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Saturday, 2 April 2011

How healthy is our food?

Our daily diet is important and we depend on our food for our energy, nutrition and health Much of the food we eat is commercially produced in soils that have been seriously depleted of minerals and nutrients because of continuous farming without crop rotation and because of a total dependence on chemical fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides to grow produce. 

There can be a significant difference between commercially grown and organically grown fruit, vegetables and herbs. Many studies have shown that organically grown foods are richer in minerals than commercially grown produce. Most non-organic products have up to 85% less content of magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and copper than food grown organically.

When soil is made healthy using organic growing methods, plants become healthier and more pest-resistant and our food is richer in the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. We may be eating our recommended five a day of fruits and vegetables but if they are not grown organically, or if they have been irradiated, our bodies are not receiving vital nutrients needed. 

Food Processing further robs our food of its nutritional value. The following food preparation methods are listed in order from best to worst. The best way to eat food is raw; followed by juicing; self preserved organic food  by drying or freezing; steaming food leads to a loss of 10% to 35% nutritional value; cooking can reduce the foods nutritional value by between 30% and 100% depending on the method used (boiling vegetables in water can reduce food value significantly); microwaving can destroy nutrients; canned foods; deep fried and lastly processed food which have numerous chemical additives, flavourings and preservatives.

The food industry process food so that it can be sold to consumers at the highest profit.  In a world where our food is largely controlled by large multinationals, we have been conditioned by large advertising budgets to expect food that is conveniently packaged, easy and quick to prepare, has a long shelf life, and tastes good. But are we damaging our health by choosing food that is grown in soil lacking in nutrients and then processed to further reduce its nutritional value. For example, refined white flour contains only 2-3 nutrients, compared to more than 50 in whole-wheat organic flour. 

Grow as much of your own organic food as you can, buy as much organic produce as you can afford, avoid genetically modified food and avoid processed foods by cooking from basic ingredients and using fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.

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