Dangers Of Chemicals In Food | Pesticides, Sweeteners & Additives
Organic food has been in the cycle of demand and supply for almost a decade now. Since the beginning of the 21st century in many countries, ‘Organic Food’ has become a statement of healthier lifestyle instead of a mere fad. Normally, the consumers who opt for this healthier lifestyle emerge as winners in the end as the conventional way of growing crops guarantees a lifestyle that’s loaded with irreplaceable health issues. With passing time, people are becoming aware of the unhealthy lifestyle offered by the crops that are sprinkled with commercial-grade pesticides. The option of going organic isn't just good for your body but also for the quality of environment that surrounds you. The rare and sensible use of pesticides asures a major stabilization in the nature of earth’s atmosphere. Use of organically productive ways in horticulture and harvesting ensure a constant stability in the stamina of the soil and in the takes care of the otherwise and likely puerile nature of water. More than adults, it's the kids that fall as a prime victim when to the conventional grade of food sources. Kids as we all know have a soft immune system that can barely handle the impurities of an unclean cup or saucer. Handling the level of health hazards extended by conventionally grown veggies and fruits could pose as a tedious task for their body. In fact, an outgrown exposure to toxins can risk the proper development of their body parts and various vital organs. ‘The Sooner the Better’ can be purely confounded as a true saying when people are being taught the exposure to an organic lifestyle while they are at the brim of their childhood. It succeeds at bringing out the charm of responsibility towards lifestyle and community when they become grown-ups.
Human body acquires most of its nutrition from food and when the food is organic, consumers can be sure of receiving them in surplus amounts. Surveys convey a hint that the food stuffs grown organically own higher stats of vitamins and minerals. In a way, contributing to nature’s biodiversity does pay off in the form of purer nutrients in the dish. Purchase of organic products puts an end to the use and hence the availability of processed foods too. Majorly, the market of processed foods is steered by livestock and poultry farms. Although the availability of processed foods can be affirmed as something obvious at every other grocery store, it’s always a healthy thought to consider the fact that canned foods are soaked in preservatives and additives of various forms. Some of the commonest human conditions that can be encountered after the intake of canned or processed foods are allergic rashes and unilateral headaches. Some of the majorly funded additives that can be found in the food supplies at the departmental store are trans fats, aspartame, monosodium glutamate and sodium nitrite. If promoted, these inorganic substances could inculcate habits in the family that can affect the deliverance of health assets from generation to generation. Being addicted to the ease and affordability with which these unhealthy food stuffs are available in the grocery stores, could pave a way for diseases that may or may not not come off easily with meds.
The Monsanto Trial
Under the umbrella of benevolent societies, several learning centres can be found where the organic ways of harvesting and the practices linked with such are taught. These centres are mostly based in farms, NGO offices and universities. From a granola bar to cheesy crackers, one can find a lot of easily accessible organic food stuff in the market for a fairly affordable price. In fact, danish market is the epicentre of organic market. Many studies performed around the world rely on the abundant supply organic stuff available in Denmark for the purpose of analysis. Most of the researches and studies in this regard were conducted after March 2010 when a ban was imposed on the companies that promoted the cultivation of genetically modified crops. One such agricultural company was Monsanto. Monsanto company has been routinely associated with the cultivation of genetically modified corn crop. Though this modified version of corn is resistant to insects and herbicides, a major population of Europe may not agree with the edibility proportions of GM corn. While the cultivation done with MON810 corn and maize seeds has been passed as safe by European Food Safety Authority, Poland along with 8 other countries have completely banned the use the modified seeds in the lieu of production and consumption of safer food products. Recent news articles state that, Costco might be one of the first major retailers to let go off the supplies of Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate herbicide from its stores. The news came as a setback for all the companies who relied on the sale of agricultural products that contain glyphosate. Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide was made with the intent of being suitable for soils used in the kitchen gardens of urban houses. Monsanto faced te lawsuit in 2012 that involved the witness's statement of developing a condition named non - Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) after his exposure to the sprinkles of the RoundUp pesticide spray during its use in the school grounds. Court trials brought into consideration the skin lesions that covered his entire body in the preliminary stages of blood cancer.
