Tuesday, 7 May 2013



Many believe a healthy diet is all that’s needed for optimal health. Just the other day I heard a parent say, “Do I need vitamins? I don’t think so because we eat healthy.”

Does that sound familiar?

But do you realize that even those with healthy diets still struggle to get all the nutrients their bodies need?

Research shows that greater than 80% of American adults do not consume enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.1 In addition, national nutrition surveys confirm that kids are not getting their recommended servings of food based on the Food Guide Pyramid.2

(Think you are in the top 10% of Americans when it comes to eating healthy? Keep reading. You may be surprised by what you don’t know.)
Fast Food Facts

Did you know that fruits and vegetables today are not as nutrient dense as they were thirty years ago?

Don’t believe it?

The reason is because of the soil quality in which they are grown. Essentially, we have been extracting nutrients from the soil faster than we’re able to return them. The result is a decreased soil quality, which directly impacts our food quality. Less nutrients in the soil means that less nutrients are entering into our food supply.3

Another problem is the way food is grown and processed. It too has radically changed in order to meet growing consumer demand. Remember that whole “supply and demand” concept from your high school economics class? Well, the same thing is true in food production.

Just do the math.

Today roughly 7.1 billion people populate the earth. Thirty years ago there were 4.6 billion. That’s 35% more stomachs to fill, or an increase in 2.5 billion mouths to feed — every day! And to think we’ve met that demand without any increase in available land! That speaks volumes to the technological advances in agriculture. But those advancements have had unintended consquences.
The Unintended Consequences of Advances in Agriculture

Consider these facts. Most of the meat produced in America today comes from animals who no longer graze openly. Cattle, pigs, and chickens are raised in industrial facilities where farmers can meet larger demands at the expense of quality.

Industrial Chicken Farming. Photo Credit: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project via Compfight cc

Rather than enjoying the free range, these animals are confined to small living quarters. The air quality is often poor, and they are injected with hormones to artificially grow them bigger faster. (Something about this just sounds unnatural, doesn’t it?)

Even fruits and vegetables are grown internationally and shipped to the U.S. to accommodate demand. This means they are picked before they have fully ripened and sprayed with chemicals to help them “ripen”. On the outside they may look fresh but on the inside they are nutrient deficient.

Costa Rican banana plantation. Photo Credit: lightroomphotos via Compfightcc

Frightening stuff when you stop and think about it!

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