food – noun: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. Synonyms: nourishment, sustenance, nutriment
So, keeping that definition in mind, take a moment to be honest with yourself. How much of what you eat is actually real food? Think about it this way, before the Industrial Revolution, most people didn’t have to worry very much about what they ate because it was either grown in their own backyards or shipped into town from a nearby farm. These people then prepared it with their own hands or had a servant do it. Almost everything they ate came from their own simple kitchens, and therefore was minimally processed and fresh enough to maintain nutrition.
They were in charge of what they ate. They fully understood what they were eating, and they ate very close to nature. Because they ate real food, degenerative diseases were very rare, and even with the lack of advanced medical care these people lived about as long as we do. Like currently developing countries, most of the people who were unhealthy were the ones who didn’t have access to enough food.
In America, we’re one of the most prosperous countries in the world except in the area of health and nutrition. Degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are on the rampage, and the number of “food deserts,” places where fresh produce isn’t as readily available as packaged junk food, are all too common.
Big business controls much of our food supply. Today most of us regularly visit fast food restaurants and eat packaged, manufactured foods containing all sorts of chemical Frankenstein ingredients that our ancestors would have understood belong in a laboratory, not on your plate. Because toxic food additives are unnatural substances that the body can’t usually digest and dispose of properly, they cause an inflammation response that contributes to developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Perhaps even worse, they also cause hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances that have been linked to neurological and behavioral problems such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease.
To top it all off, many of us have no way of knowing what we’re eating when it comes from a restaurant or a package. Even if all the ingredients are listed explicitly, instead of hiding under dubious terms like “artificial flavoring,” who can understand the chemistry gobblety-gook in the ingredients listed? Well, here’s a list of four repeat offenders commonly found in what restaurants and manufacturers try to pass off as food.
- Artificial sweeteners are synthetic chemicals created by man, not nature. Even the ones that come from natural ingredients, like sucralose, are made through reacting sugar with chlorine and phosgene gas. There is significant evidence that artificial sweeteners cause neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain.
- Dimetylpolysiloxane is a kind of silicone restaurants and manufactures use to make foods and the oil in deep fryers last longer. But, it’s also used in make up, breast implants, industrial oils, and Silly Putty! Look it up. You’d be really disturbed to know how many of your favorite restaurants have this junk in their food.
- Propylene glycol is used to make polyester and deicer, as well as manufactured desserts, sauces, and salad dressings. It’s function is to absorb moisture. It causes rashes, allergic reactions, and other bad stuff. Really, though? Do we have to tell you that you don’t want to eat anti-freeze?
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (THBQ) is a form of butane, a.k.a. lighter fluid. It is a petrochemical used to preserve fats in packaged foods. THBQ has a reputation for causing digestive issues and trouble breathing in large doses. If you look, it’s in so many popular candies, cookies, crackers, and restaurant foods, it’ll make you sick.
That’s only a short list of the many chemicals in most manufactured foods, but for more information, check out the resources listed below. To avoid the consequences of processed, manufactured food, either shop at health food stores for your cookies and candy, or, even better, choose whole foods from nature instead.