blue sky

Home     Display     HandyHints


These additives have been a bone of contention since their introduction, more so in recent times. It is claimed that they are not only responsible for digestive problems, but also behavioural changes, especially in young children. When unknown ingredients, even in small doses, have kids bouncing off the walls, one has to wonder what they might do to adults who are, after all, just bigger versions of the same creatures. Could it be that these artificial colours and flavourings change more than just the taste and look of the food we eat? Might they not cause our system to reject or rebel not only against the culprits in question, but also the foodstuff that they are supposed to enhance? Trying to avoid these is probably advisable, yet almost impossible in the present climate.

The answer would seem to be a return to fresh food rather than the processed kind. Home-made meals, cakes, bread, etcetera ought to ensure the absence of alien substances in our food because we know what goes into the making of it – ordinary vegetables, flour, eggs, meat from the butcher, straight butter as opposed to blended spreads; everything, in fact, direct from the farm with no interference. Unfortunately, unless we can raise our own crops and livestock in a relatively organic way, we still have no idea what we are eating. Is plain flour truly plain; and does it come from the same type of crop that kept our grandparents healthy till a ripe old age; or has that original quality been cross-pollinated or genetically modified out of it? In Australia, until a few years ago, suppliers added something to meat which kept it looking red and fresh. That practice has now been banned, officially anyway. They are still, however, permitted to inject water into meat – they claim it is to retain the moisture content; it also adds to the weight, of course - but is water the only addition? Crops are sprayed to prevent disease and insect damage, not to mention the chemical fertilizers used. Are any or all of these contaminating our food, causing the modern-day allergies many of us seem to suffer from? I have no idea, and I doubt anyone else really does.

Neither have I come up with a solution, I’m sorry to say. As I see it, the best we can do is stay away from whatever seems to be affecting our health, even in minor ways. If the pollution in the area we live is making us sick, the obvious thing to do is move, if at all possible. The same applies to places of work which may be unhealthy in themselves, or bringing us into contact with substances that react badly with us. If we can stop eating junk food, we’ll all be better off. As for those pre-prepared, ready-to-cook meats, patties, schnitzels, TV dinners and weight-watchers meals, they are very likely to contain a few numbered additives that may spark more than a mild bout of indigestion. Whenever practical, forget those time-saver dishes from the supermarket and make your own. Wash the fruit and vegetables before use to get rid of any residual chemicals, and peel the outside skins of potatoes, apples, etc. Nutritionists may claim that this is the best part, but with respect to allergens, it could also be the worst.

I do believe that, in respect to general health, progress hasn’t served us as well as might have been expected. We may live longer, but we do seem to suffer more because there is more to incite the suffering. It should also be remembered that natural immunity to certain ailments is often acquired by exposure to the instigator. In comparison to olden times, modern homes can be too clean, super-sterile, in fact, so contact with bacteria and the like is less frequent. Then, on the odd occasion it does happen, our bodies are totally unprepared and fail to cope well. We can’t go back to “The Good Old Days” and that probably wouldn’t suit most of us anyway. There were certainly less options then. We love the variety we enjoy from foreign dishes, exotic spices and produce from all over the world. We just have to be aware that some of them are making us unhealthy. Each of us has to figure out which ones they are and stay off them. And if that means no more diet soda and flavoured rice crackers, so be it!

Next issue:   Healthy Living – it’s not just about diet and exercise

  Previous page

Click this Click for PDF file image to view or print complete article.

  Back to beginning of article

Money Fruit Food on plate Spyglass ereader Popcorn

Where every effort has been made to be accurate and fair-minded, comments and opinions expressed on this website are based on personal experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the wider community or those groups and institutions mentioned. A Season of Happiness and its staff accept no responsibility for any outcome based on suggestions offered. What works for us may not work for you. Please bear this in mind.

copyright © 2011-2015  All Rights Reserved