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Mary Ann Cotton... You Are What You Eat... And Why That’s A Problem

I, and probably everyone else who’s likely to read this blog, live in extremely privileged circumstances. We don’t worry about looking for a safe place to sleep at night or where our next meal will come from. We have roofs over our heads, money in the bank, and food on the table.

Mmm... food on the table... but what about that food on the table? Is it going to nourish us or poison us?

Now, I’m not a fanatical food shopper. I don’t go round reading the small print on every tin, packet and bottle, but I do try to be mindful about the food I buy. I steer away from too much processed stuff and make a beeline for the brown bread, palm sugar, sea salt, wholemeal spaghetti and red rice. (Actually, I lie about the rice.)

Also, in my book, diet food and drinks as well as low fat products are an absolute no-no. And as for that delicious-looking American beef... and the plump over-sized chickens all appealingly displayed beak by jowl on the supermarket shelves... how many growth hormones do they contain? So I avoid them too. Instead I prefer to buy free range if I can and fresh fruit and vegetables to cook and eat raw.

The problem is deciding which fruit and vegetables are safe to buy.

As most of us know, the label organic applies to vegetables, fruit and livestock that are produced without the use of modern synthetics... but do the producers also test their soil and water? I don’t know. So even when buying organic produce, I wonder if the earth it grew on contained contaminates, or the rain that watered said earth.

And I’m forgetting about fish. Well, there are the well-publicised problems of dangerous mercury and PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls - synthetic chemicals once used in hydraulic fluids) levels. But then today I read an article in the http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18239107 " target="_blank">BBC News Science & Environment section stating that bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California are sporting raised levels of radioactivity as a result of last year’s Fukushima nuclear accident.

So what food is safe to eat? Help me... please. I don’t want to end up a present-day Mary Ann Cotton who, back in the 1870’s, murdered 3 husbands, a lover and numerous children. At least she poisoned her tribe intentionally!


J M Leitch is author of The Zul Enigma, a factual futuristic thriller looking back at a cataclysmic event occurring on 21 December 2012, end of the Mayan calendar. 'Like' her author and book pages on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @JMLeitch