Whole foods from our early heritage, before the use of unnatural methods in agriculture, were organic and healthful. Today, though no less essential for good health, whole foods aren’t necessarily organic, and in fact, have been proven harmful to health. You’ve heard: “organic foods have more antioxidants and less toxic metals, study finds.”
Henceforth, the term “whole food” should always mean “organic foods”. The news cited, though not groundbreaking, shows that conventional foods are both nutritionally inferior to organic foods and are far more toxic. I’m happy that we have a return to whole foods movement in America and around the world, because along with health hazards known, the conventionally grown foods of today’s modern agriculture should be considered closer to processed foods than actual whole food. Feedlot meat, caged birds, farmed fish and chemically raised foods all have significantly more toxic metals and chemicals making them measurably different from their natural and organic origins. The antioxidants alone should lead us to organic, but the increasing harm being registered to petrochemicals of agriculture and heavy metals should end the discussion entirely.
We should recall that it was in the 1920’s that Benedict Lust reported in Nature’s Path, that farmers in Europe who were using the new wave of fertilizers and agro chemicals were coming down with skin conditions, GI distress and respiratory distress. Note that in the 1940’s the US Congress reported on the significant lowering of minerals and trace minerals in our soils due to chemical fertilizers. During the 1970’s, reports revealed that many of the pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers kill the soil microbes that are responsible for delivering nutrients into the roots of the plants. Today we know that farm workers in these chemical based farms have higher rates of infertility, birth defects and many forms of cancer. The list grows annually.
The lesson for us all is to invest in a personal or community garden to grow our own whole foods, buy locally or pay for the best options whenever possible so that there are better opportunities for health and longer life. A diet filled with organic, and heritage plant varieties, as unprocessed as possible, paves the road back to the benefits of healthy whole foods and one of the best investments that can be made. Understand that if we don’t try to change our options and look for more beneficial differences in the options we do have, we won’t find the best options. Regarding the current state of our traditional food industry, there is great economic motivation to be superficial. Begin looking to researchers outside the traditional food industry more deeply and encourage awareness about the emptiness and often harm that results from bad science coating our foods.