When I think of the words “food crisis,” I picture starving children in third world countries where food production cannot keep up with population growth. I’m aware of hunger here too, but what I’m addressing in this post is not a lack of food. What I perceive as the “crisis” here is the increase in chemicals and unnatural processes that are causing an onslaught of health problems in our citizens. Did you know that one in 110 children in this country have some form of autism? Three to five percent of our children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems. What are the causes of these diseases? Consider this. Wendy’s has recently changed its french fries to a new version that uses “natural sea salt.” Sounds healthy, right? The new fries contain more sodium, a medium size fry goes from 350 milligrams of the older recipe to 500 milligrams, and the calories jumps to 420. The kicker. They are cooked in oil treated with dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicone-based chemical that prevents vegetable oil from foaming. (The other chains use it too.) The fries are also sprayed with sodium acid pyrophosphate, a chemical that prevents the fries from turning brown when fried at the factory and then again at the store. Next is the dusting with dextrose, a corn sugar. What happened to a french fry being a potato fried in oil, plain and simple? Convenience?
Then there’s our meat. Many commercially bred animals are fed feed that contains by-products that are not naturally part of their diets. Remember mad cow disease? Cows are herbivores, not meat eaters! According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, “animal feed legally can contain rendered road kill, dead horses, and euthanized cats and dogs.” They can be fed the carcasses of others of their own species, not to mention animal waste. Animals are also given hormones to make them produce more milk or have larger breasts and on and on. The European Union’s Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures Relating to Public Health states that “the use of six natural and artificial growth hormones in beef production poses a potential risk to human health.” We’re eating this!
On top of chemicals and additives, food allergies pose significant health problems too. Gluten and milk product allergies are on the rise. The number of children with food allergies went up 18 percent from 1997 to 2007, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, the CDC reported about 3 million children younger than 18 had a food or digestive allergy. Have you thought about the fact that humans are the only mammals that consume the milk of another species, many from day one of their lives? “Got milk?” Maybe you shouldn’t.
As a diabetic, I am constantly searching for ways to improve my diet and hopefully my health. I am in the process of going gluten free and in my quest, I unearthed all of these disturbing facts, which just scratch the surface.This topic is too comprehensive and probably too heavy for Mamma Mia’s guest post, but I hope that this information makes you think about those fries and the other foods we are consuming. “We ARE what we eat.”
My favorite gluten free food blog: http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/
Some info about the hormones in our food: http://www.sustainabletable.org/issues/hormones/
Disturbing information about what’s allowed in our animal feed: http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/impacts_industrial_agriculture/they-eat-what-the-reality-of.html