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What is food if not your Medicine 


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Shouldn’t you be paying close attention to what you ingest, then?

Most of our readers are probably aware of the difference between real food and products labeled as things that someone thinks is food.

However, non-food products are closer to our fridges and dinner tables than we think, even while being careful with what we eat.

The average supermarket, which most people recognize are their only source of food, is infested with products assembled in laboratories and factories, not in kitchens.

The reason for this is that in order for giant food companies to sell their products to millions of people while making a profit, they need to add substances to the food they sell.

The addition of artificial substances is part of a process known as food engineering. This does not mean that all food engineering is bad, it only means that most of the food people eat today is engineered.

People’s bodies react differently to the ingestion of truly natural foods -those we pick with our own hands from trees or plants and that hopefully we planted ourselves- and industrialized food products that appear to be fresh and shiny due to the engineering they suffered in a food assembly line.

The question is, how close are those engineered food products from out kitchens and tables?

The answer is extremely close. So close that for most people it is hard to distinghuish between real food and industrialized, engineered food.

That is why many local, state and federal governments around the world have decided to ban the import or sale of certain industrialized products, while other have passed legislation to label processed foods that have ingredientes whose safety is still up in the air.

Banning certain products may seem as a radical measure, but this step is taken in accordance with nutritional common sense. That is, there are too many processed foods that are proven to he unhealthy for human consumption.

Labeling engineered products -although it is thought of as unnecessary by the manufacturers of GMOs and other engineered foods- actually facilitates the choice for consumers and helps them become more and better informed.

Some of the substances used for the production of engineered foods include GMOs, additives and growth promoters, which in addition with certain production practices result in products that are harmful to humans, animals and the environment.

Undoubtedly, the list of non-food products that pass as real foods is long, but let us take a look at a handful which may be surprising because most of us think of them as products that help nourish our health.

The key to determine whether a food product is good or bad is based on many different premises and considerations, but the one that is probably more rational is to decide if the food we eat makes us healthy or sick. Consumers need to ask themselves questions like the following:

  • Am I addicted to this food, or do I just eat it because it is nutritious and delicious?
  • Does it help me be fit or does it make me gain weight?
  • Will my cholesterol be ok or will it go through the roof?
  • Where was this product planted or produced?
  • How long did it travel until it got to my table?
  • What ingredientes does it contain? Are they natural or added during its production?
  • Do they last long to rot or are they foods I need to eat two or three days after i purchase it?

 

The information obtained from asking questions such as the ones above is the kind of information that the giant food companies who engineer and sell non-food products do not want consumers to ask, because the more they know about the origin of the food, the least likely people are to buy it.

Large non-food producing conglomerates want freedom to put anything they want on the labels and to be able to police themselves in regards to safety and nutrition without any intervention from food safety and nutrition watchdogs. However, they do not want people to have the freedom to choose what they want to eat based on what they can learn on the origin of those non-food products.

As governments’ around the world ease their safety and nutrition rules to large non-food corporations, billions of people are exposed to numerous toxic substances contained in the cans, bottles, packages and boxes where non-food products are sold. These substances are not only found on the product itself, but also on the boxes, packages, bottles and cans used to keep the products.

So what are the biggest offenders?

Let’s see if this short list surprises you: Salmon, and fish in general, genetically engineered products, tainted meat, popular soft and sports drinks, foods with artificial colors and dyes, chicken, bread, milk and dairy products in general.

I bet that most if not all of the products above make part of your daily diet, but you did not notice they were potentially hazardous to your health. The questions is of course, why are they dangerous?

The answer is because they contain artificial substances produced in laboratories that are added during their manufacturing to achieve different goals such as enhance flavors, change colors, textures, smells, make them live longer while conserving their freshness, etc. What is wrong with fresher products, you may ask.

The problem is the same for the other features: engineered food products are not naturally fresher. For example, without refrigeration, a banana will last 3 or 4 days before it ripes and maybe another day before it has to be made into a shake or disposed of.

Let’s look at the foods cited above and learn why they have been banned in some countries while enforcing labeling in other parts of the world.

Salmon

What? Salmon is not good for me? But it has Omega-3 and healthy fat! And you are right. Wild salmon is one of the best foods in the world. However, we cannot say the same about farmed salmon.

What? People plant salmon? Well, kind of.

Thanks to Monsanto, many people have decided to leave the soil and turn their farms into laboratories where they experiment with and / or grow salmon and other types of fish. Farmed salmon contains 50% less Omega-3 than salmon in its natural form.

