Some additives are said to enhance the nutritive value of the food. More information about what is safe and what is unsafe is available here http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm
Over 86,000 man made chemicals are now found in our environment, the number of synthetic chemicals has grown exponentially in 100 years. There were a little over 100 at the beginning of the 1900's. Our bodies are truly amazing that we maintain our health as well as we do, given the number of synthetic substances that our bodies process. Here's a report by the CDC on the measurements of 212 of these chemicals in human blood or urine
Many of the synthetic chemicals are hazardous to human health. One of the ways our bodies cope with toxic chemicals is to sequester them within fat cells. Chemical toxicity is said to be one of the components of the obesity epidemic. Obesity itself is associated with a burgeoning disease rate in the population. More worrying still is that up to 232 toxic chemicals have been detected in newborn cord blood (please see link below for report on umbilical cord blood report)
Even 'healthy' processed foods are suspect. Bonsoy, a popular soy milk drink was recalled in late December 2009 because of unsafe levels of iodine which caused illness in a cluster of people in NSW. Although iodine is necessary for optimal health, too much or too little is dangerous. Ironically , the Australian government was concerned with the drop in the use of iodised salt and has recently legislated for bread makers to add iodine to bread! Only organic bread is exempt.
What can we do to minimise the effects of these synthetic and natural chemicals?
For a start, eliminate and avoid the synthetic ones and ensure the right intake of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. To do so makes sense from a biological and ecological perspective.
Some suggestions include:
1. If you smoke, stop!
2. Drink lots of purified water - get a good purifier one that also removes 'bugs' - if you want to know a good one, contact me for a recommendation
3. Avoid processed food
4. take high quality, natural, organic supplements, including Omega 3's and antioxidants. Contact me if you want the best brand
5. Eat whole foods - buy locally grown
6. Avoid out of season whole foods - transportation involves time and chemical preservatives
7. Eat fresh foods - lots of salads
8. When you cook, cook slowly - avoid microwaves - keep veges crisp - do not use bicarb to keep greens 'green' - cook for a short time only
9. Reduce calories
10. Reduce salt intake
11. Reduce sugar intake
12. Drink green tea - antioxidant
13. Avoid transfats
14. Reduce your dependence on plastics of all kinds - bisphenol A is proving to be a real menace
15. Reduce pesticide use - go for the natural ways as much as possible
16. Grow your own veges and companion plant them
Companion planting guide
17. When you grow your own veges, use natural fertilisers, not chemicals.
18. Don't use talcum powder - irritates mucous membranes and is associated with lung and ovarian cancer
19. Don't burn incense - the smoke is an irritant, as menacing as tobacco smoke
20. Get regular, brisk exercise every day for at least 30 minutes - helps the lymph system move toxins along and out - along with all the other benefits of walking