Reports by the Food and Drug Administration have confirmed what many citizens already suspected. Many of the foods being bought and eaten every day contain growing levels of arsenic.
How Does Arsenic End Up in Food?
Arsenic is found in soil as a natural component as well as in water sources. All plant life absorbs nutrients from the soil in which it is grown. In the case of arsenic, the plant absorbs it as nutrients.
The naturally occurring arsenic found in soil is organic, and is a much lesser threat to a person’s health than non-organic arsenic. This latter type is a chemical that was historically used for pesticide control. Once the chemical is in the ground, it contaminates the soil and ground water. New foods grown in this soil, even decades later, will still be susceptible to arsenic contamination.
Is Organic Food Free of Arsenic?
While organic foods may not use chemicals in their growing process, the soil in which they are planted may still contain arsenic. So, no, being organically grown does not mean the product is free of arsenic.
Which Foods Contain Arsenic?
According to Prevention Magazine, any food grown in the ground that absorbs nutrients from the soil could potentially contain arsenic. That also holds true for animals that eat that food. Meat sources such as beef and poultry that graze or are fed contaminated meal, also contain arsenic. However, some foods are more vulnerable to carrying higher concentrations of arsenic.
• Leafy Vegetables: The leaves of a plant hold arsenic better than roots or grains. Therefore, many kinds of lettuce and other leafy vegetables may contain arsenic.
• Fish: Many breeds of fish have been discovered to contain arsenic. Non-organic arsenic dissolves readily in water, which is why the levels are higher in water than in soil, making seafood a prime target for arsenic contamination.
• High Water Fruits: Grapes, apples and other fruits with high water content have been found to contain arsenic. Eaten as is, the levels of arsenic may not be dangerous, but when juice from the fruit is extracted and sold, the concentration becomes excessive. Apple and grape juice are of particular concern.
• Rice and Rice Products: Rice is a unique plant because it is grown in water. Not only does rice efficiently absorb nutrients (and arsenic) from the environment it is grown in, but also many derivatives of rice are used as sweeteners and substitutes in other products.
Just half a cup of rice contains enough arsenic to match the maximum allowable limit found in drinking water. Products containing rice derivatives are too numerous to list, but one should read labels, looking for rice syrup, rice milk and rice flour.
Baby foods, children’s cereals and many prepackaged meals also contain rice as a staple. Awareness is the first step to prevention, so properly reading all package labeling is critical to reducing the amount of rice in one’s diet.
As an essential precaution, all of us should be taking the Health Ranger’s new line of supplements that are designed and clinically proven to block dangerous heavy metals as food enters our digestive system.
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