Are you safe eating natural foods?
Are “Health Foods” really free of chemicals?
At present, we are living a “processed” life. Everything we do, eat, wear, think is in some way processed.
One of the most highly processed things in our lives is food.
And there are intense debates on this issue.
One of the issues here is how processed food has damaged our body and mind.
Obesity, diabetes, heart failures, laziness, mental discapacities, congenital conditions, senility, and many other health conditions are attributed to what we eat.
Processed food manufacturers invest millions of dollars convincing us that we should eat their products. They present research results that proof that their products aren’t damaging.
In the USA, they use the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) as a proof of their statements.
But how reliable are the people in the FDA? If some of them have interests with those corporations.
On the other side we have the organic food manufacturers. They too invest millions of dollars promoting their “healthy food” products.
The problem with natural products is costs.
That’s the magical word: “natural”.
They say that processed foods are chemically treated. And that chemicals are harmful to the body.
Well, they have to process natural foods without those chemicals. Most of those chemicals are preservatives. They make products last longer, easing transportation to faraway places.
Natural food producers try to use other non harmful ways to transport their products, but it costs more to do this. This makes natural products expensive and less people buy them, even if they are healthier. Less sales, production costs more.
At present time, people are more conscious about their health and are turning to natural products, this will make these products more price accessible.
What we in reality have to watch out are what chemicals we are letting in our bodies and systems. Because our bodies and organs do need all kinds of chemicals: water, air, vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. We get our needed chemicals through eating, and others through absorption, like the sunlight for vitamin D.
Basically, we need to take care of what we eat. Organic proponents consider that all natural products are safe since they don’t have chemicals. In reality, they should make clear that what they mean is that natural products don’t have “harmful” chemicals.
And we have to be very careful of what natural chemicals we consume. Even if they are safe for consuming. For example, iron is a metal that our body needs, hemoglobin, but in excess it is a poison.
And we need some combinations of nutrients, vitamins and minerals for them to benefit our bodies. For example: we need Vitamin D to process Vitamin A, and we need Vitamin A to process Calcium. That’s why milk is fortified with Vitamins A and D.
And excess of Vitamin A is toxic to our bodies. And our bodies expels excessive Vitamin C. That means that we shouldn’t take more than a 100 % of Vitamin A, because it would damage our bodies, and we shouldn’t take more than a 100 % of Vitamin C, because it would be a waste, our bodies gets rid of the excess.
The best thing is to visit a physician, and through laboratory tests, reach a diagnose if we need any chemicals. Probably, our body isn’t getting enough of some kind of Vitamin or has some kind of metal or mineral deficiency. Let a medical doctor help you determine that. Don’t auto medicate yourself or another person or animal. You might be doing more damage than good.
I would recommend a physician that has training in both areas: traditional medicine and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine is that area of medicine that studies natural medicines, treatments and procedures.
Remember: chemicals are chemicals no matter how you get to them: natural or artificially. And chemicals, even natural ones, can have adverse reactions in your body or when mixed with other chemicals, even natural ones.
For example, most weight reduction formulas produce tachycardia, even natural remedies. I hear many sellers of these products assuring you, that since their products are natural you don’t have to worry about side effects. That they themselves are using it. Well many people drink alcohol in excess, does that make it safe if they tell you that you can drink alcohol because they drink it?
One great problem that food producers have is on how they will get it to the hands of consumers, especially in the big cities, from the farms that harvest them.
Usually, what is done is that these products, meat, fruits, and vegetables, are commercially treated to resist pests, freezing, hard weather, transportation, longevity, long shelve life, handling, avoiding spoiling, and avoid to rotten, keep tastes, resist plagues, look fresh, presentable, ripen (specially bananas and tomatoes), preservation and conservation (some are waxed). All these processes require the use of some kind of human made chemical. And these chemicals are what “organic food producers” argue that are not fit for human consumption.
Although the FDA have authorized their use, it doesn’t mean that they won’t have an accumulative damaging effect in human and animal beings.
When here we can add the transgenic crops, genetically engineered seeds and plants to be high volume producers, plague resistant, profitable. The famous GMO’s: genetically modified organisms: plants and animals.
Most people when talking about “natural” products think in terms of vegetarians, or health food fads, fresh or non-chemically produced organic fruit and vegetables. But, animals are included in the natural foods issues, too.
In relation to animals we have to be aware how the animal was produced, fed, raised and slaughtered. It is not the same a cow’s milk fed from chemically processed animal food, and the milk from a cow that was from a grass-fed farm. And that that grass hasn’t been treated with residual chemicals. The same goes for the meat. Is the meat in your table processed with hormones, animals in a wide open farm or from a limited animal movement barn. Eggs are in the same boat. Eat eggs produced from naturally fed hens. These naturally produced foods, vegetables and meats, cost more, but they are worth their price in health gaining and maintaining.
Supposedly, animals raised for fast food chains are highly chemically and movement restricted. You are raising a meat mass not an animal.
Fruits and vegetables that are imported for supermarkets have to be intensively chemically treated to avoid perishing of them.
That’s why the one great obstacle that health food, organic, and natural food producers have is costs!
It is intensively expensive to produce healthy foods.
Since it is tried not to use human produced chemicals, preservation of these foods is very limited. It must reach its consumer market fast. Special care must be taken in the process from the picking the fruit or vegetable from the plant up to delivering it to the final consumer.
Transportation, conservation, keeping it fresh, avoiding plagues, producing it healthy and tasteful, etc. All these processes are very expensive.
This makes the prices of health foods to be sometime out of the reach of many people. Many people would have less illnesses or even none using these products, but they can’t afford them. Medicines are covered with many health insurance companies, and most old age people have Social Security Medicare and Medicaid, that cover the medicines and treatments they have to go through because of the processed foods they have to eat because they are cheaper than the healthier versions, which are not covered by any health insurance plan.
Back to our initial two questions:
Are you safe eating natural foods? Yes, you are.
Are health foods really free of chemicals? No, they aren’t. They are chemicals themselves.
What you have to keep in mine is that being “natural” necessarily mean chemicals “safe” to consume.
And if you are thinking or considering on using a natural product for the treatment of any health condition, you should first visit your health care professional. If the physician has had training in alternative or natural medicine, the better.
Don’t self-treat yourself, you can be doing more harm to yourself or to a loved one. Only a laboratory test can inform if you have any kind of vitamin, mineral, protein, or other deficiency.
If you live in a city, where producing your own fruits and vegetables seem to be difficult, know that there are systems where you can produce your won even in an apartment.
Raising animals in an apartment could be more difficult if not impossible. You could have health concerns, building or city regulations prohibiting it.
There are many controversies against and pro the issues presented here. But you can decide based on your inner feelings. The nearest we can get to nature, the most healthier has to be the product.
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