Why Are Chemicals Added To Our Food ?
Originally, foods were grown and eaten directly from a relatively unpolluted Earth. Wild foods were sought and gathered. Cleaner oceans, lakes and rivers fed us nutritious fish. Animals in the wild provided protein foods to hunters and their tribes. As the human population multiplied, the world expanded, farming progressed, trade specialties developed, and town markets shared a variety of goods among a diversity of people. Techniques for food preparation and preservation, such as pickling, salting, and smoking, were developed to deal with the new problems of storage, waste, and food-borne illnesses. With advanced technology, our modern food industry’s reliance on processing and additives continues to increase. Is this evolution, or are we sacrificing our health for the sake of technological “advances”?
For decades now, the food industry has continually created new chemicals to manipulate, preserve, and transform our food. With the use of chemicals, scientists are able to mimic natural flavors, color foods to make them look more “natural” or “fresh,” preserve foods for longer and longer periods of time, and create altered versions of breads, crackers, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and many more commonly used foods. Now there are even “foods” that are made entirely from chemicals. Coffee creamers, sugar substitutes, and candies consist almost completely of artificial ingredients. Such manipulation of our food can have a profound effect on our body’s unique biochemical balance.
But there is a method to the food industry’s madness. They generally provide five main reasons for why chemicals must be added to our foods:
1. To improve shelf life or storage time.
2. To make food convenient and easy to prepare.
3. To increase the nutritional value.
4. To improve the flavor of foods.
5. To enhance the attractiveness of food products and improve consumer acceptance.