DIET FOR A POISONED PLANET
If buying organic food is too inconvenient, too expensive, or too limited for you, David Steinman’s book Diet for a Poisoned Planet: How to Choose Safe Food for You and Your Family (Harmony Books, 425 pages, 1990) could be very useful. Basing his recommendations on the Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing study called the Total Diet Study, Steinman ranked foods by "green light" (relatively unpolluted by pesticides and other toxic chemicals), "yellow light" (moderately polluted, to be eaten seldom), and "red light," (to be avoided completely, if possible). He is particularly good on fish. For instance, we find that cod from Canada, Denmark, Iceland, and New Zealand is virtually pollution-free, thus earning a green light; rock cod from California is moderately "saturated" with DDT, which gives it a yellow light; and cod from California and the Pacific Northwest is "saturated" with DDT and PCBs, eliciting the "red light" warning. Chub from the Great Lakes, says Steinman, "will expose you to more pollution in one meal than a careful shopper might be exposed to in a lifetime."
A little caution for readers, however. Steinman’s data are based on Total Diet Study results for 1982-86, all that was available to him when he wrote the book. Also, his rankings are based on the total number of residues in each food, not on the concentrations of each residue. Using the concentrations would have made the text too complex without adding much more information, he thought, since usually a high number of residues indicates a high concentration of residues. And after all, isn’t it better to eat foods without any pesticides or other toxic chemicals rather than those with such residues?
Having been alarmed by posted warnings in Santa Monica about the fish he had been catching and eating for years, Steinman underwent detoxification at HealthMed in Los Angeles. This, plus his own detoxification program based on HealthMed principals, considerably reduced his body load of PCBs and DDT.
In addition to the chapters on detoxification and on food for adults, Steinman includes chapters on baby foods and on safe (nontoxic) eating in a real world of twentieth-century eating habits – fast foods, carryouts, and eating on the run. For shoppers on the run, he summarized his grocery-buying recommendations in a two-page section that can be easily copied for taking to the store with you.
In Steinman’s view, "Consumers have been duped. They have been made the unwitting victims of low-level pesticide exposures." Over and over he warns, you must be responsible for the safety of your food. Government isn't.Article from NOHA NEWS, Vol. XVI, No. 1, Winter 1991, pages 2-3.