Lead in Food

Lead in Food: A Hidden Health Threat

Moms Clean Air Force

BY ON June 15, 2017

Our core issues are air pollution and climate change, but in our work to protect children’s health we were surprised to learn that food is a source of young children’s exposure to lead.

New research from Environmental Defense Fund, our parent organization, explores the problem of lead in baby food. We are reposting their article about the research here in full because we think it’s so important. No safe level of lead has been identified. Even very low blood lead levels can lead to behavioral problems and lower IQ.

Lead has no place in a child’s diet! Please call the customer service number of the company that makes your baby food. FDA allowable levels are not good enough.

Here’s what you can say: “I don’t want lead in my baby’s food – no matter what FDA says is permissible. Can you assure me that you have tested your food for lead and that it meets the guidelines laid out by the American Academy of Pediatrics for no more than 1 ppb of lead?”


Food is a meaningful – and surprising – source of young children’s exposure to lead.

No safe level of lead in blood has been identified. In children, even very low blood lead levels can cause behavioral problems and lower IQ. Protecting children’s ability to learn and thrive demands that we find effective ways to reduce exposures to lead from all sources.

EDF analyzed 11 years of data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and found that food, and baby food in particular, is a meaningful – and surprising – source of lead. If it were eliminated completely, we estimate the societal benefits at more than $27 billion annually.

Key findings

EDF‘s analysis of 11 years of FDA data found:

  • Lead was detected in 20% of baby food samples compared to 14% for other foods.
  • Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40% of samples.
  • Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions.

EDF also found that more than 1 million children consume more lead than FDA’s limit. Eliminating lead in food would save society more than $27 billion annually in total lifetime earnings from saved IQ points.

What we did

EDF evaluated data collected and analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2003 to 2013 as part of the agency’s Total Diet Study (TDS). Since the 1970s, the TDS has tracked metals, pesticides, and nutrients in food. While we evaluated all types of food collected by FDA, we focused on types of baby food because infants are most vulnerable to lead.

What we found

Overall, 20% of 2,164 baby food samples and 14% of the other 10,064 food samples had detectable levels of lead. At least one sample in 52 of the 57 types of baby food analyzed by FDA had detectable levels of lead in it. Lead was most commonly found in the following baby foods types:

  • Fruit juices: 89% of grape juice samples contained detectable levels of lead, mixed fruit (67%), apple (55%), and pear (45%)
  • Root vegetables: Sweet potatoes (86%) and carrots (43%)
  • Cookies: Arrowroot cookies (64%) and teething biscuits (47%)

We also found that the baby food versions of apple and grape juice and of carrots had samples with detectable lead more often than the regular versions.

Juice with detectable level of lead

Recommendations

Both FDA and food producers can and must do better to reduce lead in food, especially baby food.

EDF recommends that FDA:

  • Ensure lead is not added to any food contact material where it is reasonably expected to get into food;
  • Make clear that the international standards for fruit juice are inadequate;
  • Update its limits and food safety guidance to reflect current scientific understanding of lead risks that better protect children; and
  • Encourage manufacturers to reduce lead levels in food and take enforcement action when limits are exceeded.

Manufacturers need not wait for FDA to act. EDF recommends companies:

  • Set a goal of less than 1 ppb of lead in baby food and other foods marketed to young children;
  • Continue to prioritize lead contaminant minimization when sourcing ingredients;
  • Test more frequently during processing to identify additional sources of lead and take appropriate corrective actions; and
  • Publicly commit to consumers to drive down lead levels through health-protective limits and robust product stewardship.

In the meantime, parents of young children should consult with their child’s pediatrician to learn about all the ways to reduce lead exposure. They should also check with their favorite brands to ask whether the company:

  • Regularly tests its products for lead; and
  • Ensures that, especially for baby food, there is less than 1 ppb of lead in the food and juices they sell.

Healthy eating requires safe, nutritious food. (Tweet this) Lead has no place in a child’s diet.

Download the report [PDF]

JOIN THE FORCE

TOPICS: Children’s Health, Politics, Toxics

Food Budjet

When Your Food Budget Is Critical
http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13aug05f.cfm

A Family Food Crisis

FOODS_BUDGETING2

Going Beyond Cheap Recipes to Reduce Grocery Bills
—————————————————————
“My problem is beyond frugal!

