The Formula One racing programme recently arrived in Monaco and Mark Webber took the honours in the subsequent race. How far would the Australian’s car have gone if his team had fuelled the car with orange juice, for example?
In reality our bodies react the same way. If we put in the wrong fuel they do not perform very well at all. But that is what most of us do every day.
The chances of a woman developing breast cancer was 1 in 20 in 1960 but a recent report put the figure to be nearer 1 in 8 today. The instances of this illness have increased by twenty-five percent between 1975 and 2004 in Britain alone. The sperm count of the average male was reported as 100 million per millilitre in 1940 but this fell to 50 million in 1990. There are concerns that many men will become infertile within fifty years.
Additionally the chances of becoming a cancer victim have now been calculated to be 1 in 2.
The World Health Organization estimates the cases of diabetes worldwide will become an epidemic, rising from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. Similarly, the number of obese humans is likely to increase from 400 million in 2005 to 700 million in 2015.
What is it we are doing wrong? Can it be what we are eating? It is quite likely. A serving (around 180 grams or a cupful) of spinach contained 150 milligrams of iron in 1940 but now it is more likely to be two milligrams.
Do We Really Know What We Are Eating?
Mass production is one of the key reasons for the loss of nutrients. Food is produced at a rapid rate, in huge quantities and at the lowest cost and the nutritional value is neglected. The soil becomes depleted. Fertilizers are used to increase yield but result in vitamins and minerals being leached from the ground.
Mass meat production is still more worrying. Animals tend to eat hay, silage or artificial feeds and less grass. Steroids, antibiotics and other drugs are given to the animals to improve meat production. Estimates from Compassion In World Farming suggest that two out of three farm animals are now on factory farms.
Broiler chickens are rapidly reared in factory farms, too often in appalling conditions. Reports indicate that twenty percent are disabled and ten percent suffer cancer; most are also fed antibiotics and other drugs. As a result of this triumph of economics over health we are not sure what we are ingesting.
Biscuits, sweets and cakes are cleverly marketed as ‘treats’ and ready meals as convenient. As a result we all eat too much sugar, salt and artificial fat, which the body cannot process and this turns into body fat. Combined with our less active lives, this is leading to an explosion of heart disease.
We Need To Eat Correctly
The generally accepted standard of healthy eating is five portions of fruit and vegetables a day but the World Health Organization has suggested eight to fourteen might be better. In reality twenty portions daily is probably the correct figure.
Eating twenty portions of fresh produce is going to be difficult. Perhaps the best strategy is to cut out all processed and useless foods and eat more potent organic foods, from local farmers markets or farm shops if possible or, ideally, grown at home. The rest of your needs can be provided by top quality natural dietary supplements. In this way perhaps we can reverse the trends.