Fish and poultry may be more contaminated with fecal bacteria because the outside of the animal (skin) is often eaten. Using laser imagining, 92% of retail poultry carcasses were found to be contaminated with fecal matter, and about 85% of fish has been found to be contaminated with fecal matter. Fish also contains the highest levels of industrial carcinogens. The majority of human dioxin exposure comes from eating fish.
In a recent study on endometrial cancer, those eating poultry and fish had the highest risk. Pancreatic cancer risk has been associated with dietary fat of animal origin, including chicken. Eating 2 boneless chicken breasts may increase our leukemia risk as much as smoking ten cigarettes. Poultry has also been associated with an increased risk of lymphoma. Highly cooked chicken –roasted, grilled, etc –has been found to be high in carcinogens created when the building blocks of muscles react to high heat (see also here). TGI Friday’s cobb salad was found, among fast food samples, to have the highest carcinogenic content.
Chicken contains sex steroid hormones that have been linked to female infertility. Turkey is the riskiest meat in terms of Salmonella contamination. Inclusion of small amounts of meat in the diet once a week, (including fish) can increase diabetes risk. None of these risks come with veggie chicken, made from plant sources which have, on average, 64 times more antioxidant power than animal foods.
Chicken may also be loaded with 840 mg of sodium/serving, arsenic , three times more fat than protein, saturated fat, arachidonic acid (which can affect mood), phthalates (which can affect genital development in utero), and AGEs (which are thought to promote aging). 3.9% of chicken samples have been found to be contaminated with the superbug MRSA (although staph contamination is most common among turkey samples), and there is even a virus that causes chickens to gain weight that may also be affecting people.
Fish has been found to be contaminated with parasites, pharmaceuticals flushed down the drain, dioxins (see also here), arsenic, mercury (see here, here), PCBs, and chemical obesogens that may be playing a role in the obesity epidemic.
Topic summary contributed by Denise.
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