Not wanting to highjack basilio's thread on The Incorruptables, I am taking the topic of preservatives and human decomposition to a new thread.
Feel free to express any view about preservatives in here that you wish to.
basilio's thread reminded me of an article I read some time ago about the amount of artificial preservatives we consume on a daily basis possibly affecting the rate that we are decomposing after death in this time, compared to centuries ago. I can't recall the exact facts or figures, so will not take a wild guess.
We are what we eat right?
From livestrong.com (no references to Lance Armstrong please, that is off topic)
Slowed Rates of Human Decay After Death
When anecdotal evidence pointed to a slowing in the rate of decay among human bodies from the 1960s to 1980s, some attributed this to the presence of preservatives from processed food. Nutrition and food author Seth Roberts speculated in 2009 that these preservatives may not directly impact the rate of decay but perhaps act to diminish the presence of some bacteria that play a role in the decomposition process.
Here is the link to Seth's blog
There is also commentary on the internet (obviously at this point proven or to be fair unproven) that "the bodies of dead American GI's in Vietnam decomposed slower than the dead bodies of Vietcong/South Vietnamese soldiers. This occurred because the American GI's diets consisted of food that had a higher concentration of chemical preservatives than the Vietnamese soldier's diets."
Other than this there is not a lot a quick search shows on the subject.
I might have to do some "digging" this weekend!!