Make visible what without you, might perhaps have never been seen. ~Robert Bresson
Our friend Dave passed along a great article on foods to avoid that was on msn.com. This was superhelpful because 1) no one reads msn, and 2) the article is really interesting. It's so interesting, we're going to summarize it.
The author, Anne Underwood, asked seven experts who spend their time thinking about what is safe to eat, "what foods do you avoid?" The answers are interesting and right in line with MindfulEats - avoid processed and industrial foods. Of course, it's not always so easy, so we've added a little commentary. Without further ado - top picks of foods to avoid:
- Farmed Salmon. MindfulEats has railed against farmed salmon. It's bad for you and the environment. Fishery expert, David Carpenter, M.D., director of the Institute for Health and the
Environmentat the University at Albany won't eat it. He published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish. Like land-based industrial farming, farmed fish are crammed into pens and fed odd things, so they are weaker than their wild brethren. They are loaded with antibiotics and contaminants, and like beef, they have less nutrition. Pound for pound, you are getting less nutritional value with farmed salmon. Switch to wild alaskan salmon. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish is from Northern Europe. Any fresh Atlantic salmon is farmed. Learn more about why seafood is controversial.
- Corn-fed beef. Farmer and writer Joel Salatin steers clear of anything but grass-fed beef. Industrial farmers raise their cattle on corn and soybeans since it fattens them up quicker for a fast profit. That meat is not as nutritious as naturally raised, grass-fed beef. You'd have to eat more of it to get the same value, and who wants to be fat? Not you. A recent study conducted by the USDA and Clemson University found that grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic
acid(CLA), calcium, magnesium and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. Pound for pound, you're getting more value with the grass-fed beef.
- Milk produced with hormones. Cancer researcher Rick North won't drink it. The former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society notes that recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. Life is hard enough when you're hormonal - why drink it? If you can afford grass-fed milk, opt for it. Like meat, milk is better from happier, heathier cows.
- Canned tomatoes. Endocrinologist Fredrick Vom Saal, Ph.D., at the University of Missouri studies bisphenol-A (BPA) and he won't go near canned tomatoes. Cans are often lined with resin that contains BPA, and acidity (which tomatoes are) causes the BPA to leach. You can find tomatoes packed in glass or tetrapaks. These brands include Bionature, Coluccio, Trader Joe's and Pomi.
- Microwave popcorn. Toxoligist Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group avoids microwave popcorn since chemicals in the lining of the bag, especially perfluorooctanoic acid, are linked to infertility. Microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize and migrate into your popcorn. "They stay in your body for years and accumulate there," says Naidenko. Yuck. Popcorn flavoring is also associated with lung disease (known as popcorn workers lung) for workers of microwave popcorn factories. Pop your own popcorn the old fashioned way - in a skillet. It's really cheap!
- Nonorganic potatoes. Jeffrey Moyer, the chair of the Organic Standards Board, won't eat non-organic potatoes. Apparently, root vegetables absorb all the chemicals (pesticides, fertilizer, fungicides, etc) in soil (yikes, I guess that means the other root vegetables are better organic too). Then on top of that, potatoes get sprayed with extra chemicals while growing, during harvesting and after they've been dug up. Moyer says "I've talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals."
- Conventional apples. We all know that apples are one of the Dirty Dozen. Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, currently codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, won't eat nonorganic apples. Apples have lower resistance to pests, so they are doused regularly. If you can't buy organic, wash and peel your apples.
The original article we cribbed this from is awesome, so read it here.
What I ate: 1 grapefruit, 1 orange, 1 cup McCann's steel-cut oatmeal + ground flaxseeds + dried cranberries + milk, Stilton cheese, dried mango slices, 3/4 cup brown rice, 1 avocado, 3 stalks broccolini, 2 hot chocolates, 40 oz. water
Exercise: Ran 7 miles, 90 min yoga