Detoxification: Why You Should Be Aware of What You Are Eating
Our society is rapidly becoming much more health-conscious, especially when it comes to what we eat on a daily basis. This shift towards more frequent and concentrated reading of ingredient labels is fueled in part by easy access to information on the Internet and the news media. Major news outlets and websites such as Yahoo! are reporting on a near-daily basis about the variety of ingredients found in foods we consume everyday, and whether they are harmful or helpful.
While some ingredients may not damage your health, they are still gross once the clever labeling of “natural flavoring” is revealed to be beaver anal gland juice. Other man-made ingredients are more akin to chemical compounds, such as yellow #5 and red #40, which have been linked to various debilitating diseases and maladies. And then there are the naturally occurring ingredients in various foods that may be okay when consumed in moderation, but can ultimately be harmful to our health if we overindulge. An example of this is fish, which of course is recommended as a healthy dish, but some species of fish can contain various amounts of mercury, which is obviously something we want to avoid.
The latest news story circulating around the Internet is concerned with chicken, and the admittance by the FDA that this low-fat, high-protein meat also contains traces of arsenic.
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Arsenic in Chicken? How Did it Get There?
Arsenic last made headlines not too long ago when tests revealed its presence in some brands of apple juice. According to investigations by the FDA, the presence of arsenic is likely related to pesticides used on apple crops. Pesticides are full of all sorts of dangerous chemicals, so the presence of arsenic in them isn’t all that surprising. What is surprising is how arsenic winds up in chicken: it is purposely added to the chicken feed.
According to the FDA, an inorganic arsenic that has been know to cause cancer has been present in chicken feed for approximately 60 years. Until the most recent study revealed proof that couldn’t be denied, the poultry industry had been attempting to keep this revelation secret. Now that it has become public knowledge, the chicken feed product containing arsenic, known as Roxarsone, has been pulled from store shelves. The manufacturer is a Pfizer subsidiary, and has thus far only removed its product from US shelves; it is still available in other countries.
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The FDA Says There is Nothing to Worry About
As with the arsenic-tainted apple juice, the FDA claims that the traces of arsenic in chicken are minute, and that the chicken is safe to eat. Despite this, the fact remains that arsenic is proven to cause cancer. Even worse, it has also been revealed that in addition to arsenic-tainted chicken feed being fed to chickens, chicken litter is then in turn fed to cows in beef factories.
Not knowing where your beef comes from means that what actually sits between that hamburger bun could contain a whole other mess of unnatural or potentially dangerous ingredients, chemicals, and bacteria—all of it allowed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
If you are concerned about your health and what you are actually eating, it pays to do a little due diligence and discover where your food comes from and what’s in it, especially in cases of fast food, where meat products can sometimes be more closely related to a science project rather than actual meat. However, it should be noted that McDonald’s does not accept any beef that has been fed chicken litter. The fast food giant has also made available all the nutrition information for the products they offer, and have also supplemented their menu with a few “healthier” options.
What is The Best Way to Eat Safe?
So besides being “nutritionally aware” of what you are eating, you may need to be on “toxin red alert” in your choices as well. Be aware of what you are eating, try to eat organic when possible, and learn about the different ingredients found in products that are not certified organic. It can be difficult to avoid everything that may not necessarily be healthy for you, but at the very least, you can avoid cancer-causing arsenic and other chemicals and carcinogens in your food. You may not be able to eliminate, but you certainly minimize!
“This article reflects the opinions of the author and those of any of the source articles and should not be misconstrued as medical advice. None of this information is evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.”