Top 7 grocery store foods to avoid.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Dr. Mercola has a website I suggest you all check into from time to time (or just sign up for his newsletter).  He's a legit doctor in every sense of the word, but is much more homeopathic and natural than others (and the man lives in Hawaii.  I'm not sure how that adds to his credentials but it somehow does.).  Anyway, if you sign up, you'll get a newsletter sent to your e-mail once a week.  Sometimes it's a little too fear mongering for me: "What you're eating for dinner may kill you!" or he's trying to sell his own products too much (all of which are, for the most part, above and beyond vitamins and supplements you'll buy almost anywhere... but they're pricey.), but regardless, he has great information and will take health-related articles from well-known sources and then give his own commentary on them at the bottom.  So, for what it's worth, check out his site.

Now, I might've stopped getting his newsletter because they annoyed me a little bit (I'm not selling them very well, am I?) but my Mom still does and when she thinks they're really worth sending on, she forwards them to her daughters.  So, she can sift through the ones I should read and the ones I needn't for me!  Brilliant!  Want to get on that list!?

She sent me one a few days ago that I totally have to share because once you have a nugget of information that can keep a person healthy, you feel the burden to share.  Not that it's a burden.  But if one of you develops some disease later in life and the cure might've been in this newsletter, well, let's not even go there.

Here is the info on the foods you should most definitely avoid (copied and pasted directly from his newsletter).


+ Canned Tomatoes: An endocrinologist won’t go near canned tomatoes -- the cans are lined with a resin containing BPA, and tomatoes are especially dangerous because their acid breaks the BPA down in dangerous amounts.
+ Conventional Beef: Conventional cattle are fed grain, corn and soy to make them fat, even though studies show that grass-fed beef is higher in important vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory fats.
+ Microwave Popcorn: Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) lines microwave popcorn bags, and when they are heated the compound, which has been linked to infertility, leaches onto the food.
+ Conventional Potatoes: Non-organic potatoes are heavily sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides -- many potato growers don’t eat the potatoes they sell, but instead they grow their own separate plots without all the chemicals.
+ Farmed Salmon: Farmed salmon are stuffed into pens and fed chicken feathers and pellets. A scientific study on fish contamination showed high levels of carcinogens such as DDT and PCBs.
+ Conventional Milk: Dairy cows are fed growth hormones to maximize milk production, which results in increased incidence of udder infection and pus in the milk.
+ Conventional Apples: Apples are heavily and frequently doused with pesticides -- pesticides that have been linked to Parkinson’s.

68 comments:

  1. Pus in the milk. Bridget, I just threw up.

    No really, I just got done barfing because of morning sickness.

    I'm gonna climb all over Mike's back today when he comes home and ask him "What kind of apples are you carrying at the store???"

    He thanks you ahead of time.

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  2. seriously? i'm with elizabeth. i just gagged as i read this. i'm pretty sure i have everything but the conventional milk and farmed salmon in my kitchen. crap.

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  3. I'm never eating microwave popcorn again. And I love popcorn. Gah. SO SCARED.

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  4. love these kinds of posts- thanks for passing on the best info. and yeah, that milk thing... will not be easily forgotten.

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  5. @elizabeth, hilarious. the image of you all big and prego climbing on mike's back.

    @claire, please, so many of us do! but once you know, you do better. isn't that an oprah-ism? oh geesh. who do i think i am now?

    @alexandria, i LOVE microwaved popcorn too-- but recently i've started making it myself on the stove. not necessarily as good but then i add lots of butter and mmmmm... it's yum.

    @jill, my pleasure!

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  6. These things are so important to know, thank you so much for spreading the word!
    My bf had stomach cancer 2 years ago and we have since become way more aware of how important these things are...
    xo C.

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  7. Really..??come on. It will be something else next week. What will there be left to eat? It's like saying to the kids..."Don't eat the sand in the sandpit..." Pinch of salt.

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  8. @robyn, don't shoot the messenger!

    @chiara, gah! i'm so glad he's healed or close to anyway! and seriously-- we've gots to know that what we put in our bodies will affect what our bodies put out. with ya girl!

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  9. potatoes? wow. dissapointing. that's one of the few inexpensive staples! but good news about the popcorn! a friend recommended this to me: http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/07/27/popcorn-recipe-gourmet-popcorn/

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  10. @mary, true. i hate that too BUT organic potatoes aren't very much either so keep on potatoin' on. thanks for the recipe!

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  11. I have heard about there possibly being BPA in canned foods and I am seriously just considering buying organic EVERYTHING. Oh, how my bank account is hurting already...

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  12. Oh my! I must print this out. Actually printing right now. Thanks!

