Regardless of how many chemicals have been introduced in the last 50 years, we are exposed to a LOT more than great Grandma was! We are bombarded on a daily, if not hourly, basis.
We find them in our food, in the water we drink, our personal hygiene products, cleaning products and the air we breathe.
Processed food contains chemicals like MSG and other artificial flavourings, artificial food colouring, sodium nitrate in preserved meat, artificial sweeteners, sodium benzoate in carbonated drinks, fruit juices, salad dressing etc.
There are chemicals called Persistent Organic Pollutant (POPs) found in pesticides, herbicides, building materials, and industrial processes which result in pollutants such as PCBs, DDT, dioxins and PBDEs (flame retardants). POPs make their way into your body via breathing, personal care & household products, and contaminated water. The major source for most people is animal foods – meat, poultry, fish and dairy products.
POPs are first and foremost highly toxic and even at low levels can increase cancer risk. They are endocrine disruptors, meaning they mess with your hormones and they also damage your good gut bacteria.
As time goes on we are realising that many of these chemicals are contributing to our lifestyle diseases in ways that we are only just discovering. This is why many people have significant health improvements when they make a conscious effort to move away from chemicals.
When you get back into the kitchen, make your food from scratch, and move away from processed packaged and take away food you stop ingesting a lot of these damaging chemicals. Purchasing organic food where possible can reduce the amount of toxins you are consuming.
If organic fruit and vegetables are not accessible or financially feasible, always wash and peel them, or you may want to consider looking at the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, is put out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and ranks popular fruit and vegetables based on pesticide contamination. The idea is that you don’t necessarily need to buy organic produce if they are on the Clean 15 list, but you can reduce your pesticide load by choosing organic produce if they are on the Dirty Dozen list.
Here is the link to the most recent list:
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