Contaminants in food items and possible harmful environmental impacts of food production
Dietary habits and food choices vary by gender, age, area and incomes. When looking at the national food recommendations in Finland, Estonia and Latvia more similarities than differences are seen between countries.
Food consumption forms a significant part of the environmental load of individual households. The eutrophication intensity varies between different foodstuffs.
The modelling results show though, that the eutrophication can be reduced about 7% by changing the food consumption habits into recommended direction, and the private food consumption is not far from recommended. The major shift, about 7 % units from protein to carbohydrates, was reached in the scenario by applying a reduction to all protein foods, and an increment in all carbohydrate foods.
In addition food can contain hazardous compounds from various sources. They partly originate from the food production and food processing and partly from anthropogenic emissions to the environment and subsequent accumulation to food raw materials. There are also reports of soluble chemicals from packaging materials such as tin cans or plastics.
Certain food items can also be "naturally harmful". For example, green potatoes and tomatoes synthesize glycoalkaloids. Moulds can also commonly spoil food by producing harmful mycotoxins, which can cause serious health problems to humans and livestock animals.
The idea of web application "Contaminants in food" is to present some possible chemicals detected from different food items. Contaminants to the project were selected due to their wide appearance in the environment, possible negative environmental impacts, bioaccumulation potential and their potential harmful impacts to humans and animals. It should be noted, that even though some contaminants would be detected from food items, their total concentrations still might not exceed the tolerable daily intake values.
Please note that the whole diet is the key for human health and wellbeing, not just the individual food items!
|Contaminants in food items and possible harmful environmental impacts of food production|