On the first day of the Great Minnesota Get Together, for the first presentation at the ECOEXPERIENCE Sustainability Stage, a wonderful crowd gathered to hear about seven foods that the experts say should be avoided. This information comes from an IMG_1501article published December 8, 2012 in Prevention magazine and it is alarming that so little has changed in these past few years. So, using some drawings that kids made of these foods, we explored the issues for our health that these seven foods represent.

Microwave popcorn has a chemical in the lining of the bag that gets into the popcorn as it is “cooked” and this chemical is linked to infertility and cancer. Beef from cows fed with corn has lots of saturated fat and other unhealthy chemicals contained in it. Canned tomatoes from cans lined with BPA show high leaching levels of this chemical which is linked with reproductive issues and obesity to name only a few potential problems. Potatoes sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides and are among the most chemically laden of all non-organic vegetables. Go to www.toxictaters.org for more info.

Milk that comes from cows treated with growth hormones, is milk that has artificial hormones still in it when it gets to you. There are negative health implications to ingesting hormones in milk such as increased cancer risk. Farm raised fish is fed an unnatural concoction of foods and chemicals to grow it quickly and keep it healthy in close living quarters. And lastly, non-organic apples are literally sprayed and re sprayed over the course of their growth with many kinds of pesticides.

Solutions are easy! Eat grass fed beef which can be higher in price so cut down the portion size and eat it less frequently to keep the dollar and health scale better balanced. Beef from grass-fed cows is higher in healthy omega-3 fats. Can your own tomatoes in glass jars or eat fresh. Try unseasoned spaghetti sauces in glass jars as a substitute for canned tomatoes. Use only organic potatoes and then eat the skins for they are full of nutrients, not poisons!

Always choose organic milk and butter. Butter made form hormone laden milks and creams is a concentrated milk/cream product and therefore should be avoided. Use less of it and enjoy it more. Eat only wild-caught fish and decrease the portion size. Healthy and smaller is better that unhealthy and large in the portion world. Buy and eat only organic apples and trying popping your own popcorn in a pan with organic coconut oil. The slight taste difference is wonderful!

Thanks to the folks at the ECOEXPERIENCE Building at the Minnesota State Fair. Thanks to Doug, Rebecca, and Vicki form the board of Northland Sustainable Solutions. Check us out on the web at www.sustainablenorthland.org. A great series of symposiums sponsored by Northland Sustainable Solutions can be found on the website. Join us in this work which is “inspired by nature’s genius; working for a resilient future.”

Submitted by Karen Olson Johnson
Executive Director Northland Sustainable Solutions
Cohost Food Freedom Radio