Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Myth: I just read that leafy greens and tomatoes are 2 of the riskiest foods to eat. Should I stop eating them because they can make me sick?

Answer: No!

Have you read the report about the ten riskiest foods to eat? Thinking about not eating your fruits & veggies? Well, think again. There are BIG benefits to eating fruits & vegetables. As part of an overall healthy diet they may reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases as well as your risk for type 2 diabetes. Fruits & veggies also may protect you against some cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon cancer. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. Eating them can help you control your calorie intake.

The report does not suggest to stop eating fruits and vegetables. Instead it highlights the concern over foodborne illness. One in four Americans are sickened by foodborne illnesses and 5,000 die each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (These numbers are likely lower than actual since many people who get sick from food don’t report it.) An increasingly globalized food supply and eating out (50 cents of every food dollar is now spent on food prepared outside the home) are two of the many reasons that we may fall victim to foodborne illness. We have less control of the food that we eat and we rely on others to make sure our food is safe. Certainly more coordination is needed to make sure that our foods are safe.

What can you do to protect you and your family?

1. Be informed. Find food safety information.

3. Consider buying local. Ask your local farmer/grower how they grow their fruits and vegetables. What are they doing to make sure the fruits and vegetables they sell are safe to eat?

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