You can go organic, or 'all natural' or non-GMO or even vegan, but what you can't do this holiday season, is avoid all the chemicals in your holiday dinner! In our classic Holiday Dinner Menu, ACSH has gone through the menu of a typical American holiday meal — from soup to nuts — and listed the chemicals that each course contains, courtesy of Mother Nature. And not only that, these chemicals have been shown to cause cancer — at high doses, in rats.
For example, a green salad with lettuce and arugula, dressed with a basil-mustard vinaigrette, contains allyl isothiocyanate, caffeic acid, estragole and methyl eugenol. Like cherry tomatoes in your salad? Look out for the benzaldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, quercetin glycosides and more caffeic acid. And that perennial Thanksgiving favorite, roast turkey? Enter some heterocyclic amines.
But don't worry, the doses fed to the lab rodents were super high, and no one will be able to consume what the poor rats were given. To get the same amount of the rodent carcinogen furfural found in bread (on a body weight basis) a 155 pound person would have to eat over 82,000 slices of white bread per day.
So accept that these supposedly dangerous chemicals just aren't harmful in the amounts we find in our food, and have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!