Apple Pie, Mashed Potatoes and Natural Formaldehyde

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apple pie via shutterstock
apple pie via shutterstock

Formaldehyde is a known toxin and a carcinogen. We know this from real science, as well as hysteria-based groups like the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which designated the compound as a known carcinogen in 2004. This should be no surprise, since of the 985 chemicals that the group keeps tabs on, exactly one is classified as "probably not carcinogenic to humans."

So why in 2015 are all Americans guaranteed to ingest this carcinogen on Thanksgiving day? Where is this chemical coming from?

The answer is simple; the chemical is literally everywhere, for example in your Thanksgiving meal and in many vital vaccines.

In particular in your holiday meal, formaldehyde is found in apples even the organic ones for sale at Whole Foods as well as potatoes and turkey. In 2014 the European Food Safety Authority produced a report detailing the amount of formaldehyde in many common foods

  • 2.9-4.6 mg/kg in turkey
  • 6.3 and 6.8 mg/kg in apples
  • 19.5 mg/kg in potatoes
  • 26.9 mg/kg in cauliflower

But more importantly all humans even the Food Babe biosynthesize formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a ubiquitous chemical that is necessary for many natural processes. Most importantly, formaldehyde is needed for the synthesis of essential amino acids and DNA, it is also an important player in the metabolism of some fats. Formaldehyde is essential to the normal physiology of every cell where it is maintained at a steady concentration of about 12 milligrams per every liter of cellular fluid (12 mg/L). In humans, our blood maintains a slightly lower concentration of about 2.6 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of blood.

Humans have about 5 liters of blood, which means circulating at any time there is about 13 mg of formaldehyde in a person. Contrast that level, with the amount in common vaccines:

  • Less than 0.1 mg in the vaccine for Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis
  • Less than 0.0004 mg in the vaccine for Hepatitis B
  • Less than .02 mg in the flu shot

Even someone with a degree from "Google University" can see that these quantities are drops in the bucket compared to what every one of us is exposed to every day of our lives. But even in the aforementioned foods where the amount of formaldehyde is in some cases 100 times higher than vaccines the amount of this chemical is not toxic.

It may sound like a broken record, but it is always worth repeating: The dose makes the toxin, a saying that was first coined in the 16th century. But, this message is often lost because people far too often think of their bodies as indefensible against the many chemicals of the world. It's the same mindset that leaves people to overload in dietary supplements that "support" or "strengthen" your x-system of the body. But the truth is the human body is pretty strong in its own right, and has many mechanisms to deal with the thousands of chemicals it interacts with on a daily basis. Formaldehyde is no different.

And, even the small quantities that we are exposed to get even smaller. Formaldehyde is rapidly metabolized by your body. Your liver rapidly oxidizes it to formic acid, which is rapidly excreted in the urine. This takes about five minutes. There is nothing unusual going on here. This is how metabolism is supposed to work.

It is not until this process is fully exhausted which takes a lot of formaldehyde that the chemical might have a toxic effect. But this is true of seemingly innocuous chemicals humans ingest everyday like caffeine, alcohol and many vitamins.

So pass the turkey and the vaccine.