I only have $100 to feed my family of three for the next month.
I’m not a great cook and just don’t know what to do. Can you help
me to get through the month without starving my family?”

Jana
—————————————————————
Your problem may be beyond normal frugal living standards, but it’s not unsolvable. And, many common frugal shopping tips can help you keep your family from starving this month. Let’s examine a few.

Begin by checking your existing inventory. You may not have a lot of food in the house, but you’ll want to use everything that you do have.

If you’re not sure how to use some of the things on your pantry shelf, check out recipe sites. Most will allow you to put in ingredients and they’ll return a list of recipes that use them.

Don’t worry about not being an excellent chef. Recipes sites have articles and videos covering any cooking skill you’ll need.

Next, consider other sources for food besides the grocery store. Many are need based so you’ll have to admit that you want help. There’s no shame in that. Almost all of us have struggled at one time or another.

Find out about local food pantries. Most contain a variety of staples. If you don’t know of any in your community, check with a local church. They should be able to provide contact information.
One Hundred Dollar Plate photo from Shutterstock

Depending on your income level, government assistance might be available. SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), commonly called “food stamps,” is meant to help families who need help with groceries. You’ll find more information on their webpage.

Contact your children’s school. You’ll find lunch assistance programs available. An added bonus is that most school lunches are well balanced, which should make your job easier.

It’s also possible that you might be able to work for some food. That might sound strange, but it can’t hurt to ask at local fruit/veggie stands and farms. Also ask them what they do with produce that’s overripe and can’t be sold.

One big key to your success is meal planning. You’ll want to select recipes that allow you to use whatever inventory you have and don’t require you to buy expensive ingredients. Stick to simple recipes.

When you do go to the grocery store, stay away from processed foods. Whole potatoes are cheaper than the instant mashed ones. The closer foods are to their natural state the cheaper they will be.

Basic food is relatively inexpensive, especially beans and starches. A five-pound bag of rice can be the basis for many meals for pennies. Sticking to the basics will stretch your food dollar.

If your spending has put you in debt, take the first step to financial freedom!

Expect to have some meatless meals. Look for markdowns when you do buy meat. And only buy cuts that you can spread across multiple meals.

Use beans to provide protein for your meals. Raw beans are inexpensive and not that hard to cook. Check the web for “how to” videos.

Take advantage of in-season vegetables. They provide good nutrition. Often they’re flavorful. And, if they’re locally grown, they can be found very cheaply.

Blend in some soup or salad meals. A head of lettuce along with a tomato and a bit of salad dressing makes an acceptable meal.

Make sure that nothing you buy goes to waste. Whether it’s the last few pieces of meat or a half of a potato, make sure you use it before it spoils.

You’re facing a tough challenge, but not an impossible one. For the next month, your menu options may be limited, but your family need not go hungry. You’ll pick up some frugal living skills that will continue to save you money.

Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He’s been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money and CreditCards.com. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. You can follow Gary on Twitter or visit Gary Foreman on Google+. Gary is also available for audio, video or print interviews. For more info see his media page.

Take the Next Step: (http://www.stretcher.com/stories/13/13aug05f.cfm)

Uses: Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Herbs 4 Healing

FOODS_HEAL'G-HERBS2

BEING WELL

HEALTH_DEFICIENCIES

WHAT’S IN YOUR FOOD(S)?

Why nobody knows what’s really going into your food
The Center for Public Integrity
Published on Apr 13, 2015

Why doesn’t government know what’s in your food? Because industry can declare on their own that added ingredients are safe without ever consulting the Food and Drug Administration about potential health risks. Read the story: http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/0…

Calories Not Chemicals

FOODS_CHEM-COUNT

STUDY: BROCCOLI BENEFITS

Published on Alternet

(http://www.alternet.org)
How Eating Broccoli Can Protect You from Air Pollution Dangers–Study Reveals Surprising Results

AlterNet [1] / By Cliff Weathers [2]  June 20, 2014

FOODS_BROCCOLI16

Daily consumption of broccoli can go a long way in protecting people from the harmful effects of air pollution, a study from Johns Hopkins University has found.

A clinical trial, conducted in Jiangsu Province — one of China’s most polluted regions — found that consuming a beverage that included broccoli sprouts helped participants to excrete toxins associated with particle and ozone air pollution. A compound in broccoli, sulforaphane, has been shown in previous studies to have anti-carcinogenic properties.

