Modern food just ain’t what it used to be. This statement should be read quite literally. Many of the packaged products available, should more accurately be described as ‘food-like products’, than food in the true sense, you know, the kind that provides you with valuable nutrition; the stuff of life.
As far as the body is concerned we eat food for the nutritional and informational content only. Food is the wonderful stuff that allows your body to go on living through provision of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs, fibre) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). We eat because we must. We must provide for our body in order to survive.
When you intake food, the body is expecting an abundance of valuable nutrition, mostly in the absence of toxins. Considering much modern ‘food’, we find a few deviations from the body’s expectation. We find:
- Chemical residues from ‘more efficient’ growing methods – antibiotics, herbicides, pesticides, fertilisers.
- Chemical residues from ‘food enhancement’ techniques – flavours, preservatives, colourings, texturisers, and other additives.
- Environmental toxin residues – PCBs, mercury, organochlorines, solvents.
- ‘Helpful’ genetic modifications – increased gluten content wheat, self generating insecticide properties, enhanced sweetness fruit.
- Decreased nutrient and phytonutrient content – poor growing practices, long storage time, pasteurisation.
These food modifications are not rarities, they are the default. The net health effect of these food aberrations is not insignificant. For health conscious eaters the responsibility falls back to you to get informed and make smart choices.
Eat food that you would recognise as having come from nature.
Avoid large fish (mercury bio-accumulates).
Eat organic food – especially animal products (the worst toxins are stored in fats).
Produce need not always be organic, sometimes you are paying more for no real benefit. See the EWG workgroup pesticides in produce list: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/