Food is vital to maintaining good health. Yet we constantly force our bodies to run on substandard fuel. Often we are not completely at fault, we can only do the best we can, with what we have. In this article we look at what has happened to food and what we can do about it.

What's Up with Food Today?

Apart from the chemicals which are added intentionally, our food is dropping in quality at a remarkable rate. British geologist-turned-nutritionist, David Thomas undertook a study comparing food over a period of 50 years. The results are not pretty:

  • All Meats contain 41 percent less Calcium and 54% less Iron.
  • All fruits contain 27% less Zinc.
  • Carrots have 75% less Magnesium, 48% less Calcium and 46% less Iron.

And this study only measured food up to 1991!

What's Behind This Drop?

The majority of today's produce are grown in poor soil. Soil needs time to rebuild itself and unfortunately corporate farms have no time. They need the land producing in order to meet retail deadlines. So instead of the age-old practise of alternating growing fields, chemicals are now dumped into the land in order to make it fertile faster.

Farmers are caught in a vicious circle of production. They add chemical fertilisers to the soil in the hope of increasing crop growth, but ultimately this makes the crops more vulnerable to pests. So more pesticides are used, but the pesticides they use can also affect the soil and its capacity to sustain crops.

Another side effect of using artificial chemicals in fertilisers is that the fertiliser will stimulate the plant to grow, while taking up more heavy metals from the soil such as aluminium, mercury and lead, and in turn these are passed through the food chain to us.

Further adding to the drop in our food's quality is the practise of transporting food long distances, causing it to need to be sprayed with chemicals to store it for long periods, before it reaches our supermarket shelves. Add to this "Green-Harvesting", the practise of picking fruits and vegetables "green" before they have time to ripen and for the nutrients to pass from plant to fruit, and it's not surprising some modern nutritionists say that despite having lots of food, many people in the modern world are starving - for the basic nutrition that used to be in our everyday food.

What Helps?

As we learn about the toxic potential of modern foods, it becomes clear that we need a new approach to what food we put in our bodies, if we are to live a healthy, active life. Returning to good food is easier than you think, here are some simple ways:

1. Return to Real Food

In other words food that is green or grows which has not been artificially tampered with. "Is it a made in a natural plant or was it made in a chemical plant"

It must be what it promises to be and what people expect it to be - for example the brown colour of bread is real, not just a synthetic colour added to white bread.

2. Eat the Best Quality You Can Afford

Avoid junk foods (such as fast foods, sweets and sugar-laden foods). These may seem convenient and cheap now, but what about when you have to pay for the hospital bills, doctors and medication later?

This is especially valid for children who are the main consumers of this type of food, are at an increased risk of health problems and have the highest need for quality nutrition during their growing years.

3. Eat Fresh Food

Consider chucking the microwave away. (I know, I know, what would you cook for dinner?)

Getting rid of your microwave will vastly improve the quality of the food you eat, as food that has been microwaved has fewer nutrients in it, not to mention radiation is not part of a healthy diet.

4. Eat Natural

If it comes in a box, tray or jar - or if it's a colour you don't normally see in nature, think twice before putting it in your mouth. Another good test, if you can't pronounce it, don't eat.

5. Eat Variety

This may limit your exposure to one additive or chemical - safer in the event it turns out to have long term health risks.

6. Eat Seasonally

Not only is it less expensive, it will reduce your exposure to the antifungal and antibacterial chemicals commonly found in products that need a long shelf life.

7. Supplement

The quickest easiest way to ensure your family receives all the organic nutrition they need is to simply "add it in" to their existing food. Choose a supplement made from real foods; which is easy and undetectable (i.e. supplements which have no taste so they won't even notice).

Even if you are not a committed food campaigner, embracing one or two of these principals will make a dramatic difference to your food and have a profound impact on your quality of life.

Thomas, D. "Mineral depletion in foods over the period 1940 to 1991," Nutri Pract, 2001;2: 27-9.

Thomas, P. "What's in this stuff? - The essential guide to what's really in the products you buy." Rodale International Ltd. London, 2006.

Christopher Drummond is the Editor of a Natural Health Website and lives in Cape Town, South Africa on a small holding which has its own organic fruits and vegetables, mountain water and solar power. For more simple ways to live a healthy life, visit: http://www.real-wellness.net/free-stuff/

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