Environmentalists tell all sorts of horror stories about manmade chemicals in our food. But, in fact, everything we eat is full of naturally occurring carcinogens, mutagens, and toxins. We regularly consume 10,000 times more natural toxins than manmade ones without ill effects. So maybe the hysteria about chemicals is overblown.
Natural Toxins in a Christmas Dinner
Fresh Vegetable Tray
Carrots: carotatoxin, myristicin, isoflavones, nitrate
Celery: nitrate, psoralens
Roast Turkey: heterocyclic amines, malonaldenyde
Stuffing: benzo(a)pyrene, di- and tri-sulfides, ethyl carbamate, furan derivatives, dihydrazines, psoralens, safrole
Cranberry Sauce: eugenol, furan derivatives
Lima Beans: cyanogenetic glycosides
Baked Potato: amylase inhibitors, arsenic, chaconine, isoflavones, nitrate, oxalic acid, solanine
Apple Pie: acetaldehyde, isoflavones, phlorizin, quercetin glycosides, safrole
Tea benzo(a)pyrene, caffeine, quercetin glycosides, tannins
Source: American Council on Science and Health
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Holiday Health".