Steps to Make Sure Your Food is Safe
Everyone thinks they are safe to roam the grocery store, buying their typical items, without being aware of the caution to take based on health risks and dangers of buying food that could contain dangerous pesticides. The New York Times reports, “According to the new estimate, about 48 million people get sick and more than 3,000 die each year from food poisoning in the United States. While those are big numbers, they are lower than an earlier estimate of 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths a year that came from a 1999 study frequently cited by lawmakers and advocates seeking to pass new food safety legislation.” With statistics like that, you have to wonder if the food you are eating is really safe.
- Recalls and Alerts: On a regular basis, keep yourself updated with recalls and alerts on certain brands, specific foods, etc. Certain alerts display the problems that have a reoccurring pattern of illness amongst their customers. With this knowledge you will be more aware of the food products you should stay away from and avoid the dangers of getting sick or in the worst cases, death.
- What is on my food? : More importantly than being aware of recalls and alerts is to know all the risks if there are pesticides present on the food you eat. Organic food is sometimes a recommendation to avoid the dangers of pesticides, but that becomes much more difficult when buying groceries on a budget. When dealing with pesticides, they fall under two categories, harmful or safe. Being one or the other, the exposure to harmful pesticides are not worth the risk. For example, The USDA Pesticide data program found 51 pesticide residues on lettuce. The human health effects include, known or probable carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and developmental or reproductive toxins. Something as simple as lettuce can potentially do a lot of damage.
- Be aware of false advertising: Food industries will do just about anything to sell their products. Bending the truth can be a major selling point within in a company. Thomas Watkins, reporter for Associated press, writes about how the corn industry renamed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with the term, “corn sugar.” Corn sugar has been presented in advertising as something that is “natural,” creating the illusion that their products are harmless. Misleading the customer can create dangerous health risks in the long run. HFCS is metabolized into sugar very rapidly and can therefore lead to high blood sugar and it can also increase the risk of osteoporosis, tooth decay, and arthritis. A name change can affect innocent customers into thinking the HFCS is a natural sugar that couldn’t hurt. It is important to know these differences so you don’t find yourself in a dangerous health situation.
Taking the extra time to find out what you are putting your body can make all the difference. You are only hurting yourself when you decide to ignore the obvious of what you should stay away from. Following these steps has the potential to benefit your future, food choices, and a step towards a healthier lifestyle.
Robert Boroff Executive Profile Managing Director Reaction Search International
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