food contamination

  1. Dangers of food contamination

    Food contamination on Chinese farms 

    I'm blessed in a lot of ways by living here in Southern California, and not just because of the endless good weather.

    Just beyond the desert that surrounds the San Diego area, you'll find some of the nation's most fertile farmland -- including thousands upon thousands of acres dedicated to healthy organic fruits and vegetables.

    That means the markets here are always full of fresh and local organic produce.

    But many supermarkets, even here, don't stock local foods. No, much of it's imported from places like China. It's cheaper, even with the cost of shipping. But it's also grown in dubious conditions with a high risk of food contamination.

    Now, the Chinese government admits that a full fifth of the nation's farmland is contaminated with toxic metals such as cadmium, nickel and arsenic.

    If you want to trust the Chinese government's official numbers, you can. But personally, I'd bet the farm that the real number is much higher.

    The food contamination is of course causing problems for people who live near the farms, including cancer clusters in the surrounding communities.

    But I'm more concerned about what this means for you -- because when you ingest foods contaminated with trace amounts of metals, you won't get sick immediately after eating them.

    Instead, these metals slowly accumulate in your body, building up over time and eventually causing or contributing to serious health conditions, including problems with your arteries and heart as well as damage to your vital organs.

    These metals can even cross the blood-brain barrier, where they can do the damage that leads to conditions such as dementia, Parkinson's disease and more.

    Don't count on the U.S. government to protect you here. Very little of the food that enters the country is inspected for food contamination, and we have even less oversight of the land on which it's grown.

    So don't be tempted by cheap imported produce, whether it's from China or anywhere else. Shop local, organic and fresh. Yes, you will pay more. But can your really put a price on your health?

  2. Arsenic in water linked to heart disease

    Low arsenic exposure can kill you

    The lies are flying out of Washington so fast and furious that it's impossible to keep track of them all -- but there's one I want to you to remember, because it's one that could cost you your health if you fall for it.

    It's the FDA's ludicrous claim that the levels of arsenic in water and food are safe.

    I told you last week how that's just not true.

    And now, new research backs me up, confirming that even low levels of arsenic exposure can increase your risk of death by heart attack or stroke by 50 percent.

    And the government has the nerve to call that safe?

    Clearly, there's nothing safe about it -- because the volunteers tracked in the study weren't poisoning victims. They were Americans just like you -- people exposed to low-but-steady levels of arsenic in water, mostly through tainted tap water.

    And along with increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke, those same "safe" levels of arsenic can boost your risk of heart disease, peripheral artery disease, carotid atherosclerosis and more, according to the study -- and those are just your cardiovascular risks.

    It's not just arsenic in water, either.

    The FDA's most recent claim was specifically about arsenic in rice, and a second new study proves even that's dangerous (of course). This one finds that the levels of arsenic in rice can cause damage on a cellular level -- specifically the type of damage that can lead to cancer.

    So much for "safe."

    I'd say skip the rice, but I know many people will choose to eat it anyway. At the very least, keep it away from children (especially babies) and limit it to an occasional side dish rather than a daily staple.

    And when you do eat rice, choose organic brown rice grown in California, which studies have shown contain some of the lowest levels of arsenic.

    You can also get rid of the arsenic in water by installing a reverse osmosis filter or using a water distiller. Either one will set you back a couple a hundred dollars, but they're highly effective at removing contaminants -- including drugs, metals and chemical waste -- which makes them well worth the money.

    And if you think there's a chance you've been exposed to arsenic or any other toxic metal, seek the help of a holistic physician who can test your levels and work on a natural detox program.

  3. Are chemicals in food safe?

    Chicken meat is routinely sprayed with and/or soaked in a chemical stew that's supposed to kill bacteria. But are those chemicals safe for humans?
  4. Imported Chinese products loaded with risk

    Many imported foods and even pet foods are contaminated with toxins and chemicals, especially when they come from China.

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