Many people feel that when a product has a label that states, ‘all-natural or organic,’ then the food is free from all types of toxins. That is far from the truth.
Varying products come with different standards of ingredients. In some cases, the ingredient is naturally derived but was exposed to synthetic processes. Regardless, not all natural things are safe for you, so it’s more important to learn about ingredients. To understand why all-natural isn’t a safe bet, we will have to discuss what FDA views as ‘all-natural.’
Organic Foods And Cosmetics Standard In The US
The FDA considers all-natural to be foods that do not contain artificial or synthetic ingredients. Where the concern comes in is the processing or prepping foods. The presence of synthetic pesticides on food can still be labeled as all-natural.
Currently, the US has banned the use of eleven chemicals in the manufacturing of cosmetics, while Canada, its neighbor has banned over eight hundred chemicals. The EU is leading with its ban of over 1,300 chemicals.
This means that there are a lot of cosmetics currently in the US market that are far from being ‘all-natural’ like they peddle themselves.
How about organic foods?
Where organic food is concerned, it doesn’t mean that your food or product is 100% organic. When USDA states that food is organic, it means that about 95% of the ingredients used in making it are organic, while the remaining percentage can be anything.
Why is this so? You may ask yourself. At this point, you are wondering if the manufacturers of organic foods set out to deceive their consumers. In most cases, they do not. If this concerns you, you should look for labels that state 100% organic or check the ingredient list. We can only do so much and where we fail the liver is at hand to help sift the toxin once they gain entrance into the body.
Whether an ingredient is organic or not, the truth is that we can have an adverse reaction to anything. A big part of living in a heavily commercialized world is learning and understand what we consume.
Sometimes, a toxin may be natural
What are natural toxins?
Some organisms produce toxic compounds naturally in a bid to protect themselves from predators. The toxins that they produce usually do not harm them, but they harm other organisms that come in contact with them, like humans.
Natural toxins usually have various structures, as well as varying levels of toxicity.
To some plants, they use the toxins as a means of defending themselves from the attacks of insects, predators, and microorganisms. The toxins may also come as a result of the infestation of other organisms on it like mold.
Sometimes, natural toxins can come from plankton and microscopic algae, and these chemicals may be toxic to us but can be consumed by fish without them getting hurt. When we then eat the shellfish that consumed the chemical compound, we can fall sick.
This means that even your all-natural foods may have these naturally occurring toxins. Some examples of natural toxins are below.
When algae from toxins in the water, it is christened, ‘algal toxins.’ Some species of the algae produce naturally occurring toxins while they are blooming. Once shellfish and fish consume the algae, the toxins usually do not affect them, but the case can’t be said for humans. When a person eats the shellfish or fish containing the toxins, he or she can face ailments like paralysis, tingling, vomiting, and extreme diarrhea.
Many may think that the algae toxins can be removed when you cook the shellfish or refrigerate it, but that’s far from the truth. The fact that it is both odorless and tasteless makes the toxins hard to detect.
Cyanogenic glycosides are toxins produced in plants, and they are called, phytotoxins. These toxins are common in about two thousand species of plants, and a myriad of these plants are eaten as food.
Major examples of them are almonds, bamboo roots, stone fruits, as well as cassava. Foods that possess cyanogenic glycosides have the potential of creating cyanide in the body, which is totally harmful.
When a person suffers from cyanide poisoning, he or she will notice the following:
- Reduction in BP
- Quick breathing,
- Stomach ache
- Intense convulsions, and even coma
Sometimes, in the worst-case scenario, the person may die of cyanide poisoning if the amount of cyanide in the body is large.
This toxin can be seen in a lot of plants like celery roots, parsnips, citrus, and even medicinal plants. These types of toxins are called stress toxins and are usually created when a plant is faced with stress. Let’s say there is damage that occurred to a plant; it releases this stress toxin.
Sometimes, the toxins may lead to gastrointestinal problems depending on the person in question. Since they are phototoxic, furocoumarins can lead to intense skin reactions when you are directly under the sunlight.
This isn’t to make you turn away from all-natural or organic products. It just serves as a reminder that we need to do our due diligence in reading labels. In nature, there exist a lot of toxins that may be successfully eliminated by the liver or detoxification.
There are also many all-natural products with good, wholesome ingredients. A part of reading a label include getting to know the manufacturer and their mission. Go to their website and try to learn more about their manufacturing process. Words such as ‘high quality’ and ‘all-natural’ are just buzz words. Look for explanations that have some depth to it with details that are concrete.