Effects of Food Processing – Harmful to Our Health
The effects of food processing are based on our modern age of convenience that has given us just that…many time saving conveniences that make our life just a bit easier. Nearly everything today can be found faster, better and cheaper than ever before. But, are we paying a price for getting everything faster, better and cheaper?
For instance, we can go to the grocery store and buy a cucumber and get instant gratification as we eat it within minutes of buying it if we want to. Almost nobody has to plant a cucumber seed, water and care for the plant every day for 8 weeks, until the plant produces blooms that eventually turn into a cucumber. Are we missing anything by bypassing that process?
I know, from personal experience, that growing a cucumber plant is very satisfying. The taste of what I labored to grow myself not only tasted better (at least in my mind), but filled me with pride and joy. However, I still rely on the grocery store for my cucumbers, usually. What would it be like if I could personally grow and prepare all of my food?
I realize, of course, that growing food for a family of five is not realistic. I need modern conveniences in order to operate in today’s world. When does convenience cross a line? How much is too much?
Let’s take a look at food processing. Nearly everything that we can buy from the store is processed in some manner. What are the effects of food processing to our emotional and physical health?
It is a well documented fact that processing food destroys some of the nutrients. Some of the effects of food processing, be it through boiling, frying, drying or canning, are obvious to the naked eye. For instance, broccoli is green, but after being boiled for as little as five minutes, we can see the color start to change to an ugly dull green that appears lifeless.
If the effects of food processing can be observed through a change in color, what changes are happening that we are not aware of? Valuable nutrients that leave the food can often be recuperated by drinking the water that the food was cooked in. For example, if you drink the water that you boiled the broccoli in. But if you were to buy canned broccoli, you would lose the opportunity to ingest the nutrients that passed into the cooking liquid.
What else is lost through processing?
There is an emotional benefit to preparing your own food. Recent studies have shown that preparing a meal releases endorphins that help you to relax and can actually improve depression. Preparing a meal from scratch is also much healthier, since you are avoiding all of the extra preservatives, fillers and binders that are necessary to stabilize food for the shelves at the market.
The effects of food processing and the benefits of slowing down and preparing food yourself do go hand in hand. Suffice it to say that it’s time for us to rethink the world of better, faster and cheaper. It just may be time to think about the benefits of slowing down enough to enjoy life just a little bit more.
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