    P.S. I'm hosting a great giveaway and I thought you might like it.

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  13. UDDER INFECTION?? Ew. That's how I feel, just ew.

    Good to know though, my husband is going to be so annoyed that someone added more knowledge to my growing obsession. :)

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  14. ok...maybe this is an obvious question but does the bpa in canned tomatoes extend to include tomato paste and sauce? if so,
    what do you use as a substitute for
    spaghetti sauce?

    thanks for the information!

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  15. Wow - thanks for this. I've been making my own sauce with canned tomatoes - no more!

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  16. "pus in the milk"...there should have been a warning sign next to that one. may have almost choked on my coffee.

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  17. Well this is frightening! I just made a list in my phone of your "dirty dozen" list from a couple of posts back. I have most of these things at home, and they are not organic. So next trip to the store I will venture to the organic aisle!

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  18. I just read through the items, I couldn't bring myself to read why you shouldn't buy them. I have all of these in my house, for the most part. eek!

    But actually, while I'm sure I could do better, I grew up eating only microwaveable and frozen food. So the fact that as an adult my house has fresh food makes is pretty good I think.

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  19. I have a bag of microwavable popcorn sitting on my desk... I think I will be skipping that snack this afternoon! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. please not the microwave popcorn!!!! noooo! that is eye-opening. we do have one of those "stir crazy" popcorn makers....i should use that more oftern. i'm too lazy. :)

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  21. thank you for this! i'm saving this so i remember!

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  22. I am so bummed about the canned tomatoes!! Boo!

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  23. and i just laughed out loud at elizabeths comment.

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  24. The hardest thing on this list for me to give up was canned tomatoes. I didn't even know how much I used them until I cut them out a couple of years ago.

    I've heard it's fine to go for the BPA free cans (becoming more popular!) but even better is to find the kind packaged in boxes or glass. Yay for gardens and canning. One recent study they did said they tested for BPA levels in food and one of the highest offenders was canned soups. My beloved Annie's didn't do so hot either. :(

    http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Significant-bisphenol-A-levels-in-canned-food-Study

    Red meat is such a life suck and grass fed beef is so expensive around here I just avoid it. meh.

    Other lists I've seen throw on lunch meat, cause you know, some higher power hates us.

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  25. @margi, i would buy things in glass as often as i could! trader joes three cheese spaghetti sauce in glass jars is DELICIOUS. and there are bpa free canned tomatoes too! they'll say so on the label.

    i know... microwaved popcorn. sad.

    @mellyb, i've completely stayed away from lunchmeat this pregnancy and will probably continue to for the most part but i do like applegate farms brand from trader joes... it's no nitrates, etc.! and soups too?! boooo.

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  26. ohhhh sick. that is all so gross!! ahh!

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  27. So if you do use milk (we don't drink it but use it for cooking and cereal and daily coffee) is organic a sufficient substitute? Is there some indication of what a safe type is? I know there are substitutions but none of them work for everyone in the house. We buy organic but I'd like to know what other suggestions there might be. Lots of that other stuff I don't use already!

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  28. Yeah I stopped drinking milk a while ago for that reason. I use it in my tea but I opt for organic (which still isn't great but is much better than conventional milk)

    I would not mind at all being a part of this list that your mom filters for you! How do I sign up? haha

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  29. wow thanks for sharing! We make our own popcorn, but potatoes? So sad! I wonder if they are okay if you wash them really good. Same with the apples... can you just scrub them to get the pesticides off? I drink almond milk too, so that's a relief and I never buy canned tomatoes because I think they're yucky. :)

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  30. @mel, we use organic (stonyfield) milk and on the carton you'll see it says "hormone free" and since hormones are what is making the udder infections, i think organic is def. a good substitute! and i am also pro-raw milk from a reputable farm... though i haven't been doing that since being prego.

    @lauren, that's a really good question -- i don't know if the pesticides have seeped into the flesh of the fruit or veg or if they're just on the outside?

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  31. Canned tomaotes?! really? what am i supposed to do when I'm making a soup/stew/casserole? and it's not tomato season when I could theoretically stew up my own?....

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  32. @anne - bpa free ones! they're at my normal grocery store in the organic section... but, ya know, we do the best we can. no stress!

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  33. OMG this is so scary and gross... PUSS IN MILK?! Gross Bridget!

    And the worst part is that I eat ALL of these things all the time. UGH.

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  34. Thanks for answering the question about canned tomatoes. They are a staple in our house. BPA free it is from now on!

