I first shared this article over 6 years ago and it is still relevant today. While the food industry has come a long way in responding to consumer demands, the cheaper and poorer quality foods are still on the market.
This list is very specific, and while I agree with all of them, and your health can only improve when removing these foods from your diet indefinitely. It is likely that as a health conscious person, you may only eat a few foods on this list. I have extended the principles used to choose these foods to other similar foods, in order to get more bang for your buck and remove toxins from your daily diet.
1. Any GMO Food
This encompasses a large number of foods, working to fully remove GMOs from your diet is not an easy task. Start by keeping an eye out for “Non GMO Project” labeled foods. This includes foods without packaging such as loose fruits and vegetables. Certified organic food is always non-gmo.
2. Canned Tomatoes
99% of todays aluminum cans are lined with BPA plastic on the inside to prevent the can from rusting, thus keeping the food ‘fresh’ however high acidity foods such as tomatoes can erode the plastic quicker than other foods with a higher water content. Take this a step further and remove canned acidic fruits from your diet such as pineapple and choose fresh or frozen fruits or find a jarred version instead. It would be best to remove all canned foods from your diet completely unless your grocery store carries brands that specifically make BPA free cans.
3. Corn Fed / Conventional Beef
The hormones and pesticides that are put into cattle feed in this country is terrible. Factory farming is bad on so many levels, but strictly speaking, from a nutritional stand point alone, the meats produced in this manner should be avoided like the plague! The sad news is, pigs and chickens are not treated, fed or housed any better and removing all factory farmed meat from your diet is another important shift you can make for your health. Instead buy your meat locally and speak with the farmer. I have many New Hampshire local food links under the “resources” tab at the top of my website. Buying organic, free range meat from stores such as Trader Joes is also a great option.
4. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn bags, just like cans, are also lined with plastics that when frozen or microwaved can be structurally changed and get into your food. After removing microwave popcorn from your kitchen, be mindful of what other foods you microwave in the package. Steamed veggies and 5 minute meals are common culprits.
5. Farmed Salmon
All farmed fish should be included on this list. Similar to the factory farmed meat, fish live in crowded and unsanitary conditions resulting in a lower quality fish.
6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones
Organic milk is so much more than free of antibiotics and hormones. Your best bet is to buy milk (or even raw milk) locally and in glass jars.
7. Conventional Apples
Buying organic fruits and vegetables 100% of the time is very hard to do. However with the Environmental Working Groups “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” you can prioritize which foods you need to be careful with. As a rule of thumb, any produce you eat 3 or more times weekly should be organic, no matter where it is on the list.