On December 11th, 2006 The New York Times wrote the article "Has Politics Contaminated the Food Supply?" in it they said, "This fall has brought plenty of bad news about food poisoning. More than 200 people in 26 states were sickened and three people were killed by spinach contaminated with E. coli. At least 183 people in 21 states got salmonella from tainted tomatoes served at restaurants. And more than 160 people in New York, New Jersey and other states were sickened with E. coli after eating at Taco Bell restaurants. "
People are always going to get food poisoning. The idea that every meal can be risk-free, germ-free and sterile is the sort of fantasy Howard Hughes might have entertained. But our food can be much safer than it is right now.
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die each year because of something they ate. "
Here are just a few similar outbreaks found within our nations food supply just a few days prior to making this video.
Chicago Sun Times - May 23, 2011 - Illinois Salad suspected in salmonella outbreak Source
Food Safety News - Jun 14, 2011 - Ohio Salmonella Enteritidis Found in Ohio Egg House Source
Consumer Reports - Jun 16, 2011 - Georgia FDA finds food-poisoning bacteria listeria at Kellogg cookie factory Source
Tri-Cities News - June 17, 2011 - Tennessee Two more E. coli cases confirmed in Northeast Tennessee Source
Food Safety News - Jun 18, 2011 - North Carolina Frozen Veggie Burgers Recalled for Salmonella Source
Sacramento Bee - June 18, 2011 - Ohio, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia Salmonella outbreak tied to chicks, ducklings Source
Is there something seriously wrong with our nation's food supply? This unfortunately is just the tip of the iceberg in relation to the problems in the foods we buy and eat.
White bread is made from wheat flour from which the bran and the germ have been removed through a process known as milling. Milling gives white flour a longer shelf life by removing the bran which contains oil, allowing products made with it, like white bread, the ability to survive storage and transit times. In addition, the flour used in white bread is often bleached using potassium bromate or chlorine dioxide gas to remove any slight yellow color and make its baking properties more predictable.
While the milling process helps improve white flour's shelf life, it does remove nutrients like some dietary fiber, iron, B vitamins and micronutrients.
The Miami Herald wrote on June 23rd 2011, chemically treated produce, highly processed foods, and refined ingredients like white flour and sugar cause sickness and disease as well as a host of minor ailments such as digestive issues and lack of energy.
The Herald Sun wrote on June 24th 2011, The New England Journal of Medicine published research that advised weight-watchers to cut out sugar-sweetened drinks, potatoes and refined grain foods such as white bread, white rice and low-fiber cereals. They urged people to eat more "natural" foods, such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and yoghurt, while avoiding anything processed.
The Daily News & Analysis wrote on June 20th 2011, it's important to avoid the consumption of 'jittery' foods such as caffeine and foods high in white flour (cookies, white bread), as these strip us of nutrients and fiber that normally keep your blood sugar stable. Substituting the jittery foods with brown rice, whole-grain bread and whole-grain pasta will do more gain than expected,
On June 19, 1999 The Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) to prohibit the use of potassium bromate, which is used to strengthen bread dough. They charged that the FDA has known for years that bromate causes cancers in laboratory animals, but has failed to ban it.
The 2 cups (450 grams) of flour in the cake amounts to about 375 insect fragment and 5 rodent hairs or feces. These numbers fall within the acceptable levels according to the FDA. But it gets worse.
According to the Florida Department of Health's website, "Rodents can cause illness in people and pets through bites and direct contact with urine, droppings and water contaminated with rodent urine. In addition, rodents can cause disease by contaminating food, drink and eating utensils with urine or droppings.
Before the mass production of fructose since 1957, human beings had little dietary exposure to fructose. Fructose was limited to only a few items such as honey, dates, grapes and apples.
A system of sugar tariffs and sugar quotas imposed in 1977 in the United States significantly increased the cost of imported sugar and U.S. producers sought cheaper sources. High-fructose corn syrup, derived from corn, is more economical because the domestic U.S. and Canadian prices of sugar are twice the global price and the price of corn is kept low through government subsidies paid to growers.
HFCS became an attractive substitute, and is preferred over cane sugar among the vast majority of American food and beverage manufacturers. Soft drink makers such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use sugar in other nations, but switched to HFCS in the U.S. in 1984. Large food manufacturing corporations, such as Archer Daniels Midland, lobby for the continuation of government corn subsidies.
Just go into your refrigerator and look at how many products contain "high fructose corn syrup." I think you will be very surprised.
On August 2nd, 2010 Reuters reported, "Cancer cells slurp up fructose, US study finds." The article begins, "Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same. Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found. They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types.
On January 28th, 2009 the Washington Post reported, "Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury." The articles reports that "Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies. "
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has the following to say about Mercury exposure on their website.
Mercury poses a health risk to everybody, but especially to young children and fetuses because they are still developing. Prolonged, low level exposure may cause learning disabilities by hurting the ability of children to think and read. Adults who have been exposed to high levels of mercury may experience trembling hands and numbness or tingling in their lips, tongues, fingers and toes. Acute mercury poisoning, especially through ingestion, can damage the brain, liver, kidneys and even cause death.
On January 27th, 2009 Natural news reported that, "The average American consumer may be eating five times the upper safety limit of mercury every day due to high-fructose corn syrup consumption if they consume the foods tested in the study."
