Toxic Nitrates!!! Another Reason to Eat Organic

By August 21, 2009Food Buzz
What is a nitrate?
Nitrates are nitric acid salts that have one nitrogen and three oxygen atoms. Nitric acid is a toxic, corrosive substance.
Nitrates in food? Say What?
Yes, that’s right, Timmy. Nitrates can be found in many fertilizers and in certain meats. These fertilizers promote plant growth at exponential rates, but also leave some of their toxins in the produce. In meats, nitrates are used to preserve the color of the meat and inhibit fun things like botulism. There is even evidence that nitrate is making its way into our drinking water.
Warning: Though conventional knowledge suggests that meats like bacon and hot dogs are nitrate hives, non-organic vegetables can have more than 100 times the amounts of nitrate than processed meat due to it leeching from the soil!
Spear me the mumbo-jumbo, how does that affect me?
In your body nitrates turn iron atoms in your blood into oxygen, thus rendering it unable to carry oxygen (Oxygen being a relatively important ingredient in sustaining life).
Nitrates are known by some studies to cause cancer and may even trigger Alzheimer’s, Diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease.
While, there is one study out there that suggests nitrates in low levels may be good for you there is a plethora of divergent research (see references). In fact, according to a recent study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital, even low levels of nitrates can lead to the mentioned diseases.
So what makes organic produce better?
How funny that you should ask. Organic foods and farming practices seriously lower the amounts of nitrates and pesticides by avoiding containing fertilizers, thus reducing risks for serious illness.
The more you know…
Sources referenced:

Terra

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