Episode Fifteen: Heavy metals in our food

Posted: 10 June 2021 | | No comments yet

Jaclyn Bowen of the Clean Label Project and Oliver Amdrup of Puori join the  New Food team to discuss the issue of heavy metals in the US food supply.

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Clean label experts, Jaclyn Bowen and Oliver Amdrup, explain the health issues linked to heavy metal contaminants and the possible solutions to help develop cleaner food. 

Heavy metals are arguably the forgotten food safety issue. The prevention of Salmonella or Listeria monocytogenes rightly attracts a lot of attention within the food and beverage industry, but repeated exposure to heavy metals such as lead and cadmium can also be very dangerous. 

What is perhaps even more concerning about heavy metals is the delayed onset of complications they cause. If somebody is infected with Listeriosis, it’s usually very obvious, very quickly. Complications caused by heavy metals can take years and sometimes decades to present themselves. 

In this latest episode of Food to Go, Jaclyn Bowen and Oliver Amdrup explain just why heavy metals are such a big problem in our food and examine some case studies, including the infamous Flint water crisis that left the state of Michigan reeling just a few years back. 

Bowen and Amdrup outline the discrepancies in regulation, particularly between the US and other parts of the world, and explain why this can make it difficult for consumers to make inform decisions around which foods they eat. 

As ever, editor Bethan Grylls sticks up for the industry, and Junior Editor Joshua Minchin brings his usual cynicism to the party. 

And of course, no Food to Go episode would be complete without some red hot takes, sometimes guided by the science, from our editorial duo – luckily the experts are on hand to douse them in cold hard facts. 

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