A candy sold on television’s QVC is being voluntarily recalled due to concerns that it may be contaminated with hepatitis A, a contagious liver disease. According to USA Today, Bauer’s Candies said its marshmallow candies dipped in chocolate or caramel came in contact with a facility worker who tested positive for hepatitis. Although the risk is low, consumers are being asked to throw away any of the candies purchased after November 14.
From glyphosate in breakfast cereals to endocrine-disrupting chemicals lining food packaging and cans, to fresh produce contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, it seems like hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about another food being recalled. So what’s up with that?
One thing that all the recalls have in common is that every single food item has been industrialized in some way. Even with fresh produce, it’s not unusual to go to the supermarket and return with fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in Canada and Mexico, as well as countries in Europe and South America, among others — and all of them have been grown specifically to feed masses of people.
This means they’ve most likely been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides or contaminated in some way such as through their irrigation systems.
With the canned and packaged foods, artificial flavorings and colorings, along with hormone-disrupting chemicals that are supposed to help lengthen shelf-life of these processed foods, were once the primary concerns, but now that studies have shown that herbicides sprayed on grains can leach into the cereals made from those grains, you have a whole new worry.
So what can you do? Think FRESH and LOCAL. Eat a diet focused on locally grown, fresh and ideally organic whole foods. Choose certified organic grass-fed meats and dairy to reduce your exposure to hormones, pesticides, and fertilizers.
Or, better yet, find a local farmer to supply your meats, including beef, pork, and poultry. Avoid milk and other dairy products containing genetically engineered recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST).
For foods you do buy in a store, buy products in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans, as chemicals can leach out of plastics (and plastic can linings), into the contents; be aware even “BPA-free” plastics typically leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad.
And, look for Earth-friendly, animal-friendly, sustainable, certified organic and GMO-free products. This applies to everything from food and personal care products to building materials, carpeting, paint, baby items, furniture, mattresses and more.
Eating more meals at home is another way to safeguard your health. Beyond that, since raw greens pose the most risk, you may decide to cook more of your greens to reduce your risk of contamination.
If you do buy fresh fruits and vegetables, scrub them with baking soda and water beforehand — scientists have found that baking soda is a surprisingly simple and affordable way for getting rid of as much as 96 percent of the toxic pesticides and residues that contaminate fresh foods.