Not-So-Healthy Chemicals in our Food
Enlisted below are some of the commonly used chemicals in the food industry that have been banned in most of the countries due to the health hazards that they convey:
i) Beeswax: Beeswax is added with the intended purpose of prohibiting the growth potential of any form of fungi in food products (especially the ones that contain honey). While beeswax does assure the food of its freshness for a prolonged period of time, it intentionally carries the risk of allergic reaction. Many food companies are unduly using it in excess amounts for rendering a polished look to fruits. Honey is one of the commonest food produce that gets contaminated with the side effects of beeswax. For instance, the contamination of honey by pesticides can be sourced from the residues deposited on honeycomb. The commercial-grade pesticides are used for admonishing the presence of pests like Varroa jacobsoni, but most of them are incapable of justifying their effect against the acaricide-resistant strains of ticks found in the pesticide residues. So, one might as well state that bees wax made available with the sprinkle of commercial-grade pesticides is as bad as the one without any.
ii) Carbide Gas: Calcium Carbide is a term use conjugatively with ripening. Available in the form of sprays, carbide gas is used for the purpose of ripening fruits. Carbide gas is mostly composed of calcium carbide isn’t just harmful for humans but also for sea animals. This might probably be true due to the surmounted production of acetylene gas triggered by the trace amounts of arsenic and phosphorus present in the calcium carbide. Some of the common health conditions that can ascertained by consumption of adulterated food stuff are compensated memory, hypoxia, fluctuant mood levels. People who are concerned about their health can easily figure out the slightest signs of artificial ripening. For instance, an artificially ripened banana would bear a false display of lemonish yellow skin instead of the the regular yellow skin with black and brown spots. Also, the touch of artificially ripened bananas is irregular along the length i.e, the softness and hard areas of the pulp are unevenly distributed.
iii)The third issue of concern could be heavy metals. Though the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use reliable amounts of copper, zinc, and silver in food stuffs, the excess presence of metals can initiate or aggravate health issues. For instance, decent amounts of iron in food stuff allows the pluperfect functioning of the circulatory system and yet the copious amounts of the same metal could initiate heavy metal poisoning. Likewise, copper is a good conductor for enzymatic reactions in the body but when consumed in excess amounts it volunteers for the release of free radicals that can be prove to quiet a handful due to their detrimental effect on the DNA structure and cellular network of various organs. Some of the early manifestations of metal poisoning are linked with gastrointestinal tract and CNS. FDA approves of a dose of 100 parts per billion in food.
Is going all organic affordable?
It can be an easy task to lay hands on reliable and at the same time budget friendly organic stuff. In the long run it's always commendable to watch your pocket when the diet is going to be purely based on organic stuff. Enlisted below are the pointers that would substantially lower the grocery bill when moving towards a organic diet from a conventional one:
Seasonal shopping is ‘in’ : Price tags on organic stuffs vary a lot seasonally. For example, a pound of strawberry that might cost you 3.29$ in the season of spring might exceptionally add its nutrients to your diet for a higher price in the winter months. So, by bulk-buying in the right season, You can save a lot of bucks for the other stuff in the household. If it helps, substitution of ingredients that are in line in any season can always be looked out for in place of any out-of-the-season ingredients that you might used to of using. Organic food is a future culture and i’d say tread lightly if you were going organic.
Stakeholders in community programs: Organic industry in many countries is supported by community based programs. All you have to do is be a part of such programs and a more likely a member. Some of them offer a valuable a monthly and weekly delivery schedule that keeps you up to date with the recent products that are being launched by the organic industry from time to time. Community programs are a more easy route to lay your hands on the authentic organic stuff and therefore presume the lack of not playing dicey by purchasing the same from the grocery store. Also, the stakeholders own their shares of the affordability factor and authenticity by being linked with such programs.
Being a part of cooperatives: Aligning with likeminded people who are involved in the organic industry does ensure a hefty pay off for the newcomers. Like many other businesses, organic farm co-ops offer services and products to its newest members. By being a part of such co-ops you can always make suggestions to the new product line. Needless to say, the members get access to all the organic products for a lower price than the ones quoted in the market.
Hit the farmer’s market: Farmer's market is loaded with organic stuff most of the time during the year. Needless to say, it is a rich mine for the people who follow the conventional methods of eating too.
