By Bernice James
Let us go back to our local, natural foods. Synthetic foods are unnatural processed, preserved preservatives and packaged in tins. Most of them have little or no food nutrient, canned, bottled, packed in satchets etc. They also contain preservatives, which are consumed alongside the food. Nowadays, there is quest for synthetic foods than natural foods. Everybody wants it fried, tinned or canned. Many do not know the importance of natural foods.
Why neglect things like legumes, fresh fruits and vegetables? Fresh tomatoes is now more in demand than fresh tomatoes, courtesy of bad economy may be. Fresh and green black beans are plenty in the market; it serves as vegetables and protein but few care.
Natural spices like raw garlic, ginger, nut meg, curry leaves, scent leaves etc can be better spices than all those that are grinded and packed in sachets or cans. The letter are not natural and the material from which they are made cannot be ascertained. When spicing your stew, rice or any other food make use of the natural spices mentioned above and a host of others. They serve not only as spices but as medicine and nutrients. Most of the synthetic spices are made of ingredients which its long term use can result in serious bad health conditions. Why do you use canned vegetables in your vegetable salad?
Fresh juice drinks is far better than the artificially processed juices. Why would we continue to endanger our health and life on things that are not food. Most juice drinks that are labeled fruit juices are nothing but carbonated water and fruit flavours. This was confirmed by a woman who studied Food and Nutrition in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a Home Economics teacher in one of the popular secondary schools in Enugu. According to her, none of the so-called fruit juices found on counters contain natural fruit juice. Rather, they are just flavoured water. After she gave me insight on how those juice drinks are produced, I really understood that it would have cost less to buy oranges, grapes, apples etc., blend them and squeeze out the juice. Moreso, yoghurt drinks that are sourced in test like Rapha yoghurt are close to being natural more than sweetened one. I insist we go back to natural. Canned fishes, can you vouch for the quality of the fish, the aluminum can and the type of preservatives?
Experts maintain that the high level of consumption of synthetic foods, especially canned or other packaged foods, contribute to the high number of cancer and tumor cases in the world. Accumulation of toxins and aluminum from the packaging container can also cause diseases like hypertension, obesity and others.
They also found out food packed in tin can is opened and the inside living of the can comes into contact with oxygen in the air, corrosion occurs rapidly. This in turn causes tin being released into the canned food which could lead to health problems like irritation in the skin and eye, inflammation in gastro intestinal tract, neurological problems etc.
A chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) commonly found in aluminum and tin cans has been found to be toxic and dangerous to human health at low doses. Studies have shown that exposure this BPA can be linked to a wide range of health problems and diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, breast cancer prostrate cancer, neurological disorders, obesity and infertility.
Furthermore, improperly canned food has been associated with botulism, a rara but serious illness that can cause paralysis and even lead to death. Botulism is caused by clostridium botulinum bacteria which many live in improperly canned or preserved food. These bacteria produce spores, reproductive structures that are able to survive in unfavourable conditions. These spores produce toxins which when consumed in tiny amounts. Home-canned foods especially those with low acid content, are more likely to cause food-borne botulism.
Other reasons you should avoid synthetic and canned foods:
Plastic contaminants (BPA)
The most worrisome of all, among canned foods that can harm you, is plastic contaminants in our canned goods. Most canned food these days have a plastic coating inside the can to supposedly keep the food, vegetables, and fruits fresh. Well, it may keep them more fresh that, otherwise without it being stored up inside a metal object, but this comes at the expense of harming you. Well, this plastic coating is Bisphenol or BPA for short and it is harmful, first because humans are not supposed to eat plastic materials made from crude oil.
Leakages in cans
Just as Aluminum pots and pans leak, so do aluminum cans. In fact, what most people are unaware of is that most often, foods are put into aluminum cans, then sealed and then cooked, supposedly retain the freshness. Well, it will certainly retain the aluminum free radicals hanging around after heating and contaminating the contents.
Over a period of time, Aluminum accumulation in body can cause memory problem like Alzheimer’s. More than 5,000 million pounds of aluminum is used every year for making food cans. Aluminum cans have several advantages for the producer including light weight, compact packaging and lower price. Most canned foods like soups, vegetables, chicken or beef broth and tomato sauces are made of aluminum because it’s more economical.
Some believe that the plastic lining of the aluminum cans are supposed to prevent corrosion and contaminating food with aluminum. But the reality is that most of the time these plastic liners can’t completely protect food against aluminum since cans leak aluminum when heated and while they are sealed – they will contaminate food.
The lovely, no so friendly, preservatives. They are referred to in a dozen different names, and every few months, a new name is established for the same few ingredients that are mixed up to come up with friendly-sounding names. But, the fact is that if it smells like manure, looks like manure, tastes like manure it is most certainly manure.
These preservatives are kept in state of non-compounding to other molecules with the, yes you guessed it, SALT. Extensive amount of sodium (salt) is used to keep the preservatives in canned food from rotting so that it can keep the food from rotting. Lovely.
Low level food quality
Let’s be honest with ourselves and admit that if the fruits and vegetables and other ingredients are of high quality, they will be sold fresh and for the highest price possible for a maximum of profit by the distributors.
Now, if the quality of the ingredients are not that great or the fruits and vegetables look old and stale or not so healthy, then they will be hidden from the eyes of supermarket shoppers and be forced into a can along with other such low quality food, cooked up in a mass oven while still inside the can and then, shipped all over the world and sold may be, one or two years later from when they were picked and were prepared. Don’t expect the ingredients inside your canned foods to be of high quality. If you do, then you could buy the London Bridge and thinking that it is the Tower of London Bridge and the two cannot be more different than one another.
In conclusion, the solution is completely to eliminate canned foods and if you are looking for your favorite tomato sauce, use the ones in glass jars. Don’t consume vegetables or grains in cans. Simply buy fresh ones. The risk of developing many chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, nervous system disorder and Alzheimer’s, goes down by consuming fresh foods that do not have any packaging.