The 7 Foods People Shouldn't Eat

Donna Diegel's picture

How many people eat microwave popcorn? Would it be a surprise that potatoes, salmon, milk, apples, beef and canned tomatoes are also on the list? Chemicals, pesticides, growth hormones, contaminants, carcinogens, etc., are all found in these foods, or are processed with them. There are healthy alternatives to these common foods. asked Prevention, who then asked food safety experts, "What foods wouldn't YOU eat?" The answers were surprising. Unless you are a dyed-in-the-wool organic purist, most of these foods are probably sitting on the shelves in your pantry, and being served to your family on a regular basis. If they are, there are easy alternatives you can choose. Consider purchasing organic instead of conventionally grown produce. Change the way you purchase your food. Pop your own corn. It may cost you a little more in the end, but you'll feel good about buying quality products, some of which are locally grown, which also helps to stimulate the economy.

Canned Tomatoes
The tin can your tomatoes come in is lined with a product that contains bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen. The natural acidity in the tomatoes causes the BPA to leach into your food. This could cause all sorts of medical ailments, including diabetes and obesity. Buy tomatoes in glass jars, or can your own organic tomatoes using the old-fashioned Ball Canning Jars. Aseptic pack tomatoes can also be found in Whole Foods Markets, natural food co-ops, and most large supermarkets. Fredrick vom Saal, PhD – Endocrinologist at the University of Missouri

Corn-Fed Beef
Cows are herbivores, and as such, were meant to eat grass, not grains. "We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure," says Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.

Microwave Popcorn
The bag microwave popcorn is popped in, is full of chemicals that vaporize during the process of microwaving, and end up in your popped corn. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. They also stay in your body for years. Quit microwaving your popcorn, and pop it the old-fashioned way – in a pot on top of the stove. Tastes better too. Olga Naidenko, PhD – Senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.

Regular Non-Organic Potatoes
Potatoes grow underground, and as such, whatever is sprayed on top leaches into the soil and eventually ends up in the potato. Fungicides and herbicides are the worst culprits, but then they doused again after harvest to prevent sprouting, because no one likes potatoes with "eyes". Washing isn't good enough, so buy only organic potatoes. Jeffrey Moyer – Chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Farmed Salmon
For obvious reasons, farmed salmon is not as good for you as wild salmon. They are kept captive in pens, and fed things most wild salmon don't eat. As a result, the salmon are lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens and various pesticides. Buy wild Alaska salmon. Stay away from Atlantic salmon. Despite the label, they are still farmed salmon. David Carpenter, MD – Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany.

Conventional Apples
The produce with the most frequently sprayed pesticides probably has to be the apple. The residues don't get washed off easily. Studies are being done to determine whether or not cancer and Parkinson's disease are directly related to the chemicals doused on apples. Buy organic or at least peel the apples before eating. Mark Kastel – Former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute.

Milk with Artificial Hormones rBGH or rBST
It comes as no surprise that milk tainted with artificial growth hormones, rBGH or rBST, would be one of the top do-not-eat foods—or drinks. Recombinant bovine growth hormones have been in the news for a while now, citing that high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. The solution of course, would be to check labels, and buy organic milk. Ben & Jerry's ice cream uses milk and cream from dairy farms that have pledged not to use rBST. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores featured hormone-free "Great Value" brand milk, but did not label it as such in 2008. 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.

For more information, read the article "The 7 foods experts won't eat" by Liz Vaccariello, Editor-in-Chief of Prevention.

Sources:; wikipedia

Written by Donna Diegel

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