5 nastiest things in your supermarket
Disturbing, right? The truth is, as we discovered while researching the all-new Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide, the food you buy in grocery stores isn't nearly as safe or as healthy as you'd like it to be. Perhaps that's why 48,000 Americans develop food poisoning every year.
So what can you do about it? Protect yourself by asking questions. It’s your food; you have a right to know what’s inside. I’ll even give you a head start—with the help of Rodale.com writers Leah Zerbe and Emily Main, I'm exposing the 5 most gag-inducing foods in your supermarket.
The 7 Biggest Food Label Lies
#1: Pink Slime in Beef
Eat This Instead: Organic ground beef is prohibited from containing pink slime, per National Organic Program standards, so it's your safest bet. If you can't find organic, ask the butcher at your grocery store whether their products contain the gunk.
GRILL YOURSELF THIN: Chances are you already own a grill, which means you have unrestricted access to one of the world’s best fat-fighting weapons. Here’s how to melt away body fat all summer: 20 Fat-Burning Secrets of the Grill.
#2: Mercury in Oatmeal
Eat This Instead: Buy yourself some instant oats, which cook in less time than it takes to microwave a packet of the sugary stuff, and add your own flavorings, like fresh fruit or maple syrup. And buy HFCS-free versions of other foods as well. The artificial sweetener lurks in seemingly all processed foods.
HEALTH FOODS THAT AREN’T: Oatmeal is hardly the only health food with a dark side. From a 1,100-calorie smoothie to a turkey burger with more than a day’s worth of fat, The10 Worst “Health” Foods in America will make you rethink what you know about food.
#3: MRSA in the Meat Aisle
Eat This Instead: The Iowa state researchers found MRSA in conventional meat and store-bought "antibiotic-free" meat likely contaminated at the processing plant. Search LocalHarvest.org to source meat from small-scale producers who don't use antibiotics or huge processing plants.
CHUCK BOMB: If the meds don't scare you, maybe this will: Applebee's Quesadilla Burger has more than 1,200 calories! And it gets worse—check out our complete list of the 15 Worst Burgers in America!
#4: Rocket Fuel in Lettuce
Eat This Instead: Perchlorate is hard to avoid, but some of the highest levels in the country have been found in California's agricultural regions. If you eat locally and in season, you can ask your local farmers whether it’s a problem in their irrigation water supply.
LIVING SOCIAL: Don’t bail on dinner with friends just because you’re watching your weight. The 12 Best Restaurant Weight Loss Tips allow you to slim down while eating out.
#5: Moldy Berries
Eat This Instead: Go for fresh! When berries are in season, stock up and freeze them yourself to eat throughout the winter. To freeze them, just spread fruits out on a cookie sheet, set the sheet in your freezer for a few hours, then transfer the berries to a glass jar or other airtight, freezer-safe container.