Start with the important stuff: It’s always a good call to start with the purchase of organic foods that are most susceptible to pesticide pollution. Also, quoted as the ‘impure thirteen’ , here is the list of some of the food stuffs that could prove to be a good for a start for any newbie.
- 2.Imported Grapes
- 7.Red Raspberries
- 10.Bell Peppers
- 13.Hot Peppers
Last but not the least, growing organic stuff on your own in a kitchen garden can be one neat step towards a healthy lifestyle. Organic seeds are available online for a feasible price.
Palm oil has been in the dip of controversy for a really long time now. Originally, palm oil flocks from the regions of Africa that are abundant in palm oil trees. Over a period of time, the vegetation of these trees has expanded to the regions of Asia and North America. You would be surprised to know that our everyday breakfast groceries are loaded with palm oil. Be it bread or any of the mouthwatering processed foods, the infinite use of palm oil is obvious. In fact, some oil companies are further adulterating the content of palm oil with Sudan Red IV for the heck of profit . Sudan Red IV is a coloring agent used for lipid containing products.
To begin with, the refining process for palm oil begins with collection of free samples from the trees. The threshing process of palm fruit involves extensive sterilization. The fruit is securely mashed for squeezing out the raw palm oil. The tedious process of palm oil extraction is performed in mills that Are involved in the processing of several other oil forms such as groundnuts, shea nuts and rapeseed. The foremost step involved in this process would be of grinding, followed by heating and extraction. The extraction step involves the use of an expeller and solvent that is derived from petrol. The polishing and refining steps would involve the process of clarification by the means of a filter or sedimentation. Most of the large and small scale industries involved in the processing of palm oil are base in africa. The prime steps of extraction procedure would be threshing and pressing. As the name suggests, threshing is a procedure of the removal of kernel from the hardened skin or spikelets. The process of threshing is completed in a manual or mechanized manner. Manual threshing involves the axing of fruit laden spikelets and then separation of kernel from spikelets by hand. The mechanized threshing procedure on the other hand would involve the use of a fixed or mobile drum that is foreskinned with beater bars. Beater bars are capable of snapping the fruit from the bunch without tweaking spikelets. Palm oil is cost-effective and assures more quantity of oil out of the same amount of land area. Some of the healthier but marginally high-priced oils would be soyabean oil and coconut oil. While the labels assuers, it isn’t a confirmed fact when going by the researches that palm oil is capable of controlling the cholesterol levels. Substantial evidence confirms that palm oil might even augment the levels of LDL and HDL in our body. Researches also lay a tire on the fact that palm oil cannot be used for the treatment of malaria. In a similar note it can also be quoted that palm oil can be considered as dangerous for pregnant women and the ones who are breastfeeding. Palm oil aggravates the clotting process of blood. So, if you are on blood thinners, you might want to chuck on the use of palm oil in your diet. Some of the other medications that could interfere with the process of blood coagulation ae aspirin, diclofenac and ibuprofen.
The quality of palm oil can also be related to the form of pressing used at the time of its production. There are two regular forms of pressing procedures that are used for extraction of palm oil would be:
i) Batch pressing: As the name suggests, palm oil is extracted by putting in a load of palm tree branches into the machine at once. After their insertion into the metal cage, a metal plunger is released for suitable extraction of the oil. Batch press machine designs can be categorized on the basis of their pressure gauge, size and the method used for the release of plunger. For instance, the plunger can be released with the help of an automated and mechanized system or manually by some labourer. While mechanized method assures bulk supply of oil with lesser effort, the manually-operated machine would cost a little less at the time of purchase. The pressure in machine’s gauge is supposed to be incremented gradually so that there is time for the oil to flow without sprinkling.
ii) Continuous Press system: With the use of centrifugal and hydraulic forces, the continuous systems of oil extraction have been manufactured. The palm oil seeds are entered into the chamber and pushed into the area of a conical zone that creates pressure enough to ooze the oil out of the metal perforations at the other end. A continual kneading and turbulent action exerted by the press’s parts paves way for more extraction of palm oil form lesser number of seeds. Usage of high-end pressures during the pressing procedure can be a warning of iron contamination.
