Food pollution refers to toxic chemicals or biological contaminants that are found in food or that are associated with food. These chemicals and contaminants are either not naturally present in the food or are above the natural levels.
Environmental Pollution Centers lists several causes of food pollution. Bacterial strains can contaminate vegetables through irrigation water, ground water or soil. Toxic chemicals may enter food through pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, food processing and packaging or through polluted air, water, fertilizers or soil. Food pollution affects the population by causing foodborne illnesses and contributing to or causing serious health problems, such as cancer or nervous system disorders.