Is your food safe?

Food Safety

Dana Yarn, RDLD

chicken 1

chicken 2

There is an alarming concern with the safety of our food supply in America.  It used to be that most Americans did not worry about the food they eat in restaurants and buy at the supermarkets.  Unfortunately due to America’s growing industrialized food system it is a necessary to consider the process by which food is grown, shipped, manufactured, processed and stored.  The food industry is an extremely productive business, but at what cost to our health?  These profitable methods are directly related to the increase in overall food recalls and food borne illness.  In the U.S. alone, 76 million cases of food-borne illnesses occur each year (and many of the cases go unreported).  E coli sickens roughly 73,000 American’s per year.

Aside from bacterial illness like E.Coli, the human body will become addicted to foods that contain excess sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fats.  This excessive amount of sodium, sugar and fat in processed and fast foods explain our country’s obesity epidemic, increase in the incidence heart disease, diabetes and cancer and the increase in overall healthcare costs.

Real food

Food in its purest form is best utilized by the body to prevent and manage disease – no chemicals, additives, dyes, steroids, hormones, or antibiotics.  According to the Natural Products Association, livestock on an all natural and/or organic farm cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones unnecessarily which is a common practice in conventional agriculture.  Other countries have established strict regulations against Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone.  It is banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and all 25 nations of the European Union due to concerns about human health effects; unfortunately it is currently still allowed to be used in the US.

An estimated 71% of all U.S. antimicrobials are fed routinely to beef cattle, poultry & swine for non-therapeutic purposes.  Experts agree that using antibiotics excessively may contribute to the rise of antibiotic resistance to drugs and “superbugs”.  My husband works in infectious disease and “sees superbug” cases daily, patients are unable to be treated with traditional meds because they have developed such high resistance to the drugs, putting others around them at risk for developing these horrible strands of viruses and/or bacteria too.

Food labels and advertising can be extremely confusing and misleading.  Don’t confuse “free-range,” “hormone free, “with certified all natural and/or organic.  That means the food is grown, harvested, and processed according to USDA standards that include restrictions on amounts and residues of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.  All natural foods cannot be treated with any sewage sludge, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation.  The benefits of eating all natural foods include, higher nutrient values, better quality taste and the manufacturing is environmentally friendly.  The nutrient content of our food has decreased 1000% in the past 60 years.  Over 70,000 new chemicals have been introduced to foods, only time will reveal the impact these foods will have on our health. I have worked different events with local farmers and they have steered away from being certified organic simply because they cannot keep up with the paperwork, fees and of course the root of their business “farming,” other acceptable certifications for local farms are “certified all natural.

Lack of Food Inspections

 Imports account for nearly 60% of the fruits and vegetables we consume, and 75% of the seafood.  Yet only 1% of those foods are inspected before they cross our shores.  “Hundreds of scientists and inspectors responsible for food safety have personally experienced political interference in their work, and that’s bad for public health,” said Francesca Grifo, director of UCS’s Scientific Integrity Program.  Dean Wyatt, a USDA veterinarian who oversees federal slaughter house inspectors, said his agency regularly punishes inspectors for writing up legitimate safety violations. “Upper level management does not adequately support field inspectors and the actions they take to protect the food supply,” said Wyatt. “Not only is there lack of support, but there’s outright obstruction, retaliation and abuse of power.”  Look for companies that are doing inspections daily by the USDA to ensure the safety and quality of all our products.

Seafood certification (get ready)…

 

The Hidden toll on our environment

Despite natural food’s rising popularity, our main farming system that’s still heavily reliant on toxic pesticides (500,000 tons per year), pollutes our waterways and bloodstreams while gobbling up millions of gallons of fossil fuel.  Each year, 817 million tons of food is shipped around the planet.  The result is that a basic diet of imported products can use 4 times the energy and produce 4 times the emissions of an equivalent domestic diet!  A solution to this excessive shipping is to purchase food from local producers, this avoids long distance travel; overuse of plastic packaging; and chemical preservatives required for transporting food long distances.

The bottom line…

The above information is not meant to make you feel helpless and throw in the towel to healthy eating, it is to empower you to feed your family with the most chemically pure food you can find!

Find a company or farm with a certification to back up their claims.  like I have posted before, I started my chemically pure food journey with Service Foods Inc. there are several food co-op options out there that proudly advertise their food and manufacturing specifications.  If you do decide to purchase from a local farm or co-op ask a lot of questions about both the farming and manufacturing of the food.

In Health,

Dana