The meat industry calls this “lean finely textured beef”, but actually it is a mixture of waste meat and fatty parts from beef cuts that are mechanically removed. Then, it is treated with ammonia gas to eliminate Salmonella and E. Coli bacteria. At the end, it is added to ground beef as a filler. However, food microbiologists and meat producers keep on saying it is safe.
Consume this instead: Organic ground beef mustn’t contain pink slime, so buy this instead. If you can’t find organic, ask the butcher at a grocery store whether their products contain the gunk.
2. Veterinary drugs in beef
A report from the United States Department of Agriculture in 2010 found that beef can include veterinary drugs like antibiotics, Ivermectin, an animal wormer associated with neurological damage in humans, and Flunixin, an anti-inflammatory that can cause kidney damage, stomach and colon ulcers, and blood in the stool of humans.
Consume this instead: Buy beef from a local grass-fed beef and ask about medicine use. Cows raised this way are much healthier and do not require that much drugs. Also, the meat is more nutritious.
3. Heavy metal oatmeal
All the instant-oatmeal packets are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, which may include mercury.
Consume this instead: Buy instant oats, which are prepared in less time than it takes to microwave a packet that contains too much sugar, and add fresh fruit or maple syrup.
4. Filthy shrimps
Food safety experts say that imported shrimps are the dirtiest of the Seafood’s list. It is not hard to believe it when you consider the common contaminants: Antibiotics, cleaning chemicals, remains of toxic pesticides that are banned in the U.S., and pieces of insects.
Consume this instead: Buy domestic shrimp. Sadly, 70% of domestic shrimps come from the Gulf of Mexico, and the recent oil spill may have dangerous impacts on its shrimp stocks. However, shrimps can be bought from Texas, the East Coast, Maine and the Carolinas.
5. MRSA in the meat aisle
MRSA is a bacterium responsible for several infections in humans that are difficult to treat. 185,000 people are infected from this bacteria and each year it kills 17,000 people in the U.S. A study from Iowa State University found that the dangerous organisms are found in supermarket meat, too. The bacteria is eliminated during proper cooking, but if it is not handled properly, it could infect you.
Consume this instead: Buy meat from small-scale producers who don’t use antibiotics or huge processing plants.
6. Pregnancy hormones in a can
Bisphenol A is a chemical that acts like the hormone estrogen in your body, is used to create the epoxy linings of canned food. This chemical was created more than 70 years ago as a drug that was planned to promote healthy pregnancies. However, it was never used as a drug, but the food industry added this pregnancy drug to a wide range of products without a problem, including canned food linings and plastic food containers. This chemical has been linked to a wide range of harmful health effects, such as abnormal development of reproductive organs, behavior problems in children, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic changes that result in altered insulin levels, leading to diabetes. Using this chemical in canned food is the number one reason why 90 percent of Americans have it in their bodies.
Consume this instead: Buy products in glass bottles or aseptic cartons.
7. Turkey infused with bacteria
Turkey marinated in MRSA? Yes, that is true according to a 2011 study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Half of the U.S. markets include meat with staph bacteria and potentially lethal MRSA. Almost 80% of turkey products samples contain staph bacteria. Pork comes second with 42% in terms of bacterial contamination, followed by chicken 41% and beef 37%.
Consume this instead: For Thanksgiving, look for an organic, pastured turkey, such as one from Ayrshire Farm in Maryland.
8. Moldy berries
It is legally allowed by the FDA up to 60% of canned or frozen blackberries and raspberries to contain mold. Canned fruit and vegetable juices can contain up to 15% mold.
Consume this instead: Look for fresh! Stock up and freeze berries when they are in season and eat them throughout the winter.
9. Rocket fuel in lettuce
Lettuce is a great source of antioxidants, but much of the lettuce grown in California is irrigated with water from the Colorado River. This river’s water is contaminated with low levels of perchlorate, an element of rocket fuel known to harm thyroid function, and that perchlorate can be absorbed in lettuce plants.
Consume this instead: It is difficult to avoid perchlorate, but some of the highest levels of this element have been found in California’s agricultural regions. So, the best option is to eat locally and in season. Also, you can ask your local farmers whether it’s a problem in their irrigation water supply.