One of the most imperfect stages palm oil extraction are clarification. The oil that is oozed out of the fruits of palm tree is a terrible mix of oil and cell debri. Furthermore, the non-oily solids absorbed by the oil during the extraction procedure might make it highly viscous. The viscosity issue calls for the addition of hot water to the extracted oil bearing an exact ratio of 3:1. The diluted oil is then screened for perfection but little do we know that the clarified oil still amounts to half the percentage of water and dirt. The re-heating procedure that follows clarification deprives the raw palm oil of its nutritional qualities.
Important Levels of Organic Organization
It can really help to have a knowledge of the functioning of an organic corporation at various levels. For instance, the organic sector in albania has been up and running for quite a while now. It is essential that we learn about how the various levels of this sector function in the lieu of gaining more experience about the how pricing of every product comes into being. The levels in organic sector can be categorized as:
Market chain level: This is the level that involves the joint effort of a group of volunteers/members who work close with the production phase of organic products. Primarily, this level comprises of farmers, processors, traders and exporters. Once the product has been collected from the farms, it is marketed in the commercial line for a successful sale. For instance, there are farmer groups in some areas that play the multiple roles of processors, traders and exporters. It needn't essentially be the brands that pick the lot of organic products from the farm every now and then for sale. The farmer associations exist in the form of wholesale markets in every local area. Since they aren’t corporates, the organic products sold by them are remarkable cheaper.
Private sector organic service level: This level is composed of people who essentially focus on the providing support for the people working at the basic or here on the previous level. Most of the organic products that are exported are the medicinal and aromatic ones such as the mushrooms, cornel juice, and chestnuts. On an average, the production of aforementioned products would involve the use of approx. 200000 hectares of land. Since and if the ideas of farmers associations aren’t strict, they would be capable of willingly relating with the companies like Xherdo, Tomadhea, ATC, and Musaj shpk.
Policy makers level: At this level, one would percuss the presence of a citizenry that links government's laws and policies with organic products for the benefit of the agricultural industry as a whole. Some of the strongest organic sectors in the region of Albania work in conjunction with the SASA project (Social accountability in sustainable agriculture). Companies like Bioadria and IOA run ahead in the line that leads to providing suitable and apt support for organic farmer associations. They provide the farmers with the certificates that are binding by the country’s protocols. The organic farming practices run along the lines of government's laws implemented by the (MoAFCP) Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer protection. The recent law enforced by the ministry was in the year 2011. According to the law, it was made necessary to label all the organic products.
Are fruits with skins on ok?
Eating healthy doesn't just mean picking out the best and most nutritional stuff from the store. It also means remembering the stuff that wouldn't be requiring a nutrient-scarring peel. It might come as a surprise, but most of the peels on organic products are loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants. It's safer to eat peels of organic products as they bear zero danger of carrying any of the plausible herbicides or pesticides on their surface. Enlisted below are the 6 eating items that can assure you of a nutritional-value-added meal with their skin:
Apples: Apple peel might not be rich in vitamin C but it sure is in pectin. Pectin is a water soluble fibre that is bound tightly to the skin of most of the fruits. In the terms of health, pectin can be considered good for keeping the cholesterol and sugar levels under control. In fact, many researches have also linked the digestion of fibre pectin with the body’s ability to absorb calcium in the gut.
Carrots: Like many other veggies, carrot skin is rich in polyacetylenes. Polyacetylenes as many might know are organic compounds that are being heavily considered as an option for the treatment of cancer. On a regular basis, carrot skin can be consumed for reaping its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory assets.
Eggplant: The skin of an eggplant is accessorized in the most natural form with with an element named nasunin. Nasunin can be considered imperative in the treatment of cancer and several nervous system disorders. It's the nasunin that gives the skin of the eggplant a purplish hue. Yet another plus linked with the consumption of Nasunin is of weight control. Nasunin belongs to the a specific group of flavonoids that concentrate a major portion of their health benefits to the digestive system.
Cucumbers: Cucumber skin is as nutritious as its seeds right in the middle. Peels of this green-coloured edible is rich in fibre and beta carotene. Beta carotene is an active anti-oxidant that manages to sustain the health of eyes, skin and the immune system at any point in life. Dieticians have recorded the nutritional assets of cucumber peel as of 4% potassium, 3% vitamin C and 3% of the daily fibre intake that has been recommended by dieticians for a normal human being.
