Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Food Sources -Should You be Concerned?

Are you careful about where you get your food? If you haven't been, you may want to reconsider the sources from where you purchase food. In the recent past, we've seen many examples of food recalls and people becoming ill from eating foods that were unsafe to eat. These examples are only becoming more numerous and widespread.

Many people believe that food poisoning is from eating food with bacteria in it that can make you sick - and that belief is absolutely correct. But what many people don't know is that most anyone can become sick from eating processed or industrialized foods - and these are the foods which are most commonly available and which most people consume on a daily basis.

The other important factor that is seldom considered when talking about food making people sick is that the health of the average person living in a developed country (such as the United States). The average citizen's health is less than optimal and the immune system of that person is severely compromised due to the continual consumption of processed and industrialized foods. Eating these types of foods lowers the ability of your immune system and digestive tract to function properly, thus lowering your entire state of health considerably.

When you see labels on foods or signs in grocery stores or restaurants that talk about consuming improperly cooked foods or raw foods and how those adversely affect health, they are unknowingly referring to those two factors - industrial foods and the poor immune systems of individuals consuming them. Because the landscape of industrial foods is so widespread and consumption of real, organic, healthy foods is too uncommon, people's immune system's in general are lowered and susceptible to letting pass diseases and illnesses into the body. Raw foods are vital to health and should be consumed, but because of our culture and our ignorance about these foods, we are wholly unacquainted with what it means to prepare and consume truly healthy raw foods.

Another factor in bacteria from food making people sick is the way foods are handled. For instance, if you buy a carton of eggs, the label may advise you to beware of salmonella. The American Egg Safety Board elaborates: "The inside of an egg was once considered almost sterile. But, over recent years, the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis (Se) has been found inside a small number of eggs. Scientists estimate that, on average across the U.S., only 1 of every 20,000 eggs might contain the bacteria. So, the likelihood that an egg might contain Se is extremely small – 0.005% (five one-thousandths of one percent). At this rate, if you’re an average consumer, you might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years."

A large percentage of the contamination associated with eggs appears on the outside of the egg from debris and fecal matter originating from the environment where chickens live. Most eggs are washed before packing. If you buy local eggs from a known source and you are concerned about eggs being contaminated from the outside, simply wash the egg. If you were to consume a contaminated egg with salmonella on the inside, thorough cooking would kill the bacteria. Most eggs that come from chickens allowed to roam in sustainable-raised environments are healthy eggs which would not contain salmonella on the inside.

In most cases, simply educating ourselves and paying attention to sanitation about clean food sources and proper handling will eliminate harmful bacteria from entering our bodies. However even in the best of cases, repeated consumption of industrial and processed foods will eventually lead to incidence of illness and possibly death, from food-borne bacteria. Your best bet is to pay attention to where your food comes from and keep your food preparation habits and conditions as clean as possible.

For more information about learning how to prepare healthy raw foods, visit the Raw Freedom Community message board.

Macaweb is an excellent source for some of the basics in raw food.

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