December 26, 2015

Faster, More and Cheaper is the motto of the industrialization of food. Instead of waiting for months or years to have a chicken grown to marketable size, we want it to be done in weeks; we want tomatoes to be big, juicy and appear ever fresh; we want the cow to produce far more lean meat than it can do naturally.

Humans have invented so much chemicals and agriculture technologies that it virtually disregards the limitation of the nature of  soil, seasons and crop.

We eat food for their complex compound of nutrients. Where are those nutrients coming from? They are from the genes of the plant, the soil and the Sun. Soil is a major source of the small quantity of macro nutrients such as minerals. If the soil is lacking those nutrients, we can’t expect the plants grown on it to be rich in those nutrients. Before the agriculture revolution, land was often left to rest after some years of production, or natural fertilizers, which itself is rich in nutrients are used to enrich the land. Today, powerful chemical fertilizers are used to feed the plants. Such fertilizers and plants grown from it will not have the same amount of nutrients as those grown on naturally nutrient rich soil.

Plants are evolved to be able to defend against attacks by pests, insects and climates. If it can’t do so, the plant would die naturally. That’s part of nature’s ability to select. To overcome such crop failures, human invented chemicals, pesticides, herbicides and ultimately, genetic modification to protect plants. Plants, by nature, produce its own chemicals to defend itself. Those chemicals are mostly antioxidants in the form of phytonutrients. They are one of the key reasons why human needs to consume plants! When plants are introduced to chemicals, they will become ‘lazy’ to grow such phytonutrients because they have less need to defend themselves. Foods grown under the influence of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides simply lack the nutrients they are supposed to possess.

Chemicals such as pesticides are heavily regulated as scientists and authorities know that they are potentially dangerous to human health. At the same time, scientists and authorities have to assure consumers that those chemicals are safe.

Scientifically, to the best known knowledge, they are indeed safe.

However, simple logic would tell us that they are not good even though they are safe. Taking pesticides as an example, even with a considerably higher dosage are unlikely to cause death in humans. But the reality is that they are powerful enough to kill insects! We humans are much bigger (as compared to insects) and have better body defence to neutralize such chemicals. So pesticides can’t kill us easily. What about the tiny cells in our body? They are a lot smaller than insects! They can be ‘killed’ easily by even the smallest amount of such pesticides.

The same logic can be applied to food preservatives, coloring or additives.  They may not be able to do visible damage to our body, but they may be able to harm our cells silently  without our knowledge. After a long time or triggered by occasional events, the change become apparent and reversing it becomes hard, if not impossible. This is likely to be one of the reasons for illness.

Organic Food, or truly natural food, are grown and processed with two objectives:

 Provide as much as possible natural essential nutrients our body needs
 Reduce or eliminate to the best extent, harmful substances

That’s certainly good news for our body. That’s why we choose organic and truly natural food over intensive farmed, highly processed food.