So, I’m a big fan of Dr. Oz and he had an episode recently on the poisons found in food supply.  I have been waiting for a link or something to appear on his website to let you all in on these secrets and have yet to see anything. So, I’m going to write something based on my notes from his show.

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There are 3 main poisons we should be concerned with when purchasing food at the grocery store: mercury, bisphenol-A, and pesticides.

Mercury

This toxin is found in fish. As chemicals and toxic gases are released into our atmosphere, the rain that results comes down into our oceans and fish absorb them.  Older fish have more chemicals and toxins than younger fish.  And most people have some degree of Mercury poisoning.  Symptoms include: sensory impairment, disrupted sensations, and a lack of coordination. The degree of severity can vary.

How to avoid: when tested, salmon had the lowest amounts of mercury.  Also, when purchasing canned/pouch tuna, buy chunk light tuna over albacore tuna.  Avoid ahi tuna, swordfish and tilefish in your seafood selections.

Bisphenol-A

Better known recently as “BPA”, this is a chemical that certain plastics will leech into food and liquids.  Plastic items that are marked with the symbol at right are made with BPA plastics. However, and this I was not aware of, the resin lining that is in almost all canned goods is always made of BPA plastic.

Now why is BPA bad?  It has been shown to cause: obesity, infertility, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other ailments. Ick.

So, what DO you choose? Well, first avoid any plastic with this symbol.  The 7 is the most important part.  Second, buy fresh or frozen goods whenever possible. And third, if you have to buy packaged, choose packaging methods other than canned: glass, boxes, etc.  According to this article, it costs companies 14% more to try and use BPA-free cans.

I also found a Product Guide to companies that try to use BPA-free cans.  And also a list of Ways to  Reduce Your Exposure to BPA.

And never, NEVER, reheat food in the microwave using plastic containers or dishes.  If a plastic container is labeled “microwave safe”, this only means that it will not be destroyed by microwaving it.  It does not mean that the chemicals in the plastic won’t leech into your food.

Pesticides

Pesticides have been shown to be direct neurotoxins and the cause of ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities in some children.  The best way to avoid pesticides is to purchase organic produce only.

Article from WebMD: Pesticides May Raise Kids’ Risk of ADHD.

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