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  35. Ok, the two that got me was the puss in milk and canned tomatoes. I've always bought organic milk (raw milk here in HI is illegal) but the tomatoes! Oh the tomatoes. Sounds like i need to start my vegetable garden ASAP, especially that they predict the food to DOUBLE in cost in the next 10 years, especially produce. Crazy, right? The world IS coming to an end.

    Interesting that farmers won't eat the potatoes they harvest. Probably because they know 99% of them are injected with a pesticide when the vegetable is still in seed form! (wait, I think I've already mentioned this...but it's still mind boggling). I'm so thankful to have access to so much fresh food year round, sometimes I feel silly for complaining, BUT, I feel it's plain dumb to be ignorant and ignore education that's basically thrown in your face. My theory is that our bodies eventually adapt to these new ways of how food is produced and that WORRYING too much is actually what's going to kill you in the end. BUT, that's why God gave us a brain and conscience...use it wisely and trust in His sovereignty at the end of the day.

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  36. Really though...microwave popcorn..anyhow-sure I don't eat THAT much of it! :)

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  37. this is great - thanks for sharing! i'd love to get on the selective newsletter emails ;)

    my husband and i stopped eating microwave popcorn a few years ago for this very reason. and you know what we found out? it's WAY more fun (and more tasty!) when you make it on the stove!

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  38. Ok, eww...pus? I'm now taking a mental inventory of the food contents of my kitchen. And I'm so glad we're almost out of the RBST-free milk I thought was decent. Because I don't think I can ever buy that again.

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  39. P.S. Thanks for the info. :)

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  40. I've been drinking organic milk for years because I figured it was better...but I had NO IDEA THERE WAS PUS IN THE OTHER MILK.

    GAG-OLA.

    I avoid all the others on your list...although I've bought the reg. potatoes more often than not. Gotta stop that.

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  41. Thanks for this! So good to know!

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  42. oh god, i knew i shouldn't have read this... thanks a lot, bridget! :) goodbye microwaveable popcorn, i'll miss you!

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  43. Sooo.... I really need to rethink my shopping now. I love my canned tomatoes!

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  44. luckily whole foods is right down the block. i have to assume they are a bit safer in some of these areas. though i realize i am a bit in denial. thanks for this.

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  45. @daniella, steve just told me that fact about food doubling! it makes me CRAZY! i can't imagine salaries are going to go up to come anything close to matching the costs of food! if it's any consolation, i remember reading 'omnivore's dilemma' about how people used to spend MOST of their money on food-- hence, sunday night being the BIG pot roast dinner and the rest of the meals being on the more meager end... he said we are so accustomed to paying very little for our food that we have a harder time going organic / natural b/c of the cost... but that food is a way smaller portion of our income then it used to be. kind of makes you feel a little better??

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  46. thanks for posting this! really great info to know :)

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  47. Dr. Mercola is def legit! My Mom got to see him at a seminar in NC, she was very impressed.

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  48. Canned tomatoes are like the one canned thing I BUY! Damn.

    Damn, damn, damn.

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  49. New commenter but I've been checking your sight out since you were mentioned on Domestic Reflections. First of all, congrats on the upcoming baby. You make and adorable pregnant woman.

    Love all your healthy food advice. Tried the Green Monster and I really like it. My mom-in-law swears by the ginger tea when sick and it's tasty whenever. She says if you are low on energy you should have hot water with apple cider vinegar, lemon and honey to pick you up. It's worked for me.

    Totally already new about the puss in milk, thanks to one of those food documentaries, and most milk in my area has "Not treated with RBST" on the bottle even if its not organic. Did some research on organic milk and besides what the cows intake you are supporting a farming practice when you buy organic. To each their own, but when $ is an issue going conventional without RBST is good.

    Popcorn. Who doesn't love the stuff? I've been making over the stove with the kids and they love to wait for that first kernel to pop. You can also make it in the micro in a a brown paper lunch bag. Add oil and kernels in bag, fold over, and staple. Yes staple. I swear it wont blow up your oven. Put on top of paper towel or something, bag gets oily, and enjoy when done.

    Canned food. Don't buy much of it. Too much sodium.

    Sorry for the long post. Keep up the good blogging. I will be coming back for more. So excited to see the baby and see how you enjoy motherhood from a different prespective.

    Cheers.

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  50. i can't find it anywhere on your blog, and i've just recently been reading. i am sort of obsessed with your story. i feel like i read it in a book and it's not real life. in a good way! anyway, back to the point-- where are you from?! where are you currently located?

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  51. Oh sick, you got me with the pus in the milk. Pus is one of those words that is just disgusting without even knowing what it is!

    I am now a full on organic milk buyer. BLECH!

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  52. My husband and I have been going through fertility treatments for the past 4 months (so far nothing has worked). We just switched to a more holistic dr. and I'm very hopeful about this.

