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Is Our Food Making Us Sick? The Toxicity of American Food

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Take a second and make a list of the food you ate yesterday. What did you have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Drinks? Snacks? The nation is on a huge health trend, so more than likely you paid attention to the food pyramid or the new My Plate when deciding what to eat. We watch our portions, food groups, salt, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. The list goes on and on. Americans are increasingly aware of the nutritional value of our food.

However, how often do you consider how many times the natural state of your food has been altered or affected? We are hearing more about the effects of heavy processing, genetic altering, factory-farming, adding or injecting hormones, and antibiotics and antimicrobials given to animals with every meal. Most of the practices are done to create more food with less effort, often times giving us better quality for a cheaper price.

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But what is the true price of these technological advances in food production? In the wake of many increased health concerns there have been numerous studies connecting newer health-related problems to these practices, and although we all skim through them, and scarcely a soul debates the truthfulness or likeliness of the information, there is no real call for action or change. What price are we paying for this convenience? What price will our children or our children’s children pay?

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Many of these practices are simply not allowed in most countries around the world such as Canada, England, Australia, Japan, and all across Europe. The feeling is simply that there is not enough research on the effects of such practices. In the United States, however, we allow all of the practices until they are proven unsafe, but will we notice the side-effects if they are not obviously connected to the cause? Will we be able to undo all of the practices so heavily embedded into our society if they are deemed unhealthy? Can you say they haven’t been deemed unhealthy already?

We are upsetting the ecological balance and chances are we have only begun to pay the price. Some interesting statistics are as follows…

  1. From 1997-2002 peanut allergies doubled.
  2. 1/17 children under the age of three today has a food-related allergy.
  3. Hospitalizations are up 265% for food-related reactions.
  4.  1/3 children today has allergies, asthma, autism, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which have all been linked to altered food.
  5. Diabesity is referred to as an American epidemic.
  6. 76 million cases of food-born illnesses occur in the U.S. every year (population of 312 million).
  7. America has the highest rate of cancer.
  8. 1/8 women will get breast cancer. Only 1/10 of those cases is genetic, which means that 9/10 are environmental.
  9.  Elevated hormones have been linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

There are numerous studies and reports explaining theories and facts about the effects of our food altering practices. Are you listening? Do you want to be informed? What changes will you make? How will you make your voice be heard?

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To learn more check out this YouTube video interview with Robyn O’Brian, the author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How our food makes us sick and what we can do about it”.

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Tanya Phillips
I am currently finishing up a bachelors in Marketing from the University of Phoenix. Along with writing/blogging for The Urban Twist, I am also perusing an online marketing career. Recently, while going through some old papers I had written in high school over 20 years ago I got a good laugh, I found a paper on which I wrote about how I was never going to be a writer or anything. My high school teacher replied "you never know". It just goes to show you that you never know where life is going to take you. =) I have 3 boys ages 16, 13, and 12. They keep me busy and on my toes. ;-) but life would be meaningless without them as any parent knows. I love to read a good book (it can almost be an addiction at times). I also love to walk, ride bikes, hike, and watch movies. I like to travel and see new places, although I haven't been too far just yet. I love to spend time with my friends and family, and to try new things. =)

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