Farmed salmon also contains higher levels of PCBs and dioxines, two substances that cause cancer. Farmed salmon is also used as art projects, because it is literally artificially colored to make it more attractive to shoppers. As if this was not enough of a threat to our health,, farmed salmon is also more prone to disease such as viruses, infections, anemia, piscine reovirus and many others.

For all the reasons given above is that farmed salmon has been banned in Australia, New Zealand and Russia. Health authorities in those countries have seen enough proof that the toxins contained in farmed salmon bio accumulate in humans which results in unwanted health conditions.

Genetically engineered everything

A fruit is not a fruit unless it’s a fruit, right? Just because you buy a fruit in a supermarket, it does not mean you are buying something that is healthy. Unfortunately, the folks that brought us GMO salmon, corn and soy have also entered the business of GMO fruit.

Pinneaple, Papaya, apples and other staple fruit are now contaminated with genetically engineered ingredientes which food manufacturers want us to believe are safe while denying people the right to know they are contained in their products. Ironic, right? They simply ask consumers to trust their word. That is what I call tobacco advertising, if you know what I mean.

Nowadays, something called Hawaiian Papaya has been engineered to be resistant to the ringspot virus, which in the 1990s caused great losses to papaya growers in their plantations. Surely, whoever thought of GMOs as a tool to protect papayas did it with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, the result was not only a solution to the ringspot virus, but also a franken papaya.

Additionally, papaya growers who decided to keep their natural plantations were affected by the contamination of their crops because GMO papaya seed rapidly made into natural papaya plantations. Consumption of GMO products usually result in a number of unwanted disease in humans and animals.

Those health problems include, but are not limited to intestinal damage, organ damage, tumors, birth defects, premature death and sterility. This is why the European Union has banned GMO papaya, among other engineered non-food products that contain GMO ingredientes.

 Tainted meat

We have all heard the horror stories about how poultry, cattle and other animals are commonly raised, fed and grown before they are killed and sold as food. For example, cattle injected with growth hormones, which later bio accumulates in the meat and milk. We also know that chickens are fed concetrate laden with toxins and that they are vaccinated before they are sold to supermarkets as fresh chicken. I don’t know what your definition of fresh is, but 45 days to two months does not sound fresh to me.

In addition to hormones, antibiotics and vaccines, meat is also contaminated with other substances such as ractopamine. This toxin is used as a drug given to livestock to reduce the fat content of the meat.

Laboratory tests have shown that at least 20% of ractopamine given to animals remains in the meat of pigs, chicken, turkey and cattle. Depending on where you live in the world, your meat may be coming from animals whose diets are as high as 30% ractopamine.

Why if this substance is known for being related with a reduction in reproductive function, increased mastitis, disability and death in animals as well as cardiovascular disease and hyperactivity in humans, is it still being fed to animals? Now, that is a good question! Make sure to ask your local government about it.

Today, 160 countries including Europe reject meat, pork and chicken whose feed contains ractopamine.

Soda and Sports drinks

What a better way to recover from a long run or an exhausting session of exercise than to ingest a fluorescent-looking beverage! How about a drink that contains flame retardant in it? At least you will never catch on fire, right? Wrong!

Mountain Dew, Sunkist, Powerade, Fanta, Gatorade, Fresca and Squirt are some drinks that have been found to contain a chemical known as brominated vegetable oil or BVO. This substance was patented by the chemical industry so they could use it as a flame retardant, however, today it is used in soft and sports drinks as an ingredient to gove that citrus flavor to the canned beverages we all love.

Please do not think that the drinks cited above are the only ones that contain BVO. Before you buy another soft or sports drink, make sure you check for BVO. Also, please go beyond the ingredient list on the label. Drink companies will not put BVO on the list. Just remember that if the liquid contained in the can tastes citrus, most likely it is the BVO that is making the trick and not a squeeze of lemon or orange.

BVO toxicity manifests itself in the form of skin rashes, acne, lack of appetite, arrythmias and fatigue. Continuous consumption of BVO is linked to organ damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia and hearing loss.

Long time exposure to BVO also leads to hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease and cancer, which is why Europe and Japan have banned popularly sold drinks that contain BVO.

Artificial colors and dyes in food

No one I know finds it appetizing to eat a glowing fish. I hope you don’t either. Unfortunately, food coloring and dyes are not so easy to identify in non-food products. However, that does not mean they are not present in those products.

