Every day people are exposed to a cocktail of chemicals in food that interact with each other in ways that are far beyond our understanding. This “chemical soup” is particularly dangerous when we include food chemicals in our diets.
Thankfully, public awareness campaigns funded by the organic movement has made most people aware than non-organic food is regularly sprayed with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. What most people don't know, however, is that this is just the beginning of how much our food is tainted by chemical soup.
Chemicals in Food: Our Food Sprayed with Chemicals!
Arguably the #1 ingredient in chemical soup is pesticides and added chemicals in food used to make products like baby carrots.
The baby carrots we see at our local food stores are made from deformed carrots that failed to meet the grocery store requirement. Essentially, they are second-string recruits that didn't make the cut and are required to go through some serious spring re-training exercises to be placed into the game! This is typically done through an extensive manufacturing process that shapes them into the cocktail carrots that we usually see in veggie trays at parties and family get-togethers. Because their protective skin layer has been peeled off, these carrots will oxidize into an “ugly” white color, which would never sell in America. So, to keep them bright orange, they are literally dipped or sprayed with chlorine. Yes, the same chlorine in your bleach!
A well-known carcinogen, chlorine is not only unsafe to ingest, it has been shown to cause:
- Liver malfunction
- Immune system depletion
Also, French researchers last year published the results of a study suggesting that swimming in a chlorinated pool puts people at higher risks of developing asthma because of the dangerous aromatic compounds of the chlorine gas.
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Chemicals in Food: Side Effects of Food Chemicals in Our Chemical Soup
The far-reaching effects of the chemical soup in our foods are actually not known because they are still relatively new on the market, yet research suggests that the chemicals in food may be lifelong and even deadly.
For example, according to the work produced by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats To Child Development, millions of U.S. children currently suffer from the following neurocognitive disorders because of dangerous chemical exposure in their food and environment:
- Learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD, autism)
- Reduced IQ
- Destructive, aggressive behavior
- Social disorders
Of the toxins listed in their report, pesticides such as organophospates and others that are widely used in homes and schools (dioxin and PCBs that bioaccumulate in the food chain) were some of the most dangerous. It has been suggested that these chemicals in foos literally prevent proper hormone and cellular function and disrupt the flow of neurotransmitters or other growth factors.
Here's the scary part:
- Many of these toxins are regularly used in food manufacturing and pollute our environment.
- They can be passed to the fetus through the placenta, breast milk, or in food where they end up in our bones, blood, fat, urine, ovaries, and sperm.
And when you compound the negative side effects of antibiotic use, Americans are on the verge of a public health pandemic!
Chemicals in Food: Problems with Antibiotics
Another major player in chemical soup is antibiotics. The most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report states that 4 out of 5 Americans are prescribed antibiotics each year. Here's how some of the states ranked in this study:
- West Virginia had the highest rates at 1.237 prescriptions per person.
- Kentucky was second at 1.232.
- Tennessee rounded third at 1.199.
- California was third from last (0.6 per person).
- Second lowest was Oregon (0.595).
- And the least antibiotic prescribed state was Alaska (0.529).
In the words of a CBS News report,
Antibiotics have been commonly available since the 1940s, and have done wonders at saving patients with infections ranging from pneumonia to sexually spread diseases. But bacteria have increasingly gained the power to shrug off antibiotics.
Yet, I have my doubts that this is true and here's why…
The easiest way to understand how antibiotics work in your body is to compare them to a nuclear attack instead of sending a sniper, sharpshooter to kill an enemy. Unfortunately, this approach does considerable damage to your entire immune system and has been linked to a number of health concerns. At the same time, recent studies have interestingly described that these same bacteria killers may actually help fungi to grow, which complicates certain diseases like autism, ADHD and candida infections
How does this happen?
Well, at any given time, you have about 3 – 4 pounds of healthy bacteria and yeast living within your intestines. These microorganisms live in balance with each other and compete for nutrients from the food that you eat. In a healthy person, bacteria are able to prevent the yeast from growing out of control and they also help produce nutrients such as vital B vitamins. When people take antibiotics, however, the good and bad bacteria are destroyed and this delicate balance is disturbed. Thus, allowing various yeast strains to multiply and proliferate into large colonies and ultimately over load your intestinal terrain causing a condition known as dysbiosis.
