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Subject And you say Natural Organic is safer than Factory produced?Read:Toxins/poisons in Natural Foods
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Natural toxins Food is packed with natural chemicals that are essential to our health, suchas vitamins and minerals. But some foods contain potentially harmfulsubstances called natural toxins.
Most natural toxins occur naturally in just a few foods. Other natural toxins are produced when the food is damaged, or when moulds or other fungigrow on the food.These are some of the foods that can contain natural toxins. Red kidney beans Dried red kidney beans contain natural toxins called lectins, which cancause stomach aches and vomiting. These are destroyed if you soak thedried beans for at least 12 hours and then boil them vigorously for at least10 minutes in fresh water. Tinned kidney beans have already had thisprocess applied and so can be used without further treatment. Green potatoes All potatoes contain natural toxins called glycoalkaloids, usually at lowlevels. But higher levels of glycoalkaloids can be found in green parts ofpotatoes, sprouted potatoes and potatoes stored in light. Severeglycoalkaloid poisoning is very rare, but it's important to store potatoes in adark, cool and dry place and not to eat green or sprouting parts. If you'veremoved the green parts and the potatoes still taste bitter, don't eat them.And if you come across a green potato crisp, it's probably best not to eat it. Apples Mouldy or damaged apples may contain a toxin called patulin, particularlyaround the bruised or damaged part of the fruit. Don't eat mouldy ordamaged apples and don't use them to make apple sauce or juice. Shellfish Toxins formed by algae in the sea and fresh water are called algal toxins.Shellfish such as mussels, scallops and oysters are more likely to containthese toxins than other fish.In the UK, paralytic shellfish poisons (PSP), amnesiac shellfish poisons(ASP), and the less toxic diarrhetic shellfish poisons (DSP) are the mostcommon shellfish toxins.During the period of greatest risk (between April and September) noticesare posted in areas with high PSP, DSP and ASP levels warning people notto eat shellfish caught locally. Fishing may also be prohibited. 1
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Liver and Vitamin A Vitamin A is essential in everyone's diet but if you're pregnant and you consumeexcessive amounts the developing foetus may be harmed. The Government'sChief Medical Officer has advised women who are trying to conceive to avoidtaking Vitamin A supplements. As a precautionary measure, these women arealso advised to avoid food rich in vitamin A, such as liver and liver products. Mouldy foods Moulds are usually visible, but toxins produced by moulds and other fungi –mycotoxins – are invisible and can penetrate food. So even if you remove mouldfrom food, it might still contain mycotoxins. The safest option is to throw mouldyfood away.Moulds can grow on most types of food if the conditions are right. They growfastest in warm, moist conditions. If bread is kept in a warm environment, mouldwill form after only a few days. The best place to store bread is in a bread bin orcool cupboard. Keeping it in the fridge will help prevent moulds forming, but canmake it go stale more quickly.Cheeses with an external mould coating, such as Brie and Camembert, or thosewith mould running through them, such as Stilton and Danish Blue, are safe toeat in normal quantities because the moulds have been deliberately introduced.However, if mould grows on cheese that isn’t supposed to be mouldy, youshouldn’t eat it. Avoiding natural toxins Usually natural toxins will only be harmful if you consume them in largequantities over a long period of time. But you can help to reduce the amountyou eat by doing the following things. • Eat a wide variety of foods. • Throw away foods after the 'Use by' date. • Store food properly. • Don’t assume that if something is 'natural' it automatically means it’s safe. • Prepare and cook foods properly. • Throw away bruised, damaged or discoloured foods. • Throw away any foods that don’t smell or taste fresh, or havean unusually bitter taste. 2 www.food.gov.uk FSA/0486/0302
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