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Chemicals to Avoid

1. Flesh eating bacteria

Grocery store meats are commonly infused with veterinary medicines, heavy metals, and staph bacteria, including the lethal MRSA. A study published last year in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that half of grocery store meat tested harbored staph bacteria. MRSA kills about 19,000 people a year in America — that’s more annual deaths than from AIDS.

2. Ammonia in Meat

Factory-farm conditions are rife with bacteria. To try to make the meat “safer,” industry typically puts the beef through an ammonia gas bath. The process is banned in organic certified meat.

3. Chemical  Shrimp

Many shrimps are tainted with chemicals used to clean filthy shrimp farm pens and is often full of antibiotics, mouse and rat hair, and pieces of insects.

4. Rennet

Cheese makers traditionally use rennet derived from the mucosa of a veal calf’s fourth stomach to create the beloved, versatile dairy product.  Food industries’ new found source of rennet – a genetically modified version derived from a cloned calf gene. The long-term health effects of eating genetically engineered foods has never been studied in humans. GMO ingredients aren’t listed on the label. And such GMO rennets are often listed simply as “enzymes” on an ingredient panel.

5. Castoreum

This gross ingredient won’t show up on the label. Instead, companies using it in making processed food list it as “natural flavoring.” It’s a bitter, smelly, orange-brown substance used extensively in processed food and beverages, typically as vanilla or raspberry flavoring. Get this: It comes from beaver’s urine.

6. rBST

Today’s cows produce double the amount of milk they did just 40 years ago, thanks largely to a genetically engineered, synthetic hormone called recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST. Scientists link rBST to prostate, breast, and colon cancers. It’s banned in other countries, and although still legal here.

7. L-cysteine

A non-essential amino acid made from dissolved human hair (often from China) or duck feathers is used as a dough conditioner to improve the texture of breads and baked goods. Eating something derived from the human body violates Muslim beliefs. Hair and duck feathers pose an ethical dilemma for vegans, too.

8. Carmine, crimson lake, cochineal, or natural red #4

A bright red food colorant, is actually the crushed abdomen of the female Dactylopius coccus, an African beetle-like insect and is commonly found in red candies and red-tinted yogurts and juices.

9. Maggot in mushroom

The Food and Drug Administration legally allows 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms.

We find this gross. If you need another reason to ditch canned goods, consider this: Most are lined with bisphenol A, or BPA, a plastic chemical that causes unnatural hormonal changes linked to heart attacks, obesity, and certain cancers.

10. Glyphosate

Glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in the popular weed killer, Roundup, is a hormone-disrupting chemical now used primarily on corn and soy crops genetically engineered to withstand a heavy dousing of the chemical.

Glyphosate exposure is linked to obesity, learning disabilities, birth defects, infertility and potentially irreversible metabolic damage. To avoid pesticides in products, eat organic and avoided processed foods as much as possible. And use caution — “all natural” foods often are chockfull of pesticides and genetically engineered ingredients.

11. BVO – brominated vegetable oil

The toxic flame retardant chemical was first used to keep plastics from catching on fire. In the last decade we have seen it enter in a variety of foods to keep the artificial flavoring chemicals from separating from the rest of the liquids.

It is found in certain sodas, juices, and sports drinks, including Mountain Dew, Fanta Orange, Sunkist Pineapple, and some Powerade flavors. (Gatorade announced it would remove the compound from its drinks in Spring 2013.) Scientists have linked too much BVO to bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders.

12. Titanium dioxide

This was primarily used to make food look much whiter and thus convey a feeling of “clean”. Commonly used in paints and sunscreens, food companies add it to lots of things we eat, including processed salad dressing, coffee creamers, and icing. Titanium is a mined substance that is sometimes contaminated with toxic lead.

13. Phthalate

They are plasticizing chemicals used in everything from pesticides and fragranced soaps and shampoos to nail polish and vinyl shower curtains. Phthalate exposure, even in small amounts, has been linked to behavioral problems in children, allergies and asthma, eczema, and unhealthy changes in our hormonal systems.

14. Dyes

Many artificial food dyes found in hundreds of everyday foods are made from petroleum-derived materials. Orange and purple food dyes have been shown to impair brain function, while other dyes have been linked to ADHD and behavioral problems in kids and brain cell toxicity.

 15. Fake Labeling

Betty Crocker Carrot Cake Mix is actually a carrot-free product, with “carrot flavored pieces” cooked up from corn syrup and artificial colors Yellow 6 and Red 40. Tropicana Twister Cherry Berry Blast contains 0 percent berry and cherry juice, despite its name.

16. Perfluorinated chemicals

An industrial nonstick chemical is commonly used to coat the inside of popcorn bags and in the nonstick coating of many pots, pans and baking sheets. A study published in January 2012 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nonstick chemicals in popcorn bags significantly damage the immune system. Nonstick chemicals are also linked to high cholesterol, sperm damage and infertility, and ADHD.

17. Food Additives

18. Sugar: This requires a category of its own and hence it is highlighted here.

19. Food Coloring

• Cochineal (E120), a red dye derived from the cochineal insect. (Not Vegan or vegetarian).

• Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127 (is commonly used in glacé cherries). Erythrosine is linked to thyroid tumors in rats.

• Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102 (yellow shade). Tartrazine causes hives in less than 0.01% of those exposed to it.

• Yellow 5 and yellow 6: The store-bought mac and cheese has dangerous dyes made from coal tar, which is also used to seal-coat and preserve products like shiny industrial floors as well as to kill bugs in lice shampoo.

• Blue 1 and blue 2 are most commonly found in sports drinks: Similar to yellow 5 and 6, these blue dyes are a rainbow of health risks, including messing with the cognitive function of hyperactive kids, who performed poorly on tests that measured their ability to recall images, according to a U.S. study published in the journal Science.

• The three most widely used culprits—Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40—contain compounds, including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research has linked with cancer.

• Additionally, some natural food colors can sometimes cause allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in sensitive individuals.

20. Sodas & Fruit Juices

Source: Multiple including Rodale news

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