The study, which involved nearly 300 men and women, found that daily consumption of a 1/2 cup of beverage [3] containing sterilized water, pineapple, lime juice and broccoli sprout powder, produced significantly higher excretion levels of benzene, a carcinogen, and acrolein, a lung irritant. A control group drank the same beverage without the broccoli powder.

The study, published in the online edition of the journal Cancer Prevention Research [4], was conducted by the University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Air pollution is a complex and pervasive public health problem,” said John Groopman, Professor of Environmental Health at the school and one of the study’s co-authors. “To address this problem comprehensively, in addition to the engineering solutions to reduce regional pollution emissions, we need to translate our basic science into strategies to protect individuals from these exposures. This study supports the development of food-based strategies as part of this overall prevention effort.”

The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution causes as many as seven million deaths a year worldwide [5]. In many parts of China, air pollution levels have reached perilous levels.

All participants had their urine and blood tested. Researchers found that those who drank the beverage containing broccoli, excreted benzene and acrolein at much higher rates than those that drank the beverage without broccoli. The rate of excretion of benzene increased 61% and the rate of excretion of the acrolein increased by 23% among participants who consumed broccoli.The trial lasted 12 weeks.

Diets rich in cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, are known to reduce risk of chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer.

“This study points to a frugal, simple and safe means that can be taken by individuals to possibly reduce some of the long-term health risks associated with air pollution,” said Thomas Kensler, a professor at the school.

Air pollution is a significant risk factor for a number of health conditions including respiratory infections, heart disease, COPD, stroke and lung cancer. The health effects caused by air pollution may include difficulty in breathing, wheezing, coughing, asthma and worsening of existing respiratory and cardiac conditions. The most common sources of air pollution include particulates, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide.
[6]

Article Link:  http://www.alternet.org/environment/how-eating-broccoli-can-protect-you-air-pollution-dangers-study-reveals-surprisin

BENEFITS OF BEANS!

naturalnews.com
Originally published March 31 2014
Top 5 health benefits of beans
by Sandeep Godiyal
FOODS_BEANS2
(NaturalNews) Beans, since they are high in protein, are a staple of those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. There are a number of other health benefits that should make even die hard meat eaters take notice as well. Read on for the top five health benefits of beans.

1. Beans help prevent heart disease
A diet high in a variety of beans, including peas and legumes, has been shown to help keep the heart healthy and prevent disease. Numerous studies have shown a lower incidence in heart disease among those people who stated that they ate more beans. Phytochemicals prevent against such health issues, and beans have high quantities of these.

2. Beans help prevent cancer

Like heart disease, incidences of cancer seem to be on the rise. Eating a diet high in beans might be able to help reduce the likelihood of contracting cancer. Beans contain a high concentration of a number of chemicals that are known to fight cancer, including phytosterols and isoflavones.

3. Beans help lower cholesterol

In addition to being a great source of protein, beans are well known for being high in another property that is crucial to good health: fiber. With most people not getting enough fiber in their diets to ensure good intestinal health, eating a diet high in beans helps to remedy that. In addition, fiber is crucial in controlling cholesterol levels.

Researchers have found that 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of beans provides about ten grams of fiber. This is the same amount that has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by about ten percent. In addition, beans are high in phytosterols and saponins which are known for reducing cholesterol.

4. Beans help with weight loss

Just a small serving of beans has a great deal of fiber. Fiber is a crucial element in losing weight since it takes the body longer to digest. This helps to make the person feel fuller, for a longer period of time. The fiber in beans also causes blood sugar to rise more slowly, helping to stave off hunger pangs for a longer period of time while also providing energy.

5. Beans help manage diabetes

Beans could be described as a preferred food of diabetics. Due to their unique combination of protein and complex carbohydrates, beans release glucose more slowly, making it easier for a diabetic’s body to adjust to the influx. For this reason, a diet high in beans helps a diabetic, especially when compared to the sudden rush of sugar that is experienced after eating a meal of simple carbohydrates.

Adding more beans to the diet is easy. Incorporate them into meat based meals, as a side dish or even as a main dish meal that adds a myriad of tasty benefits. Just a half a cup of beans a few times a week can help a person enjoy good health.

Source :
http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/beans-and-legumes.aspx
http://www.rd.com/slideshows/health-benefits-of-beans/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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