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It’s time to consider cutting McDonald’s french fries out of your diet for good. Between the quality of the product and their method of production, not to mention the ethical issue of supporting a company like McDonald’s, it hardly seems like a difficult decision. And now, Michael Pollan offers even more reasons to avoid this harmful food.

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Michael Pollan is an author, activist, journalist, and professor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism whose research focuses mainly on the industrial food chain. He emphasizes how cooking is one of the simplest and most important steps people can take toward improving their family’s health, and argues that it can help us to build communities, fix our broken food system, and perhaps most importantly, break our growing dependence on corporations.

(You can find out more about him and his work by clicking here.)

In the video below, he reveals how McDonald’s insists on using Russet Burbank Potatoes, a potato in America that is unusually difficult to grow and requires a long time to do so. He also shares how they further insist that their potatoes have no blemishes at all, which is difficult to achieve because these potatoes commonly suffer from what is referred to as Net Necrosis, which causes unwanted spots and lines on the potatoes.

If the potatoes for sale have these markings, McDonald’s won’t buy them, and the only way to eliminate this problem is through the use of a pesticide called methamidophos (Monitor) “that is so toxic that the farmers who grow these potatoes in Idaho won’t venture outside and into their fields for five days after they spray.”

When McDonald’s is ready to harvest their potatoes, they have to put them in giant atmospheric-controlled sheds the size of football stadiums, because they are inedible when first picked. They “have to off gas all the chemicals in them,” which takes six weeks.

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I’ll let you watch the video for more information. You should have a hard time eating McDonald’s after this, but that’s not a bad thing.

Cancer rates continue to rise, and study after study continues to surface every year showing how pesticides, GMOs, and a number of other things that surround us on a daily basis are indeed harmful to human health. It’s time for us to wake up and fully acknowledge these dangers. It’s time to make better choices in our lives, and to start recognizing the connections between our environment and our health.

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