Toxins You Don’t Know You’re Actually Eating from Toxins You Don’t Know You’re Actually Eating

Toxins You Don’t Know You’re Actually Eating

Full Story

Shutterstock

Toxins You Don’t Know You’re Actually Eating

Pesticides are often used to protect crops from weeds, insects and infections. Some fruits contain significant pesticide residue when grown conventionally. These pesticides can be extremely dangerous for your health. “The most common way most infants, children and adults are exposed to pesticides is by eating them on and in our food,” according to the Center for Ecogenetics & Environmental Health.

Shutterstock

Apples

Although they are sweet, crunchy and filled with antioxidants, the USDA Pesticide Data Program found that there are 47 pesticide residues in apples. This is mostly due to the threats of insects and fungus. Not to mention that human pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria or hepatitis A could live on the unwashed surface on an apple, according to Familyshare.com.

Shutterstock

Celery

Celery contains certain toxins called psoralens with potentially carcinogenic effects and goitrogens with potentially anti-thyroid effects, according to Livestrong. Celery is also one of the vegetables highest in pesticide content, unless it is organically grown, and is vulnerable to a kind of mold called mycotoxins, some of which are carcinogens.

Shutterstock

Pears

The kernels within the pits of some stone fruits such as pears contain a natural toxin called cyanogenic glycoside, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency says. The flesh of the fruit itself is not toxic. However, when kernels are chewed cyanogenic glycoside can transform into hydrogen cyanide, which is poisonous to humans. The lethal dose ranges from 0.5 to 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight.

Shutterstock

Rhubarb

The problem is the rhubarb’s leaves. They can be poisonous because they are high in oxalic acid, which can cause kidney failure. That’s why they should never be eaten, according to Michigan State University.

Shutterstock

Green potatoes

All potatoes contain natural toxins called glycoalkaloids, usually at low levels. But higher levels of glycoalkaloids can be found in green parts of potatoes, sprouted potatoes and potatoes stored in light, according to the British Food Standards Agency. Severe glycoalkaloid poisoning is very rare, but it's important to store potatoes in a dark, cool and dry place and not to eat green or sprouting parts. The potato is the most common cause of solanine poisoning in humans. The Smithsonian Magazine has reported on cases of mass sickness caused by the vegetable.

Shutterstock

Swordfish

It’s delicious but you shouldn’t have too much of it because of the high levels of mercury. This is why pregnant women are advised to completely avoid swordfish. New studies have shown that tuna sashimi contains the highest levels of methylmercury in fish-sushi. This could cause kidney damage, respiratory failure, nervous disorders and in some cases death. Tilefish, king mackerel, and shark are other fish with very high mercury levels.

Shutterstock

Cherries

The problem is hydrogen cyanide, which kills by interfering with the body’s ability to use oxygen at the cellular level, if you eat the crushed pits. A lethal dose is about 1.52 milligrams per kilogram, according to the CDC. A single cherry produces roughly 0.17 grams of lethal cyanide per gram of seed.

Shutterstock

Sweet bell peppers

A single sample of sweet bell pepper contained 15 different pesticides. They have been on EWG’s "Dirty Dozen" list for year. They made a big leap in 2012 in part because 88 different pesticides were found in the vegetables during testing. There are around 50 different pesticides found in sweet bell peppers, most of which have different levels of toxicity, according to What’s On My Food?

Shutterstock

Strawberries

Large amounts of dangerous pesticides are applied to strawberries so that they can be delivered on time, year-round, and at an inexpensive price. Approximately 54 pesticides on average are carried on strawberries. Whether you plan to eat them right away or save them for later, you should wash them immediately.

Shutterstock

Peaches

Out of all peaches tested by the Environmental Working Group in 2012, 96 percent contained traces of one or more pesticides. They are still on the “Dirty Dozen” list in 2017.

