What's In Our Food

Topics: Genetically modified food, Monsanto, Genetically modified organism Pages: 11 (3683 words) Published: October 19, 2013
What's In Our Food
Research Paper

Introduction

America is one of the unhealthiest developed countries in the world. About 36% of Americans are obese (Michael, 2012). Our diets have led to 16.3% of our nation's resources being spent on healthcare (White, 2013). There are antibiotics and growth hormones in our meat, Genetically Modified Organisms and pesticides in our produce, and high fructose corn syrup in most of the foods that are packaged and canned (Kenner, 2009). This leads to a higher rate of diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases, which proves that food manufacturers are killing us with these additives. Antibiotics

The average American eats over 200lbs of meat every year. That's two times the amount of meat that citizens of any other country consume (Springen, 2008). Studies have shown that eating red meat can substantially increase the risk of heart disease and cancer. In a study of 23,926 deaths, 5,910 of which were from heart disease and 9,364 from cancer, a connection was made between the premature deaths and meat consumption. The Guardian reported on this study that went on for more than 20 years:

Each additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat, equivalent to a helping of beef, lamb or pork about the size of a deck of cards, raised the mortality rate (number of deaths per 1,000 people per year) by 13%, while processed meat increased it by 20%. When deaths were broken down into specific causes, eating any kind of red meat increased the chances of dying from heart disease by 16% and from cancer by 10%. Processed red meat raised the risk of heart disease death by 21% and cancer death by 16%”.

The idea that red meat consumption leads to chronic illness is becoming a common known fact, but we have to look at the reasons why this is the case. David Kirby (2010) explains it in his article for the Huffington Post, Drugs, Poisons and Metals in Our Meat -- USDA Needs A Major Overhaul. He states that beef in the United States contains copper, arsenic, Flunixin (a fever-reducing anti-inflammatory), penicillin, and Ivermectin (an antiparasitic drug), in addition to growth hormones. High levels of copper in the body can lead to kidney failure, Hemolysis (when red blood cells rupture and release their contents into surrounding fluid), jaundice, oxidative stress, and death. Arsenic causes skin lesions, internal malignancies, vascular diseases and hypertension. Flunixin can lead to gastrointestinal erosions and ulcers. Many people have an allergy to penicillin, causing severe nerve damage, severe colon inflammation, bleeding, and diarrhea. Ivermectin can cause neurotoxicity, which is abnormal brain activity killing neurons that process brain signals (Kirby, 2010). We put all these poisonous substances in our bodies voluntarily every time we eat meat, and that's not including the growth hormones. Growth Hormones

Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is injected into cows so that they will produce more milk. As researched by Richard Laliberte (2013), it is found in 20% of our dairy cows, which are slaughtered for meat after their milk-producing days are done. This puts growth hormones in both our meat and our milk. The hormones cause udder infections in the cows so the animals have to go on antibiotics constantly. These antibiotics are then consumed by us when we eat the cows, causing us to build up a resistance to the drug. Aside from an antibiotic tolerance, rBGH is also linked to a higher risk of cancer (Laliberte, 2013).

To follow along with what our dairy cows are given, our beef cows are given high volumes of steroid hormones, synthetic testosterone and estrogen, to make them grow faster. According to Renu Gandhi, Ph.D. BCERF (Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors) Research Associate at Cornell University, not only is this believed to induce premature puberty in children, it is also associated with a higher risk of breast cancer in girls. Pesticides...


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