Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Our Diet

Food is both essential for life and can anchor enjoyable experiences with friends and family. And what we choose to eat can range from super healthy to super not. But there’s another aspect to food that you may not be aware of. The food that we eat can be contaminated by hundreds of toxic chemicals. Figuring out how to avoid them can be overwhelming.

I am currently writing a book about where these toxic chemicals come from and how you can reduce your exposure to them. Join me over the next couple of years as I blog about this subject. While some of these chemicals are unavoidable without changes at the national and international level, you still have quite a bit of control over how much you’re exposed to. Let’s begin our journey!

Where do toxic chemicals in our diet come from? Pretty much everywhere — they begin by contaminating our food at the seedling stage and don’t stop until it arrives on our plates. As shown in the figure to the right, toxic chemicals can be added intentionally, as with the spraying of pesticides, or unintentionally, such as contamination from environmental pollution. The way food is handled can also contribute to contamination. For example, toxic chemicals can be added during processing, packaging, and cooking.

This topic can be a little overwhelming and scary, but I’ll be blogging on what you can do about it to reduce your exposure and why it matters for your health and the environment. I’ll also post links to resources where you can learn more and get helpful tips. And, in addition to the occasional recipe hack, I will offer budget-friendly and easy suggestions for reducing your exposure, since not everyone can afford expensive or time-consuming solutions.

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