The Top 7 Foods Avoided by Food Safety Experts

2009-12-10 11:24

Liz Vaccariello, Editor in Chief of Prevention Magazine, recently interviewed several experts on food healthfulness and safety. She asked, “What foods do you avoid”, and was surprised by some of the answers.

1. Canned Tomatoes, Canned Soup, Canned Green Beens
Recently, Consumer Reports magazine found the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in the resin lining of many common food brands. BPA is used for food preservation, but is a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to many illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and reproductive issues. Consumer Reports found the highest levels to be in canned green beans and soups. Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A (BPA) states that acidic foods such as tomatoes can also cause the BPA to leach into the food, at a rate that exceeds 50 micrograms per liter. Dr. Vom Saal recommends choosing tomatoes in glass bottles or Tetra Pak boxes.

2. Corn-Fed Beef
Cows evolved eating grass, but today’s farmers feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten the animals faster for slaughter. A recent study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that corn-fed beef is lower in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and potassium than grass fed beef. It is also higher in saturated fat. A study from Purdue University found that corn fed beef contains higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which may encourage inflammation in the body and may lead to bone loss. Grass-fed beef can be found at specialty grocers, farmers markets, and nationally at Whole Foods.

3. Microwave Popcorn
A big danger from microwave popcorn is burns from the steam that escapes when the bag is opened. Two chemicals in microwave popcorn have been linked to serious illness. In January 2008, the top four manufacturers removed diacetyl as a butter-flavoring agent in the products because it was linked to lung injuries. ConAgra Foods, General Mills, and the American Pop Corn Company (that sells Orville Redenbacker, Act II, Pop Secret and Jolly Time) have changed their recipes to exclude diacetyl.


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Your reasoning against farmed salmon is generally unfounded. There are good producers that feed and raise fish organically. We should encourage farmed over wild fish consumption or we soon won't have the choice.