Know Your Food



John Perritano

Know Your Food

Food safety

Know YOur Food

Fats and Cholesterol Fiber Flavorings, Colorings, and Preservatives Food Safety Genetically Modif ied Foods Gluten Organic Foods Protein Salt Starch and Other Carbohydrates

Sugar and Sweeteners Vitamins and Minerals Water

Know Your Food



John Perritano

Mason Crest

Mason Crest 450 Parkway Drive, Suite D Broomall, PA 19008 www.masoncrest.com

© 2018 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. MTM Publishing, Inc. 435 West 23rd Street, #8C New York, NY 10011

www.mtmpublishing.com President: Valerie Tomaselli Vice President, Book Development: Hilary Poole Designer: Annemarie Redmond Copyeditor: Peter Jaskowiak

Editorial Assistant: Leigh Eron Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3733-5

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3737-3 E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4222-8044-7 Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file with the Library of Congress. Printed and bound in the United States of America. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 QR CODES AND LINKSTOTHIRD PARTY CONTENT

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Table of Contents

Series Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chapter One: What Is Food Safety? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Chapter Two: Safety Issues in Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Chapter Three: Safety Issues in Food Processing . . . . . . . . . . 29 Chapter Four: Health Concerns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Chapter Five: Who Protects Our Food Supply? . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Series Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, which will provide them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more. Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

Key Icons to Look for:

SERIES Introduction I n the early 19th century, a book was published in France called Physiologie du goût ( The Physiology of Taste ), and since that time, it has never gone out of print. Its author was Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Brillat-Savarin is still considered to be one of the great food writers, and he was, to use our current lingo, arguably the first “foodie.” Among other pearls, Physiologie du goût gave us one of the quintessential aphorisms about dining: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” This concept was introduced to Americans in the 20th century by a nutritionist named Victor Lindlahr, who wrote simply, “You are what you eat.” Lindlahr interpreted the saying literally: if you eat healthy food, he argued, you will become a healthy person. But Brillat-Savarin likely had something a bit more metaphorical in mind. His work suggested that the dishes we create and consume have not only nutritional implications, but ethical, philosophical, and even political implications, too. To be clear, Brillat-Savarin had a great deal to say on the importance of nutrition. In his writings he advised people to limit their intake of “floury and starchy substances,” and for that reason he is sometimes considered to be the inventor of the low-carb diet. But Brillat-Savarin also took the idea of dining extremely seriously. He was devoted to the notion of pleasure in eating and was a fierce advocate of the importance of being a good host. In fact, he went so far as to say that anyone who doesn’t make an effort to feed his guests “does not deserve to have friends.” Brillat-Savarin also understood that food was at once deeply personal and extremely social. “Cooking is one of the oldest arts,” he wrote, “and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” Modern diners and cooks still grapple with the many implications of Brillat- Savarin’s most famous statement. Certainly on a nutritional level, we understand that a diet that’s low in fat and high in whole grains is a key to healthy living. This is no minor issue. Unless our current course is reversed, today’s “obesity epidemic” is poised to significantly reduce the life spans of future generations. Meanwhile, we are becoming increasingly aware of how the decisions we make at supermarkets can ripple outward, impacting our neighborhoods, nations, and the earth as 6

a whole. Increasing numbers of us are demanding organically produced foods and ethically sourced ingredients. Some shoppers reject products that contain artificial ingredients like trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Some adopt gluten-free or vegan diets, while others “go Paleo” in the hopes of returning to a more “natural” way of eating. A simple trip to the supermarket can begin to feel like a personality test—the implicit question is not only “what does a healthy person eat?,” but also “what does a good person eat?” The Know Your Food series introduces students to these complex issues by looking at the various components that make up our meals: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and so on. Each volume focuses on one component and explains its function in our bodies, how it gets into food, how it changes when cooked, and what happens when we consume too much or too little. The volumes also look at food production—for example, how did the food dye called Red No. 2 end up in our food, and why was it taken out? What are genetically modified organisms, and are they safe or not? Along the way, the volumes also explore different diets, such as low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and gluten-free, going beyond the hype to examine their potential benefits and possible downsides. Each chapter features definitions of key terms for that specific section, while a Series Glossary at the back provides an overview of words that are most important to the set overall. Chapters have Text-Dependent Questions at the end, to help students assess their comprehension of the most important material, as well as suggested Research Projects that will help them continue their exploration. Last but not least, QR codes accompany each chapter; students with cell phones or tablets can scan these codes for videos that will help bring the topics to life. (Those without devices can access the videos via an Internet browser; the addresses are included at the end of the Further Reading list.) In the spirit of Brillat-Savarin, the volumes in this set look beyond nutrition to also consider various historical, political, and ethical aspects of food. Whether it’s the key role that sugar played in the slave trade, the implications of industrial meat production in the fight against climate change, or the short-sighted political decisions that resulted in the water catastrophe in Flint, Michigan, the Know Your Food series introduces students to the ways in which a meal can be, in a real sense, much more than just a meal.



Chapter 1 What Is Food Safety?

