Friday, May 4, 2012

Three Shocking Ways Packaged Foods Are Contaminated - May 3rd, 2012

Packaged foods acquire long shelf lives when their chemical properties are manipulated so that bacteria cannot grow. While this gives a perception of safety and sterility, it actually means that ingredients of any quality can be used and the food will never go bad. Low-quality ingredients can be left over from previous years, handled less carefully, and processed more quickly. These ingredients are cheap and make packaged food products highly profitable -- but they are full of contaminants.

Typically, the only measure of contamination is bacterial count. Ingredients that go in fresh foods cannot have more than 25,000 viable cells of aerobic bacteria per gram. Packaged foods, however, can use ingredients with bacterial counts 40 times that or more. While these dormant germs can cause severe digestive discomfort and illness, there are many more dangerous food contaminants that go unnoticed.

1. Processed Foods Carry Residues of Refining Chemicals
Most ingredients in packaged foods are not whole foods -- meaning that they contain only a part of the original food. Chemicals are often used to extract these partial-food ingredients, and these compounds leave residues in the food.

Solvent chemicals are some of the harshest. The trustworthy-sounding preservative Vitamin E(Tocopherol) is produced from petroleum through the condensation of the toxins trimethylhydroquinoneand isophytol. Soy-protein isolate is produced by bathing soybeans in a by-product of gasoline.

The use of crude solvents to process food is not new and they can have serious health consequences. In the 1930s, more than 58,000 people lost major control of their limbs by using the medical tincture ginger jake. While the only listed ingredients were alcohol and ginger, the ginger was extracted using toxic tri-orthocresyl phosphate, present in up to 2 percent of the finished product.

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