What’s that in my food?

Feel like digging into a delicious chicken Caesar salad, or getting a mouthful of juicy and tender steak Zandara download? Then we hope you’re buying good quality ingredients, otherwise you could be eating a lot more than you bargained for.You might’ve seen a few Facebook friends post pictures and memes about the benefits of organic fruit and vegetables, as well as free-range meat.

You might think “but food is food, so why should I bother?” but the truth is, sometimes food isn’t as healthy as you might think it is.
Your ingredients and products don’t just come from shops; food starts at the farms where it’s grown and then taken to a variety of places for processing and packaging.

There are three main areas of concern when it comes to food and chemicals:

  1. Pesticides
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Preservatives or additives

Each of the three points mentioned above may have an adverse effect on your health. Let’s take a quick look at each and explain why they’re so bad for you.

Pesky pesticides

Farmers have been using pesticides on their crops for decades. They’re used to prevent bugs and insects from eating and destroying fruit and vegetables. The problem is that insecticides and pesticides are very toxic – they’re meant to kill. While food is checked for pesticide levels to be within a certain safety zone before it’s released, it does not mean that produce is pesticide-free.

When antibiotics go bad

As you know, antibiotics are used to help treat bacterial infections, but some cattle farmers use antibiotics to help fatten up their livestock. What does this mean? It means it could be another cause behind deadly infections. When you, or an animal, takes an unneeded antibiotic, it helps boost the strength of some bacteria, making it harder to treat. Imagine if you contracted salmonella, a nasty infection, and couldn’t treat it because it was resistant to antibiotics? A scary thought, isn’t it!

Read  Roasted oats and nuts with summer fruit

There’s no way for you to know if the meat you bought was fed antibiotics, but you can buy free-range and organic meats. Cattle and livestock raised on organic farms are pricier but they are fed proper food to ensure they’re safe for human consumption.

A pinch of additives

Have you ever wondered why it’s still possible for fruits and vegetables to be tasty and unspoiled even though they’re long past their normal lifespan? This is all thanks to refrigeration, preservatives and additives! Their main job is to make food look prettier and to extend their shelf-life.

Together they’re bad, but it’s the additives that you want to avoid, especially some of the “E” additives. Take a look at your food label and see if you can find an ingredient with a capital letter E and a number next to it. That is an additive.

There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to additives, but over the years studies have found that some of them are linked to headaches, nausea and difficulty with breathing. Not all of them are bad for you, but some are

You can easily reduce your exposure to these chemicals by buying organic produce. Organic may be a bit more expensive than what you’re used to, but it can’t hurt to eat fresh and uncontaminated food, right? Remember, when it comes to meat, poultry, free-range priced somewhere between the two. The choice to eat healthier is, and always has been, in your hands. We hope you choose wisely.

For more information about organic and healthier food, please speak to our doctors. All you have to do is subscribe to our Hello Doctor service. Simply click on the Buy Now button to start.

Sources: How Stuff Works, Panna.org, WebMD, My Additives