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What makes some foods toxic?

Bryce B. Wylde
Alternative & Complementary Medicine
Producing food on a mass scale in this day and age employs an array of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides to kill the insects and weeds that harm crops. New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollen wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and the more recent Food Rules. His slogan resonates with me: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." The fact is that pesticides run off from fields and enter the water table; we've all heard about their effects on our collective health. I'm most shocked by the extremely strong correlation between pesticides and Parkinson's disease. And where we can't get away from them 100 percent of the time, then next time you pass the little organic produce counter at the supermarket (that are, incidentally, getting bigger), where a small number of worried souls (including myself ) prefer to buy their food, you too may want to buy there.

Food, in general, was much more healthy in the "good ol' days," when most of it came from local farms. Now, aside from heavy use of pesticides, factory-made refined foods have also made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. We want food to look fresh, even if it isn't. We want it to smell good, feel good and taste good. The food industry, to whom added preservatives have always been important, continues to respond to our desires with an array of enhancers. Most people can't properly pronounce the names of many of these chemicals found in their food (a good rule of thumb is if you can't pronounce it, leave it alone). Serious studies have thrown the safety of many of food additives into doubt or condemned them altogether. I know that it can be hard to take warnings about additives too seriously. After all, they appear in famous products, brightly lit in the aisles of supermarkets.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.