Here is an interesting quotation. Although the context is about alcohol, it seems to me that it quite strongly would argue against any kind of artificial foods (though a doctor friend pointed out that vinegar undergoes an "artificial" process, so would that be considered in the same vein?). What do you all think?
(For myself, although I was quite skeptical for quite some time that it would make a real difference, now that I have had a chance to do possibly without any artificial flavors, coloring, and preservatives in my own diet, I see what a big difference it makes to things, ranging from skin to mood.)
I may not respond very much in this thread as my energy is quite low (for other reasons!), but I came across this as I was keeping myself busy:
Regarding the use of liquors: According to the texts of the Book of Akdas, both light and strong drinks are prohibited. The reason for this prohibition is that it leads the mind astray and is the cause of weakening the body. If alcohol were beneficial, it would have been brought into the world by the divine creation and not by the effort of man. Whatever is beneficial for man exists in creation. Now, it has been proved and is established medically and scientifically that liquors are harmful.
Therefore the meaning of that which is written in the Tablets: “I have chosen for thee whatsoever is in the heaven and earth,” signifies those things which are according to the divine creation and not the things which are harmful. For instance, poison is one of the things: now, can we say that poisons are to be used habitually because God has created them for man? However, spirituous liquors, if prescribed by a physician for the patient and their use is necessary, then they may be used as directed.
In brief, I hope that thou mayest find eternal bliss and receive inexhaustible joy and happiness. The after effect of drinking is depression, but the wine of the Love of God bestows exaltation of the spirit.
('Abdu'l-Baha, Star of the West, Vol. I, no. 6, pp. 4-5)
Note: I should add that we do not know the status of this Tablet (as authenticated or not) without confirmation from the World Centre.