We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid? Experts from different areas of specialty explain why they won’t eat these eight foods. Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals. The experts offer some simple swaps for a cleaner diet and supersized health.
Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals–and simple swaps for a cleaner diet and supersized health. Experts from different areas of specialty explain why they won’t eat these eight foods.
Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe–or not–to eat. ” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health–and peace of mind.
1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi. Exposure to BPA Causes Permanent Damage In OffSpring
2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef
Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.
3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn
Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
The solution: Pop organic kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix. Make it organic and use coconut oil. If You’re Still Eating Microwave Popcorn, You’re Not Fully Grasping The Health Consequences
4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes
Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”
The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh. Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.
5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed Salmon
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon. Farmed Fish vs. Wild Fish: How Healthy
Is The Fish At Your Favorite Grocery?
6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones
Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.
The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. “There’s not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The solution: Buy raw milk or check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products. Why Do Humans Still Drink Milk?
7. The Biotech Specialist Who Won’t Eat Convtenional Soy: GMO Unfermented Soygmo
Michael Harris is biotech specialist who has directed several projects within the biotech sector including those for genetically engineered food. He has been a consultant, manager and director for companies such as Xenon Pharmaceuticals and Genon Corporation.
The problem: Genetically engineered food is a cause of great concern due to the manipulation of DNA and genetic code including transfers from one species to another. Fermented Soy Is The Only Soy Food Fit for Human Consumption and since almost 90% of soy in the world is genetically modified, if you are not ensuring sources are organic, long-term health problems are inevitable, especially since soy has been found to affect hormonal balance and even cause cancer.
The solution: Check labels to ensure soy is Non-GMO or organic and never consume unfermented sources. If possible contact the company to find out exactly where the Non-GMO soy was obtained.
8. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples
Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.
The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.
The solution:Buy organic apples or apples from a farmer that you trust!
Let’s Face It, There will always be someone who looks at you like a deer in headlights when you try to explain why GMO’s are not safe. Maybe this will help.
1. GMOs are grown with toxic chemicals and resulting pesticide residues are known to be harmful to human health.
2. Research has shown that laboratory mammals fed GMOs suffer adverse effects that include damage to kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, spleen, and heart. Additionally, their immune systems were compromised and in some cases brain size was reduced.
3. GMO crops require huge amounts of chemicals that are harmful to soil, water, the atmosphere, and creatures. Although they are promoted as a technology to reduce pesticide usage, GM crops in the U.S. used greater than 26 percent more pesticides per acre in 2008 than non-GMO crops, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.
4. GMOs are actually increasing the need for stronger and more poisonous pesticides. For example, one agrochemical company is awaiting USDA approval of corn and soybeans resistant to 2, 4-D, a chemical related to Agent Orange.
5. GMOs are causing a growing epidemic of “superweeds.” These massive weeds have evolved a resistance to glyphosate, a chemical used on GM crops. Stronger toxic chemicals and soil-eroding tillage operations are required in order to eliminate superweeds.
6. GMOs contribute to global warming: GM crops require synthetic nitrogen fertilizers, which are responsible for approximately 60 percent of total emissions of nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas nearly 300 times more potent than CO2). GM crops use high amounts of fossil fuels through the production of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.
7. GMO practices contaminate our organic and local food systems. A report titled, Gone to Seed, found that 50 percent or more of non-GMO corn, canola, and soybean seed have been contaminated with GM genes.
8. Beneficial insects can be harmed. A Cornell University study showed that monarch butterflies suffered higher mortality rates when consuming milkweed leaves dusted with the Bt toxin associated with GM crops. And recently, pesticides called neonicotinoids have been blamed for the collapsing bee populations.
Harms to social and human rights.
9. GMOs are promoted as way to feed the world and mitigate hunger; however, numerous studies demonstrate that the GM crops do not produce higher yields as claimed. As one example, a USDA publication reports that “GM crops do not increase the yield potential.”
10. GMOs lead to corporate control over seed and food: Today only one company controls about 95 percent of GM seeds. This limits access to seeds, which are the center of food and life.
11. These large agri-corporations do not let farmers save seeds, a basic practice that has continued for centuries to ensure food security.
12. GMO agriculture is an extension of current industrial-farming practices that have resulted in the loss of family farms and farmer livelihoods around the globe.
