Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Gross Foods You're Eating Without Knowing It

This article was originally published by RodalesOrganicLife.com.


Paint chemical in salad dressing




































Titanium dioxide is a component of the metallic element titanium, a mined substance that is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead. Commonly used in paints and sunscreens, big food corporations add it to lots of things we eat, too, including processed salad dressing, coffee creamers, and icing. The food industry adds it to hundreds of products to make dingy, overly processed items appear whiter. "White has long been the symbolic color of clean," explains food industry insider Bruce Bradley, who shares the tricks, traps, and ploys of big food manufacturers on his blog, BruceBradley.com.


Maggoty mushrooms






Photograph by IGOR CHESNOV/SHUTTERSTOCK
Maggots are fly larvae—tiny rice-shaped creatures that feast on rotting foods. The Food and Drug Administration legally allows 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms. While maggots do have their place in the medical world—they can help heal ulcers and other wounds—most people think it's pretty gross to eat them. If you need another reason to ditch canned goods, consider this: Most are lined with bisphenol A, or BPA—a plastic chemical that causes unnatural hormonal changes linked to heart attacks, obesity, and certain cancers.

Cloned cow's stomach



SMEREKA/SHUTTERSTOCK           

Traditionally, cheese makers used rennet derived from the mucosa of a veal calf's fourth stomach to create the beloved, versatile dairy product. But Bradley notes that cost and the limited availability of calf stomachs have led to the development of several alternatives, including vegetable rennet, microbial rennet, and—the food industry's rennet of choice—a genetically modified version derived from a cloned calf gene. It's used to make the vast majority of cheese sold in the United States. Since GMO ingredients aren't listed on the label, it can be tough for consumers to avoid rennet from this source. "With all these rennet varieties often listed simply as "enzymes" on an ingredient panel, it can be very hard to know exactly what kind you're eating when you buy cheese," says Bradley, author of Fat Profits.

Flesh-eating bacteria



Photograph by LEIGH PRATHER/SHUTTERSTOCK           




Grocery store meats are commonly infused with veterinary medicines, heavy metals, and staph bacteria, including the hard-to-kill, potentially lethal MRSA strain. Unfortunately, the problem is far from rare. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that half of grocery store meat tested harbored staph bacteria. Researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture as a major cause in the rise of superbugs in our grocery store food. MRSA kills about 19,000 people a year in America—that's more annual deaths than from AIDS in the U.S. Purchasing grass-fed meat and eggs from organic farmers is a more sustainable choice.

Herbicide-flavored food



Photograph by DEFOTOBERG/SHUTTERSTOCK           
Glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in the popular weed killer, Roundup, is a hormone-disrupting chemical now used primarily on corn and soy crops genetically engineered to withstand a heavy dousing of the chemical. Roundup is so heavily used around homes and in farm fields that it's now being detected in streams, the air, and even rain. Because it's a systemic herbicide, it's actually taken up inside the plant—meaning we eat it—and it's legally allowed in our food and in an amount that worries scientists. It's found in most nonorganic packaged foods because most contain corn- or soy-derived ingredients, the crops that are most often heavily doused with Roundup. Glyphosate exposure is linked to obesity, learning disabilities, birth defects, infertility, and potentially irreversible metabolic damage. To avoid pesticides in products, eat organic and avoided processed foods as much as possible. And use caution—"all natural" foods often are chockfull of pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients.


Beaver anal gland juice



It's a bitter, smelly, orange-brown substance known as castoreum, explains Bradley. "In nature, it's combined with the beaver's urine and used to mark its territory." It's used extensively in processed food and beverages, typically as vanilla or raspberry flavoring. This gross ingredient won't show up on the label—instead, companies using it in making processed food list it as natural flavoring. This poses a dilemma for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone who wants to avoid eating any creature's anal excretions.



           

11 Back-to-School Lunches That Nutritionists Give Their Kids





By Dana Leigh Smith
It’s back to school season, so a pop quiz is only fitting. What’s more challenging: Training for a marathon or packing a healthy lunch that your kid won’t trade for a Fruit Roll-Up?
Whipping up creative and nutritious meals that will please the picky little ones can be tough—especially when they see alluring vending machine treats and less-than-healthy snacks in other kids' lunchboxes. To help take the stress out of your back-to-school packing, we had diet experts fork over their creative lunchtime ideas. Read on to learn how to piece together exciting and healthy lunchbox meals for your little one all year long. And be sure to steer clear of packaged products that are hiding harmful additives, which we reveal in our report on the 13 Scary Ingredients in Your Kid’s Lunch Box, Exposed!


Fresh meat




With fresh meat you’re usually dealing with a 'sell by' date, which tells the store the last day it can keep that product out for sale. What does this mean for you? You either need to eat it or freeze it when you get home. 'The ‘sell by’ is telling the store when it should be the last day to have it on their shelf. They may even be discounting the food to try to get rid of it if it’s the last day they can have it on their shelves,' says Crandall. A lot of fresh raw meat is also contaminated with Salmonella, E. coli, or other bacteria. With that in mind, it’s very important to cook the meat at the proper temperatures as a greater defense against bacteria Water with lemon
You Should Never Order When You Eat Out


Order the water—but you may want to hold the citrus. In a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health, researchers tested 76 lemons from 21 restaurants and found that 70% of them were contaminated with bacteria. Ick. The Family Health Team at the Cleveland Clinic recommends that unless you actually see the bartender prepare your lemon wedge safely—meaning, she’s wearing gloves and using tongs—stick to plain H2O. Save the lemon water trend for home, when you can be sure your lemons are properly washed
Health and Nutrition

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