Step away from the grill!
A study from the Cornucopia Institute found that most non-organic veggie burgers contain hexane, a pollutant and neurotoxin also found in gasoline.
Now, I’m not saying you should run back to red meat burgers — they still have enough saturated fat and cholesterol to taint any backyard barbeque with the stench of an oncoming heart attack. Not to mention there’s the risk of E. coli or salmonella contamination, and, oh yeah, a nice dose of ammonia.
The hexane was found in non-organic soy burgers whose fat is (cheaply) reduced by submerging the soybeans in hexane to separate the protein and oil. And the list of these burgers is long. After all, 85 percent of soybeans are genetically modified. And grain producers were responsible for two-thirds of hexane emissions in 2007. You do the math.
Hexane can be a significant health risk: factory workers exposed to the toxin can develop skin and nervous system disorders. And yet, the FDA doesn’t regulate hexane levels in foods.
In addition, a study in Russia just found that consuming genetically modified soy was linked to sterility and infant mortality in hamsters.
Luckily, there are a number of healthy, hexane-free burgers to grill this summer, including Boca Burgers “Made with organic soy,” Morningstar “Made with organic,” and Wildwood. Check labels though, because although “organic” products don’t contain hexane, those “with organic ingredients” might. These organic soy burgers deliver the (hexane-free) benefits of soy protein: they’re generally low in fat, calories and cholesterol, and contain phytoestrogens, which, despite getting a bad rap for being [plant] estrogens, are associated with a reduced risk of cancers like prostate, colon and breast, as well as improved bone health. Evidence is also emerging that phytoestrogens “play a beneficial role in obesity and diabetes.”
Happy organic, toxin-free grilling! And to prevent this party foul of a toxin from ruining your barbeque again, sign this petition asking the FDA to regulate hexane in foods.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may
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