It’s clear that what we eat today is much different than what our ancestors, or even our grandparents were eating. Since the last few decades, many changes are made to our food supply. The uses of numerous additives and pesticides, food irradiation and products administrated to cattle have tremendously changed our diet.
The quantity and the variety of food additives that’s found in our food today are impressive. This includes food coloring, preservatives, anti-oxygen, emulsifying agents, thickening agents, gelling agents and stabilizers. While some of them are quite safe, like vitamin C added to prevent oxidation, some others have been found to promote food allergies. But for most of them, we simply don’t know their long-term effects on human health.
Another important food pollution source is cattle breeding. The quantity of substances used for getting us meat and dairy is scary. Among them are hormones, antibiotics, tranquilizers, various medicines, and pesticides and fertilizers used in their food. This is important because even if cattle’s breeding is well regulated, it’s very difficult to make sure that the laws are correctly applied. And often, the uses of pesticides and fertilizers are higher for crops destined to feed animals. However, all those substances are ingested by the animals and transferred to us through meat and dairy products. Can you believe that animals receive 4 times more antibiotics than the human do per year? This certainly has consequences on our health!
A third thing that has changed since the time of our grandparents is the process of irradiation. While it’s not everything that is irradiated (hopefully), this technique is used since the 80s to help with food preservation. This process destroys bacteria, slow down the maturation and blocks the sprouting in potatoes and onions. However, irradiation also destroys many vitamins, transforms nitrates (safe) into dangerous nitrites, transforms the saturated fat into toxins and carcinogens and increases the free-radicals liberation.
We can’t simply believe that all those changes won’t affect us. It will affect our long-term health, and it is destroying our planet. The best way right now to prevent this is to support organic farming. It’s maybe not the absolute best yet, but it’s by far the superior to anything else at the moment.
Are you concerned with food pollution? What do you think about the actual agricultural system? What changes would you implement?