The fake food race is worth $3 trillion by Dr. Joseph Mercola for Mercola
For years, I have advocated for an organic diet to optimize your health, avoid common health problems and help regenerate the environment. Choosing organic foods reduces your exposure to pesticides, herbicides, genetically engineered (GE) foods, synthetic food additives and nano ingredients, many of which do not appear on the food label.
In addition to protecting the environment and rebuilding soil, buying organic also supports animal welfare and promotes biodiversity of plants and wildlife. Unfortunately, Americans not only eat a preponderance of processed food, but 57.9% of it is ultraprocessed1 — products at the far end of the “significantly altered” spectrum that have been robustly linked to obesity,2 ill health and early death in a number of studies.3,4,5,6,7
The developed world in general eats significant amounts of processed food, and disease statistics reveal the ramifications of this trend. Any food that isn’t directly from the vine, ground, bush, body of water or a tree is considered processed.
Depending on the amount of change the food undergoes, processing may be minimal or significant. For instance, frozen fruit is usually minimally processed, while pizza, soda, microwave meals and lab-created meat alternatives fall into the ultraprocessed category.8
The rise of processed and ultraprocessed food as dietary staples also has a largely hidden impact, in that it threatens overall food security. While edible gardens have become more popular in recent years, few are growing their own food these days, relying instead on processed fare from the grocery store, much of which is made with patented GE ingredients.
Who profits the most from GE food? The patent holders — large, multinational corporations beholden to their shareholders rather than the local community in which the crops are grown, reap the profits. Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., has been an outspoken critic9 of the industrial food movement and the GE food takeover, specifically, highlighting the many social and environmental problems a patented food system creates.
Industrialization of food threatens mankind’s survival
In a recent Independent Science News article,10 Shiva discusses the progressive attempts at industrializing the global food system with more fake foods and fake meats, and the destruction that inevitably follows:
“Food is not a commodity, it is not ‘stuff’ put together mechanically and artificially in labs and factories. Food is life. Food holds the contributions of all beings that make the food web, and it holds the potential of maintaining and regenerating the web of life.
Food also holds the potential for health and disease, depending on how it was grown and processed … As an ancient Upanishad reminds us ‘Everything is food, everything is something else’s food’ …
Hippocrates said ‘Let food be thy medicine.’ In Ayurveda, India’s ancient science of life, food is called ‘sarvausadha’ the medicine that cures all disease.
Industrial food systems have reduced food to a commodity, to ‘stuff’ that can then be constituted in the lab. In the process both the planet’s health and our health has been nearly destroyed.
75% of the planetary destruction of soil, water, biodiversity, and 50% of greenhouse gas emissions come from industrial agriculture, which also contributes to 75% of food related chronic diseases.”
Importantly, the industrialization of agriculture, in which heavy use of chemicals is the norm, denatures soil, destroys its fertility and does not return organic matter back into it. As a result, it degrades land and turns it into desert — the complete opposite of what a healthy system does.
Industrial agriculture also threatens global water supplies, draining aquifers faster than they can refill and contaminating what’s left with toxic chemicals and excess nutrients that drive toxic algae growth, resulting in vast dead zones. Plant and wildlife diversity — especially pollinating insects — are also decimated by chemical monoculture.