Read Full Article by guest blogger Alberto Gonzalez, founder and CEO of GustOrganics
Updated September 16, 2013
Scientific Reasons to Avoid GMOs at All Costs
1) A study reported in the June 2013 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems involved research conducted over 22.7 weeks using 168 newly weaned pigs in a commercial U.S. piggery. One group of 84 pigs ate a diet that incorporated genetically modified (GM) soy and corn, and the other group of 84 pigs ate an equivalent non-GM diet. The pigs that ate the GM diet had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation – 32 percent of GM-fed pigs compared to 12 percent of non-GM-fed pigs (see photo above). The inflammation was worse in GM-fed males compared to non-GM fed males by a factor of 4.0, and GM-fed females compared to non-GM-fed females by a factor of 2.2. (Source)
2) In 2012, researchers found that female rats fed Roundup Ready-tolerant GM corn developed large tumors and dysfunction of the pituitary gland; males also developed tumors and exhibited pathologies of the liver and kidney (Séralini, GE and others. Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maiz. Food and Chemical Toxicology 2012).
3) Scientists at the Russian Academy of Sciences reported between 2005 and 2006 that female rats fed Roundup Ready-tolerant GM soy produced excessive numbers of severely stunted pups with more than half of the litter dying within three weeks, and the surviving pups completely sterile. (Source)
4) In 2005, scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Canberra, Australia reported that a harmless protein in beans (alpha-amylase inhibitor 1) transferred to peas via genetic engineering caused inflammation in the lungs of mice and provoked sensitivities to other proteins in the diet (Ho MW. Transgenic pea that made mice ill. Science in Society 29, 28-29, 2006).
5) From 2002 to 2005, scientists at the Universities of Urbino, Perugia and Pavia in Italy published reports indicating that GM soy affected cells in the pancreas, liver and testes of young mice (Science in Society 29, 26-27, 2006).
6) In 2004, Monsanto’s secret research dossier showed that rats fed MON863 GM corn developed serious kidney and blood abnormalities (GMWatch, 23 April 2004.)
7) In 1998, Dr. Arpad Pusztai and colleagues formerly of the Rowett Institute in Scotland reported damage in every organ system of young rats fed GM potatoes containing snowdrop lectin, including a stomach lining twice as thick as controls (Contaminants and Toxins, (J P F D’Mello ed.), Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, CAB International, 2003).
8) Also in 1998, scientists in Egypt found similar effects in the guts of mice fed Bt potato (Fares NH and El-Sayed AK. Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on dendotoxin-treated potatotes and transgenic potatoes. Natural Toxins, 1998, 6, 219-33; also “Bt is toxic” by Joe Cummins and Mae-Wan Ho, ISIS News 7/8, February 2001, ISSN: 1474-1547 (print), ISSN: 1474-1814 (online) http://www.i-sis.org.uk/isisnews.php Agricultural Biotechnology 2006, www.ISAAA.org).
9) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had data dating back to early 1990s showing that rats fed GM tomatoes with antisense gene to delay ripening had developed small holes in their stomachs (Pusztai A, Bardocz S and Ewen SWB. Genetically modified foods: Potential human health effects. In Food Safety: Contaminants and Toxins, (J P F D’Mello ed.), Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, CAB International, 2003).
10) In 2002, Aventis company (later Bayer Cropscience) submitted data to UK regulators showing that chickens fed glufosinate-tolerant GM corn Chardon LL were twice as likely to die compared with controls (Food Safety: Contaminants and Toxins (CABI Publishing 2003 also Novotny E. Animals avoid GM food, for good reasons. Science in Society 21, 9-11, 2004).
11) Testing by Monsanto itself has found that rats eating GM maize (MON863) develop smaller kidneys and show startling changes in blood chemistry. One blood change included an increase in white blood cell count which demonstrates that the GM food elicited an immune reaction by the body.
The Weston A. Price Foundation
The Non-GMO Verified Project
Here’s a list of non-GMO containing foods, as well as many foods/brands which likely contain GMO, which everyone should take a look at and keep in the back of their minds when grocery shopping.Many are well aware that Monsanto and GMO are infiltrating …
With Valentines Day just a week away its pretty hard to escape all those heart-shaped, pink and red candies. While they may seem temping, many of them contain GMOs. GMO Inside is leading the push to get Hersey and Mars to stop making candy with GMOs in 2013, or at least to start labeling their products as containing GMOs.
GMO Inside is a coalition of businesses and organizations that support a healthy, GMO-free food system. Their most recent campaign is aimed at Hersey and Mars, that combined comprise nearly 70 percent of the U.S. chocolate market. Both companies have also spent more than a million dollars to oppose GMO labeling in California in the November 2012 election.
Because GMO corn, sugar and soy, which are commonly used for many of Hershey’s and Mars candy products, it may be wise to avoid them if you are trying to minimize or eliminate your consumption of GMOs.
Here are a couple of popular Valentine’s Day candies that contain GMOs:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Filled Hearts – BUMMER*
Valentine’s colored M&M’s
GMO Inside released a Valentine’s Day Villains shopping guide for consumers who want to avoid giving GMO treats to their honeys.
*GD Meg makes her own – here’s her favorite recipe for homemade GF peanut butter cups RECIPE