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Contaminants in meat, milk, eggs and other animal foods

17 contaminants in meat, eggs and dairy products that everyone should know about

Would you like to know which harmful substances are in meat, eggs and dairy products? Then you've come to the right place! The industry has done an incredible job of marketing: Meat contains iron and makes you strong, eggs give us protein and milk is an important source of calcium. It would be bad if eating animal-based foods didn't have some good side. But those responsible are extremely reluctant to talk about the unhealthy and questionable ingredients.

In this article, I would therefore like to introduce you to the ingredients of animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy products that you should definitely know before you go to the supermarket next time.

In advance you will find here a short Overview about the article:

  1. Antibiotics
  2. Antidepressants
  3. Feces
  4. Pus
  5. Blood
  6. Anti-inflammatories
  7. Pesticides & Herbicides
  8. Hormones
  9. Cholesterol
  10. Trans fats
  11. Germs
  12. Preservatives
  13. Saturated fatty acids
  14. Beta-blocker
  15. Animal proteins
  16. Heavy metals
  17. Dioxin

Notice: This article does not replace medical advice, but merely provides information about questionable ingredients and residues in animal foods.

17 contaminants in animal foods that make you think

Let's not get the wrong idea: residues of concern have also been detected in plant-based foods. However, the Swiss Federal Office has found that around 92 percent of all ingredients in animal foods that are harmful to health are found in.₁ These include not only substances that are occasionally found in meat, milk and eggs, but also those that are always and exclusively found in them.

We cannot see these toxins. This is why we tend to gullibly underestimate the short and long-term danger they pose. And this is precisely why it is important to deal with them. Here I present to you 17 harmful substances in meat & co. that have prompted me to stop eating animal products for health reasons.

1. antibiotics

50 percent of antibiotics in Germany are used for livestock.₂ Around 735 tons of antibiotics are fed to animals in factory farming, which we later eat. It is therefore not particularly surprising that an exemplary Investigation in Bavarian trade drug residues were detected in every second sample of beef.

2. antidepressants

Being separated from their offspring is extremely hard for mother cows to bear. But all other animals in the Factory farming suffer from extreme, mental stress. That is why they are given antidepressants. The residues can then be detected in meat, milk, cheese and eggs.

However, the active ingredients do not only enter the body cells of the animals via oral administration. Also for fish from rivers and lakes traces of the antidepressants have already been detected because the waste from factory farming gets into the groundwater or is flushed directly into the water.₃

3. feces

For every liter of cow's milk, there are about 3 liters of Slurry.₄ So it's no wonder that other harmful substances in animal products include excrement! Even though it is fortunately largely filtered out mechanically, you can still find in every liter of milk also traces from him. Pretty disgusting, don't you think?

4. pus

Inflamed udders lead to pus in the milk

Cows are high-performance machines these days! Accordingly, there are also frequent Inflammation of their udders. This is also the reason why not a single liter of cow's milk is free of pus cells.

5. blood

If faeces and pus are among the harmful substances in dairy products, then it comes as no great surprise that animal blood also fits seamlessly into this list. A list of questionable ingredients that are by following a plant-based diet let

6. antiphlogistics

Harmful substances in meat and other animal foods also include Anti-inflammatory preparationswhich are mainly used to alleviate respiratory diseases and fever in factory farming. These anti-inflammatory drugs are occasionally detected in meat products.₅


Nowadays, plant protection products are used in agriculture to protect food from pests and diseases before and after the harvest. However, these are not only essential for the species extinction responsible - their residues also accumulate in animal foods on. This is because cows, pigs, chickens and other animals eat feed contaminated with pesticides and herbicides.₆

8. hormones

The use of hormones is not permitted in European animal breeding. Depending on the legal situation, such preparations can be used in the global production of meat, milk, eggs or cheese, which are then exported to Germany. If this is the case, natural hormones are usually used. Sex hormones and steroids used to improve the feed conversion of the animals and make the production process more efficient. Residues in meat and dairy products have already been detected on several occasions. Incidentally, here too not only through direct administration, but also through Residues in water bodies and groundwater.₇

9. cholesterol

Cholesterol is only found in meat, eggs and dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. They are the reason why doctors often advise people to lower their cholesterol levels. Cholesterol This is because it can be increasingly formed from the blood in the vascular walls of our Arteries and clog them up. However, real carnivores, such as lions, do not suffer from clogged arteries. Another indication that we Humans not carnivores are.₈

Our body produces cholesterol itself. That's quite enough! If we take it in from outside, it is automatically bad for us.

10. trans fats

Trans fats are produced during the industrial hardening of oils and the heating and frying of unsaturated fatty acids. They influence the Blood values and the cholesterol level more negatively than any other fat₉ - but Germany has not yet set any limits for the amount of trans fats in food. They are mainly found in industrial finished products, such as Frozen chicken and fish filletsbut in also Croissants before. By the way, removing trans fats from your diet is good advice if you want to reduce your Minimize the risk of heart disease want.

