You cannot determine toxogenicity or carcinogenicity of a chemical unless you know how much of the chemical is consumed. Arsenic is a deadly toxin. Yet at any given moment, there are approximately 2500000000000000 arsenic molecules in every cubic centimeter of your body. Have you been poisoned? Are you going to die? The number above is large, but the number of other molecules in your body is considerably larger. It is its concentration relative to other (harmless) substances that determines the toxicity of arsenic. What is the lethal concentration? Historically, it was found by the forensic examination of the bodies of a multitude of unfortunate victims. But more accurate measurements of the lethal concentration – of not only arsenic, but also any other toxic or carcinogenic chemical – come from animal studies. When a chemical does not produce toxicity in laboratory animals, or it produces toxicity only after the consumption of a ridiculously high dose of the chemical, the chemical is assumed safe.
However, like a true pseudoscientist, Food Babe is not concerned with quantity. If she finds the name of a chemical on a food container, and there are studies done on the chemical for toxogenicity or carcinogenicity, she goes after the food company that uses the chemical in its products. Even though Food Babe mentions some of these studies and gives references to their sources, she draws her own conclusions from them.
Since quantity doesn’t matter, let’s look around and see what else could be toxic or carcinogenic. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) divides all the known carcinogens into five groups. Group 1 lists the carcinogens that are proven to cause cancer in humans. The first entry of Group 1 is Acetaldehyde, which occurs naturally in coffee, bread, and ripe fruits, and is produced by plants. Raisin is dried ripe grape. Whether grapes are grown conventionally or organically, when they ripen, they will contain Acetaldehyde. So, in the spirit of Food Babe’s orthorexic commitment to food safety, let’s make it known to her and all her followers that they should require grape producers and farmers to
Label all industrially and organically grown ripe grapes and raisins!