Pickles are good addition to salads, sandwiches, relishes, soups and other kinds of foods we enjoy. Surprisingly, it is hard to find pickles which do not denatured by addition of needless and potentially harmful chemicals such as preservatives, artificial colorants and surfactants. For instance, previously reviewed Mt. Olive Kosher Dill pickles do contain sodium benzoate which can damage and inactivate vital parts of DNA (see also Effect of some colours and sodium benzoate on children’s behaviour), an azo dye Yellow 5 blamed for hyperactivity attention deficit disorder in children (see Behavior, Learning and Health: The Dietary Connection) and adults and a synthetic emulsifier polysorbale 80. However if you are lucky enough to find ZerGut Kosher Dill pickles (a product of Bulgaria) you will enjoy highest quality crispy pickles happily without those chemicals.
Ingredients: Pickles, water, salt, sugar, acetic acid (vinegar), garlic, mustard seeds, black pepper, allspice, dill. No preservatives, artificial flavors or colors are added. Obviously, there is no need for the additives which are completely foreign to the human body (no red segments in the diagram). Tell me why do we need an artificial emulsifier in pickles? Therefore, unlike with Mt. Olive pickles, you will take zero foreign chemical risk of DDFI = 0/17 = 0. Spices, vinegar and salt are the only benign food additives (not harmful, yellow segments) in the pickles and the rest is whole food ingredients (nutritious, green segments) so that you will get good nutritional load of DDNF = 17/12 ~1.4.
Another healthy choice is Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills 33 FL OZ (1.03 QT) 1L for $7.69. This sounds like quite a price for pickles but please note it is still much less than what your medical bills can be.
Ingredients: Cucumbers, artesian well water, calcium chloride (a natural salt), garlic, dill, spices; 3 calories per 28 g.
“Only a moby pickles good enough for bubbies because they are GLUTEN FREE, rich witf LIVE CULTURES and absolutely delicious.” Best pickle in America! No sugar, vinegar or preservatives! “Bubbies” traditional cloudy brine contains no vinegar… only natural ingredients are used to preserve our pure kosher taste. Bubbies dills are prepared in Canada for Bubbies in San Francisco.
So far I have not spotted any healthy brand of pickles made in the USA. I hope this report helps you to make less risky food choices for you and your kids. Have a healthy Holidays Season!