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30 days to 2010: 7 foods experts won't eat

So yesterday I rambled a bit about vegetarianism vs being just plain responsible/aware about what goes on to put all those dead animals on your table, and why I'd like to win me a signed copy of Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals. Today, I'd like to go over one of those many lists that appear on the Yahoo! homepage: this recent one gave me pause in a few places (marked in red): 7 foods experts won't eat.

The first advised against canned tomatoes. It seems that the acidity of the tomatoes causes bisphenol-A in the can's resin lining to leach into the contents, thus causing ingestion of dangerous amounts of the chemical when consumed. Yeah, BPA's not been getting a good rep, and I'd rather not ingest more than I already have. Of course, I happen to have like 6 cans of diced tomatoes in the cupboard: I've found them extremely handy in the kitchen, they add flavour and body to almost any dish.

The second warned against corn-fed beef. Cows are grass-eaters, not eaters of grains (or cow brains, for that matter!). I'm not one for beef anyway, and my main objective on those rare occasions when actually getting meat has been just to get that with the lowest fat content - it always blows my mind just how fat beef is. I usually end up getting chicken or turkey instead. Of course, unless of the free range variety, these have their own problems too.

The third counsels against microwave popcorn. This hit the news within the past year, I think, because certain chemicals linked to infertility found in the lining of the bags vaporise when microwaved, transferring to the popcorn which is then consumed. I am not a fan of popcorn, but we do have 2 boxes of Smart Balance popcorn, more for Kosh than me. Hmmm...

The fourth advised against non-organic potatoes. Actually, all root vegetables absorb all those pesticides, herbicides, etc that end up in the soil. Potatoes in particular undergo intensive chemical exposure. ... well, I don't buy potatoes per se, but I do occasionally splurge on potato products like tater tots... Time to just not bother with them, I guess. ... oh no, does this mean no more sides of hashbrowns with breakfast at the diner? And what about the "fact" that the potato's skin is its most nutrient-rich part? Is the skin then as chock-ful of chemicals as the rest of the spud?

The fifth shook its head at farmed salmon. Similar to the concept of corn-fed cows, farmed salmon are fed all variety of things unnatural to them, and as a result contain lots of contaminants including dioxin and DDT. Grrr. They take away my fish treat!! I bet all that lox comes from farmed "fresh Atlantic" salmon... I'll have to look out for wild-caught Alaskan salmon instead.

The sixth warned against milk produced with artificial hormones. This is something not new to me. Lactaid claims to be r-BGH free, and we kinda go back-and-forth between that and soy milk (but I don't bother with organic).

Finally the seventh counsels against conventional apples. Again, liberal use of pesticides results in skins that are full of stuff that's bad for you. I know that. But I still get 'em. ... If you are reluctant to shell out for organic apples, they advise washing (duh!) and peeling (eh...) the apples.

I am most pissed off by the canned tomatoes thing. Here I am thinking it's a good thing I've found a great and easy way to add some veggies and taste to my cooking, only to be told I'm poisoning us all with BPA. Oh no!! [In case you can't tell, I'm typing with some sarcasm here] But still... I guess I'll be on the lookout for tomatoes that come in glass jars or tetrapaks on my next grocery outings.

How about you, were you surprised by anything in the list?

Photo credits:
1. Cows by arkhanje
2. The Apple Bucket by Prepaan

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  1. I guess the apples is the one that hits me the hardest! We sometimes used canned tomatoes and potatoes but not that often. Organic is too expensive for me. Guess I'll just have to suck it up!


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