For 200,000 years human beings have walked the Earth. Until very recent history, we survived by hunting and gathering for food. Our bodies have evolved to harness the nutrition and energy of the plants, and perhaps animals, that share our space on the planet. Examples of this evolution that has occurred over thousands of years include gut digestion that contains thousands of good bacteria and yeasts that assist our digestion. Also, the unique set of enzymes our bodies have developed which recognise and break down the food we eat into constituents that are beneficial to our bodies have slowly evolved with our life on Earth.
Processed foods were popularised after World War 2 but it’s only in the last 20 years that the processed food industry taken ‘processing’ to a whole new level. Because many foods are now so heavily processed beyond their original nature, our bodies can no longer recognise the food in it’s new format. It has been so far removed from nature by over cooking, removal of beneficial substances and additions of other not so beneficial, or even dangerous additives, that the ‘food’ is now very much alien to our biological systems. Our bodies struggle to digest processed food. It contains additives that kill and unbalance the delicate ecosystem of those essential gut bacteria and yeasts. Our enzymes don’t recognise or fit the corrupted food molecules or synthetic food additives, resulting in allergies, immune system problems, nutrient deficiencies, weight gain, mental health issues and other problems.
Unfortunately many of us find ourselves unable to move away from processed foods. You may have noticed how addictive they are. Sugar, salt and monosodium glutamate are just some of the additives used to get customers hooked. Next time you eat processed food product and think ‘delicious’, just try this simple test. Ask yourself ‘Is it really delicious, or does it just taste overwhelmingly of salt or sugar?’. Once weaned off processed foods with all their addictive and harmful additives, true ‘delicious’ will be a delight and a symphony of flavours, not just a monotone salty or sugary hit.