Melissa Wiliams, Freelance Writer | Co-Owner, Yoga Junction
The 8 Food From Which Experts Say You Should Always Steer Clear: For Your Health and That of The Planet’s Are …
1. Non-organic berries. I have to admit as I write this, I’m a bit terrified of commercial berries in general (organic or not) with the recent Hepatitis outbreak. (Buy local folks!!) But non-organic berries are just plain frightening. If you’ve ever witnessed the amount of chemicals sprayed on these berries to keep their beautiful rosy hue, you’d stop eating them all together.
2. Conventional Meat- Once upon a time you knew the rancher who grew the beef on your plate. Not so much anymore. Don’t you want to know what’s in your meat? Look for grass-fed beef, free of growth hormones. And be sure that your ground beef is exactly what it states and not made with other meat by-products.
3. GMOs are on our radar, especially with the protests over the last few weeks. Unfortunately, corn is one of the most likely to be genetically modified in this country – and is found in nearly everything we eat. Be aware of high fructose corn syrup (another “food” you should never eat), as it is terrible for your body and is most likely made with GMOs.
4. Non-dark chocolate. When you’ve read the reports about chocolate, they’re talking about the stuff the Aztecs ate. Rich, 100% pure cacao… not the half butter, half sugar stuff we sometimes call chocolate. Skip the fillers and look for a rich, organic, dark chocolate.
5. I have a hard time with this one, but sprouts top the list for poor food safety. Years ago, there were several outbreaks of sprouts contaminated with such nasty bugs as E. Coli and salmonella, and unfortunately, sprouts are going to continue to be high on the list as they need a warm, moist environment to grow. (Ripe for bacteria, too.)
6. Swordfish- You’ve heard about mercury, right? Much of the swordfish available in market is high in mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause developmental problems and may even trigger heart episodes. Learn more about the health risks of eating mercury-contaminated fish here. http://seafood.edf.org/mercury-seafood Find a list of safe seafood here: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_health.aspx
7. Diet Soda- You probably knew this was on the list, but diet is a worse offender in many health aficionados yes than the regular Dew. Studies have shown that sugar-free substitutes actually can cause weight gain, headaches, and possibly such issues as depression and cancer.
8. Canned foods- We reported on the BPA in the lining of canned foods awhile back, but certain foods, including tomatoes, may be even worse. BPA is a synthetic estrogen that has been associated with a host of nasty reproductive and health issues. Look for glass instead.