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Mold, slime and other gross grocery store realities

Tuesday - 4/10/2012, 6:16am  ET

meat
A study found that half of grocery store meats contained bacteria. Many other meat products have hormones. Rodale recommends purchasing organic. (Courtesy imsa.edu)

Darci Marchese, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - If pink slime has you on the defensive while shopping, you might be surprised to learn what else lurks in your food.

Health and wellness magazine publisher Rodale has some disturbing information about other everyday grocery store foods.

A 2010 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says some beef harbors veterinary drugs, including an animal wormer linked to neurological damage in humans and an anti-inflammatory that can cause kidney damage in humans.

Seven percent of supermarket pork tested in a 2012 Iowa State University study showed that a dangerous Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA) strain lingered. MSRA is a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics.

It also says another study published in the journal "Clinical Infectious Diseases" found nearly half of U.S. supermarket meat sampled contain staph bacteria. Rodale says turkey was the worst offender, with nearly 80 percent of turkey product samples containing staph bacteria.

Proper cooking should kill the bacteria.

Rodale recommends buying organic meat from area farms and small-scale producers who don't use antibiotics.

Meat products aren't the only foods with hidden dangers.

The Food and Drug Administration legally allows up to 60 percent of canned or frozen blackberries and raspberries to contain mold. Canned fruit and vegetable juices are allowed to contain up to 15 percent.

Rodale recommends purchasing fresh fruits.

Instant oatmeal packets are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup that may be contaminated with mercury, Rodale says, recommending instant oats instead.

Outside a Giant in Accokeek, Md., WTOP spoke with shoppers who say they are cautious.

"I get very frightened about everything that's in the food, the meat," says shopper, Gerre.

She questions, "What can we eat now?"

Some shoppers tell WTOP they try to buy organic meat whenever possible but find it can get too expensive.

Shopper Paulette says she not only buys organic at a nearby farm but also grows some of her own herbs and vegetables. She says that's the only way you truly know what you are eating.

A full list of recommendations for your shopping list can be found at Rodale.com.

Rodale recommends buying these products:

  • Organic ground beef
  • Domestic shrimp
  • Items in glass bottles or BPA-free cans

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)