A Toxic Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving picture

Americans enjoy the world’s most abundant and affordable food supply, a bounty our Puritan predecessors could hardly have imagined. While millions of families will give thanks for these products of liberty and agricultural ingenuity, there are the disgruntled among us. In the blessings we are about to receive they see danger instead, convinced that synthetic pesticides poison every aspect of our diet. In truth, however, we consume about 10,000 times more "natural’ pesticides than the man-made variety – as the following menu reveals (compliments of the American Council on Science and Health).

The far greater health risk, of course, is overindulgence. But nagging is forbidden on Thanksgiving Day. Best wishes from the Mackinac Center staff!

Thanksgiving Day Menu, with Some
Naturally Occurring Toxins Noted

Fresh Relish Tray with Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes and Celery

(aniline; caffeic acid; benzaldehyde; hydrogen peroxide; quercetin glycosides; furan derivatives; psoralens)

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Tossed Salad with Arugula and basil-Mustard Vinaigrette

(allyl isothiocyanate; caffeic acid; estragole; methyl eugenol)

Sweet Potatoes

(ethyl alcohol; furfural)

Cranberry Sauce

(furan derivatives)

Bread Stuffing with Onions, Celery, Mushrooms and Black Pepper

(acrylamide; ethyl alcohol; benzo(a)pyrene; ethyl carbamate; furan derivatives; furfural; dihydrazines; d-limonene; psoralens; quercetin glycosides; safrole)

Rolls with Butter

(acetaldehyde; benzene; ethyl alcohol; benzo(a)pyrene; ethyl carbamate; furan derivatives; furfural)

Roast Turkey

(heterocyclic amines)

Pumpkin Pie

(benzo(a)pyrene; coumarin; methyl eugenol; safrole)

Apple Pie

(acetaldehyde; caffeic acid; coumarin; estragole; ethyl alcohol; methyl eugenol; quercetin glycosides; safrole)

Fruit Tray with Apples, Grapes, Mangos, Pears and Pineapple

(acetaldehyde; benzaldehyde; caffeic acid; d-limonene; estragole; ethyl acrylate; quercetin glycosides)

Red and White Wine

(ethyl alcohol; ethyl carbamate)


(benzo(a)pyrene; benzaldehyde; benzene; benzofuran; caffeic acid; catechol; 1,2,5,6-dibenz(a) anthracene; ethyl benzene; furan; furfural; hydrogen)