11. bacteria & viruses

Bacteria and viruses in meat, milk and eggs

Want to learn about other contaminants in meat, milk, eggs and other animal foods? No problem. Continue with Pathogens and germs. Bacteria find very good conditions for multiplying in raw foods such as meat and eggs. The problem is that you usually can't tell if the food is contaminated. Only when they are contaminated with toxins does this become apparent when you vomit or have diarrhea shortly after a meal. Salmonella, E.coli, Campylobacter or Listeria are certainly among the best-known bacteria in animal products.₁₀

12. preservatives

Not all preservatives in food are bad - but some are concerning. Sodium nitrite is used, for example, to preserve cured bacon or goose liver pâté. Such nitrites can cause poisoning in our bodies and hinder oxygen transport in the blood.₁₁

13. saturated fatty acids

Saturated fatty acids are mostly found in animal-based foods such as sausage, cheese, butter and cream. They slow down our metabolism as they accumulate on the cell membranes. In addition, they often lead to higher inflammation levels and thus promote, for example, the Risk of high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels and Heart attacks. If you are eat a vegan dietyou can automatically eliminate about 95 percent of the saturated fat in your diet!₁₂

14. beta blocker

In the brutal dairy industry and generally in factory farming, animals are also Antihypertensive administered. Residues end up in groundwater and bodies of water, which is why they can be detected in foods such as fish.₁₃

When a doctor prescribes beta-receptor blockers to a patient, it is usually to lower their blood pressure or heart rate. They are intended for patients suffering from chronic heart failure or coronary heart disease.₁₄ If you are perfectly healthy, you should of course avoid these medications. And even more so if you suffer from conditions like asthma or slowed heart rate.

15. animal proteins

An increasing number of studies suggest that animal proteins with a increased risk of cardiovascular disease ₁₅ Large amounts of animal proteins, for example, lead to calcium loss.₁₆ The intake of animal proteins makes our blood more acidic. Our body has to neutralize it with phosphate, which is why our bones are attacked.₁₇ However, this is not the case with plant proteins.

16. heavy metals

Yes, also heavy metals like Mercury, lead and Cadmium are regularly detected in meat and especially marine products (e.g. mussels, fish, shrimp or squid). In some cases, the levels are even above the maximum values.₁₈ The metals enter the environment and the cells of animals through the natural leaching of rocks, but especially through human industrial activity. The toxic mercury in particular can lead to nerve damage in humans. Exposure to the heavy metal can be particularly dangerous for babies and small children.₁₉

17. dioxin

The pollutants in animal foods are joined by dioxins, which, even in small amounts, are considered to be carcinogenic and highly toxic are. They accumulate in human fatty tissue and therefore also pose a long-term risk to our own health.₂₀ We ingest between 90 and 95 percent of dioxins through our food. Through the metabolism of chickens, for example, it quickly passes from the feed into the eggs. It also accumulates in the meat of factory-farmed animals, but not quite as quickly. The toxic dioxin has a half-life of around seven years in human body fat - and therefore only breaks down very slowly.₂₁

Specifically avoid pollutants in meat & co, stay healthy and leave the animals in peace

Meat and milk contain many pollutants

Of course, smoking, excessive stress and other things can also make you ill. But since we can decide what we eat about three times a day, diet probably plays the biggest role in our health. Today you have learned about harmful substances in meat, milk, cheese, eggs and other animal foods. I hope that I have provoke reflection could.

It is not only the Suffering of the animalswhich is completely superfluous. In my opinion, it is also simply disgusting to find out what ingredients are in our food. By switching to a balanced diet, plant-based diet you are very likely to do without all these toxins.

Do you have questions or can you think of other harmful substances of concern that are found in animal products? Then just write me a comment.

Stay healthy,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Learn now, why i live vegan. So much in advance: my health is only one of three main reasons. Have fun!


₁ A. Azzouz, B. Jurado-Sánchez, B. Souhail, et al. (2011): Simultaneous Determination of 20 Pharmacologically Active Substances in Cow's Milk, Goat's Milk, and Human Breast Milk by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, [29.04.2021].

₂ Dinge erklärt - Kurzgesagt: Fleisch - Das leckerste Übel der Welt, YouTube, 24.01.2019, Web, 29.04.2021 at 10:21, in:

₃ University at Buffalo (2017): Antidepressants now in fish, [29.04.2021].

₄ PETA Germany e.V.: (2018): Liquid manure pollutes drinking water and increases water costs (as of February 2018), available at [29.04.2021].

₅ H. Tardel: Information on residue analysis, [29.04.2021].

₆ Thomas Göllner; Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety: Residues of plant protection products in food of animal origin (as of 07.08.2019),

₇ R-Biopharm AG: Hormones and anabolic steroids, [29.04.2021].

₈ Monks - Ärzte im Netz GmbH: High cholesterol levels lead to arteriosclerosis: [29.04.2021].

₉ A. Goesch: These foods contain dangerous trans fats (as of 18.11.2018),

₁₀ German Medical Association and National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians: Medical experts warn of pathogens in beef and dairy products (as of 26.02.2019), [29.04.2021].

₁₁ J. Menner: Preservatives: These are questionable (as of: 26.05.2019), [29.04.2021].

₁₂,₁₇ Gary Yourofsky: Gary Yourofsky - The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear, YouTube, 06.02.2015, Web, 29.04.2021 at 10:58, in:

₁₃ Federal Environment Agency: Active pharmaceutical ingredients in the environment (as of 09.11.2020), [29.04.2021].

₁₄ T. Eschenhagen (2019): Beta-blockers: effects, side effects and interactions, [29.04.2021].

₁₅ M. Tertilt: Is animal protein really better? (as of 04.11.2019), [29.04.2021].

₁₆ Elisabeth Warzecha; Die Gesellschaft für Ernährungsmedizin und Diätetik e.V (2006): Osteoporosis - The view of nutritional counseling, [29.04.2021].

₁₈ Nds. State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety: Heavy metals in fish and fishery products, [29.04.2021].

₁₉ PETA Deutschland e.V.: Microplastics, mercury and worms: This is how unhealthy fish is (as of 14.04.2021), [29.04.2021].

₂₀ State of Berlin; kra/dpa: Dioxin - What is it and why is it so dangerous? (as of 20.07.2012), [29.04.2021].

₂₁ Federal Environment Agency: Dioxins (as at: 31.08.2017), [29.04.2021].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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