Once And For All, Baking Soda Does Not Contain Aluminum
It's the myth that just won't die. People to this day confuse baking soda with baking powder and the presence of aluminum. Baking soda has never had aluminum. Never has, never will. Marketing tactics have convinced millions of the opposite at the expense of common sense when it comes to simple chemistry. In fact, almost any grocery store baking soda can be as safe, economical, pure and convenient a source of sodium bicarbonate as other expensive brands that claim to be aluminum free.
Baking soda has been framed and it must be cleared of guilt.
The first thing necessary in assuring you have quality baking soda is to verify that it states 100% sodium bicarbonate on the package.
Bob’s Red Mill is one company who people falsely believe manufacture more of an aluminum free baking soda than other companies. Really? As opposed to aluminum in which other brand of baking soda? Great marketing, but it's simply not true.
Why The Confusion?
The confusion arose about a decade ago when people starting mistaking the processing of baking powder for baking soda and some companies then jumped on the bandwagon.
If you’re going to look for the words aluminum-free, look for it on baking powder, not baking soda.
Both baking soda and baking powder can be used as leavening agents, which means they can be added to baked goods before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to 'rise'. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are not the same and used under different conditions.
Baking powder contains sodium bicarbonate, but it includes the acidifying agent already (cream of tartar), and also a drying agent (usually starch).
Typical formulations of baking powder call for 30% sodium bicarbonate, 5-12% monocalcium phosphate, and 21-26% sodium aluminium sulfate.
Baking powders are available both with and without aluminum compounds. Some people prefer not to use baking powder with aluminum because it gives food a vaguely metallic taste and of course there are associated health concerns with any increase in aluminum in our diets.
Most baking powders show similar performance when put to the test. This may be a result of the FDA regulations that require all baking powders to release at least 12% CO2 coupled with the constraints imposed by the acid-base chemistry itself, leading to only small differences in the amount of gas released from each brand. In other words, aside from the concerns over aluminum, we should reasonably expect double-acting baking powders from the leading brands to be interchangeable with each other in recipes.
Are There Differences Between Baking Sodas?
Not really. Definitely not enough to justify spending extra dollars on any claims made regarding aluminum. Arm and Hammers Baking Soda is as aluminum free as Bob’s Red Mill, which advertises itself specifically to be aluminum free, and in the process has convinced most people that Arm and Hammers has aluminum when it does not. There is typically no process in the manufacturing of baking soda that will allow it to retain aluminum.
Baking soda can be prepared using via reaction of sodium chloride, ammonia, and carbon dioxide in water. However, pure product is obtained from sodium carbonate, water and carbon dioxide through different reactions.
The sodium bicarbonate contained in 8-oz boxes of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda is sufficiently constant in weight that dissolves in water to a given volume, and yields a quantitatively acceptable therapeutic solution of sodium bicarbonate at a cost of approximately 3 percent of that of pharmacy- weighed sodium bicarbonate.
Bob’s Red Mill costs $2.61 a pound and Arm and Hammers costs less making it the least expensive medicine in the world. Sodium bicarbonate is widely available in most supermarkets and discount chains across the country at a cost of just over $2 per pound.
6 Ways Baking Soda Such A Powerful Medicinal Agent?
Bicarbonate is an alkaline substance naturally produced in the body that buffers acids and helps keep pH in check.
The pH of your blood is tightly regulated by a complex system of buffers that are continuously at work to maintain a range of 7.35 to 7.45, which is slightly more alkaline than pure water. However, the close you can get to 7.45, the better your body will be in a state to ward off disease.
Baking soda is very effective when mixed with water to be used as an antacid to treat acid indigestion and heartburn. It is also used as the medicinal ingredient in gripe water for infants.
It can be effectively used intravenously as an aqueous solution that is used for cases of acidosis, or when there are insufficient sodium or bicarbonate ions in the blood.
1) Kidney Disease
In one study, British researchers treated patients with advanced kidney disease and metabolic acidosis with oral sodium bicarbonate in conjunction with their usual treatment for two years. The sodium bicarbonate slowed the rate of decline in kidney function by two-thirds, and just 6.5 percent of the patients treated with sodium bicarbonate required dialysis by the end of the study, compared to 33 percent in a control group. Discuss this with your physician and encourage him to look into this promising therapy, which can slow the progression of this devastating disease.
Studies have shown that dietary measures to boost bicarbonate levels canincrease the pH of acidic tumors without upsetting the pH of the blood and healthy tissues. Animal models of human breast cancer show that oral sodium bicarbonate does indeed make tumors more alkaline and inhibit metastasis. Dr. Julian Whitaker's protocol uses 12 g (2 rounded teaspoons) of baking soda mixed in 2 cups water, along with a low-cal sweetener. This mixture is taken over the course of an hour or two and repeat for a total of three times a day.
On cancer survivor who was initially diagnosed with stage IV aggressive prostate cancer which metastasized to his bones. He initially turned to Cesium, but ended up using a baking soda molasses protocol as a natural cure which eliminated his cancer and has worked for hundreds of others.
The most cost-effective way to relieve occasional heartburn and indigestion is to stir half a teaspoon of baking soda into half a cup of water and drink it an hour or two after meals.
4) Dermatological Conditions
British researchers found that adding one-half cup of baking soda to bathwater soothed itchiness and irritation in patients with psoriasis. And a paste made of baking soda mixed with a little water and dabbed on sunburn, insect bites, allergic rashes, and skin exposed to poison oak/ivy reduces discomfort. That same paste also makes a nice, gentle exfoliant.
5) Natural Deodorant
Simply mix about a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to create a milky liquid, and rub it on your feet and underarms.
Baking soda is a popular ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes since it has been shown to enhance plaque removal. Of course, you could just dip your toothbrush in baking soda, but due to its abrasive qualities, it may wear down enamel over time.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.