Holiday foods and natural carcinogens

I always enjoy the Thanksgiving Holiday Dinner Menu from the American Council on Science and Health. It lists the natural carcinogens and toxins that exist in just about every food we’ll eat on Thanksgiving — and throughout the year — but notes that none of those cause human health problems at those levels.

As ACSH points out:

ACSH’s Holiday Dinner Menu highlights the chemicals — and the carcinogens — that Mother Nature herself has put in our food. These natural carcinogens, like synthetic chemicals, have been shown to cause cancer only in very high doses, given over a lifetime to lab animals. They are present in such small amounts in our foods that they do not endanger consumers.

Here are some examples of the foods and the naturally occurring carcinogens:

– heterocyclic amines, acrylamide, benzo(a)pyrene, ethyl carbamate, dihydrazines, d-limonene, safrole, and quercetin glycosides (roast turkey with stuffing)

– furfural, ethyl alcohol, allyl isothiocyanate (broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes)

– coumarin, methyl eugenol, acetaldehyde, estragole, and safrole (apple and pumpkin pies)

– ethyl alcohol with ethyl carbamate (red and white wines)