food contains some trans fat, even if the amount is below 0.5 grams.”

Parents need to check all of the ingredients included on food packaging, to make sure that they do not overdose children with trans fat, as too much of this substance can be extremely detrimental to their health. See About Health for details.

Birthday Cakes Banned From Many Schools

Whereas children were once encouraged to bring birthday cakes into the classroom to share with their friends, many schools are now banning this practice and are now promoting healthy eating on their premises instead.

One mother, Anna Victoria Rogers, who promotes healthy eating and is the author of the book Toxic World, Toxic People: The Essential Guide to Health, Happiness, Parenting and Conscious Living explained that at her daughter attends a Steiner school, one of the schools that have adopted the healthy eating policy. She informed The Liberty Beacon that on children’s birthdays, the children are encouraged to replace the birthday cake tradition with a range of healthy options such as fresh fruit. See The Brighton Steiner School for further details on healthy heating.

To conclude, Health Impact News will leave you with a quote written by Rudolf Steiner in his article titled Child’s Food for Life – A Look at Diet in Relation to Waldorf Education.

“One thing must be thoroughly and fully recognized for this age in a child’s life: the physical body creates its own scale of measurement for what is beneficial to it. It does this by properly developing craving and desire. Generally speaking, we may say that the healthy physical body desires what is good for it. In the growing human being, so long that it is the physical body that is important, we should pay the closest attention to what healthy, craving desire and delight require. Pleasure and delight are the forces that most properly enliven and call forth the organs’ physical forms.

In this manner it is all too easy to do harm by failing to bring children into the proper physical relationship with their environment. This may happen especially in regard to their instincts for food. Children may be overfed with things that make them lose completely their healthy instinct for food, whereas by giving them the proper nourishment, the instinct can be preserved so that they always want what is wholesome for them under the circumstances.”

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