What you eat matters

How much the physiognomy of the average person in the Western world has changed in just one generation becomes starkly apparent when comparing the black-and-white newsreel images of crowd scenes in the 1950s with modern images.

The shift began in the early 1960s when a growing number of consumers started eating processed foods and drinking sodas loaded with sugar and other additives.

Today more than one in three adults in the United States suffers from obesity while globally 39 percent of adults over the age of 18 are overweight. This means a large portion of the world’s population is at higher risk of suffering from cardiac disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

During the immediate postwar era very few people could afford processed foods with most families cooking fresh produce. People died from diseases mostly related to poor sanitation and hygiene. Tuberculosis was prevalent. Metabolism diseases such as obesity, diabetes II, and cancer were rare. With economic prosperity came the development of the processed food industry with all its side effects.

Stress and socio-economic factors are often cited as reasons why people are more susceptible to choosing junk foods. But people who lost loved ones and experienced World War II had major stress and trauma.

Study after study is revealing a close link between mental health and diet. Ultra-processed foods make up about two-thirds of diets in school meals in the United Kingdom. Several studies suggest this could be responsible for the high number of ADHS symptoms in children. Hyperactivity, aggression, and irritability seem to go hand in hand with children eating foods with high gluten content. It is mostly found in bread, cereals, and crackers.

The bottom line is that what you choose to eat is a personal choice.

The supermarket shelves of today are packed with “foods” that contain numerous additives and sugars that not only negatively impact your health on multiple levels but are the major contributor to climate change and environmental devastation.

What you eat on daily basis matters. Much of the climate debate has over-emphasized the impact of transportation on global warming. However, the impact of agriculture on climate change is notoriously underestimated because of the overuse of topsoil, fertiliser and the emission of methane, according to several climate experts.

A team of European researchers found that methane and nitrogen oxides, mostly released by intensive livestock farming, have a significant impact on Europe’s greenhouse gas balance. They almost outweigh the positive effect that forests in particular have as carbon sinks.

Animal factories that especially produce pork, poultry, and beef are major emitters of methane gas which has an atmosphere-warming potency 80 times higher than carbon dioxide.

The atmospheric concentration of methane is increasing faster now than at any time since the 1980s. A huge amount of methane and carbon dioxide is released from the soil when natural grasslands are ploughed up to make way for the cultivation of animal feed.

We have not even begun to understand the full impact of processed foods on our health and the environment. Canadian molecular biologist Richard Béliveau estimates that one-third of all cancer is linked to poor eating habits. A diet consisting of a mix of fruits, vegetables, and drinks, such as green tea, can lead to the absorption of up to 1-2g of anticancer phytochemicals per day. “We, therefore, believe that daily consumption of these different foods is a simple and effective method to counter the development and progression of cancer,” he writes.

Beliveau also found that much of the populations in industrial societies lack essential Omega 3 fatty acids with a high percentage of Omega 6 (eating too many industrially produced carbohydrates).

Interestingly patients suffering from chronic exhaustion (Burnout) or depression all reveal extremely low levels of Omega 3.

A large portion of humanity is living a shadow of the life it could live. Minds are fed a daily dosage of toxic information while bodies are fed toxic foods that incrementally destroy the quality of life and the world around us.

Living a quality life and helping preserve a world habitable for future generations starts with awareness. What you choose to eat determines not only significantly your physical and mental health but literally the future of our planet.

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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