The 7 foods experts won't eat? (#1 canned tomatoes, #2 corn fed beef)

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    May 23, 2010 1:01 AM GMT
    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/health/the-7-foods-experts-wont-eat-547963/

    How healthy (or not) certain foods are—for us, for the environment—is a hotly debated topic among experts and consumers alike, and there are no easy answers. But when Prevention talked to the people at the forefront of food safety and asked them one simple question—“What foods do you avoid?”—we got some pretty interesting answers. Although these foods don’t necessarily make up a "banned” list, as you head into the holidays—and all the grocery shopping that comes with it—their answers are, well, food for thought:

    1. Canned Tomatoes

    The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

    The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people's body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. "You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young," says vom Saal. "I won't go near canned tomatoes."

    The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe's and Pomi.

    2. Corn-Fed Beef

    The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming

    The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. More money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. "We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure," says Salatin.

    The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers' markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It's usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don't see it, ask your butcher.

    3. Microwave Popcorn

    The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group,

    The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. "They stay in your body for years and accumulate there," says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

    The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

    4. Nonorganic Potatoes

    The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

    The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes—the nation's most popular vegetable—they're treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they're dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. "Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won't," says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). "I've talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals."

    The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn't good enough if you're trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

    5. Farmed Salmon

    The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

    The problem: Nature didn't intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. "You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer," says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. "It's that bad." Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

    The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it's farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

    6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

    The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society

    The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. "When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract," says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. "There's not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans," admits North. "However, it's banned in most industrialized countries."

    The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.

    7. Conventional Apples

    The expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods

    The problem: If fall fruits held a "most doused in pesticides contest," apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don't develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it's just common sense to minimize exposure by av
  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    May 23, 2010 4:09 AM GMT
    I don't know, gay sex is pretty bad for you if you go by the statistics, right?
    I think some of that should be taken with a grain of salt, for example the potatoes. I've seen spuds sprout before from regular old bags bought from the store.
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    May 23, 2010 4:14 AM GMT
    Popcorn is really easy to make whether you have one of those nifty popcorn machines or you just use a large pot on the stove. There's really no use in buying the microwave stuff because homemade definitely is better. It doesn't take long, and you can flavor it however you want. I think even people with less-than-fantastic culinary skills can manage to pop some kernels in a bit of oil.
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    May 23, 2010 4:28 AM GMT
    Anto saidI don't know, gay sex is pretty bad for you if you go by the statistics, right?
    I think some of that should be taken with a grain of salt, for example the potatoes. I've seen spuds sprout before from regular old bags bought from the store.


    I think you mean anal sex is pretty bad for you, gay sex doesn't really describe anything besides that it's two guys doing something together. Either way, it's not my cup of tea so I think I'll be fine.

    "Experts" will always have something to complain about, while getting paid good money to complain about it too. Yeah, a lot of things should be considered when you're making food purchases but most of this stuff is pretty sensationalized (else, how could they justify all the money blown on the research for it?). Like the bit about potatoes you buy in stores not being able to sprout. I've always bought my potatoes from HEB without taking any care to buy organic just because the regular potatoes were cheaper. Despite this, my potatoes never fail to begin sprouting within the next week.


    And then I throw 'em away because the idea of eating food that's still alive/growing grosses me out. icon_mad.gif

    But yeah, it's good to be conscious about this stuff on some level but being obsessed with every new version of "common sense" that gets published isn't all that useful.
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    May 23, 2010 4:30 AM GMT
    No long lists of why food is bad, plz.
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    May 23, 2010 6:02 AM GMT
    I put guys' penises in my mouth, for god's sake; how much worse can a non-organic potato be?
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    May 23, 2010 6:50 AM GMT
    fastfreddie saidI put guys' penises in my mouth


    If you and I were in 5th grade together this would totally be some killer ammo to rag on you.
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    May 23, 2010 7:44 AM GMT
    OH MY GOD WE CAN'T EAT FOOD ANYMORE. bullshit article with non-substantiated mechanisms of action for said claims. I see no dietitian evaluating this statement either. MDs get like 1 week of nutrition? I'm STILL in school... I had a page long critique for this too, but it got deleted with my back button on accident.

