We eat food to provide energy and nutrition. Food comes from plants and animals. Healthy food contains the protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and supplies energy. Healthy food comes from plant sources such as fruit, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, etc.), herbs, and spices. We also get some healthy food from animal sources such as meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
When I search “food” on Amazon, the first thing that shows up is candy followed by a myriad of processed foods. I find it fascinating that these things especially candy are labelled as food. They are certainly not healthy food. The same is true in the grocery stores. There are so many processed foods and only a few aisles of healthy food.
The assimilation of the food materials is called nutrition. If our bodies are under stress, we may not assimilate the food and therefore not get the nutrition that we need from the food. If we don’t chew the food properly, we may not assimilate it. Or if we have sensitivities or allergies, we may have malabsorption. The quality of the food affects how much nutrition we get from the food. Early harvesting, transporting, storage, cooking, freezing, canning, over processing, refining, and pasteurization all affect the nutrient values.
What has happened in the last 100 years is that food produced by farmers or gardeners has been changed by industrial processes (the food industry). This means that processed food usually contains several natural ingredients and food additives (such as preservatives, antioxidants, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, etc.). Also, the soils have become depleted due to fast growing successive generations of food produced for the food industry.
Since the nutrients we need from the food come from the soil, this is not good news. If the soil is depleted then we are not getting the all the necessary nutrients. What the roots bring to the plant is what we receive when we eat the plant.
There is a movement to find organic healthy foods these days but it is missing the quality of the soil issue. Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Organic food is not irradiated and does not use genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, nowhere does it say anything about the quality of the soil.
Bottom line is: We need Healthy Food to live.
One of the best ways to improve the soil is to implement crop rotation.
Crop rotation is a system of varying successive crops on the same ground to avoid depleting the soil and to control weeds, diseases and pests. The challenge is that the food industry has a hold on the framework upon which we live so the crops must be harvested quickly so the money can be made. Very few farmers have the resources to implement crop rotation as they are looking for the cash crops to sustain them.
Bottom line, we need food to live. The food is not as nutritious as it was before food became a business. We are currently experiencing a food crisis. The current food is manufactured so much sometimes it is not really food anymore especially candy. The way it is manufactured sets up addictions. Manufactured food has become highly unnatural.
Thank goodness there is a movement afoot pointing to eating more real healthy food. Going back to nature and starting backyard gardens or getting involved with community gardens. Earthsave Canada is “advocating a more whole, food, plant-based diet for environmental sustainability, better health, and compassion toward animals”. Many people are beginning to see that is time to make changes as healthy food is essential to our wellbeing.
In Toronto, there is an organization called Unify Toronto that is bringing people together who want change. As part of this we are having a vegan potluck to encourage people to go back to real food and create new models for change. Contact me if you are interested in participating. We would love to hear your ideas.