Food poisoning can be horrifyingly painful and exhausting, if not fatal. What’s more horrifying, however, is the fact that 1 in every 6 Americans falls victim to disease-causing viruses, parasites, and bacteria found in a variety of common foods and beverages, as states the Center for Disease Control.
Shockingly, 3,000 people die from infections every year! So it’s crucial to be extra cautious and make sure your food is free from lurking microbes.
The most important preventive measures are washing your produce, ensuring your fridge works efficiently, and washing your hands before and after handling food. But while some foods are worth the effort, others are worth avoiding.
According to research conducted by the USDA and FDA on more than one hundred food samples, the chemical pesticides detected are renowned for causing brain damage, nervous system issues, birth defects, cancer, and developmental problems in kids. Briefly, non-organic food is worth the panic.
Poultry, Pork, and Beef
According to The US Environmental Protection Agency, meat is contaminated with risky levels of pesticides more than any plant food. In fact, a large number of chemical pesticides are fat-soluble, which builds up in the animals’ fatty tissue after consuming animal products.
This dangerous chemical buildup is directly passed to human consumers. Animal feed commonly includes hormones, drugs, and antibiotics. These are all accumulated and eventually passed on to anyone who consumes such meat.
Furthermore, Listeria, E. coli, Salmonella, and other bacteria thrive on undercooked and raw red meats, such as pork, lamb, and beef. So make sure to cook your meat thoroughly to avoid tragic or painful disasters.
Cheese, Milk, and Butter
Also, make sure to completely avoid raw unpasteurized milk since they may contain E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. Pasteurization eliminates any nausea-causing bacteria from dairy products.
Cherries, Raspberries, and Strawberries
Among the entire American crop, strawberries are the most massively dosed with pesticides. In fact, every acre of strawberries receives three hundred pounds of pesticides, on average, while only 25 pounds are applied to every acre of other foods.
Specifically, 36 different pesticides are usually used on strawberries, 90 percent of which registered dangerous levels of pesticide contamination after testing. On the other hand, 39 chemicals are commonly applied to raspberries.
58 percent of tested raspberries were found positive for contamination, while 91 percent of tested cherries registered contamination with 25 pesticides.
FDA testing detected 36 different chemicals in apples, dangerously, half of these chemicals are neurotoxins (cause brain damage). Moreover, more than 90 percent of apples had pesticide residue. The risk of ingesting such chemicals remains even peeling nonorganic apples.
Pears are commonly sprayed with 35 pesticides and 94 percent of tested pears were found guilty of contamination. Peaches and nectarines regularly receive 45 different pesticides in conventional orchards. Their delicate skin leaves the fruit exposed to dangers of such toxic chemicals.
Grapes are sprayed several times throughout their growth cycle due to their fragile nature. Also, the grapes’ delicate skin is easily invaded by the 35 different pesticides which are commonly used in conventional vineyards. It should be noted that imported grapes are much worse than those grown locally since they bear many of the most toxic pesticides that are banned in the US.
Potatoes and Tomatoes
Conventionally grown tomatoes are normally sprayed with more than 30 pesticides and their thin skin doesn’t offer any protection from these toxins, so peeling is quite useless here.
Potatoes, on the other hand, are one of the most contaminated vegetables with fungicides and pesticides. 29 different pesticides are commonly applied to this veggie and 79 percent of tested potatoes registered very risky levels of contamination.
Spinach and Other Leafy Greens
According to FDA reports, conventionally grown spinach is usually found contaminated with the most dangerous pesticides applied to food. 83 percent of the tested spinach was found contaminated with highly risky levels of more than 36 chemical pesticides.
Between 1998 and 2008, chopped leafy greens were responsible for 22% of the total reported food-related illnesses, as stated the CDC’s large-scale review of food-borne illnesses.
The majority of coffee available in the US markets is grown in countries where the standards regulating the use of pesticides and chemicals are almost non-existent.
Foreign countries import American-made pesticides (including dangerous ones) to cultivate food, which is exported back to the US. Unfortunately, this sarcastic circle of malevolent agriculture also includes the most treasured beverage in the world; Coffee.
Buying Fair Trade coffee actually ensures insurance that the premium cost for this dark drink supports farms and workers with more reward and equanimity.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, leftover rice can contain a dangerous type of bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which produces toxins that can cause vomiting, cramps, nausea, and diarrhea. So, you should never leave any cooked rice out at room temperature.
Instead, store it in a large, shallow container and refrigerate it as soon as possible to prevent the rapid growth of illness-causing bacteria.
Note: If you need to store food for more than 2 hours, make sure to keep cold foods at 40°F or below and hot foods at over 140°F.
Green and Red Bell Peppers
The delicious bell peppers are unfortunately among the most densely sprayed foods, normally using 39 pesticides. After testing, 68 percent of bell peppers contained risky levels of chemical pesticide residues.
Also, peppers’ thin skin barely provides the vegetable with any protection from these toxins, and it’s even waxed using dangerous ingredients. So even washing your bell peppers multiple times won’t be enough to keep you safe. Your best bet is to stick to the organic variety.
The Environmental Defense Fund analyzed 11-year-worth data including more than 2,100 samples of baby food, and the results revealed that 20% of the total samples contained lead, a heavy metal that can put babies at risk of several issues regarding their immunity, heart health, cognitive development, behavior, and attention.
To keep your little one safe, make sure to avoid these baby foods most contaminated with the metal: