Simple List of Preservative Free and Non-Processed Foods

I was just surfing around the ‘net this morning and found this very simple list of foods that are preservative free and not processed. I have had people ask me what is the easiest way to know whether or not food is preservative free and not processed, so this article jumped right out at me and should leave you with no question as to what is good and what is not. I could get into GMO stuff, but that’s for another post, another time…

Article from

Manufacturers of processed foods commonly add preservatives to maintain color and texture and prevent spoiling, thereby extending product shelf life. Some food preservatives may cause allergic reactions. Others have been anecdotally linked with conditions, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, eczema and autism. Although definitive evidence proving a cause-and-effect relationship between food preservatives and these conditions is lacking, many people prefer eating preservative-free foods. If you choose to follow a preservative-free diet, you have many nutritious and flavorful options.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a mainstay of a preservative-free diet. Since these foods don’t undergo chemical processing before coming to the market, they contain no preservatives. Grocery stores typically stock an array of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, often importing produce during the off-season. A local farmer’s market is often a good place to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting your local growers, if you have this option available.

Canned fruits and vegetables often contain preservatives and other food additives. The manufacturers of these foods may use the term “natural” on their product labels. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t legally defined this term. Therefore, canned fruits, vegetables and other foods that contain preservatives may claim to be “all natural.”

Fresh milk contains no preservatives. Refrigeration and pasteurization — a heating process that kills disease-causing and spoiling germs — extend the shelf life of fresh milk. Evaporated and condensed milk often contain preservatives; check the ingredients on the label. Similarly, many products manufactured from milk, such as yogurt, butter, processed cheese and ice cream, commonly contain preservatives, including sorbic acid, sorbate, benzoic acid and sodium or potassium benzoate. However, some companies produce preservative-free dairy products. Check the ingredients on the label to verify whether the selected product is free of preservatives.

Fresh eggs are a nutritious, preservative-free food to include in your nutrition plan. If you’re limiting the cholesterol in your diet, try using egg whites instead of whole eggs in your dishes. Some egg substitute products are also preservative-free. Check the ingredients to verify.

Fresh meats and poultry are typically free of preservatives. Nevertheless, cured meats commonly contain nitrites and other preservatives and food additives. Examples of cured meats include bacon, ham, sausage, braunschweiger, salami, jerky, dried sausage and meat sticks.

Fresh fish and seafood contain no preservatives. Whole, frozen fish and seafood products may also be free of preservatives. Nonetheless, frozen, breaded fish and shrimp, canned fish and seafood products may contain preservatives and other food additives. Smoked or cured fish is also likely to contain preservatives. Check the ingredients in these products to determine whether they contain preservatives.


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