- Unsafe food
Contaminated food kills 125,000 children each year
Around the World:
Access to safe and nutritious food is key to the survival of individuals, communities, and entire societies. Food can be contaminated by bacteria (e.g. salmonella, e.coli, listeria), natural toxins (e.g. mycotoxins in corn), persistent organic pollutants (e.g. PCBs, dioxins), and heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic). These toxins can enter the food supply through the way it is grown, irrigated, and handled. Over 500 million people get sick every year from diarrhea diseases and over 200,000 people die from these diseases. As food crosses more and more national borders to reach our dinner table, it becomes increasingly hard to protect individuals from food borne illnesses. Food that is not safe can create a cycle of disease and malnutrition which affects everyone, but especially children and the elderly.
In the United States:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that in the United States about 76 million people suffer from food borne illnesses every year; 300,000 end up in the hospital; and over 5,000 die. Adults over 50 are especially vulnerable to contamination and sickness from the foods they eat. Although washing foods, keeping cutting boards clean, and following good hygiene practice in the kitchen are essential to reducing the risk of eating contaminated food, consumers can also change their buying practices to be safer at the dinner table. Purchasing local foods, eating flash frozen foods, and eating organic where it counts (e.g. apples, berries, greens, dairy) can all make a difference in reducing the risk of contracting and suffering from a food borne illness.
The World Health Organization on Food Safety
Three million people die from outdoor air pollution each year