Forget horse meat—the real scandal about the food we buy is the industrial chemicals that contaminate processed meals and drinks, such as pizza, packaged meats and drinks, say researchers this week.
Phthalates, industrial chemicals that interfere with the reproductive processes, are commonly found in processed foods and drinks. Researchers at the University of Texas found the chemicals in all of the 72 products they randomly purchased at supermarkets in one city in New York state.
The chemicals are found in personal care products, such as soap, shampoo and perfumes, and are used in packaging and cartons, which make their way into the food we eat, the researchers suspect.
The discovery is not a cause for alarm, say the researchers, as they are in amounts that are considered to be safe, but it is a cause for concern, because they are toxins that have no place in our bodies.
Phthalates damage sperm and cause premature birth.
(Source: Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013; doi: 10.1289/ehp.1206367)
* Pesticides on the fruits and vegetables we buy may be an unnecessary hazard and a risk to our health. None of the eight different pesticides found on fresh produce could counter the human nonovirus, one of the most common stomach bugs, researchers discovered.
They washed the produce in contaminated water—and the virus was still present afterwards, suggesting the pesticides were not able to kill the bug.
(Source: International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2013; 160: 323).