By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
Oh for the days when all we had to worry about was a little pesticide residue on our apples. This past week brought two reminders that what we don’t know is in our food can hurt us.
The peanut butter snack recalls continued flying off the conveyor belt, noteworthy for the sheer number of products potentially tainted with salmonella — more than 400 at last count. All that contamination from one little ole peanut processing plant in Georgia. Best to heed the advice of the Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Stephen Sundlof, “If you don’t know the source of the food that contains peanuts, don’t eat it.” At the same time, the FDA has declared that “national name brand peanut butter” sold in jars at retail has not been contaminated.
We also learned last week that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), that controversial, cheap and ubiquitous sweetener might contain more than just the empty calories blamed for our flourishing flab. A study by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) reported finding traces of mercury in 17 of 55 tested foods made with HFCS.