The Maui Time Blog

Maui's Only Independent Newspaper

7 Foods So Unsafe Even Farmers Won’t Eat Them | Food Freedom via @Daniakatz

leave a comment »

‘Conventionally-grown’ apples are saturated with toxic chemicals.

By Laurel House
Planet Green

Smoking was proven to be cancer-causing, tanning beds were shown to be on par with arsenic, but what about canned tomatoes, corn-fed beef, conventionally grown potatoes? What would it take to convince you to clean out your pantry and change your eating habits? Scientists, doctors, even farmers were asked what foods they refuse to eat. The responses had nothing to do with things like donuts due to fat content, or white bread because of the concentration of empty carbs. We’re talking seemingly healthy things like tomatoes, beef, popcorn, potatoes, salmon, milk, and apples. For them, it’s all about how they are produced and packaged.

Seven experts in fields pertaining to both food and the environment answered one simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their answers, published in an article entitled “7 Foods the Experts Won’t Eat” on Yahoo! Shine, will make you re-think food. When it comes to food and its affect on your health and the health of this planet, this is what they answered: 

1. Canned Tomatoes

The Expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The Reason: Tin cans are lined with a resin that contains the synthetic estrogen bisphenol-A, which has been linked to a slew of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, and obesity. But that’s not the biggest problem. The acid in tomatoes breaks down that bisphenol-A, leaching it into the food, and not just in insignificant amounts. According to the article, Saal comments that “you can get 50 mcg of BCA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young.” That’s why he’s not touching the stuff.
The Solution: If you l0ve the taste of “canned” tomatoes but prefer to skip the bisphenol-A, select glass bottles instead. 

2. Corn-Fed Beef

The Expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The Reason: Cattle are naturally grass eaters… not grain eaters. In order to fatten the animals (and profit margins), farmers feed them corn and soybeans. And while the farmers are beefing up their earnings, they are minimizing the nutritional benefits. The article mentions the findings from a recent USDA-conducted study comparing corn-fed beef and grass-fed beef showing that 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.”
The Solution: Pretty straight forward: Opt for grass-fed beef instead.

WATCH VIDEO: Why Grass-Fed Beef? Emeril Answers 

3.Microwave Popcorn

The Expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
The Reason: It’s not the popcorn itself, but the chemically-saturated lining of the bag including a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that, according to a recent study from UCLA, may be linked to infertility. Microwaving vaporizes the chemicals as they move from coating the bag to lining the popcorn. But it’s not like this fact is un-acknowledged. In fact the article points out that DuPont, as well as 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 your own popcorn the way they did it in the olden days–in a pot.

4. Conventionally Grown (Not Organic) Potatoes

The Expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
The Reason: Herbicides and pesticides may not be sprayed directly on root vegetables (since they’re underground), but they absorb the chemicals through the soil and water. Because potatoes are considered the nation’s most popular vegetable, producing a healthy crop is essential to keep up with demand. In order to maintain their health, the article exposes the scary fact that “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.” But here’s the scary thing, Moyer says that he’s talked to 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: Another no-brainer— Only buy organic potatoes.

5. Farmed Salmon

The Expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The Reason: When salmon is crammed into pens, fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers (obviously an unnatural environment for the up-stream swimmers), they’re levels of healthy vitamin D lowers as the contaminants increases. Those contaminants include carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides (like DDT). The article points out that DDT has been linked to both diabetes and obesity, quoting Carpenter in saying that “You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer… It’s that bad.”
The Solution: Avoid farmed salmon and instead select wild-caught Alaskan salmon. But make sure the packaging reads “wild.” If it just says “fresh Atlantic,” according to the article, “it’s farmed.”

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The Expert: Rick North, 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 Reason: Unlike in the olden days when fresh milk was some of the purest nutrients you could get, dairy cows today are fed growth hormones like rBGH and rBST to increase milk production. Problem is, while they may be making more milk, they are also increasing their chances of udder infections (which can lead to pus in the milk). More than that, the article points out that high levels of IGF-1 from the rBGH may play a role in the development of breast, prostate, and colon cancers… which is why North says that “it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The Solution: Read the labels and be sure that your milk doesn’t contain rBGH or rBST and that it is labeled organic or “produced without artificial hormones.

7. Conventional Apples

The Expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods
The Reason: Apples are the recipient of the most pesticides of all Fall fruits. Chemical producers swear that the residue is not harmful for human consumption, but the Yahoo! Article goes on to quote Kastel in saying that “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers.”
The Solution: Buy organic apples where available or at least thoroughly wash and peel apples before eating them.

3 bloggers like this post

46 Responses to 7 Foods So Unsafe Even Farmers Won’t Eat Them

  1. Reply

    ohhh no, the sky is falling!!!

  2. Reply

    sorry, Tyler. I removed the comments that are off topic.

  3. Reply

    Why is this happening……..

    Simple………

    Just follow the Money.

  4. Reply

    Great article! I’m always happy to find to the point information to share with clients and friends.

    One thing though: I was floored by the “simple farmers” statement. How can you write an article about how important it is to eat organic, and in the same breath call the people who make it possible simple?

    (you may want to edit that)

  5. Reply

    Well, sometimes the word “simple” is used to mean “uncluttered” or “natural.”

    I wouldn’t get in a heat over it.

  6. Reply

    Where aré The buttons for social media sharing?

    • Reply

      I make my own microwave popcorn, by using a 1 or 2 qt pyrex glass dish with lid, a teaspoon of oil and abt 1/3 c of popcorn. Works very well!

