Food WARNING: High levels of glyphosate contaminate one of the “healthiest” foods on the planet
(NaturalHealth365) Long loved by hippies and back-to-the-landers, and later embraced by vegetarians and California’s health food proselytizers, humus, a creamy chickpea, tahini and olive oil mixture, was once the antithesis of mainstream fare like Wonderbread and frozen vegetables. Today, hummus is a mainstream food, a kitchen essential and menu favorite that’s as beloved by hard-to-please school kids as it is their organic obsessed parents.
But hummus isn’t the wonderfood it once was, and Monsanto/Bayer is to thank for that. The far out history of the beloved health-food staple took a shocking turn recently when the Environmental Working Group (EWG) detected high levels of the herbicide glyphosate in popular brands of hummus.
According to tests commissioned by the EWG, of the 43 conventional, or non-organic, chickpea and chickpea based samples tested, 90 percent had detectable levels of glyphosate, a weedkiller chemical linked to cancer. One sample had almost 15 times as much glyphosate as EWG’s benchmark. Popular brands that tested positive include Sabra, Ceder’s, Sadaf, Simply Balanced, Trader Joes, Hope, and Kirkland Signature.
How glyphosate is poisoning one of the “healthiest” foods in the United States
Since 2018, there’s been a soaring consumer demand for hummus. Hummus sales were roughly $780 million in 2019 and expected to grow to $1.1 billion by 2022, contributing to the “fresh snacking” trend (protein bars, bottled smoothies, protein snack packs) that consumers have been gravitating to as they prioritize a healthy lifestyle.
Loaded with chickpeas, hummus is high in omega 3 healthy fats. And, of course, it contains lots of healthy nutrients like manganese, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin c and B6.
But healthy eating is a challenging task (to say the least) when there are loose EPA standards and lax testing by the Food and Drug Administration, when Roundup, Monsanto’s notorious and widely used herbicide, is sprayed on different crops and during different parts of the growing season, leaving consumers vulnerable to large amounts of glyphosate.
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Glyphosate is sprayed on crops to “protect” plants from pests and to promote the drying of beans (in addition to hummus and chickpeas, the EWG also found glyphosate in dry lentils, garbanzo flour, and other types of dry and canned beans). According to the book Poison Foods of North America, glyphosate residue on garbanzo beans in North America has levels as high as 795 ppb, while most countries average around 32 ppb.
How dangerous is glyphosate and how can you avoid it?
Over the years, glyphosate has been linked to cancer, liver disease, and kidney disease. It’s be proven to cause preterm births and fertility issues, destroy beneficial gut bacteria, and disrupt hormones and reproductive organs. Glyphosate has been shown to bioaccumulate in bones, breast milk, and tissues.
While eating smaller amounts of organic hummus is one way to avoid high levels of glyphosate, it’s not foolproof. Glyphosate use is not permitted on organic crops, but that doesn’t mean the crops can’t be contaminated by chemical drift.
Bottom line: we need much stricter EPA standards and an increased level of accurate testing by the FDA to clearly define the scope of the problem. And, ultimately, better actions must be taken to ensure a high quality food supply for all of us.
For more information about going “beyond organic,” check out this wonderful NaturalHealth365 Podcast with Jonathan Landsman and Joel Salatin.
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