Understanding the Shifts in Human Nutrition – The Role of Chemicals (Part 5)

It is my firm conviction that we need a return to ways of thinking about food that do not reduce the things that we put into our mouths to the level of just another expendable commodity. This is why I am currently focusing on the ways in which current perceptions about food differ from how previous generations viewed their ‘daily bread’. Over the past few weeks I pointed out how far modern perceptions have moved from the simple belief that food is something ‘natural’. One of the main reasons behind this profound cultural shift is the fact that more and more man-made chemicals have found their way into our food supply. Of these the most significant are pesticides (substances designed to get rid of harmful organisms) and additives (substances added to aid preservation, improve appearance or enhance flavor).
The problem with chemicals in our food supply is that many of them affect human health in subtle but profound ways. This would perhaps not be much of an issue if our exposure to them was limited but for most of us it is not! The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintain a database of food additives often referred to as ‘Everything Added to Food in the United States’ (EAFUS). It has more than 3000 individual entries! Add to this the widespread use of pesticides, both in North America and in food exporting countries where controls are often virtually non-existent, and you will agree that we have perhaps moved as far away from ‘natural’ as it is possible to get.
How do we recover the natural aspect of our food supply? I believe that successfully answering this question is one of the keys to dealing with the effects of ADD/ADHD as it can be shown that pesticides and additives are often some of the main culprits when it comes to symptoms like hyperactivity, mood swings and inattention.  Allow me to make the following suggestions on how this all important question can be answered:
Go ‘organic’ as far as possible: Eating organic alternatives is perhaps the best possible way to avoid pesticides and additives. I do realize that organic foods are often more expensive and that organic alternatives are not always available locally, but I also maintain that in some cases the extra cost and effort would be more than justified.