The Deadly Chemicals In Our Food Supply

May 1, 2017
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For over 40 years of supply and demand, our food supply is constantly being filled with synthetic chemicals that could deliver an endless amount of incurable diseases and immense harm to the environment that we depend on. Back in the pioneer days, workers used small farms that consisted of hard work and dedication. However, as the nation surged at a faster pace than man could produce, it is nearly impossible to provide the whole population with food even with commercial farms. Therefore, manufacturers have resorted to artificial pesticides, genetically modified organisms, preservatives, and much more that unnaturally boost the growth of an organism like a quick charge battery. With 96% of all Americans at risk of being diagnosed with cancer and countless disorders from consuming a surplus of manmade chemicals into the average American diet, this highlights the importance of a healthy diet, proving that we can make a difference by planting community gardens, managing a healthy environment for consumed animals, and by keeping awareness.

Each and every day, the first eye-catcher for Americans is how the product appears. If the merchandise isn't appealing, then there’s a very low chance that young adults will be attracted, leading to little profit. Take this as an example, if a piece of food looks orange, consumers expect the produce to taste like an orange. To this day, this influences young children and teenagers to purchase the item since because of the “judge a book by its cover”ideology. By having this type of mindset, manufacturers apply hazardous, but FDA approved food dyes to the substances so foods can be preserved longer, visually more appealing, and kill off bacteria. The end result of added chemicals is hyperactivity and cancer. Although there are many alternatives to colorings like natural dyes, artificial dyes are a lot more cheaper, have no production limit, and lasts longer. Correspondingly, if consumers began buying all natural and their awareness to the unpronounceable words in foods improved, then medicaid bills will drop drastically which for the consumer, is a win win situation. Most common natural dyes are carotenoids, chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and turmeric, which can all be found in the ingredients list. Focus on eliminating as much dyes as possible.

Preservatives are used all around the world from shipping to distribution; these synthetic chemicals are the reason why we don’t have rotten food. Though these ingredients may carry risks like cancer, hyperactivity, and reduced heart health, preservatives comes hand in hand with foreign countries when its comes down to feeding the world. With most manufacturers only caring about the income numbers rising, and not the medical bill increasing for customers, there’s really no way to alter the producers. Throughout the decades of including additives to our food supply, speeches upon this topic are so vivid and non interesting that families don't even bother listening. Worst part yet, the FDA only sets the food requirements as a “standard,” and don’t even strictly enforce the law. This is the reason why our medical bill is so high, an advantage for the government. Instead, experts can come to local schools for speeches that could influence students to eat more nutritious and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Today, teenagers are clueless to the ingredients that are included in snacks and meals. Overall, the best possible way to avoid processed foods is to zoom in on the organic foods such as home grown apples.

On June 2, 2011, our first lady, Michelle Obama introduced the “MyPlate”, a following world sensation and impact to the schools and communities that deliver food. MyPlate consisted of fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. As humans grow up, protein remains as a vitamin that supports us to grow stronger and most of the protein we eat comes from cow meat and chicken. Usually, the livestock live closely packed to each other, fed formulated food, and their waste pollutes the environment and community especially when their sick. The formulated food includes hormones to promote inorganic growth for the livestock which can contribute to problems later in the future, and could affect the body's development as a child. Since livestock obtain sickness so often, antibiotics are used to kill off all bacteria but over time, the bacteria gradually become more resistant which requires more antibiotic use; leading to environmental pollution. In fact, over 70% of all antibiotic use goes towards the cattle we consume. If farmers would just let animals roam around in the wild where they are naturally grown, the risk of countless types of cancers for Americans is extremely low. Unfortunately, as we know, manufacturers are only concerned about commercial profit. An American solution would be to buy from butcher shops as it’s cheaper and is free of any hormones or antibiotics. Best part, butcher occupations will rise to popularity leading to more opportunities. The results keep the children now and our future safe. Not only that, Americans are free to ask the butcher how to cut it, where it originated, and if any hormones were used.

Due to the increasing amount of waste that streams to our oceans, marine life are required to withstand and fight the amount of pollutants like pesticides, cow stained bacteria, and even additives. If we would preserve our environment by reducing or even eliminating the pollution that lands in our water sources, then fish could reproduce a lot quicker allowing people to take advantage of the extreme numbers of fish. The leading killing chemical that fish carry is called polychlorinated biphenyl, which tends to remain in the environment from its source, plantations. PCB is so dangerous that if it’s paired with mercury and phthalates, the mixture could cause a lower IQ, vision, and hearing problems. In fact, if fishermen quit overfishing, the ocean wouldn't have enough fish to supply for the whole world once again in 15 years. The American people can raise money to build blockades among the edges of rivers. So that way, the pesticides will deposit in one location and from there, farmers can perhaps reuse the chemical. Benefiting both the plantation owners and consumers.

In a recent study, scientists collected blood samples of over a hundred children to test the risk of pesticides. It was discovered that children exposed to herbicides are four to five times more likely to get asthma before the age of five. Every year, the United States uses about 834 billion pounds of pesticides, a chemical designed to kill off plant-eating insects and promote plant growth. Old people and young toddlers are the most exposed to pesticides as the skin isn't as resistant and sturdy. Sometimes, even babies are “pre-polluted” before birth. Previously centuries ago, farmers never used pesticides since the population was so small. As the population grew, farmers used synthetic pesticides to help feed the entire world. One of the most common pesticide is DDT, a chlorine based pesticide designed to kill bugs with diseases in World War I. 15-20 deaths occur every year due to pesticides, one of them was Rachel Carson. Carson did her best to prove that pesticides can cause huge problems to the health of people. Her work has led to the formation of the EPA which checks over the ingredients put into our food. And if you think pesticides is bad, then it gets worse. According to a test done by journalist Anderson Cooper in 2007, he found out that there were 246 man-made chemicals in his urine. Worst part, there were over a hundred chemicals throughout his body system. Substances like DDT still remain in the environment. As we know it, parasites and bacteria grows more resistant to pesticides so more is needed to be used which results in the constant flow of pollutants. Gradually, plants are genetically modified to withstand the environment they are in. Like when they need to have the DNA replaced with an animal that can hold the amount of pesticides being used. But the risks of using GMO may cause the natural habitats to change from their natural version to the man made organisms. Genetically modified organisms is still a debatable topic, but the FDA has approved that it is considered safe. Supermarkets like Walmart and Costco contain genetically modified products or produce that have been heavily sprayed by pesticides more than any other store. Even if Americans attempt to examine the label for healthy facts, they are still at risk. In fact, a item can be named “natural” or “chemical free” and even though it isn't, the FDA still lets this bypass their system. The people can stay safe by planting community gardens. If every individual could contribute into the garden by either watering, providing an appropriate sunlight, and replenishing the soil, then it’s an all organic produce as long as no one uses pesticides. And puts their time and effort towards making sure that the garden is safe, then neighborhood folks could come by to harvest fresh. This helps ensure the safety in produce so that we get the highest quality.

It’s a shame to know that our country is the leading provider of inorganic foods. The worst part yet, our future generations will be the ones required to clean up our mess. Community gardens provide a organic way to grow and harvest crops while engaging with neighbors. After decades of the meat industry, butcher shops are starting to close, so let's keep jobs opportunities open while having freshly cut meat from a trustworthy butcher. Pesticide use has gone out of control, and only the people could change this. If we could start paying more attention to the ingredients and start buying healthy alternatives, then medicaid will be a lot cheaper for everyone and huge stock companies could begin to develop a healthy alternate plan for more sales. Synthetic and natural chemicals have their pros and cons. Manufacturers aren't subject to a change, the people are.

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