March 17, 2023 – Friday
This is an ad-free post
Here’s an Amazon affiliate link to my favorite organic coffee!: https://amzn.to/42h9IT7 If you have some time to be entertained, you may want to check out the reviews and comments for this product (on that Amazon listing) when you click through!
[I am sharing this simply because so many Lead Safe Mama readers are always telling me they’re curious about the products I purchase and use every day in my home.]
In response to sharing about this coffee on social media, readers have asked questions like “Is it Lead-free?” and “Does it have mold?” My answer to both these questions is, frankIy, I have no idea. I don’t personally examine every food I eat (or beverage I drink) for Lead content. Here’s a link to Death Wish’s statement on mold.
When it comes to food and beverage consumption, instead of focusing on the details of each and every product or food item I might consume, I have some general universal guidelines I tend to follow when considering the stuff I choose to put into my body – including the following guidelines:
- I avoid known high-Lead foods (including chocolate, as well as the worst offenders of the known contaminated-soil Lead-absorptive vegetables [including most root vegetables], seeds, etc.) [More on that here.]
- I avoid highly-processed foods – and highly-processed ingredients – (as these also routinely test positive for heavy Lead-contamination)
- I avoid/limit flour-based products whenever possible [but I confess that I am not ultra-strict about this if an interesting and tasty flour-based-thing crosses my path!]
- I buy certified organic whenever possible [Note: this does not guarantee better / Lead-free soil, but organic certification is somewhat correlative — and tends to reduce exposure to Glyphosate, and other nasty chemical fertilizers and pesticides “conventionally” used in U.S. (& foreign) agribusiness.]
- I avoid supplements (including things like protein powders or concentrated foods) [More on that here]
- I avoid / limit commercially-dried fruit.
- I make sure to eat as much organic fresh [ideally, local & seasonal], raw, or lightly steamed vegetables and fruit as I can every day: carrots; celery; broccoli; cauliflower; asparagus; Brussels sprouts; cucumbers; bell peppers; snap peas; berries; apples; pears; oranges; etc.
- I drink a lot of organic fresh-pressed vegetable juices (I avoid sweet juices / juices with a fruit base.)
- I make sure my food prep area (my kitchen, cookware, dishes, etc.) is all Lead-free.
- I limit espresso drinks purchased at cafes — as espresso machines tend to have many Leaded-brass high-Lead [food-contact!] components.
- I rarely (almost never) eat rice.
- I rarely (almost never) drink alcohol (once or twice a year at most.)
- … and beyond following those guidelines, I generally don’t worry too much about Lead content or other issues for the foods I do choose to eat (or the beverages I choose to drink.)
It is important to emphasize that “organic” does not equal “Lead-free” – especially when it comes to processed foods (like chocolate, multi-ingredient industrially-processed or dried / powdered /concentrated foods, highly concentrated supplements [in powder or pill form] or any processed ingredients in general)!
Fundamentally, having a “healthy lifestyle” is about the bigger picture approach — what forms your habitual daily patterns of consumption, and not about the occasional exceptions you might make here and there.
Because not everyone makes the same choices I make, and because many foods that people do eat (including chocolate, salt, spices, vitamins and supplements) can be very high in Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic, whenever a Lead Safe Mama reader comes to me with concerns about a specific food or supplement, I always encourage them to ask for the COA (Certificate Of Analysis) for that product from the company / manufacturer of the product (especially if it is a product they consume daily – like a supplement) — to get a sense of where that product might stand related to other similar products (to help you make the best choices for yourself and your family.)
Personally, I simplify this for myself by generally avoiding products that might tend to have a COA — in most cases, only highly-processed products, like supplements and dried / processed spices or powders – will have COAs and I just don’t use those things!
The affiliate link is not working for me.
oh! Thanks for the heads up – I think I fixed it – here that is: https://amzn.to/42h9IT7
Without spices, you cannot cook a lot of tasty dishes. I have read that many of spices are indeed high in toxic metals, even organic ones. Is there a way to find clean spices, especially turmeric? I heard there is a company in Georgia (state) that sells a US-grown turmeric spice but I don’t recall the name. Does anyone know of specific spices that have been tested and found clean?
I focus on buying fresh spices whenever possible. Garlic and salt are my main ones. Here in Portland the local food coop sells organic fresh local spices too (parsley, rosemary, turmeric, etc.)
How can we tell how fresh a spice is? Or do you mean use the fresh plant leaves or fresh garlic bulbs rather than dried & ground?
If you use a spice, what brand of fresh garlic spice do you use? Almost all garlic spices in the the US are from China.
Thank you for this wonderful and thoughtful resource. The main red flag in our diet is organic dried fruits. Dried fruits (cranberry, blueberry, golden berry, pineapple, mango, raisins) mixed with raw organic almonds and cashews is a regular and significant part of our snack diet, including my 5yo.
I’ve been searching your site and have also found quite a few peer reviewed journal articles indicating high lead and cadmium in dried fruits as well as some recent recalls for lead, but none indicate why they are higher than fresh or frozen at an unacceptable level. Is it an equipment contamination issue so drying at home is better? Drying concentrates? And why is mango, my kid’s fave, specifically called out as a bad actor? So. Many. Questions.
Thank you for your time if you have it to give, I very much welcome directing to links or resources to self-educate instead of re-creating content here if answers are published and elusive only to me.