By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
There are so many so called “foods” that I would never eat as a health practitioner and this goes for many others who educate themselves about how food is grown, manufactured and processed. Governments are far too lax on the control of what happens to our foods before it hits our plates. It amazes me that many food chemicals and food processes are deemed as safe when independent studies say otherwise, this should at least lift flags of caution amongst the food industry or government bodies who are supposed to regulate our food safety and protect us. It seems it is always innocent until proven guilty while it is consumed for years and it often takes a group of hard working independent concerned consumers who campaign against these manufacturers who then may succeed in it being stopped and only with mountains of evidence and support.
In my view, food should only be that and anything else should be studied extensively and independently before it’s ever allowed anywhere near us. This goes across the board for cleaning products, home care and any other contact we as an environment have with a new substance. People are commonly under the impression this is the case but sadly it is not.
If your great-great grandmother didn’t eat it, then we shouldn’t either. I remember once hearing in my student years that 80% of what is in a supermarket could not be classified as real food, they were certainly right.
Our best solution is education about the food we eat and not to purchase or consume these concerning ingredients so the companies are forced to use healthier options. Food companies unfortunately make most decisions based on profit rather thamnn what is safe for the consumer.
Genetic engineering allows genes from bacteria, viruses, animals, and other sources which are inserted into plants (and animals such as salmon & pigs these haven’t been introduced into our food supply yet) to create a genetically modified organism (GMO) that would never occur in nature.
Anyone who is concerned about good health should not be consuming genetically modified foods. It has been stated that governments see it as the GM companies’ responsibility to ensure the safety of these foods while we are left to consume these foods without adequate human studies to support their safety. We are left unaware which foods are genetically modified as they do not have to be labelled. There are many concerning animal studies that indicated the long-term health effects of these. Common sense would also tell you something that can be readily drowned in roundup and will survive will not be good for you. The best way to ensure that you are not eating GM foods is to buy food that clearly states that it is organic or it is non-GM. The top GMO worldwide foods are
Here is a Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you with your purchases.
I would also like to mention an important fact that animals in factory farms are being feed GM feeds which in turn get into animal cells which we then eat. The true consequences of GMO ingestion is seen in the 2nd and 3rd generation of rats so this is likely to be the same for us. Here are some studies listed in this article on GM foods.
2.) PRE-PACKAGED & PREPARED MEALS
I feel very concerned for people that eat these pre-packaged meals regularly. They are normally stored in containers that contain BPA & other plastic chemicals which they then heat up in the microwave or the oven, and then these chemicals leach into the food, which are known endocrine and hormone disruptors. These meals are generally a toxic processed concoction full of processed vegetable oils, MSG, additives, preservatives, colours, sugar, processed salt and processed bulking agents such as GM canola, corn and soy. These meals are normally low in nutrients and quality so the other ingredients are added to increase the taste artificially. It’s so simple to make a quick easy meal, it’s just a matter of knowing how and this is what we are all about at Reboot . Here are more ideas for making homemade smoothies, juices, main meals, snack and soups .
3.) PROCESSED SALT
This is mostly sodium chloride without the other naturally occurring minerals which co-exist in nature to balance out the sodium content. My favourite is Himalayan salt due to its naturally occurring minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and other trace minerals while table salt is 98% sodium chloride and 2% chemical absorbents and sometimes iodine has been added. Table salt also contains free flowing agents such as aluminium – do you really want to eat this heavy metal?
4.) SOFT DRINKS
These are nutritionally pointless and cause great concern for the body in every way. They provide nothing positive and everything negative. It is said by many that it is the greatest concern for children and young adults and cutting just this can improve your health. They are full of processed sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and often contain preservatives and artificial colour. The high sugar content gives your blood sugar a whopping surge which then causes a hoist of inflammatory reactions and surges of insulin leaving you feeling tired, irritable, hungry, and only craving more sugar. They are also full of sodium to ensure you will be consistently thirsty ensuring you drink more. Soft drinks have been directly linked to obesity, diabetes type 2 and fatty liver disease.
It is so easy to make a nice refreshing drink – here are some great ideas – Enhance the taste of your water! My favourite is sparkling water with freshly squeezed lemon, lime and maybe some grapefruit or orange, if you want you can also add a pinch of stevia.
5.) THE DIRTY DOZEN
I’m not saying that I avoid these 100% of the time but I certainly work towards this and source these fruits and vegetables organic where I can. Pesticide residue in foods is a health concern because once again we really do not know the long-term effects of these chemicals. These foods are rated yearly to let us know what fruits and vegetables contain the most pesticide residue. Here is more on choosing organic and a list of the dirty dozen by the Environmental working group great list to use: http://www.ewg.org/.
I would also like to mention other things that I deem as unfit for good health are MSG, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, inflammatory oils such as margarine and other hydrogenated fats, over cooked charred meats, E preservatives, additives and artificial colours.