PRESERVATIVES AND CHEMICALS PESTICIDES IN OUR FOOD
You will throw up what little you've eaten, and your compliments will be wasted..."Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
Preservatives in foods are designed to prevent bacteria growth and spoilage, but sometimes they can also prevent you from enjoying good health. While the effects of food preservatives on the body can vary with age and health status, looking into the potential harmful effects of preservatives in foods may help you reclaim good health and protect your personal well-being against toxic damage.
One of the harmful effects of preservatives in foods is the potential to cause breathing difficulties. According to MayoClinic.com, eliminating foods with preservatives from the diet can reduce the symptoms and severity of asthma. MayoClinic.com identified aspartame, sulfites, benzoates and yellow dye No. 5 as preservatives that could exacerbate breathing problems in asthmatics and others, while Medical News Today linked sulphites with shortness of breath and other breathing problems.
Another harmful effect of preservatives in foods is behavioral changes, especially in young children. According to the Archives of Disease in Children, in a 2003 double-blind study of 1,873 children the consumption of food additives and preservatives led to significant increase in hyperactive behavior. Removing the preservatives or using a placebo didn’t lead to these behaviors, which were measured by both parental and objective reporting. The researchers coordinating the study noted that whether the children had been previously identified as hyperactive didn't matter in terms of the effects of the preservatives and additives on their behavior.
Studies of heart tissue reviewed by InChem have showed that food preservatives can weaken heart tissues. According to laboratory research, rats who consumed the highest levels of food preservatives showed the highest levels of heart damage over time.
One of the most serious harmful effects of preservatives in foods is their ability to transform into carcinogens when digested. According to InChem, nitrosamines, which include nitrites and nitrates, interact with stomach and gastric acids to form cancer-causing agents. To avoid this natural chemical reaction between your body and the preservatives, you will need to monitor your diet to eliminate nitrates and nitrites from your meals, snacks and beverages.
Pesticides are used in many commercially grown fruit, vegetable, and grain crops to protect them from insects, weeds, fungi, diseases, mice and other animals, bacteria, viruses, and mold. In the United States, pesticide use is regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Similarly, antibiotics and other drugs are used to protect livestock from diseases and parasites. Extra hormones may be given to animals to increase meat and milk production. In the U. S., use of these drugs is regulated by the FDA.
By getting rid of disease sources, pesticides and antibiotics help increase food production, reduce food loss, and keep the U.S. food supply safe from threats. But many people question how safe these chemicals and hormones are in the body. They worry about the pesticide residues found in fruits and vegetables and in animal feed -- which can end up in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products, on top of any extra antibiotics or hormones. There's a real concern that these chemicals may cause health problems, including an increase in breast cancer risk. There are also concerns about mercury in seafood and industrial chemicals in food and food packaging.
No studies so far show a direct connection between pesticide exposure and an increased risk of breast cancer in people. Still, young female farm workers are at higher risk for a range of medical conditions. And some of the most commonly used pesticides have been shown to mimic estrogen in laboratory animals. For example, Atrazine, commonly used to grow corn, can increase estrogen production by turning on the aromatase enzyme. So the "better safe than sorry" principle makes sense here. And common sense suggests that eating extra chemicals is probably unhealthy. The question remains: What is the safest way to grow and prepare fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish so you get the most nutritional value and avoid any risks?
Steps you can take
Consider buying organic. To reduce your exposure to pesticides, you might want to buy organically grown food or organically produced dairy products. The term "organic" means plant crops have been grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers or genetic modifications. "Organic" also refers to meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products raised/produced without being fed growth hormones or extra antibiotics when they're healthy. These organic foods come from animals that have been fed organic grain and other feed.
It's important to know the terms "natural" and "organic" do not mean the same thing. "Natural" is overused and has very little meaning when it comes to industry standards. Similarly, "free-range" doesn't have an official industry definition. Many people believe it means that the chickens or cows or turkeys are not kept in cages and are given the run of the farm. But this isn't always the case. Until the word is officially defined, "free-range" can be put on any package without anyone being responsible for it. If you're very concerned about this issue, look into buying your meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products from a local farmer whose production methods you know. "Pure," "simple," and "real" also sound great but have no official meaning.
While there are reasons to believe organically produced food is safer and more nutritious than conventionally produced food, few studies have been done to confirm this claim. More research is needed in this area.
For more information on organic food, visit the Nutrition and Breast Cancer Risk Reduction pages in the Breastcancer.org Nutrition section.
Organic cost considerations. Organic food is generally more expensive than non-organic food. Still, eating conventionally grown fruits and vegetables is much better than not eating fruits and vegetables because you can't buy organic produce. If you're on a tight budget and don't have the luxury of buying all organic, there are ways you can stretch your organic food dollars.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an environmental health advocacy organization based in the United States. The EWG analyzes pesticide studies and ranks contamination on 45 of the most popular fruits and vegetables in theShopper's Guide to Pesticides. The Shopper's Guide to Pesticides makes it easier to decide what to buy organic.