Depending what expert you talk to, there are anywhere between 3,000 and 5,000 food additives commonly being added to non-food products. They include preservatives, colorings, flavors and other synthetic ingredients.

One of the most serious problems with tained food is that it affects all of us, but the consequences are more dire in children. Yes, there are chemicals in children food. If you think ingesting toxic chemicals is bad for a full grown human, imagine what the consequences are for a baby or a toddler whose immune system has not even developed properly.

Most temperamental or behavioural problems is kids have been associated in one way or another to chemicals contained in engineered products.

In the case of artificial colors and flavors, the European Union also seems to be ahead of all other regions in the planet. Health authorities prohibited the use of artificial dyes and colors on most processed foods and the labeling of those that still contained them.

Three of the strongest offenders in the engineered food market are macarroni & cheese, flavored crackers and Jell-O. These additives have been associated to drastic behavioral changes, birth defects, cancer and allergies or hypersensitivity in children. So you see, that kid who does not behave properly in your son’s class may not be at fault for it.

Potasium Bromate, BHA, BHT and rBGH

If you are still thirsty for more information on non-food products you are eating everyday, let me illustrate this pandemic with four more examples.

Bread is contaminated with potasium bromate. This chemical is in brominated flour. Brominated flour is what non-food producers like to call “enriched flour”. So you see, next time you read enriched with calcium, potasium, protein or anything else, please understand that the word “enriched” is analogous to contaminated.

Potasium bromate is used in commercial flour to make the dough more elastic so it can be molded into different shapes. This poison is found in bread rolls, wraps, bread crumbs and bagels, among others.

The list of health problems that are caused by potasium bromate includes kidney and nervous system damage, gastrointestinal and thyroid problems and cancer. Potasium bromate is banned in the EU, Canada and even in China.

Let;s talk about some of the friendliest-looking foods you know. Chewing gum, beer, baked potatoes, breakfast cereal, nut mixes and butter spread. These processed foods are contaminated with two very toxic substances. Let’s see if you can pronuounce them. Butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. All right! I’ll make it easier. BHA and BHT for short.

BHA is known for causing cancer. More benign problems include allergic reactions, hyperactivity and organ system toxicity. That is why Japan and the EU have banned chewing gum, beer, baked potatoes, breakfast cereal, nut mixes and butter spreads that contain both of these chemicals.

Finally, one of the most common victims of food engineering is milk. As if it is not weird enough for humans to drink cow’s milk, people who drink it are also ingesting rBGH. This synthetic ingredient in milk is the unnatural equivalent of BST, or bovine somatrotopin. BST is a hormone naturally produced in cows to increase milk production.

Unfortunately for some farmers and industrialists, natural amounts of milk are not enough and Monsanto gave them a good reason to smile. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) was introduced by Monsanto after the company successfully engineered the E. Coli bacteria and sold it as a product called Posilac.

Despite the fact that cows injected with rGBH suffer from multiple diseases, in most western countries, health agencies still allow farmers to inject it into pregnant and nursing cows. Animals who receive this particular hormonal treatment suffer from mastitis, which in turn prompts farmers to give cows antibiotics. This in addition to the pus that comes out of the cow’s udder, make up the ‘delicious’ mixture that we know as milk and that most people use in cold and hot beverages.

Since rGBH can cause colorectal, prostate and breast cancer, among other diseases, milk and dairy products made with rGBH have been banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the EU and Canada.

With so many chemicals in engineered foods out there, it is certainly a relief that many countries have decided to ban them from their list of imports. However, please don’t trust your government blindly when it comes to protecting your health and more importantly, your right to know. Bought and paid-for politicians who benefit from juicy donations from Big Agra and Big Pharma do not hesitate to find loopholes that allow industries to put toxic ingredients in their products.

Remember that it is YOUR responsibility to verify that the food that you and your family eat is free from GMOs, additives, growth promoters, flame retardant, artificial colors and flavors, BHA, BHT, rGBH, dioxines and other ingredients that are responsible for many health problems that affect humans, animals and the environment. Getting rid of toxic foods and eating only fresh produce and clean meat or chicken may seem like mission impossible, but it is not. Humans are creatures of habit and all YOU have to do is to create the habit to get informed and to eat food that makes you healthy.

Remember: Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food!

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About the author: Luis R. Miranda

Luis R. Miranda is an award-winning journalist and the founder & editor of The Real Agenda News. His career spans over 23 years in every form of news media. He writes about environmentalism, education, technology, science, health, immigration and other current affairs. Luis has worked as on-air talent, news reporter, television producer, and news writer.

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