Our modern era is deeply rooted in a consumerism culture that appears to demand instant gratification. We seem to have lost our way and common sense when it comes to this -and not without a price.
If we observe the state of health in many countries, not just South Africa, we see that there is a growing burden of lifestyle diseases: obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions which are precursor states to conditions like cancer.
Many are unaware that farming practices have changed and the uses of pesticides, artificial growth hormones (both of which act as endocrine disruptors) and other harmful additives and chemicals have a seriously negative impact on our health. Much of our food supply has been contaminated with these chemicals, hidden sugars, high fructose corn syrup, gluten, trans-saturated fats, high levels of sodium and other compounds. How frequently do consumers of these foods actually look at the label and assess what it is that they are putting into their bodies?
I do not believe that the prevalence of these diseases is unrelated to the quality of our food. Many are eating diets high in refined grains, carbonated sodas, sugar and colourants, that overtime start to affect the immune system and the capacity of the body to fend off disease and maintain homeostasis.
A further complication to the state of our food is the current worldwide debate over genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). There is much conflicting information around GMO’s and their potential implication on human health. It is a fact however, that no long term studies on safety profiles of GMO’s have been conducted and as such even though GMO’s are widespread in Africa and USA, it is very much in an experimental phase. GMOs have been banned in many countries throughout Europe and South America. Despite this, in South Africa, GMO grains, oil derivatives, vegetables, soya and other products are being added to most commercially available foods.
Dr Jane Goodall has done much in the way of speaking out about her concerns and the potential harmful results that this kind of experimentation might have.
Please visit the following links for more information on GMO’s and the worldwide concern:
What can we do to be more conscious and aware of the food we are eating?
1. Read the label of the food: if there are numerous compounds, preservatives, sugars and alpha-numeric coded ingredients (additives), it is best to realise that these compounds have no nutritional value whatsoever and will likely contribute to a state of disease as a result of daily long term consumption.
2. Try grow or purchase Organic food as far as possible. There are organic outlets throughout Johannesburg in which healthier grain options, non GMO products, vegetables and hormone/antibiotic free milk can be purchased.
If our food is not medicine, then it is our poison. Prevention is better than cure.