    1) Tomatoes: BPA. They're blaming BPA for the major morbidities like diabetes, heart disease, obesity. Maybe they should put down the cheese fries and get off the couch first and then see if we still have these morbidities without changing our canned tomatoes.

    2) Corn fed beef. Conspiracy with antibiotic use. Bottom line, it's what is happening, and you may or may not eat meat. Big deal? Probably not.

    3) Microwave popcorn. Good luck finding a kind without trans fat. Chemical in the pop bag? More reason to avoid. It's SO hard popping popcorn. Let me tell you. Does this chemical "accumulate" in your body? I'd like to see their evidence. Most cells turn over regularly (except nerve and adipose), and the liver gets to detoxify anything in your blood A LOT. I mean, look what it does with alcohol, which is a toxin.

    4) Potatoes? So the potato doesn't make roots. Is this cause to boycott them? Maybe, maybe not. We don't know. Should you worry? Probably not. The liver is an amazing detoxing machine that works unless you are an alcoholic or on too many pharmaceuticals.

    5) Salmon. Maybe when the fish swim in the farm they aren't swimming against the current. Anyone in agricultural science or zoology know if this changes the omega 3 composition of them? Or is that a genetic trait that they can produce DHA and EPA and not environmental? Big deal? Probably not. Drugs and chemicals have half lives and probably get destroyed in the cooking process followed by your liver.

    6) Milk with IGF-1. IGF-1 is a 70-amino acid protein that must be broken down into mono, di, and tripeptides for absorption like any protein. I'm not sure what mechanism they believe it magically crosses the enterocyte into your portal vein without being broken down like everything else. Then, it would pass by your liver, where if it is still magically intact, it would get destroyed. IGF-1 is produced by the liver in response to growth hormone and is one of the best anabolic agents of the body necessary for muscle growth and maintenance.

    7) Apples sprayed with pesticides. Wow. Rinse with water. Organic apples are a marketing ploy. It's all food with the same nutrient properties, and there is no cause to avoid regular food unless you like to pretend you are elite society with your lack of knowledge on the subject. Plus, if such chemicals do get into your circulation (past the HCl in your stomach, past the liver), then everyone in America should have cancer by now since most of America can't afford organic.
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    May 23, 2010 8:07 AM GMT
    bluey, are you one of those guys that thinks the american diet can have as much corn in it as iowa wants without any consequences? cuz for being in a dietary school, you sound like a crackpot with no biology behind you... we KNOW bpa fucks with receptors... and plenty of other stuff on this list...
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    May 24, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    It hasn't been proven in humans. Kind of like aspartame and rat cancer. Do I eat beef? No, and if I do, it's once or twice a week when I happen to be home with folks. If you're worried about it, don't support the industry by eating red meat so often. The people who should worry about it are those who do this everyday or more. Like everything in physiology, things are quantity-dependent and certain concentrations of good things are bad for you, for example, eating liver everyday will give you vitamin A toxicity which will cause liver damage and probably cause cancer too.

    I've had plenty of bio, and thanks for the compliment of being called a crack pot. If you disagree, go do a literature search and post the results instead of insulting me publicly.
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    May 24, 2010 3:31 AM GMT
    fastfreddie saidI put guys' penises in my mouth, for god's sake; how much worse can a non-organic potato be?

    a lot
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    May 24, 2010 3:56 AM GMT
    bluey2223 saidIt hasn't been proven in humans. Kind of like aspartame and rat cancer. Do I eat beef? No, and if I do, it's once or twice a week when I happen to be home with folks. If you're worried about it, don't support the industry by eating red meat so often. The people who should worry about it are those who do this everyday or more. Like everything in physiology, things are quantity-dependent and certain concentrations of good things are bad for you, for example, eating liver everyday will give you vitamin A toxicity which will cause liver damage and probably cause cancer too.

    I've had plenty of bio, and thanks for the compliment of being called a crack pot. If you disagree, go do a literature search and post the results instead of insulting me publicly.



    WOO!

    Agressive!!

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19129

    May 24, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    Most of the air in big cities is bad for you too but, Hell, ya gotta breathe