We are what we eat! And processed food

We are what we eat! And processed food

Posted on 07. Aug, 2010 by in eat me, odd stuff

You are what you eat; now there is a phrase we have all heard before. The fact is we are just one big organic chemistry set on legs. You put stuff in at the top and the whole system keeps going and the waste material comes out about half way down the chemical plant.

This chemical plant/engine has been created over millions of years to operate efficiently with a defined and perfected set of chemicals. Get that right, the optimum amount and variety and it runs fine for many years. Get the amount wrong and you have problems… Too little, blindness, rickets etc… Too much, obesity etc

Occasionally, with some sets, it doesn’t like certain combinations. Imagine putting little balls of crude oil in your petrol tank. So we have nut and wheat allergies, lactose intolerance etc

OK… enough of the scene setting, from experience we know when we are allergic to something. For myself certain shellfish and pineapple bring me out in a hot sweat with an itchy rash around my neck for a few minutes. I still eat prawns and pineapple because I love the taste and the side effects last a few minutes. Others less fortunate have to avoid milk, nuts, wheat etc as they have very serious life threatening consequences if consumed. The smallest part can make the engine stutter.

Everything we consume or put into our engine has to be processed, used, eliminated or stored… good stuff in at one end of the chart… bad stuff at the other end (the bits that kill us and makes the chemical plant shut down). .. Allergies fall into the middle to bad end. So far all black, white and a little bit of grey.

But what happens to those little bits of nasties that are present in our food. Not enough to make is really, really ill and stop the engine working, but present none the less, stuff somewhere between the grey and the black. I’m taking about artificially created chemicals in processed food that our body wasn’t designed to cope with.
Most processed food contains one or more of the following:

• Artificial Colours. Derived from coal-tar derivatives to enhance the appearance of food
• Artificial Flavourings. Chemical cocktails that mimic natural flavours
• Artificial Sweeteners. Highly processed chemicals with a zero-calorie sweet taste
• Benzoate Preservatives. Chemical compounds that preserve fats and prevent them from becoming rancid, the thinking is not our health but shelf life.
• Brominated Vegetable Oil. A chemical creation used in several citric-based fruit and soft drinks to enhance flavour.
• Olestra/Olean A totally indigestible fat substitute used primarily in foods that are fried and baked, once again to preserve shelf life. (banned in the UK, but not the USA)
• Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils. An industrially created fats used mainly because it’s cheaper than most other oils.

Would any of us select any of the products above? When presented as a list probably not, but we do eat these products everyday… and our health suffers… All the above products are linked to illnesses and health problems…. and this is not a complete list by any means.

And that’s not all,

Bottled watercontains phthalate which blocks testosterone and other hormones in humans.

Things like milk… at one time we were all advised to give kids lots of fresh milk to make them big and strong. Now dairy products are considered a health hazard, contaminated with pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Thus, causing anaemia, allergies, and insulin-dependent diabetes, and leading to obesity and heart disease in later life.

Now, I can sort of understand how dairy farmers try and maximise milk production and treat cows with hormones and antibiotics to take milk production up from 10lbs of milk a cow would normally produce to an unhealthy (for the cow) 100lbs. http://www.milksucks.com/index2.asp

But what I don’t understand is how Unilever is seeking approval of a genetically modified (GM)ice-structuring protein derived from a polar fish, ocean pout, for use in making Breyer’s Ice Cream smoother and creamier…. Do I really want a GM protein in my ice cream? This is a step too far in my opinion.

Can anybody assure us, that these created products introduced into the food chain are completely 100% safe? The answer is No!

So what can you do to minimise exposure to hidden nasties?

Eat real food, buy fresh or frozen and cook proper food, where you know what you put in, so you know what you’re eating… Eat in moderation from a variety of food stuffs… Wash fruit to remove pesticides and agricultural chemicals… Drink tap water… If you are going to eat processed food read the labels (Marks & Spencer has removed all hydrogenated fats, MSG and artificial flavours from its entire food range) and be selective… etc.

A friend of mine has a ‘white’ avoidance policy… Avoiding, white bread, sugar, salt, white rice (bits removed and polished), and cow’s milk. The way he looks at it is… if you don’t buy it you can’t eat it.

You all know what is healthy and what isn’t, so be judgemental with what you feed your engine with.

OK if you feel life is not worth living without your favourite chemical ridden pizza and a can of diet coke or milk shake, by all means indulge… Life is too short not to, but be aware and don’t kid yourself that what you are eating is healthy.

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