By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ask Dr. Gott 11/30
Is canned food toxic?
Placeholder Image
    DEAR DR. GOTT: A friend told me that all canned food is toxic. Can you please help me with this problem? Is canned food safe to eat?
    DEAR READER: Properly canned food is not toxic. Problems may arise if the canning is contaminated: Bacteria may have entered the product and could cause disease if not eradicated. Such contamination is, fortunately, extremely rare because commercial canned goods are heated to a specific temperature once in the can to ensure that all bacteria and other contaminates are destroyed. Even most home-canned goods are placed in boiling water as a final safety precaution. You shouldn't have a problem. If you are still concerned, switch to frozen and fresh foods. The freezing process kills the bacteria that may have been present, thus making the food safe to consume. Fresh foods should be washed before cooked and eaten. Other important issues of food safety are ensuring that the preparation area is clean — especially after meats, poultry or fish has been prepared — and that all foods are cooked properly to a safe temperature to eradicate any bacteria that may have been missed during the initial wash.
    DEAR DR. GOTT: My sister was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer (stage 2B). There had been no pain or warning signs. She does not want chemo or radiation but chooses to treat and cure this naturally with food and herbs.
    Can you provide any information on this disease, including what foods to avoid? Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated, as we're having a hard time finding out anything.
    DEAR READER: Although alternative medical therapy plays a role in treating certain health conditions, such as arthritis and constipation, it is not recognized as an appropriate treatment for cancer.
    Your sister needs to reconsider her options. Surgery may be required, as may chemotherapy and radiation. She should discuss these topics with an oncologist, who will take her step by step through the arduous commitment to therapy for cancer.
    Diet is not a factor. Your sister must obtain professional help without delay.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my newly updated Health Report "Vaginal Infections and Disorders." Other readers who would like a copy should send a long, self-addressed, stamped envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: Am I missing something? It seems to me, rather than wasting paper towels and contributing to our society's wastefulness, a man should simply have his own towel in his own bathroom on which to wipe his lips.
    DEAR READER: Maybe I'm missing something. Don't most normal men and women use cloth towels? What is the issue that concerns you? Paper towels are biodegradable and are probably less wasteful than discarding your Sunday newspaper.
Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter