I was going along, happily dousing everything I eat (including ice cream) in Tapatío, blissfully unaware of this whole sodium benzoate thing, until today. That's when some jerk sitting next to me at Cafe Racer saw me raining my most favoritist hot sauce on some tater tots and said "I don't know why anyone would pick Tapatío when there's Cholula here. Tapatío's got sodium benzoate in it."
Now don't get me wrong, I am just fine-o with Cholula. (Extremely bored people may remember that I cannot stand Tabasco.) But Tapatío was my first love, and most sources indicate that the levels of sodium benzoate I ingest aren't a big deal:
When sodium benzoate combines with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) benzene can form, which is a known carcinogen. Factors such as heat and time can affect its development. Unless you're drinking gallons of soda [...] every day, Schaffner says, your risk of reaching dangerous levels is pretty low. And if you live in an urban area you're probably sucking up benzene via smog anyway.
Still, this revelation has tainted my Tapatío experience. I'm old enough—in reality well old enough, to start worrying about cancers of environmental causation. Obviously the only thing I can do now is default to The Great and Unrivaled Health Wisdom of Slog™ As such, a poll is required.