    • Reply

      Yes. Tomatoes are naturally acidic. The addition of sugars and salt is not what causes it. I heard that the Muir Glenn brand is going to be switching to cans that are not lined with BPA, but I don’t know when that switch is going to take place.

  7. Reply

    If farmers have any integrity, any sense of what God deems Holy and Sacred, they need to RESIST this corrupted, defiled State, anywhich way they can.

  8. Reply

    Hey Emily, the biggest political power right now for fighting for a food system we want is the Eaters…that’s all of us, numbering much higher than farmers and holding a lot more power with the policy & law makers. On one level it’s about profits in the food industry (chemicals in our cans and popcorn bags and taking years to make changes because it’s expensive), and on another level it’s about keeping up with the demand for cheap and/or unblemished food (corn-fed factory farmed meat, perfect-looking pesticide filled potatoes).

    We need to start by voting with our shopping dollars to support the kind of food we want and the kind of farmers we want to keep viable, and then we need to take that message to the folks making the state and federal laws.

  9. Reply

    The correct quote is from the Bible, and it is “The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil…” 1 Timothy 6:10

  10. Reply

    True that standard home canning lids contain BPA. However, if you leave headspace in your jar, the lining will not come into contact with your tomatoes; therefore, BPA will not leach into your food. There are also canning brands that do not contain BPA. You typically have to order them online, I believe.

  11. Reply

    Laurie what a beautiful family activity. When you put it in the beer bottles how do you store them so the sauce lasts for a year in beer bottles? Are you capping and processing in water bath?

  12. Reply

    yes, no doubt, being organic does not automatically make a perfect farmer.

    but what your vet friend doesn’t include in the above info is that because of the genetically modified “recombinant” bovine growth hormone given to cows, many develop mastitis.

    http://foodfreedom.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/cows-with-mastitis-stand-in-shit.jpg

    then, they are given antibiotics and we absorb that by drinking their milk.

    then, we have the problem of MRSA – over use of antibiotics is causing the rise of superbugs that we are not immune to.

    plus, seriously, who wants GMO milk?

  13. Pingback: Amuses bouches > 25 juillet | penser avant d’ouvrir la bouche

  14. Pingback: Dirty Food | Indie Shopper

  15. Reply

    Check your facts. On the pH scale, a rating of 3 is strongly acid, a rating of 11 is strongly alkaline, and 7 is neutral.

    Fresh tomatoes range from 4.3 to 4.9 and canned tomatoes range from 3.5 to 4.7. Both fresh and canned tomatoes fall well within the range of being acidic, with the canned versions being even more acidic than the fresh.

    I’ve never heard of anyone, Italian or otherwise, adding lemon or lime juice to their tomato sauces. I have heard of a lot of people adding sugar though.

  16. Reply

    Excelllent reference on home canning and the acidity of tomatoes here:
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/nutrition/DJ1097.html

    To quote a small portion –

    Tomato Acidity
    Tomatoes are generally considered a high acid food item with a pH below 4.6. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation has been printed in the popular press about “low acid” tomatoes referring to those with a sweet, non-tart taste. These tomatoes are often white, yellow, or pink in color but are not low in acid content. The higher sugar masks the acidic flavor.
    Researchers at USDA and at the University of Minnesota have found that most underripe to ripe, cooked tomatoes have a pH below 4.6. Unfortunately, a few varieties may have a pH above or close to 4.6. These include Ace, Ace 55VF, Beefmaster Hybrid, Big Early Hybrid, Big Girl, Big Set, Burpee VF Hybrid, Cal Ace, Delicious, Fireball, Garden State, Royal Chico, and San Marzano. Some of these are grown for commercial purposes and are not found in home gardens. However, safely canning these varieties requires additional acid for water bath processing or a pressure canning process similar to low acid vegetables.

  17. Reply

    Good information, thanks. One suggestion – it will do no good to check a milk label to see if it contains rBST or BGH, because Monsanto successfully sued the state of Vermont, setting a precedent nationwide, to prevent labels including informatin on whether BGH is used. You can, and should, choose milk and dairy products whose labels state that no BGH is used in raising the cows. A good analogy: when I was a kid, I had a little Hot Wheels battery powered car – it was fun and ran well on a normal AA battery (naturally occurring BST); then I discovered it would run about 3 times faster if I used batteries meant for cameras (rBST). How cool! Except the engines burned out after a couple of batteries worth of use. Oh well, time to get another Hot Wheels! (cow)

    • Reply

      Back in the feudal age… Kings and Queens used to keep their peasants on a low-protein diet that ensured they would not be fit enough to revolt. Today… the UN is spearheading this same strategy for the global power elite, who do not want servile humans, whom they see as cannon fodder, to become healthy, wealthy or wise…. As the kingpin robber baron John D. Rockefeller once said… “competition is sin”, and there is no way common men can compete with the elite when they’re too weak, too sick, and too apathetic to respond.

    • Reply

      both parties serve corporate interests.

      you want a better world? stop voting.

      start doing something real to effect change – like growing your own, buying from local farmers (who often are Republican), joining cowshares or co-ops, buy from farmers markets…

      but please stop playing pretend. elections are for the fooled masses, not for those serious about change.

      • All the ranting on here is “preaching to the choir” anyways. You think anyone making millions off the “Corporate Interest” read any these pages? NOPE!

  18. Reply

    Yeah, like stopping voting is really a smart thing. You are out of your mind! You don’t vote the Republicans win! W-T-F are you thinking?

This article was well done. I like when they have the information source for why the foods are harmful or unsafe. Then further they offer alternatives to eating those harmful things with what to switch to.

I hope grocery stores are listening.

Written by @jenrusso

September 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Posted in Maui News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: