Sunday, April 18, 2010

Does food & nutrition really matter to health?

Recently I stumbled across some thought provoking material on nutrition. This material is clearly presented and easily understood, yet I thought it would be very controversial in view of the public debate in the US over healthcare.  To test how well it would be received by the general public, I posted the official trailer on my Facebook profile and waited.  It did get many comments, all positives, and "likes".  This material is so important to anyone that consumes food - a very large number of us, that I have decided to dedicate the next several posts to reviewing the various topics presented in FoodMatters.
The first topic that jumps out from this work, tackles a misconception that almost all of the general eating public holds.  It is that it's possible to get all of your needed nutrition from the produce section at the local supermarket.  What many people don't realize is that "modern" growing techniques whether it be the pesticides, growth hormones, fungicides, genetic modification of the plants themselves...any and all actually deplete the nutritional value of the produce.  Thus, one apple does not contain the same nutrients as another.  Eating organic has more to it than just avoiding the toxins of chemicals - it also means higher nutritional quality!  The soil that has been depleted from years of production and only more and more chemicals put into it cannot grow the same nutritient valued crop as soil that has had its crops rotated and allowed to lie fallow to replenish itself without the added toxicity of more and more chemicals. 
That leads to the debate of the benefit of supplementing  our diets with vitamins, minerals et al.  Dr Andrew Saul discusses at length the myth that exists against supplementation and the reasons that these misconceptions continue throughout our society.  For me one of the best quotes from the DVD comes from Dr Andrew Saul when he says, "Good nutrition makes a lot of sense (cents) but it doesn't make a lot of dollars." Since it isn't possible to patent a kiwi, for example, there's no reason to advertise the benefits of eating one.  Also noteworthy is the same chemical companies that produce and sell the products used in "modern" farming techniques, produce and sell products in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. To see for yourself, just check out Dow Chemical's and look under the products and services section.   Interesting stuff, huh? Anybody hungry yet? :-)

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