Chemicals in Food: Side Effects of Antibiotics
Because 80% of your immune system lies in your gut, any attack on the healthy bacteria will put your body at risk of developing some sort of minor issue or major disease. Once common effect antibiotics have on the delicate microfloral balance is that they regularly cause leaky gut syndrome and related skin problems like acne or rosacea. They have also been shown to cause various food allergies and other autoimmune disorders.
Let's take a look at the Johnson & Johnson's Levaquin (2010's best-selling antibiotic) to get a clearer picture as to how dangerous these drugs can be. Some of the more common issues that have led literally thousands of people to take J & J to court center on Levaquin's deleterious affect on a number of body systems:
- Central nervous system
- Musculoskeletal system
- Visual system
- Renal systems
And some of the conditions reported include:
- Acute kidney failure
- Brain fog
- Disruptions to blood sugar metabolism
- Hearing problems
- Painful rashes
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Psychotic reactions
- Retinal detachment
And don't think that these complications are rare. A study published in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy conducted a study that evaluated the prevalence of nervous system damage when using fluoroquinolones like Levaquin and discovered that,
- 36 of the 45 cases reported severe events that typically involved multiple organ systems.
- Symptoms had lasted more than three months in 71% of cases and more than one year in 58%
- Onset of adverse events was usually rapid, with 33% events beginning within 24 hours of initiating treatment, 58% within 72 hours, and 84% within one week.
The Solution to Chemicals in Food
At the end of the day, health or illness is our choice. Both cost money, and we're without excuse if we try to blame not taking ourselves on it being “expensive.” You know what's REALLY expensive? The $2.7 trillion medical debt our country has!
When it comes to avoiding the double onslaught of pesticides in our foods and antibiotic drugs being prescribed at the drop of a hat, it's important to avoid this chemical soup of food chemicals as much as humanly possible:
- Try to avoid antibiotics as much as possible. If your doctor prescribes you fluoride-containing fluoroquinolone antibiotic (such as Cipro, Levaquin, Avelox, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin), ask her if it is absolutely necessary because these powerful drugs have been linked to everything from tendon rupture to neurotoxicity.
- Research and use essential oils as your primary source of medicine. Oregano oil has actually been proven to be more effective than conventional antibiotics in clinical trials. And best yet, it has powerful anti-fungal properties so you don't have to worry about candida overgrowth like you would with antibiotics!
- Don't get sick in the first place! Easier said than done, right? Start off with my healing foods diet and watch how your body fights off the common cold and flu. It will be the beginning of an empowering realization that YOU are in control of your health!
- Load up on probiotics. It's my strong conviction that 99% of Americans today have a probiotic deficiency. And this deficiency can lead to a condition called leaky gut syndrome over time, which leads to poor nutrient absorption. Even if you eat the best diet on the planet, you could still be deficient in nutrition because you're lacking healthy bacteria that will help digest your food and can also help prevent disease in the first place.
What do YOU do to keep pesticides and antibiotics out of your lifestyle?
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- Bougault V, et al. Airways disorders and the swimming pool. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2013 Aug;33(3):395-408.
- Benenson AS. Control of communicable diseases manual (16th ed.). Washington DC. American Public Health Association.
- Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility. In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats To Child Development. Cambridge. 2000.
- McCandless, J. Children with starving brains: a medical treatment guide for autism spectrum disorder 2nd ed. Bramble Books, Putney. 2003
- Brody J. WELL; A Cure That Can Be Worse Than the Illness. Internet. Available at: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9505EEDF143EF932A2575AC0A9649D8B63&ref=janeebrody.
- Cohen J. Peripheral Neuropathy Associated with Fluoroquinolones Ann Pharmacother. 2001 35(12): 1540-1547.
- CBS News. CDC: 4 out of 5 Americans prescribed antibiotics each year . Internet. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cdc-4-out-of-5-americans-prescribed-antibiotics-each-year/