EAT TASTE HEAL: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living
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Why Buy Organic?
ayurveda 101
what's my dosha?
the six tastes
ayurveda detox
ayurvedic resources
why buy organic?
why buy organic?
genetic modification
food additives
refined foods
microwaved foods
water quality
cow's milk
healthy food resources

Food Additives

Food additives have fallen in stature since their days as the crowning achievements of modern nutritional technology. With the invention of chemical additives in the 1930s, the storage and shipment of food suddenly became much easier. Many foods also became cheaper, as spoilage-caused waste dropped. Consumers could suddenly enjoy the agricultural bounty of distant lands that had vastly different growing climates. As the profits of chemical companies increased, the additive industry expanded with relentless force. Hundreds and eventually thousands of additives made their way into the U.S. food chain. Today, over 3000 additives are used in the U.S. food industry.

These additives have become the defining characteristics of most processed and packaged foods. Common additives include coloring and flavoring agents, sweeteners, preservatives, bleaches, emulsifiers, binders, and anti-caking agents.

Similar to the case with GM foods, the testing and research to justify the widespread use of food additives does not exist. What we do know, however, is that all chemical additives are artificial. That means our bodies have to work harder to process and remove these additives. While some additives serve useful purposes and appear to be safe for human consumption, we also know that many others substances are proven toxins, carcinogens, and allergens.

Consumers are told that small amounts of substances such as Red Dye #3 are completely safe for human consumption. This fails to take into account, however, the damaging effects of these chemicals on the body over time. After becoming lodged in the tissues of the body, they can lead to free-radical damage, weakened immune function, and a host of other medical problems.

Over the last fifty years, our senses have been conditioned to artificial additives. The taste, look, feel, and smell of foods are widely governed by these agents. In the commercial food industry, every measure is taken to make the nutritionally void appear and taste appetizing. Crops grown on nutrient-deficient lands are augmented by artificial tastes and coloring agents. Even the smells in the typical fast-food meal today are concocted in chemical labs.

If it seems like the infiltration of additives into our food is irreversible, consider this fact: while the United States allows thousands of food chemicals, some European countries allow fewer than 20. Once again, we have a case of corporate profits winning out over collective health. Buying unrefined, fresh, organic whole foods is a direct way to curb the market for artificial food products.

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