Health - The Chemical Feast
As most of our readers will know, we are supportive of a Whole Foods Plant Based Vegan Diet that is sourced from organic sources as much as possible. Eating in this way is the best way to assure good health as well as being sustainable and earth friendly. The commercial food industry does not want you to eat this way. The industry focus is on the profit margin regardless of the health implications.
An article in the Guardian newspaper (14/08/22) addressed to rise in the use of ultra-processed foods (UPF) for sale in America and the UK. These food items look like any other “convenience” foods you might find in the supermarket, and they have the usual high fat, salt, and sugar ingredients with a ‘something special’ added.
The UPF’s are completely manufactured substances that give industrial food products several advantages. They are cheap to produce, guarantee longer shelf and as a bonus seem to provoke increased appetite for the products, they are used in. They show up in reconstituted meats, sausages, salty snacks, ice cream and frozen meals. In fact, any product that uses additives.
For thousands of years, these patterns continued without deviation as a result of our natural adaptation to the environment. One of the reasons our contemporary Western diet produces imbalances in our health and behaviour is because we have radically changed this pattern of eating through ignorance of its importance. Our contemporary diet is comprised of foods which have been fragmented, over-processed and artificially “enhanced” for economic reasons and without thought to the repercussions.
The thousands of man-made substances now used to colour, flavour, emulsify and preserve our food are alien to our biological history, and the motivation for their use, purely economic. Our bodies quite simply do not know how to use them. There is still a strong tendency to view the body as a machine without fully acknowledging the subtleties of human sensitivity. It is felt by many nutritionists that if there is enough of the basic constituent nutrient in the diet, that health, or at least the lack of dramatic symptoms, can be maintained. Little attention is paid to the importance of the quality of these nutrients and the way they are consumed.
Our body has evolved over millions of years and has an organic familiarity with appropriate foods taken in their natural form. This familiarity comes from millions of years of direct experience. The most dramatic changes in food quality have occurred since the end of World War 11. There has been a dramatic increase in the use of artificial additives, pesticides, herbicides, and other contaminants not previously encountered. It should come as no surprise that it is during this period that the health of human society both physically and emotionally has shown its most extreme deterioration.
Our bodies are attempting to cope as best they can with the traumas produced by radical changes in food consumption which have happened almost overnight relative to the length of time humanity has existed on the planet. By making demands on the body that it is not able to effectively meet, it is no wonder that we become ill and disoriented. We have broken faith with the planet, our past, and ourselves.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Best advice is to read labels. If there are ingredients that are not recognizable whole foods, proceed with caution. You may be surprised that even trusted “natural” and even organic food products cut corners. Cooking is one of the most important life skills. The more we prepare our own foods the better we can be assured of the best quality food. Learn to enjoy the kitchen. There are many free recipes available on our website that can give you the diversity you may desire.