Potatoes: Potato skin contains serious amounts of vitamins and minerals that don’t give away to baking. So if the potatoes are consumed in a baked form, one can be still be sure of expecting a fair amount of iron, fibre and potassium in their diet. Truth is that the more pigmented the potato skin, the richer would it be on the scale of nutrients. A recent study concludes that the outer skin of a potato contains 10 times the level of antioxidants than in its insides.
Peach: Unlike tomatoes, peach can be a bit rough when it comes to texture. Peach skin assures a fair essence of taste with loads of antioxidants to survive in the presence of free radicals. Needless to say, one must be sure of being purely anti-allergic to the contents and texture of peach’s peel. Some peach varieties can have excess hair on their skin and can therefore serve as irritant for the digestive tract and throat.
Nevertheless, there are some peels that can be best left avoided. For example, avocado peels have been listed as inedible by several dieticians around the world. Then there are some fruits and veggies such as bananas, onions and pineapples that can be best eaten without their skin due to the scathing nature of their texture. There are some veggies that can be consumed after boiling if not there in their raw form. Some of the good examples of such organic stuff would be pumpkin and winter squash. It is pertinent to consider the bitterness quotient of citrus fruits if one is considering their consumption in an unpeeled form.
Preservatives are yet another entity that can block the nutritional values of several food stuffs from coming into existence in the body.
Steviol glycosides are the newest in the lot and are being considered as preservatives by several food and pharmaceutical companies. They are a pleasant number of studies that denote the role of steviol glycosides as vasoconstrictor. In vivo studies suggest that steviol glycosides get converted to steviol between the process of consumption and absorption. It is therefore essential for the hypotensive people to practice care when consuming steviol glycosides in any form of food stuff. Yet another study that involved the use of steviol glycosides on rats confirmed the diuretic potential of the same. This would further indicate that steviol glycosides might be the reason behind augmented urinary output when preservative is consumed on a regular basis by humans. It is therefore essential to exercise care in its usage when being used for people who suffer with some of renal dysfunction.
According to a recent study, a continual intake of preservatives in diet could become the reason for hypertension. This can be a pretty scary scenario for the people who have led a life under the sight of hypertensive parents. For instance, phosphates are the compounds that are commonly used for the preservation of meat, and in increasing the spredibilty factor of cheese. Phosphates have a tendency of augmenting the blood pressure levels in their presence even in the healthiest of adults at a young age. A long-term pursuance of high phosphate diet can also make way for kidney issues into the body. Yet another study that was conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital involved the examination of sodium benzoate (food preservative) on the glucose levels and hormonal balance of the body. In any scenario, if link could be established by the means of this study, a legal warning could be issued in the interest of diabetic people to avoid the intake of food stuffs that contain sodium benzoate.
Propionates are commendably used for protecting the baked goods from the setting in of moulds. The commonest salt of the propionates used alongwith bread is calcium propionate. A major health hazard encountered with long term use of propionates is their cumulativeness. The conditions triggered by continual use of propionates in the body are done so over a period of time. It takes months for the conditions to become visible in the form of irritable bowel syndrome, restlessness or sleeping disorders.
Sorbates, also known as the metabolites of sorbic acid. The commonest form of sorbate, potassium sorbate is used for preserving fruits, pre-prepared salads and smoked salmon. The commonest dilapidation that can occur with regular intake of sorbates is itchy mouth and abdominal skin due to an allergic reaction. Other than sorbate, the compound potassium sorbate is also responsible for a major hike in the levels of potassium in the body which gets exhibited in the form of migraines and at an advanced level as some form of kidney disease.
Sulphites are an original group of sulphur molecules that have formed a complex with oxygen. They are primarily used for the preservation of hard drinks of the cellar. The antioxidant property owned by the sulphites is capable of keeping the taste and colour of food stuffs alive. Some of the common sulfite compounds that are used for preservation of foodstuffs are sodium bisulphite, sodium metabisulphite, and potassium bisulphite. Sulphite spray is primarily used on the pinkish areas of meat and fish. Regular consumption of foodstuffs that contain sulfite as a preservative are capable of causing asthma and wheezing issues.
