Part III: Preservatives, Artificial Ingredients, Salt, Sugar, & Pesticides
Food preservation has been around since before recorded history. Whether it is done by the addition of things like salt and vinegar, using fermentation, dehydration, use of heat and canning, or maintaining cooler temperatures, the fact is that food preservation and safety has always been and will always be necessary.
Once upon a time, however, salt was not so easy to come by in most parts of the world, a scarce and valuable commodity, and nearly impossible to obtain in some areas. Today it is everywhere and added to almost everything. As a result, hypertension runs rampant. Once almost unheard of, hypertension is now commonly seen even in young children.
We actually need far less salt for our bodies to function properly than the recommended maximum limit of 1500 mg per day. That limit was simply set in the hopes of preventing an over abundance of adverse health conditions.
The same can be said of sugar. Sugar is needed to facilitate fermentation and feed the bacteria or fungi involved in its process. Sugars occur naturally in many things such as fruits and vegetables. However, sugar today is mostly consumed in the form of highly processed simple sugars which have been removed from their natural sources and are being consumed in far larger quantities.
Our bodies are designed to process naturally occuring complex plant sugars better than highly processed concentrated simple sugars which have been stripped out of their natural plant sources. Like salt, it is added to almost everything including things you wouldn’t think or imagine. It is important to read labels and know what you are eating!
Today, we consume on average 66 to over 80 pounds of added highly processed sugar per person per year. As a result, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and obesity runs rampant. It was consumed heavily in the Victorian era at a whopping 4 pounds per person per year and increased reports of “bilious attacks” and liver issues began. Yet today we consume 17 to 20 times that amount!
Our bodies use carbohydrates (sugars and starch) for the majority of its energy as well as mood elevation. However, it is best if consumed from fruits and other natural “complex” carbohydrate resources — rather than from over highly processed added sugars and starches which are referred to as “simple” carbohydrates.
Furthermore, simple carbohydrates are processed so quickly by the body that they cause abnormally fast and high spikes in blood glucose (sugar) levels then lead to what is commonly referred to as a “sugar crash” (sudden drop) and can even result in hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) as well as causing excessive hunger leaving you more likely to indulge in over eating.
The sugar and food industry knows this and counts on that fact — which is why you can find sugar added to things you wouldn’t normally even expect to find it. Read your labels and know what you eating!
Even supposedly fresh meats are often injected with brine (salt water) and sugars to enhance flavor, preserve color, and extend shelf life — as well as increase weight thus profits — since meats are purchased with the cost determined by volume of weight.
A single can of soda has over twice the daily maximum recommended quantity limit of added highly processed simple sugars … recommendations which vary depending upon sex and age.
Ultimately, it would be best not to consume any added processed sugars but faced with the modern day sugar and food industry much research was and continues being done in an attempt to determine how much is too much before it actually starts adversely effecting health.
Those recommended numbers, however, only apply to healthy, well nourished, moderately active people of average size and weight. If you do not eat properly, do not exercise enough, are not of average size or weight, or have health issues then you should not consume even the those recommended limits of processed simple sugars and starch.
Today, foods are also super treated with all sorts of artificial preservatives and additives that did not even exist that long ago. As a result we lose less food to spoilage and can ship it farther distances all over the world and experience less illness from food borne disease such as botulism (food poisoning). Money is saved (and made) by being able to enhance its appearance and flavor so that people will eat lower quality ingredients — which are also less nutritious so must then also be supplemented.
A few artificial preservatives and additives have even, thus far, been shown to be perfectly (as far as science can determine) safe in any quantity.
Most additives are considered safe — if consumed within certain limited quantities — but can pose risks if consumed in larger quantities. We are told it is safe if you don’t consume more than “x” number of pounds per year and that it isn’t possible to consume such quantities. Yet, currently, we consume about 66 to over 80 pounds of sugar per year per person — which also wasn’t thought possible once upon a time.
So what happens when the food industry is putting those artificial preservatives and other artificial additives in almost everything (especially in prepackaged quick fix, kitchen time savers and other highly processed prepackaged foods) and they are being eaten more and more on a daily basis?
There are so many people that do not even know how to cook today if it isn’t out of a box with quick easy directions for use — or who feel they just don’t have the time to cook anything else from scratch. Prepackaged artificial ingredient laden products have become the new norm and are being eaten in large quantities on a daily basis.
Cancer, hormonal imbalances, obesity, metabolic disorders, inflammation, decreased concentration, poor memory, hyperactivity, depression, mental and emotional disorders, allergic reactions, and imbalanced gut biomes are all just a few examples of the potential results of consuming greater than a certain amount of artificial preservatives as well as other artificial additives.
Artificial means that is “not real” and it is not even actual food, often man-made in a chemical lab, and not naturally occurring. However, it is not really correct terminology to use the term “chemical additives” since all things are made up of chemicals and chemical compounds including our own bodies.
Read your labels! Not just the advertisements on the front of its pretty package. They may say it contains all natural ingredients, and indeed perhaps the ingredients originated from a natural food source but what did they then do to it? Many things including additives may have begun as a natural resource or came from a natural food source but has since been altered to the point that it is no longer healthy.
Many countries have already banned the use of certain artificial additives — as well as limiting the addition of salt and sugars to a certain degree. Yet, the U.S. continues using them on a massively large scale. In spite of medical advances, we lag behind most other advanced countries in disease prevention and are relying on pills (with binders, artificial colors and preservatives) to treat and control conditions that could be prevented in the first place with proper nutritional balance and exercise — and far less additive laden, high salt, overly processed simple carbohydrate, prepackaged, and fast foods.
Some artificial additives are not even fully eliminated and a little remains stored inside the tissues of the body or trapped within the liver. They continue to build up and remain trapped inside of you for prolonged, if not permanent, periods of time. Even if eliminated after a period of time, by continuously consuming it, you are ensuring that it will always be present in your body.
The same is true of pesticides and weed killers.
However, without pesticides and weed killers the food supply world wide would dwindle, food prices would soar even higher, and there would be rationing and starvation on a massive scale along with far more starvation related illness and death. This in turn would lead to far more war and crime as people become more hungry, fearful, and desperate.
On the other hand, foods can now be grown indoors in a more controlled environment, but then there is still the need for proper pollination (which requires insects like bees — a concern even for regular farmers and orchard growers now that bee populations are declining — you can’t kill the bad insects without also killing off the good ones) and many other issues involved including costs and the need for more man power since you can’t use a tractor to harvest in a hot house as you would in the field. Robots are becoming available to help with that. However, we are just not quite there yet — not enough to go full scale — with any of that.
Plus, it may not even be possible with all forms of plant life to meet certain natural growing conditions required. So what do we do in the mean time?
Again, there is no way to completely eliminate all possible dangers. Avoid what you can as often as you can. Variety in the diet is essential to preventing over exposure to harmful substances. The more varied your diet the less likely you are to be over exposed repeatedly to the same harmful contaminants and have them building up inside your body.
A few certain foods have much higher levels of such contaminants than others so there is good cause to limit their use — or whenever possible purchase those items from a reliable organically grown source.
To Be Continued…
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