Our expert says:
Dried fruit is a healthy food for anyone who does not react to sulphur dioxide. If you are allergic to SO2 then you need to look for dried fruit that is not preserved with SO2 (for example, Woolworths sell packets which are marked 'Contains no SO2'). I should know, because I happen to be allergic to all sulphur compounds and only purchase SO2-free products. However, SO2 is certainly not a 'deadly poison' as you state. It is a food preservative that has been approved for use in most countries and is regarded as non-toxic or GRAS (generally recognized as safe) unless the user happens to be sensitive or allergic to this preservative in which case that person needs to avoid consuming it. I am not going to argue with the leading health authorities in the world. Preservatives have been used for thousands of year to make our foods last longer and make them less likely to spoil (e.g. develop moulds which can produce toxins which can also be highly toxic). In a world that is increasingly facing starvation all foods should be used optimally, rather than discarded because they cannot be preserved. Dried fruit has the advantage that it is high in energy for individuals who have a need for an energy boost, it contains concentrated beta-carotene and vit C depending on the fruit, it travels well and is handy for hikers and athletes, and has a high dietary fibre content to promote regularity. I don't think that the farmers who preserve fruit that would otherwise spoil, should be regarded as exploitative big business.
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