Friday, November 4, 2011

Do You Trust America's Food Supply?

Do you trust America's food supply? Whether your answer is yes or no, you will be surprised by some of the facts.

48 Million Americans Fall Ill Each Year Because of Food

Did you know that America puts billions of dollars into funding research for developing cures? Yet, many people continue to be affected by food related illnesses, chronic illnesses, and every day maladies. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that about forty eight million Americans suffer from food related illnesses each year. About 3,000 Americans die as a result of food-borne illnesses annually, and over 128,000 people in America are hospitalized every year as a result of food illnesses.

Many Food Related Sicknesses are not Reported

The actual statistics are probably higher, because many food related sicknesses are not reported to health departments.

9.4 Million of the Cases are Caused by Known Pathogens

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states that around 9.4 million cases of food poisoning are caused by known pathogens. And 90% of these cases are the result of seven well known pathogens: E coli, salmonella, toxoplasma, norovirus, listeria, campylobacter, and clostridium perfringens.

Norovirus is actually the most common known food-borne pathogen that leads to 5.4 million illnesses and 149 deaths every year in America. Salmonella is responsible for causing over one million illnesses and 379 deaths each year. E coli tends to receive a lot of media coverage, but is not as fatal as the other common food-borne pathogens. E coli leads to approximately 20 deaths and 176,000 sicknesses annually. Campyoblacter is responsible for around 845,024 ailments and 76 deaths every year. Surprisingly, Listeria is one of the most deadly pathogens, causing 255 deaths and 1,591 illnesses each year. This means that about 1 in 6 people who fall ill due to Listeria die, whereas 1 in 2,638 people who contract salmonella die.

Food-Borne Ailments are not the only High Risk Factor

Food-borne ailments are not the only reason you should be questioning the safety of America's food supply. Another one of the reasons, but certainly not the only one, is obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 66% of American adults at 20 years old and over are overweight (including obese). 32% of adults at 20 years old and older are obese. 17% of adolescents, from age 12 to 19, are overweight. 19% of children, from age 6 to 11 years old, are overweight.

In conclusion, considering that there are many different health problems Americans suffer, one must wonder just how safe and healthy the United State's food supply is. Food-borne illnesses and obesity are two great reasons why people should begin questioning America's food supply. With so many people falling ill or dying from food-borne sicknesses and over half of adults being overweight, one begins to wonder.

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