Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What is in Our Food?

Have you ever thought about what unknown preservatives or additives are in your food? Or thought it strange when you read a can label and most of the ingredients seem like gibberish? One of the pitfalls from being so far remove from what we eat is that we have no idea what goes into it before we scarf it down. Contrast that to the farming communities of yore where you may break your back tending the food, but when you eat it, you know exactly what is in it.

Nowadays, meat comes in slabs, a far cry from what it actually looks like. Fruits come with a waxy, almost mirror-like sheen. Veggies come beautifully colored, with nary a insect in sight.

Little do we know it's been doctored... For example, did you know that beef, sashimi, and other red meat are often treated with carbon monoxide (yes, the gas that people die from) so that they retain a bright red color far past their freshness date. (Reminds me of the "cherry red" lips one is supposed to see in carbon monoxide poisoning.) Or that the reason your fruits and veggies are untouched by insects is that they know to stay away from the pesticides used? Check out the following:

Peaches and raspberries had the most pesticides detected on a single sample with nine pesticides on a single sample, followed by strawberries and apples, where eight pesticides were found on a single sample. Peaches had the most pesticides overall with some combination of up to 45 pesticides found on the samples tested, followed by raspberries with 39 pesticides and apples and strawberries, both with 36.

Spinach was the vegetable with the most pesticides detected on a single sample (10 found on one sample), followed by celery and sweet bell peppers (both with nine). Sweet bell peppers were the vegetable with the most pesticides overall with 39, followed by spinach at 36 and celery and potatoes, both with 29.

Here's the last thought I'll leave you with. Did you know that tofu contains either magnesium chloride, glucono-delta-lactone, or calcium sulfate (aka Plaster of Paris)? Or a combination of the above?

If you want more on this subject, check out these:

OK, enough posting for now. But seriously, isn't this disturbing?

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