W ords to U nderstand fecal: describes waste material discharged from animals and humans after food has been digested. gastrointestinal: relating to the stomach and intestines. inflammation: swelling. microbes: microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. pathogens: bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms that can cause disease. T he year 2015 was not a good one for the restaurant chain Chipotle. Founded in 1993 as a Mexican fast-food restaurant, Chipotle prided itself on “using high-quality raw ingredients” and “classic cooking techniques.” Its website boasted that the firm was committed to “sourcing the very best ingredients we can find and preparing them by hand.” The company even bragged that its vegetables were “grown in healthy soil,” because, as Chipotle said, “we understand the connection between how food is raised and prepared, and how it tastes.” But in December 2015, nearly 140 people, many of whom were Boston College students, got sick after eating at a Chipotle restaurant near campus. All had been stricken with norovirus , a gastrointestinal disease caused by fecal contamination.


Food safety

The virus can spread from person to person, or by consuming contaminated food or water. Norovirus can also spread if a person touches an infected surface. The virus settles in a person’s gut, causing inf lammation of the stomach and intestines. Norovirus usually results in intense pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. The incident was just the latest in a brutal year for Chipotle. Customers who ate at the company’s restaurants in California, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington State had earlier come down with Escherichia coli (or E. coli ), a bacterium that causes food poisoning. Simi Valley, California, restaurant- goers were infected with norovirus, while in Minnesota, 64 Chipotle customers were sickened after eating tomatoes contaminated with the bacteria Salmonella . As 2015 came to an end, more than 350 people had become sick at Chipotle restaurants across the country. Yet Chipotle wasn’t the only restaurant whose food made some people sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), restaurants account for 60 percent of all foodborne disease outbreaks, while 12 percent come from individual homes. I s Y our F ood S afe ? Almost every day, the news is filled with stories of E. coli , Salmonella , Listeria (another type of bacteria), or some other foodborne contaminant. In fact, given the hype such stories receive, you might wonder if any foods are safe to eat. The CDC estimates that 48 million people in the United States are sickened by foodborne diseases each year, while 128,000 are hospitalized. The CDC reports that foodborne diseases kill 3,000 people every year. While these numbers might seem high, the U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world. Less than 1 percent of every meal eaten in the United States results in sickness. That’s quite an accomplishment, considering that food can become contaminated at any time: on the farm, in processing factories, or in the distribution


What Is Food Safety?

Salmonella bacteria invade a white blood cell.

process. Food can also become contaminated in your own home if it’s not prepared correctly, or if it’s allowed to spoil. On a global scale, many people are understandably afraid that eating their next meal or drinking their next cup of water will sicken or even kill them. According to the United Nations, one child dies from drinking contaminated water every minute, while another 125,000 children under the age of five die each year because they eat tainted food. Some 550 million people are sickened with diarrheal diseases each year, resulting in 230,000 annual deaths. Many of these deaths are caused by poisoned food. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 10


Food safety

people become sick each year from eating contaminated foods, and 420,000 people across the globe die. Food contamination is not just a public health issue. It can strain a nation’s health-care system and rip apart its economy. Unsafe food creates disease and malnutrition, which impacts the youngest and eldest people in society. C ontamination 101 Most foodborne illnesses are highly infectious and toxic. They are caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemical contamination. There are many reasons why food becomes contaminated. For one thing, the germs that can make a person sick live in the intestines of healthy animals that we eat, including cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and fish. Meat and poultry can become contaminated during the slaughtering process. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by animal manure and

Foodborne illnesses can easily be transmitted via cutting boards and knives if they are not washed thoroughly after each use.


What Is Food Safety?

human sewage. Those who handle food, such as cooks, waiters, and farm workers, can infect food if they don’t wash their hands properly. Raw food products can also cross-contaminate other food. Food can also become infected when germs are transferred from one surface to another. For example, germs can migrate from an unwashed knife or cutting board used to slice chicken to a slice of bread cut by the same knife or on the same cutting board. Bacterial microbes that cause disease can also latch on to food if not properly cooked or stored, or if it is allowed to spoil.

Educational Video

Food Safety Basics

Scan this code for a video about the most important aspects of food safety.

Foodborne illnesses can be passed on by parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Parasites are living organisms that feed off other organisms. Parasites can be transmitted from animals to humans, humans to humans, or humans to animals. Parasites can range in size from single-cell organisms that can only be seen under a microscope to creatures such as tapeworms that you can literally pick up and hold in your hand. Here are several different types of parasites: • Giardia duodenalis . This is a one-celled microscopic organism that makes both animals and people sick. It is found in every region of the world and is often transferred by drinking contaminated water. A person ingesting the parasite will often develop stomach cramps, gas, nausea, and diarrhea. In the most chronic cases, weight loss can occur. • Cryptosporidium parvum . This is a single-cell, shell-shaped parasite found in food and water. It most commonly makes its home in the intensities of sheep, cows, deer, and elk. It is also found in the soil and in water sources.


Food safety

Salmonella is one type of foodborne pathogen that you can get from undercooked eggs.

• Cyclospora cayetanensis . Symptoms from this parasite include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and bloating. A person might also get a low-grade fever and become very fatigued. • Toxoplasma gondii . A person can get this parasite from eating raw or uncooked meat, pork, or lamb, or from drinking untreated water from streams and ponds. It is the third leading cause of death from foodborne illnesses. Bacteria and viruses can also make a person sick. Some of the most common include: • Salmonella . This is a variety of bacteria that causes food poisoning. Symptoms usually last up to a week. A person can get infected with

Salmonella from eating contaminated eggs, poultry, meat, and unpasteurized milk or juice. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, cramps, and vomiting.


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