We often hear and read that there are substances in our food that are harmful or that can make us sick. But is that actually the case? Can our food contain substances that cause cancer?
Strict control over our food
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an organization of the European Union that provides independent advice on food safety. They do this on the basis of scientific research. These recommendations form the basis of European rules and laws in the field of food safety.
In the Netherlands, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) monitors food safety. They also check whether the laws regarding food safety are being complied with. The NVWA looks at both harmful substances in our food and pathogens such as bad bacteria. If a product is not safe, the NVWA will remove the product from the store.
In recent years, products have been regularly removed from the store. This shows that the safety of our food is taken into account. In addition, the ways to check that products are safe are getting better and better. As a result, harmful substances are noticed earlier. You can therefore assume that everything is done to ensure that the food you buy in the store is safe.
Watch: Food Safety Facts You Should Be Aware Of
Important role for the liver
Each product can contain both good and less good substances. It is therefore important to vary your food and drink. The less good substances are only harmful in a certain amount. This amount differs per fabric, but also depends, for example, on the size of your body.
Your body has a number of ways to neutralize less beneficial substances. This will cause liver failure. Subsequently, the substance is removed from your body through your urine or feces.
Example: heavy metals in fatty fish
Fatty fish contain healthy fatty acids, which are important for our brains, among other things. But fatty fish can also contain heavy metals. That is why the advice is not to eat fatty fish more than once a week, then it is safe.
Example: nitrite in green vegetables
Green vegetables are very healthy because they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But green vegetables also contain nitrate, which is converted by the body into nitrite. If we ingest too much nitrite, this increases the risk of cancer. When eating normal portions of green vegetables (about 250 grams of vegetables per day) you do not consume dangerous amounts.
The health benefits of eating fatty fish and green vegetables far outweigh the potential risks in these examples.
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