    I LOVE reading these posts because it is helping me be more nitty gritty at this time with our diets. No microwave popcorn for us!

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  53. @lisa, thanks for commenting! i never knew that about popping popcorn in a brown bag! i may have to try it! and yeah, i've noticed that about even non organic saying no rbst, but is there other stuff it does have that organic still doesnt?? i need to do more research. anyway, thanks!!

    @ashley, i love doing these posts. i cant help but share! i feel like our country's diet as a whole has switched so much from home-cookin' to processed foods. i wonder why my grandparents were pretty healthy (my g-father is still living at 93) and they didn't know about the whole organic movement and what not. i think as a a whole, food was less of a factory process and more quality over quantity... so even the non organic was done well and closer to the organic standards... ah well, such is life. but i say, when in doubt, cook things yourself so you can pronounce all the ingredients!! and best of luck with the fertility stuff!!!

    @emily m., boston area!

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  54. I have microwaved my own popcorn in a paper bag as well and it works! Also, air poppers always pop the corn perfectly and they blow out into the bowl and never burn, plus it adds the oil or whatever you want right in while it's popping.

    As for canned tomatoes, I will try to find the bpa free ones. Sodium isn't a problem since I always buy the "sodium free" canned tomatoes. I wonder if all the benefits of canned tomatoes are in the jarred/boxed kind? You know, the antioxidants, the lutein, etc. not found in raw tomatoes but only canned.... hm!

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  55. I have microwaved my own popcorn in a paper bag as well and it works! Also, air poppers always pop the corn perfectly and they blow out into the bowl and never burn, plus it adds the oil or whatever you want right in while it's popping.

    As for canned tomatoes, I will try to find the bpa free ones. Sodium isn't a problem since I always buy the "sodium free" canned tomatoes. I wonder if all the benefits of canned tomatoes are in the jarred/boxed kind? You know, the antioxidants, the lutein, etc. not found in raw tomatoes but only canned.... hm!

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  56. I agree about Dr Mercola, I too used to get his newsletter daily, but now I get the once a week and sometimes he makes me cringe... I think he is a little too "natural" for me, ha ha.

    I love this website and have her cookbook. Her story is quite impressive too: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/

    I don't know if you use the store bought creamers, but they are full of chemicals too! I drink them sometimes, but when I can make it at home :) She has a wonderful (and VERY easy) homemade creamer on her website. Honey vanilla is delicious. It will keep for about a week in the fridge: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/caramel-coffee-creamer-and-honey-vanilla-coffee-creamer-recipe/

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  57. @katy, thanks for that website! i don't use creamer from the store (but i LOVE IT). i usually do half and half and some sugar in the raw when i drink coffee. but a homemade one? sah-weet!

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  58. SO helpful...and kinda gross. I love microwaved popcorn. Well, I'll be staying away from that. And the canned tomatoes, who knew?! Thanks for the great write up.

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  59. this is good. you are my go to for all things healthy.

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  60. waiting for the 32/40 post!! its the best post of the entire week!

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  61. http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/footer/FAQ/dairy_nutrition/OrganicMilkFAQ.pdf

    Here's a link for you. Have a great weekend.

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  62. Wow! Good to know! Now I'm gonna check out his site. I can't believe microwave popcorn has such dangerous chemicals :o( yikes!

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  63. I'd love to know about the pus content of hormone free milk - I made the switch to hormone free last summer, and feel all the better for it! Thankfully, I live in Wisconsin, where milk is easily accessible.

    Here's my thought about canned tomatoes - I normally use them when I'm making soup. I wonder if the pros of having homemade soup (where everything, except the tomatoes is homemade, including broth) outweigh the cons of using canned tomatoes? hmmm. At any rate, I'll look for the BPA free cans next time I need them!

    I have this list and the "dirty dozen" list written in my grocery notebook. :D

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  64. May I humbly suggest that this doctor takes a few things that are true, ties them with other things that are just speculation, then tries to scare a vulnerable audience in buying something he sells so that he can make a profit.

    When it comes to my or my families health, I try never to believe the people who are selling something like this.

    I'm a scientist and have looked into his list, and while some things are grounded in an emerging science, others are farcical.

    It makes me sad to see this mis-information propigated.

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  65. I'm diggin' all your health tips. Most of these I d, but had no idea potatoes were so filthy. thank ya!

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  66. I love popcorn. I've been popping my own on the stove with a little coconut oil and black jewel corn. It's so yummy.

    I got rid of my microwave years ago, so no danger of me back sliding.

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  67. Great go to post for everyone to read. Thanks!

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(also! if you have a question, check back as i usually answer it here!)

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