Chelating agents are preservatives added with the intent of chelating or binding metal ions. Some of the commonest metal ions that can be held responsible for altering the colour and texture of food stuff over a period of time are iron, copper and cobalt. EDTA (Ethylenediametetra acetic acid) is the most hyped chelating agent that is added for retaining the colour of variou food stuffs at the grocery marts. EDTA is also used in the protection of sauces and spreads from the plausible infiltration of bacteria and metallic taste due to any reaction between the metal of the can and the food contained in it.
Last but not the least, an entity than can not only deprive salubriousness but also instill a new health condition into humans would be the artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are a common sight in every other restaurant placed in North America and several other countries that follow a modern culture. Though sweet, artificial sweeteners succeed at extending the pleasure of the sweetness of sugar without promoting any of the harms that are otherwise contained in the extra calories of sugar such as the insulin fluctuation. So, the health conscious people can absolutely rule out any chances of the occurence of diabetes in the future. With all likelihood, some of such sweetners are harmless in their raw or less-processed forms, while others inflict a major harm on the various systems of the body.
Enlisted below are some of the artificial sweeteners that might be considered for exclusion in one’s diet:
Sodium benzoate: It is water soluble salt formed by the combination of benzoic acid and sodium hydroxide. Commonly found in the soft and energy drinks, sodium benzoate has been declared as a culprit for initiating several nervous disorders. artificial sweetener of this level is capable of triggering the condition of ADHD. During the manufacturing process, the vitamin C combines with sodium benzoate to form a unstable compound named benzene. Benzene is a term that might not come as a surprise to the patients of leukaemia and lymphoma.
Acefultame: This artificial sweetener is always used as an accessory to some main artificial sweetener such as the aspartame. Acefultame surely doesn't come as a good news for one’s blood pressure or insulin levels. A continual presence of peaks in the insulin levels everyday can compromise the immune system. Also, Acefultame is capable of flaring an inflammatory reaction in a diabetic person. Some of the other grievous conditions Acefultame has been linked with are the thymus cancer, leukaemia and a lapse in smooth respiratory function.
Monosodium Glutamate: MG is a common variant of preservative used in the processing phase of canned foods. According to the Arizona centre for Advanced Medicine, monosodium glutamate is less of a flavor enhancer and more of a cancer growth promoter. Some studies have even declared it as a neurotoxin. The use of monosodium glutamate has been often covered under the fancy names of soy protein, yeast extract and whey protein isolate in several products.
Aspartame: Aspartame as many know is composed mainly of Aspartic acid. Aspartic acid is a amino acid that owns the decent reputation of being the builder of proteins i the body. Some of the other components of aspartame that might augment the effect of aspartic acid are menthol and phenylalanine. Phenylalanine unintentionally suppresses the levels the serotonin in the blood and therefore initiates a phase of emotional depression on the body that might be completely unrelated to any circumstance in a person’s life. The contributory effect of menthol towards aspartic acid comes into play only at the temperatures above 86 degree fahrenheit. The high-end temperatures cause the breakdown of methanol and therefore cause the release of formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been claimed as an initiator of a carcinogenic reaction by many researchers.
Sucralose: The name of this artificial sweetener might come as a confused term to many people who are familiar with the base name of sugars like Sucrose. Unlike sucrose, Sucralose is created with the addition of chlorine atoms to sugar. Chlorine - When consumed in the form of chlorinated water can majorly obstruct the functioning of the natural gut flora. Some of the other side organs that get disturbed by continual intake of Sucralose are the thymus gland and kidneys. The possible health conditions that can be expected after the regular consumption of Sucralose for months would be cachexia, crohn’s disease and candidiasis. In some countries, Sucralose is sold under the commercial name of Splenda.
Making the society aware of the toxic chemicals in our food chain
Toxicants in the food chain can’t be eliminated entirely at once but we sure can do out role in deducting their exposure to our future generations by:
Go for organic - pesticide intake can be reduced by a major extent in human food chain by lowering the purchase and intake of contaminated fruits and veggies.
Choosing the products that have been packaged in an eco-friendly manner.
Supporting facilities that opt for the purchase of sustainable food stuff.
Recomend policy changes in the field of agriculture that promote the purchase of organic food stuff.