You can’t reach for a fork these days without hearing about one toxic food trouble or another. To take a significant bite out of the potential dangers on our dinner plates and avoid toxins in food, try reading labels, understanding food sources, and keeping the kitchen clear of the following unsavory ingredients. This is especially important for kids’ plates; pound for pound they take in more than adults do.
The World Health Organization releases concerning numbers regarding food safety
New data from the World Health Organization (WHO) reveals the growing problem of food-borne illness around the world. The WHO released initial findings on Thursday showing that hundreds of millions of people worldwide are getting sick from contaminated food.
Here are some of the troubling figures: (These are the latest data from 2010, because of 2015 no one wants to give you)
- 582,5 million: The number of cases of 22 different food-borne diseases experienced in 2010
- 352,000: The number of associated deaths
- 53,000: The number of deaths caused by the bacteria Salmonella
- 37,000: The number of deaths caused by the bacteria E. coli
- 36,000: The number of deaths caused by norovirus (a virus that’s the leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States)
40%: The percentage of people under the age of 5 who suffered from food-borne diseases
“Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in a statement. “These changes introduce multiple new opportunities for food to become contaminated with harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemicals.”
The WHO notes that foods can contain unsafe viruses and bacteria, which can be contracted by consuming undercooked animal meat, fruit and vegetables contaminated with feces, and toxin-filled shellfish. The agency says governments on the global and national level need to implement measures to protect against food contamination and respond quickly to food-related outbreaks. Consumers should make sure they practice properly food handling and cooking hygiene.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Found in about 70 percent of processed foods with corn, soy, cottonseed, canola, and sugar beet-based ingredients, GMOs may cause organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
Solution: Go organic! GMOs aren’t allowed in certified organic foods. And they aren’t ever labeled, making them difficult to avoid in non-organic foods.