Shutterstock

Nectarines

Similar to the peach, nectarines are said to be one of the most highly contaminated tree fruits. One of the most dangerous residues includes chlorpyrifos, a very hazardous substance that can cause dangerous effects on liver and kidneys.

Shutterstock

Spinach

There are seven known or probable carcinogens, according to the PAN pesticide database, 21 suspected hormone disruptors, 11 neurotoxins, and 7 developmental or reproductive toxins. Spinach is also prone to insect chewing so farmers have to douse it in chemicals.

Shutterstock

Water in plastic bottles

You may have heard of the toxic bisphenol A (BPA) found in plastics? BPA disrupts normal endocrine function, studies have shown. The chemical can have a significant impact on the brain. BPA also messes with hormones even at low doses, a University of Texas study has indicated.

Shutterstock

Corn

Some crops such as corn have been genetically engineered to express the Bt genes that act as insecticides, according to Harvard Medical School. The insecticide produced in GM corn actually gets absorbed into the human body at high doses, a study has shown.

Shutterstock

Blueberries

They are on every list of superfoods because of they are very high in antioxidants. But you may want to try to buy organic. In the EWG’s tests, blueberries tested positive for 42 different pesticide residues, and 73 percent of the blueberries contained two or more pesticides.

Shutterstock

Pork

A pig digests whatever it eats rather quickly, in up to about four hours. Since the pig’s digestive system operates rather basically, many of the toxins remain in its system to be stored in its more than adequate fatty tissues ready for human consumption, according to Dr. Axe. Also, pigs don’t really sweat, which means more toxins remain in the animal’s body, which eventually end up in people.

Shutterstock

Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the most likely vegetables to keep pesticide contamination. At least three of the pesticides found in lettuce – iprodione, diedrin and vinclozolin – are known or probably carcinogens. Iprodione is a slightly toxic compound and carries the signal word CAUTION on the label, according to Cornell University.

Shutterstock

Grapes

According to research, more than 50 pesticides are found on imported grapes. They are a fragile fruit and are commonly sprayed multiple times during their growth process. Beware of imported grapes, they are treated more heavily.

Shutterstock

Potato chips

Potato chips are often made with olestra, a fat substitute that adds no fat, calories or cholesterol. It sticks to vitamins A, E, D and K and carotenoids, which are antioxidant nutrients, and flushes them out of the body, according to a study. Carotenoids provide important antioxidants to help prevent premature skin damage and skin cancer. Olestra is banned in U.K. and Canada.

Shutterstock

Hot dogs

There is no reason to ever really eat hot dogs, regardless of where they are bought. They are full of fat and sodium, which leads to dehydration and dry and old-looking skin. Nitrates help hot dogs keep their color for longer but they are not doing your body any favors. They can convert to nitrite, causing the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic chemicals, according to the CDC.

Shutterstock

Diet soda

Many bad things – such as artificial sweeteners –make diet soda a potential killer. But some sodas contain more unhealthy chemicals. Some sugar-free soda has ingredients you wouldn’t usually think can ever end up in your body — chemicals found in rust remover, steel cleaner, and cement, albeit in tiny quantities.

iStock

Canned food

Canned goods are a problem because of the BPA chemical (bisphenol A) in the cans. The chemical is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. But studies link it to health problems like diabetes, neurological disorders, and breast and prostate cancers. Because BPA is an unstable compound and is also lipophilic (fat-seeking), it can leach into food products, especially when heated.

Shutterstock

Non-organic chicken

In 2014, the FDA called for the removal of the animal drug Roxarsone from chicken feed, saying it can transform into inorganic arsenic. But, removing it from the market is an ongoing process, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Shutterstock

Brown rice

Brown rice has 80 percent more inorganic (the bad kind which tends to be more toxic and has been linked to cancer) arsenic on average than white rice of the same type, according to a study by the Consumer Reports. Arsenic accumulates in the grain’s outer layers, which are removed to make white rice.

Toxins You Don’t Know You’re Actually Eating