Humans need to eat to survive, but do you really know what is in your foods? Unlike older generations that grew and harvested their own foods or picked up local foods from the village market, most food today is heavily processed to last weeks, if not months on the shelves of the grocery stores. Even foods deemed healthy may contain hidden dangers, such as bacteria and parasites. Click To Tweet
Hidden Dangers in Food
Food recalls have become almost common. The manufacturers tout quality and safety of their foods, but then there’s news of eColi in lettuce or tapeworms from undercooked fish. Alarmingly, you cannot always taste or see these dangerous bacteria, viruses or parasites. Here are some of the top hidden dangers in your foods, and how to protect yourself from them.
Processed Food Dangers
Processed food seems to be standard in America. These boxed, canned, and frozen meals are typically quick and simple to prepare and can be kept in your pantry for extended times. There are over 3,000 food chemicals used in America to color, stabilize, bleach, soften, texturize, sweeten, and preserve your foods, like BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), and monosodium glutamate. According to studies, 90% of the money Americans spend on money is to purchase processed foods. Processed foods have been found to diminish bone health, has negative effects on metabolism, and can also cause mood swings, among other issues.
Bacterias and Parasites
Foodborne parasites and bacteria can turn deadly when left unchecked. Listeria, salmonella, and e Coli are just a few bacterias that can sicken people, and sadly even cause death, while roundworm, tapeworm, and flatworms are a few parasites that thrive in fish, pork, and even fresh fruits and veggies. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), millions of Americans have developed parasite infections through food or water consumption, and many times it goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Parasite and bacterial infections can cause serious health problems like seizures, heart complications, and even death.
Genetically Modified Organisms
GMO, genetically modified organisms are the result of a laboratory process in which the genes of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant. For example, the use of salmon DNA in tomatoes to make them winter-hearty. Several studies have come out indicating serious health risks associated with consuming genetically modified foods including infertility, immune system issues, accelerated aging, allergies, and negative changes to the digestive system. The most commonly genetically modified foods are:
- Squash and zucchini
- Canola oil
Protecting Yourself from Dangerous Food
It can be frightening to think about all the dangers hiding out in your foods. The good thing is, there are easy ways to help protect yourself from these dangers. Here are a few ways to help you pick the right foods to eat and how you can make sure the foods you consume are safe for you and your loved ones:
Read Your Labels
The number one thing to do to make sure to read your labels. The first thing to consider is the ingredients. What is in your box of macaroni and cheese? Or that frozen lasagne you picked up for lunch at work? If you cannot pronounce the ingredients, it does not belong in your body! Also, make sure to read the fine print on your package. In 2016, Obama signed a bill that requires foods made with GMO to be labeled, so make sure to stay away from these products.
Cleanliness is King
Properly cleaning your foods, as well as your hands prior to preparing and eating meals will help cut down on bacteria that live on vegetation or is caused by poor hygiene. Always thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits before consuming. An excellent way to remove pesticides is to mix four parts water to one part vinegar and soak your fruits and veggies for 20 minutes.
Cook your Meat
Parasites and bacteria can be found in undercooked meats and fish. Make sure you know the correct temperatures to cook your food and use a thermometer to monitor it. You can lower your risk by cooking all your foods to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Also, wash your hands frequently when handling raw meats and make sure you don’t cross contaminate cooking utensils while preparing your meal.
Getting your foods tested in another way to ensure you stay away from dangerous bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Microbial food testing services can test for listeria, e Coli, salmonella, mold, yeast, and other unwanted food invaders. Food testing methods have also greatly helped people stay away from allergen causing foods, and can also detect GMO foods through toxin-encoding genes.
Dangerous Food & Your Safety
Yes, it can be scary to think about all the hidden dangers hiding in your foods. But you can protect yourself and your family when you take the necessary precautions listed above. Make sure to read your labels, cook your food to the proper temperature, keep yourself and your food clean, and consider food testing services to ensure that you are eating foods that are healthy and safe.
To learn more about how you can protect yourself from the dangerous bacterias, parasites, and genetic modification, Contact Us.