Do you love turmeric as much as I do? I’ve found this spice to be incorporated into just about all of my food lately—I even love making a tea out of fresh turmeric root with some coconut oil added in! I just can’t help myself with that coconut oil.
With all the love for turmeric, it’s surprising to see this report from Food Safety News about six specific brands of turmeric that have been recalled for excessive lead content. Wha-what?
Before we look at the list, let’s take another look at what turmeric is and why it’s been rumored to be excellent for you!
What Is Turmeric and Why Is It So Good?
Turmeric root is part of the ginger family (indeed, they look similar when you’re shopping for them at the store, although it’s hard to mistake turmeric’s color). It’s usually used as a powder to flavor foods, but it’s also been used for some pretty powerful health benefits.
In fact, turmeric has been noted to be anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Perhaps most powerfully, it’s noted to be anti-cancer. The chemical compound curcumin, which is responsible for turmeric’s bright coloring, may help protect against cancer. You can take turmeric and receive the benefits of both turmeric and curcumin!
Turmeric has been tested in high amounts in human trials and found to be mostly safe for human consumption with no reported toxicity.
Many people have been buying turmeric supplements and turmeric powder as a result of these findings. Before you buy, though, know which brands are good because not all types of turmeric powder are safe according to this report!
These Turmeric Brands Have Lead in Them!
Food testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed that an “elevated” level of lead was present in the following six turmeric brands. The recall notice has been posted on the FDA’s website.
Here are the brands under fire for high lead content:
- Spice Select (8-ounce size)
- Best before date: 3/18/19
- UPC Number: 076114007730
- Market Pantry (.95-ounce size)
- Best before date: 05APR2019
- UPC Number: 085239211038
- Gel (15-ounce size)
There are two different kinds of this turmeric with high lead content. Although they contain the same UPC number, the expiration date is not the same.
- Best before date: 4/18/19 and 5/16/19
- UPC Number: 076114800867
- Clear Value (.75-ounce size)
- Best before date: 4/27/19
- UPC Number: 036800354920
- Lieber’s (2-ounce size)
- Best before date: 5/13/19
- UPC Number: 043427006361
- Spice Supreme (2-ounce size)
- Best before date: 5/17/19
- UPC Number: 076114364628
People who have these brands are encouraged to throw out the turmeric. If you have questions, consumers are encouraged to call 201-564-0435.
The report does not specify exactly how much lead was found in these brands of turmeric.
Why Lead Is So Dangerous
Lead is so dangerous because it can accumulate in the body and affect major organs such as the brain, kidney, and liver, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Lead is stored in certain parts of the body and can affect pregnant women (as it can cross the blood-brain barrier) and children.
No level of lead exposure is considered to be safe!
If lead is ingested, it can cause a broad range of health problems. Among these include:
- Decreased cognitive ability
- Poor sex drive
- Depression and mood changes
- Memory and concentration impairment
- Reduced reaction time
- Kidney damage
- Renal disease
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Reduced sperm count and motility
- Increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth
- And much more!
Let’s not forget that lead is also classified by the National Toxicology Program to be “reasonably anticipated to be a carcinogen” .
What Can You Do?
How can you ensure that the turmeric you buy doesn’t contain excess lead?
Here’s what to look for in a quality turmeric supplement or powder:
- First, be aware that some turmeric powders contain fillers or dyes to mimic genuine turmeric. Looking for organic turmeric with the proper labeling can help minimize or eliminate the chances that you receive a faulty powder.
- Check out the reviews. People are consumers, and the reviews can tell you a lot about a product. Know what you’re buying!
- Consider raw turmeric rather than powder or supplements. Difficult to fake a turmeric root. Plus, we all know that fresh is better than powdered!
Top Turmeric Brands
Here are some top-notch turmeric powder brands that can help you reap the benefits of turmeric powder without the dangers of additives, coloring, or lead!
- Simply Organic Ground Turmeric
- Indus Organic Turmeric Powder
- Frontier Ground Turmeric
- Organic Wise Organic Turmeric Root Powder
- Organic Veda Organic Turmeric Root Powder
Be more aware of what you buy at the supermarket. Looks for labels of certified organic to help you choose products that hold more of their original integrity. Consider turmeric root to get more curcumin into your diet. And remember—just because something’s rumored to be good for you, doesn’t mean all forms of it are!