In 1973 several thousand pounds of FireMaster BP-6, a fire retardant containing the chemical polybrominated biphenyl (PBB), were accidentally mixed with livestock feed that was distributed to farms in the state of Michigan. About 1.5 million chickens, 30,000 cattle, 5,900 pigs, and 1,470 sheep then consumed this feed, and became contaminated with PBBs before the error was discovered. These events were dramatized in the 1981 film Bitter Harvest.
Studies indicated that PBB had spread through the food chain; in one test of a sample of Michigan's residents, 97% of those tested had traces of PBB in fat tissue. Laboratory studies have linked PBB with weakened resistance to disease in human beings."
On July 27th, 1989 the Los Angeles Times reported, "FDA allows Genetically-Modified rBGH to Endanger Milk: FDA Ignores Evidence on Cancer Risks"
These hormones, known as rBGH, are manufactured by chemical companies [such as] Monsanto...
Apart from economic and veterinary concerns, bovine growth hormones pose grave consumer health risks that have not been investigated by the industry or FDA.
On December 7th, 2006 the Harvard University Gazette reported, "Hormones in milk can be dangerous." The article states, "The milk we drink today is quite unlike the milk our ancestors were drinking" without apparent harm for 2,000 years, she said. "The milk we drink today may not be nature's perfect food. Butter, meat, eggs, milk, and cheese are implicated in higher rates of hormone-dependent cancers in general, she said. Breast cancer has been linked particularly to consumption of milk and cheese."
From the "Everyday Citizen" website: The Truth about Corn-fed Beef
Feeding corn to cattle is, simply put, unnatural, and yet most of the store-bought (and restaurant-consumed) beef in the U.S. is corn-fed. While corn is a cheaper feed and can ready a cow for slaughter much more quickly than a dainty diet of grass, it's pretty awful for the animal.
Apart from the corn problem, there's the issue of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), where cattle are raised in deplorable conditions, including being jammed together and standing in their own feces. And corn-fed beef is far less nutritious than grass-fed, which has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A,C, D, and E, and is lower in saturated fat. Pastured cattle also produce far less pollutants than feedlot cattle, as their waste becomes fertilizer for new grass.
On Feb 11th, 2009, CBS News reported, "Link Eyed between Beef and Cancer."
In feed lots across the country, beef cattle are given growth hormones to make them fatter faster, to save money.
Now questions are being raised about one of the most widely-used hormones, Zeranol, a synthetic estrogen implanted in cattle. A series of tests done for the Pentagon show a possible link between breast cancer and Zeranol.
Not only should we be concerned about what is "in" our foods, we also need to be concerned about what is on the "outside" of our foods. Today's modern foods are neatly packed and wrapped in plastics, styrofoam, tin and aluminum.
On March 30th, 2011 Discovery News reported, "Food Packaging Harbors Harmful Chemicals"
Plastic wrappers, food cans and storage tubs deposit at least two potentially harmful chemicals into our food, confirmed a new study. By cutting out containers, people can dramatically reduce their exposures to these toxins.
The chemicals -- bisphenol A, or BPA, and a phthalate called DEHP -- are known to disrupt hormonal systems in the bodies of both animals and people, leading to developmental and reproductive problems, as well as cancers, heart disease and brain disorders. And both appear in a wide variety of food packaging materials.
But when people in the new study avoided plastic and ate mostly fresh foods for just three days, the levels of these chemicals in their bodies dropped by more than 50 percent, and sometimes much more.
On November 8th, 2010 Discovery News also reported, "Canned Food alert"
There are traces of the worrisome chemical BPA in a wide variety of canned foods from supermarket shelves, found a new study. BPA is also present in products packaged in plastic and in one sample from the deli counter.
The study, which was the first to measure levels of BPA in grocery store foods in the United States, suggests that food -- especially canned food -- might be one major route that BPA uses to get into our bodies.
BPA, has been linked to all sorts of health concerns, including heart disease, cancers, and developmental problems. One new study linked higher levels of BPA exposure with lower levels of sperm in men.
On Feb 15th, 2010 USA Today reported that, "the FDA said it has "some concerns" about health effects and encouraged people to limit their exposure. Research has linked the chemical to cancer, heart disease, Type-II diabetes, obesity, sexual dysfunction and early-onset puberty. FDA officials said they are especially concerned about its developmental impact on fetuses, infants and young children.
BPA, used to harden plastics, leaches from containers into food and drinks, even cold ones. It's so ubiquitous that more than 90% of Americans have traces of it in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We all know that "fast food" and "junk foods" are not the healthiest of meals, but based on recent studies, research and testing, what we often thought of as "healthy" foods, are not as "healthy" was we have been led to believe. The food processing manufacturers appear to be more concerned with profits than the health and well-being of their customers and the Food and Drug Administration appears to be more concerned with the interests of the manufacturers than the American people.
Because the manufacturers and the government ignore our concerns, it is going to be up to us to take charge of our nutrition and well-being. Our grandparents and their parents before them had one primary objective, the production and preservation of food. Every aspect of life revolved around this one goal. Today however, our goals are very different. Our focus is on the television, sports, movies, games, or hobbies and food has been relegated to an afterthought.
There are a few alternatives to the chemically laden foods available at your local supermarket. You can buy organic, which unfortunately because of the current economics of food production, is more expense. Or you can grow and raise your own food, which is time consuming and hard work. But you have to ask yourself, "Is it worth improving the health of my family?"
If your diet and health is important to you, you will want to these eye-opening and heart-stopping documentaries on the truth about the foods we buy and eat every day.