Monday, June 13, 2005

What the Hell is in the Ketchup?

So much of what I have learned over the past nine years has come from being a mother. Had I not had a baby, I never would have looked into vaccinations and become interested in the social marketing of diseases. Had I not had a baby who had febrile seizures, I never would have thought to consider how fever suppressants can harm you. Had my son, Adisen, not been labeled ADHD by his daycare, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to question the role of non-medical professionals in diagnosing our children’s state of mental health.

Today, I embark on a new fact finding journey to determine whether pesticides used on tomatoes could be causing Adisen to have spontaneous, irrational outbursts of anger.

Last night as I lay in bed, unable to sleep worrying about the frame of mind Adisen was in when he went to bed, every angry outburst he’s had over the last few months flooded my mind. And they all had one thing in common: prior to each event, Adisen had eaten ketchup. At home we only eat organic ketchup. But when he eats at his friends’ houses it’s always plain old Heinz or Kraft. When he eats in restaurants, it’s never organic ketchup he’s putting on his chicken.

We already know that Adisen has several food and chemical intolerances. His reactions vary from a red face to a sore mouth to ADHD-type behaviour when he eats wheat, chocolate, malt, red food dye, caffeine or MSG.

Several years ago he developed a painful skin rash while shucking fresh strawberries. I assumed at the time that the reaction was due to chemicals on the fresh-picked berries and from that day forward I started buying as much organic food as I could find.

All of these thoughts came to me. And now I wonder if there isn’t one or more specific chemicals used on non-organic tomatoes that are contributing to behaviours that, if we were to take Adisen to see a doctor, would undoubtedly be labeled as a mental health problem.


No luck with my Google searches to find any connection between tomatoes, pesticides and irrational behaviour. But I did stumble on this (I have paraphrased the original text since in its original form it is very convoluted):
“The label on the POST Selects Date & Raisin Pecan Crunch claims it contains salt. But when the agent at the Canadian Kraft consumer satisfaction public relations office was asked if the salt was regular or iodized, they responded that it was neither, but MSG.”

So I Called Kraft Canada to ask if it were possible that their ketchup contains MSG even if it’s not listed on the label. Pierre, my friendly Kraft consumer relations man said, and I quote, “I can’t talk for other products, but for Kraft and Nabisco if it’s not on the ingredients list it’s not there.”

Now if that isn’t an invitation to start digging!

This tomato/ketchup thing may be a red herring, but there’s no doubt that something my son is eating is making him sick. And I have to figure out what it is…ideas?


Blogger Gina said...

I have this ingrained haterid of Katchup. I don't know what it is, some childhood trama? We didn't keep katchup in the house, until my son started asking for it, we go with a Low carb katchup, you might check into that, not because it's "low carb" but because Katchup is packed filled with HFCS...the key to all types of evils. And it's in everything.
Check out:

i'm sure you read lables, start looking fro HFCS and you'll be suprised where it shows up (health and organic foods,'s everywhere)

June 14, 2005  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

Donna -- yer kid had febrile seizures? Mine too! Owen has had three. With his first one he turned deep blue and his facial expression, I'll never forget it, was gone -- no one was there. Then he took a big gulp of air and screamed bloody murder. I was never so thankful to hear one of my own kids scream before. Scariest damn thing I've ever gone through.

June 14, 2005  
Blogger Toad734 said...

Sugar, actually Corn Syrup is one of the main ingredients in Ketchup.

June 16, 2005  
Anonymous lazylibra said...

the guy was trying to tell you that their catchup contains a product from another company. when they say "spices" or "flavoring" it is another product that goes into their product. therefore they don't need to add its ingredient to the label. it is a way for them to hide any ingredient that they don't wish to be seen. to sum things up...yes it probably contains MSG. The more research I do the more ugly truths i discover. The only way to stay healthy is to avoid all processed foods and eat organic and raw. I blame capitalism. lol

November 02, 2010  

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