Quick Tips for Reducing Exposure to Toxic Chemicals in Your Diet

I just heard from someone that waiting a couple of years for advice while I write this book would be difficult for them since they’d be worried about what they were being exposed to in the meantime. I truly understand that concern so I decided to post my bottom line advice here while I work on the longer explanations for why I suggest these actions. By the way, Michael Pollan’s Food Rules inspired these and several of his Rules are great overall advice for reducing exposure to unhealthy foods.

Here you go:

  1. Eat a primarily plant-based diet since animals bioaccumulate fat-soluble contaminants (PCBs, dioxins, etc.) into their fatty tissues, whereas plants are less likely to do so. Yes, sadly, that includes cheese.
  2. Choose organic whenever possible, especially for the produce items that are most contaminated with toxic pesticides. For a handy guide on which those are, download EWG’s (the Environmental Working Group) dirty dozen and clean fifteen produce lists.
  3. As Michael Pollan states in his list, don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. The best rule of thumb is avoiding food that comes with a long list of ingredients, especially those you don’t recognize. (I’m a chemist and I don’t recognize a lot of the stuff in processed foods.)
  4. Finally, skip plastic for cooking and storing your food. Best options are glass (pyrex and canning jars) and stainless steel. This goes for drinking water bottles as well.

Best wishes and I look forward to your questions as I work on this book.

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