Shopper Beware: Cancer Risks from Consumer Products - Part Two. Meat, Poultry and Fish.
Meat and Poultry.
Meat and poultry contain a wide range of carcinogens, including pesticides, animal drugs, hormones, and radiation.
A study by Dr. Mary S Wolff, associate professor of community medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, found that women with blood levels of DDT in the top 10 percent had four times the breast cancer risk as women in the bottom 10 percent. In addition, several other pesticide contaminants found in meat and poultry have been implicated as causing breast cancer.
Apart from those substances which induce breast cancer, many other carcinogens are found in meat and poultry.
Animal drugs: are widely administered to livestock, such as antibiotics. Forty of the animal drugs and pesticides known to occur as residues in meat and poultry are carcinogens. Furthermore, another eighteen cause birth defects.
Growth Stimulating Hormones: Sex hormones, both natural and synthetic are given to livestock. Hormones are listed as known carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Left unanswered is whether uncontrolled estrogen dosages are involved in increasing cancer rates, now striking approximately one in three, in most western countries and the alarming increase rate of breast cancer.
Nitrites: Cured meats such as bacon, ham, beef jerky, salami and luncheon meats contain nitrites. These substances inhibit the growth of dangerous botulism - causing bacteria, and maintain the meat's red colour. Although nitrite itself is not carcinogenic, it combines with naturally occurring chemicals called secondary or tertiary amines to form nitrosamines. This reaction will occur in the food itself while it is sitting on the shelf or in the refrigerator or being fried, but it also occurs within the stomach once the food has been eaten.
Researchers reported that children who eat hot dogs cured with nitrite a dozen or more times monthly have a risk of leukemia seven times higher than normal. Furthermore, children born to mothers who consume hot dogs once or more weekly during their pregnancy are twice as likely to have childhood brain tumours.
Charcoal broiling, grilling, oven cooking, and pan frying:
Heavy charring of meat produces high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) such as benzopyrene. PAH's form when the fat from the meat falls onto the hot coals.PAHs appear to be limited to barbecuing and grilling.
Heterocyclic amines (HAs) are another group of cancer causing chemicals when broiling and pan frying meats. These are created when amino acids and others substances in meats are burned.
Carcinogens in Fish
The raising of farm-raised fish is quite similar to the factory farmyard methods used for cattle. As with other livestock, fish are also given a wide range of antibiotics and other drugs.
Prefer wild deep-water ocean fish whenever possible.
Industrial Chemicals and pesticides:
Seafood can be one of the most dangerously contaminated food sources in the diet today when uninformed shopping choices are made. The National Academy of Sciences estimated in 1991 that the risk of cancer to the average consumer who eats seafood can be some seventy-five times greater than normally acceptable guidelines. Some seafood items such as bluefish, farm-raised catfish, lake trout, Maine Lobster, and striped bass are contaminated with concentrations of industrial chemicals and pesticides hundreds to thousands of times greater than other food groups.
Yet, when consumers make choices based on adequate information, seafood can be one of the safest, most nutritious foods.
Carcinogenic industrial chemicals and pesticides commonly found in contaminated seafood include benzene hexachloride, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, dioxin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, lindane, and polychlorinated biphenyls.
No fish from waters near agricultural and industrial areas, major inland waterways, harbors are safe to consume due to industrial chemical and pesticide contamination.
(Excerpted from The Politics of Cancer Revisited by Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.)
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
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Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !