Preserved Food Hazardous

By Ibrahim, Saima | Economic Review, March 2010 | Go to article overview

Preserved Food Hazardous


Ibrahim, Saima, Economic Review


Our ancestors preserved foods naturally, using salt, fermentation, and sun drying. Food processing has evolved away from these simple practices into more complicated and dubious methods. Today, nearly six thousand additives and chemicals are used by food companies to process our food. Many of them can have a devastating effect on our health.

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Unfortunately, the good intentions that characterized the processed food industry during the early days have now de-evolved to finding ways to cheaply process food and manipulate buyers, regardless of the detrimental affects on the health of peoples. It would be worthwhile for the consumers to be aware of preservatives being used in the processed food in Pakistan and their harmful effects on human health. The literature available from developed economies indicates that most of the commonly used preservatives have some bad impact on health.

Processed, Junk, and Fake Foods

Processed food is made from real food that has been put through devitalizing chemical processes and is infused with chemicals and preservatives. Beef jerky, canned tea, jam, hot dogs, and low-fat yogurt with sugar or aspartame are a few examples of processed food.

Junk foods contain very little real food. They're made of devitalized processed food, hydrogenated fats, chemicals, and preservatives, and include anything made with refined white flour. Canned breakfast drinks, cold/sugary cereals, doughnuts, drive-through foods, and soda are examples of junk foods.

Fake foods are made primarily of chemicals, and often contain gums and sugar fillers. Examples include bacon bits, bottled salad dressing, dehydrated soups, and instant coffee.

Energy Output

These non-foods have one thing in common; it costs your body a great deal more to digest, absorb, and eliminate them than they offer your body in nutritional value--an extremely poor return on your investment that leaves your body sluggish and depleted.

Food Additives & Preservatives

According to the report of National Research Council Commission on Life Sciences study, 2000 "Exposure to toxic chemicals and a combination of genetic and toxic chemical factors cause about 28 percent of all developmental defects affecting 120,000 infants born each year." Health experts agree that fresh food is best for human health. They contend that advancement in technology has made it possible to increase the shelf life of food without apparently altering its freshness. Processed food can not be stored without damaging its nutritional content. Preservation methods simply serve to slow down some of the aging processes, and mask the degeneration. They do not maintain true freshness.

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In the quest to satisfy the consumer's unending demand for freshness, the food industry keeps trying to achieve it by extending the shelf life of products. This is a contradiction in terms. You cannot extend the freshness in food. Food that has been kept is no longer genuinely fresh. The simple fact is that you neither store nor process food without damaging its nutritional content. The more you process it, and the longer you store it, the more you damage it. Preservation methods simply serve to slow down some of the aging processes, and mask the degeneration. They do not maintain true freshness. We have lost sight of this basic truth and a typical diet now consists of over 70 percent processed foods. This means 70 percent denatured food.

Preservatives

Preservatives are a type of additive used to help stop food from spoiling. Nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve meats such as ham and bacon, but are known to cause asthma, nausea, vomiting, and headaches in some people. Sulfites (sulfur dioxide, metabisulfites, and others), which are commonly used to prevent fungal spoilage, as well as the browning of peeled fruits and vegetables. …

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