Every day, the food industry is finding ways to increase corporate profits. While this benefits them, their methods often create massive perversions, which pose great risks to your health. You may not know it, but you may be consuming ammonia-filled “pink-slime” or even fruit juice with arsenic.
To give you an idea of the things you’re unaware of, Dr. Joseph Mercola enumerates issues that you need to know about the food that you put on your table, as well as tips to address food problems.
- Synthetic Growth Hormones in the Milk You DrinkThe milk you’re drinking may contain rBGH or recombinant bovine growth hormone. This genetically engineered (GE) hormone is injected into cows to boost their milk production. It was developed by Monsanto from GE E. coli bacteria. While it is banned in many countries, including 27 countries in Europe, Japan, and Australia, it is the largest-selling dairy animal drug in the United States.
What makes rBGH milk so dangerous is its IGF-1 levels. IGF-1 is a hormone that acts on your pituitary gland and activates metabolic endocrine effects, such as cell growth and replication. When injected with rBGH, cows’ IGF-1 levels rise, and they become prone to mastitis (a painful udder infection), infertility, hoof disorders, and lameness. In humans, elevated levels of IGF-1 are linked to cancer.
Dr. Mercola advises looking for milk and other dairy products with the “rBGH-free” label. Raw, organic milk is your best bet.
- Eggs Contaminated with Salmonella
There are dozens of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) across the country that are raising hens in unsanitary and inhumane conditions. For instance, over half-a-billion eggs from Iowa farms Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms were recalled in 2010 because they were associated with salmonella poisoning.Many of these factory-farmed eggs are shipped to institutions, restaurants, and other establishments, and people are unaware of the dangers linked to them – that is, until someone gets sick.
Dr. Mercola recommends avoiding CAFO eggs and products. The safest way is to purchase food from local farmers. Because small-scale farmers raise their hens in ideal conditions, risks of contamination are very low.
- Factory-Farmed Meat May Contain Drugs and Heavy Metals
In 2010, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) questioned the food monitoring methods of the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) after discovering that many of the US meat supplies were contaminated with heavy metals and drugs. (link)The bad news is you can ingest many of these chemicals. This happens because factory farmers choose to slaughter animals, which still have veterinary drugs in their system. Veal calves are even fed with contaminated milk produced by medicated cows. In turn, Americans consume the veal and end up with toxins in their body. Many confined animal feeding operations practice this to assure returns on their investments.
Unless you have your meats tested in a laboratory, Dr. Mercola advises getting food from a small local farmer or rancher.
- Your Water Supply May be Contaminated with AntibioticsOne of the main practices of factory farmers is to include antibiotics in their livestock’s feed to fight infections AND promote unhealthy weight gain. This method is the root cause of disease proliferation and formation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To make matters worse, antibiotics are also transferred to produce, including corn, lettuce, and potatoes, through antibiotic-filled fertilizers.
Even US water supplies are infested with antibiotics. It seems that even opting for organic foods may not be able to solve this issue, since organic farmers may also be using fertilizer with antibiotics in it.
Dr. Mercola adds, “As it stands, conventional, factory-farmed animal manure containing antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria is still allowed under the USDA organic label.”
- You May Be Eating Cloned Food
Did you know that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed milk and meat from cloned animals to be sold on the market, even without labels indicating this plain truth? In 2007, they released a formal recommendation and assured that food products from cloned cows, pigs, goats, and any offspring of animal clones are completely safe. (link)Contrary to FDA claims, AlterNet reported that an FDA 2008 report reveals cloned calves with elevated glucose and growth indicators, early mammary development, umbilical abscesses, and high amounts of white blood cells. The FDA also indicated that the meat and milk from cloned animals are different.
Sadly, there is a huge chance that you may have consumed foods from cloned sources, since factory ranchers admit that these types of products have made it into grocery shelves.
Dr. Mercola’s Food Source Recommendations
Dr. Mercola says, “If you want to optimize your health, it is vital for you and your family to return to the basics of healthy food choices, and typically this includes buying your food from responsible, high-quality, sustainable sources.”
In order to do so, find small family, organic farms in your area that raise their livestock the way nature intended them to be raised. Many of these farmers support the natural relationships between animals and nature, and GMO-free ecosystems.
In addition to visiting their farms directly, you may participate in farmers’ markets or community-supported agriculture programs. Dr. Mercola provides a list of reliable resources that can help you find food that promotes optimal health, animal welfare, and the environment:
- Farmers’ Markets – A national directory of farmers’ markets.
- Local Harvest – A page where you can find farmers’ markets and other sustainably-grown food sources
- FoodRoutes – Their “Find Good Food” map will enable you to connect with local farmers and locate organic food markets near you.