The potent question to understand here is the course of its origin and if we have the power to engage it.
Our dietary patterns have been evolving over time, but the most significant changes have happened in the last fifty years. Instead of making our diet more nutritious as one would imagine that progress means positive and meaningful growth, rather it has become further devoid of nutrition since the 1900s in a furiously exacerbating pace compared to the change in the past 5000 years.
Ever since we researched on soil nutrition, rather than understanding the nuances of nature, we were quick to mimic and try and declare our providence. Resultantly, we came up with our own fertilizers which were artificial and chemical based. Rampant indiscriminate use of these fertilizers has made our soil nutrient deficient and acidic in its pH. The gut of the human body is designed to be alkaline in its pH. Although, these fertilizers created greater yields, however, they did so at the cost of our nutrition. Moreover, studies on this have further shown its links to the advancement of cancer which was an unheard-of disease in the early 1900s.
The greed of the human being takes him towards his own wealth creation rather than the welfare of the masses who may even though having a voice through elected representatives, are not able to use it for their advantage as their elected representatives are in cohort with the greedy and prejudiced few. Large corporation have hence been formed and control the fate of many through their products of greed and self-dictated policies which are adopted by their elected cohorts.
Besides fertilizers, use of chemical pesticides that damage the crop as well as the insects indiscriminately are also sold and used worldwide. Almost always used in excess, and subsidized by Governments as per their corrupt policies, these pesticides go on to create a poisonous residue in the crops, which only increases in the process of storage and they go on to kill good positively contributing insects as well as the pests. Natural herbal pesticide solutions are available but followed by very few as they lack the policies to create a momentum for them.
Other than soil and crop damage, sprays, chemicals and pesticides are used on finished foods such as fruits and vegetables as well. All of this goes to diminish the nutritional content in the foods and creates poisonous residues for all beings.
Non-vegetarian produce consisting of red meats, chicken and eggs are also now farmed in industrial factories with an unhealthy cocktail of chemicals, antibiotics, hormones and genetically modified industrial corn feed used in place of healthy nuts and seeds which would be their natural food. This changes the pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory nutritional content within the meat and eggs of the animal impacting the nutrients negatively and that too with an enormous difference. For example, the pro-inflammatory Omega 6 to the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 in cage-free farm range eggs is 1:1 (Omega6:Omega3). When compared to an egg taken from industrial production this ratio distorts to 20:1 (Omega6:Omega3) making it significantly more inflammatory than the free range eggs. Consumption of such eggs would go on to increase chronic inflammation in human bodies without them even knowing it.
The distortion of the nutritional integrity of our food does not stop just on soil, land animals, fruit trees and birds, it goes on to continue in our sea food. Today, most of the fish one is consuming comes from fish tanks where they are grown in caged environments. Moreover, within these environments the fish or crustacean creatures are fed an unhealthy diet of antibiotics, chemicals and pesticides. Ocean fish are leaner as they get more natural exercise in the wild oceans and the Omega 3 (beneficial anti-inflammatory content) as well as the lean protein are greater in wild caught produce as compared to tank grown where there isn’t enough space for the fish to achieve its natural exercise and diet and hence their meat is thicker, richer in inflammatory content, lesser in proteins and simply unhealthier for humans.
This is one aspect of seafood and another dangerous aspect is the pollutants that we are unabatedly leashing out onto the oceans. Studies show that in some areas the fish fillets contain residues of micron plastics. A scary scenario. Our lifestyle too in contributing not just to air pollution and global warming causing enough and more lung issues that we will have to live with but also micro-polluting our coastal food sources.
So, with all our industrial revolution in agriculture, poultry farming, fish farming what have we really achieved? We have only gone on to strip all of our natural foods and sources of their indigenous nutrition and tarnished it with unhealthy doses of hormones, chemicals and pesticides.
New diseases such as SARS, Bird Flu and novel viruses are coming from the unhealthy conditions of chicken in poultry farming or pigs in the pork factories just to name a few. With our given and limited resources on this planet, water being the most precious besides air for life, it would be prudent to understand that not only are meat factories and industrial poultry farms and fish tanks created nutritionally adverse unhealthy meats, but they are also callously misusing and wasting our most precious water.
With the advent of modern markets and supermarkets another food source started to insidiously creep into our daily food routine. That being packaged foods. In order to increase shelf life most baked goods, confectionary, cookies and margarines started using an artificial substance called trans-fats. Trans fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils also sometimes labelled as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are an artificially created product to increase the shelf life of such goods, however they go on to decrease our life by taking us closer to inflammatory diseases described more fully in the paragraph below. Packaged foods also contain artificial preservatives, thickeners, stabilisers, colours many of which have side effects in the human body. Mostly, the vast quantity of them whether they are packaged foods or packaged beverages contained refined sugar, one of the greatest evils of our times. Sugar is an addictive, cheap and mass produced ingredient which makes it easy for corporations to increase the shelf life of any food and leading us humans into lifestyle based diseases. Further impacts of sugar alone are more fully discussed in our article titled, the Ill-Impacts of Sugar.
I have with the above being said, barely begun to touch upon the human impact in terms of cancer, lifestyle diseases that stem from high inflammation, coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, kidney disease and hypertension. These were a few based on inflammation and then we come to the hormone related disease due to the excessive use of industrial hormones in animal meats and poultry resulting in women with various hormonal conditions, ill effects on skin health, thyroid among many other complications.
At the point where we start to realise all this and try and correct it with changes in diet, consuming more organic foods, changing the combination of our diet or trying different theories on consumption of foods or food groups such as intermittent, ketogenic or vegan, etc. we fail to comprehend that the ill-effects that have already manifested may not alone be able to be washed out by a few weeks of an interesting diet concept even though it may carry good merit. This is due to the fact that what you will still consume based on that diet may be from the same adulterated source as before and even when you consciously change the source to purer sources, it will gradually go on to ameliorate your condition and begin to keep you stable, however to fulfill certain deficiencies and conditions that are already manifested an additional support will be required.
Therefore, given where we are today, especially in our urban societies with the fast paced life and quick food concepts, there are many nutritional depletions that have already happened and are already happening in our diet. To reverse all this simply by changing the source of foods will not completely rid of our problems. Recognising all of our individual purchasing sources and correcting them is of course, a given, however, there will still be times when all sources may not be corrected or the required nutrition may not be achieved or most importantly deeply caused deficiencies and disease conditions may not be fully reversed. Here, dietary supplementation with good quality supplements or herbal remedies or combinations thereof to complete those dietary requirements that sometimes get left out or remain deficient or were deficient and hence need balancing, or in assisting reversal of certain lifestyle conditions where it is still possible, becomes are a bonafide necessity.
Just as one has embraced so many ills in the due course of progression of one’s food, one most now take this with a pinch of salt that what one eats does not take one to an optimal state of nutrition and additional carefully selected purchases of supplements or nutraceuticals as they are more technically called is a necessity of today’s times.
To the uninitiated I say this: “You don’t know what you don’t know and if you have no desire to find out, then you will be snowballed by life in many different ways in different directions and not understand why you are the victim of so many onslaughts.”
Unfortunately, it has taken a Coronavirus called COVID-19 to show us humans that co-morbidities caused by our diet incrementally increase our chances of fatality if impacted by the virus.