There are certain products known to us as food that should be avoided at all lengths. The article below sums up 9 foods to avoid. These foods definitely should be reconsidered when contemplating your daily nutritional habits, but there are of course other foods which need to be observed closely when considering them for consumption.
An interesting point to ponder is the word itself… Food. What does food symbolise in modernity? The ‘legal’ description of food can be understood as follows: Any item that is to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption. The listing of items included as foodstuffs include any substance intended to be, or reasonably expected to be, ingested by humans. In addition to these foodstuffs, drink, chewing gum, water, or other items processed into said food items are part of the legal definition of food. Items not included in the legal definition of food include animal feed, live animals (unless being prepared for sale in a market), plants prior to harvesting, medicinal products, cosmetics, tobacco and tobacco products, narcotic or psychotropic substances, and residues and contaminants.
By broad and general terms, food can be understood as follows: any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism’s cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, or stimulate growth.
Interesting definitions… The parallel between these two definitions is quite large. Let’s examine them both closely and perhaps observe some relationship between food production, consumption, distribution, cultural practices surrounding food and how economy all contributes to our perception of what food is and the role it plays in our lives…
First, an understanding of how food becomes classified – formally and informally. Food labels, laws and practices are ultimately directed by regulatory bodies which are attached to the governing body of a nation or geographical area. These laws and practices surrounding food handling, production, the definition of food and distribution also receive input by international health bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Some questions for you…
1. Who drives the food production industry?
2. Who supports government in an economic sense? Where does the majority of government funding come from?
3. What drives privatised industry? What are their motives and objectives of ‘business’?
4. How is economic prosperity greatest achieved?
5. Who economically profits the most from food production, distribution, etc?
6. Does producing food in the most natural way possible equate to maximum economic profits?
7. Perhaps the most important question of all… Have we become disconnected from food? Is our relationship with food in disharmony?
The legal definition of food revolves around production, manufacturing and distribution of food. The broad definition of food refers more to what role food actually plays in the biology of physical development (or human development). The legal definition of food concentrates on how to make food cross a legal line so that it may be sold and distributed to the greater public and ultimately b made profitable. It makes no real reference to the nutrients required in order for humans to not only maintain inner health but to flourish. It includes in its definition words such as ‘reasonable’ (which is extremely arbitrary and subjective in nature). I am aware that the definitions provided are simplistic in nature and provide little detail, but lets work with what we have and expand upon its foundations…
The legal definition of food elaborates upon what food is not… I find the example of raw milk an interesting one. When sold in the country of Australia, raw milk must be sold as ‘pet milk’ and must be labelled – ‘not for the purpose of human consumption’. According to law raw milk is not a food… Interesting… But, homogenised and pasteurised milk is considered a food. It is also full of dead nutrients and if anything is actually not nutritious but rather harmful, due to factors such as: the cows are grain fed, full of antibiotics, full of steroids and growth stimulant, are diseased due to being bought up in harsh conditions and the milk is full of foreign substances (just to mention a few). I am well aware this is not the case for all milk products and applies largely to commercial farming, but commercial farming is what the vast amount of the general public are exposed to, not localised and natural growers markets, where food is chemical free and produced naturally and safety…
Chewing gum: This is not a food, nor should it be classified a food. It is counterintuitive to our health and is full of synthetic (lab made) and artificial substances. How can our regulatory bodies allow this to be labelled as food?
These are interesting points to ponder, more so, we must ask ourselves what are the motives of large scale food distributors? And has our connection and relationship to food become so distant that we simply follow what the ‘in group’ says is right, without giving it any thought. Remember, alongside, clean air and water, food is a biophysical necessity… SS.