Do we know what we eat?
“This kind of food is really expensive!” “It takes too long to prepare it” “I don’t have the time for this”. These are some of the arguments that I usually hear from those who are not still convinced of the impact that food has on health. Maybe it’s time to stop asking why natural food is so expensive and ask ourselves why processed food is so cheap, has longer use-by-date and is so easy and quick to be prepared.
Scientific medicine has experimented great advances in the last 50 years, and now people who suffer certain diseases can live longer. Very little or nothing is said about how to prevent them. Hippocrates, recognized as the father of western medicine used to say: “let the food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Such is the importance he awarded to food, able to make us ill or to cure us. If we think about it, there is no other controllable factor able to influence our health that much, our physical appearance, our vitality and even our mental agility along our lives. For that reason, I think it can be worth it to pay very close attention to the food we consume.
We live in a world invaded by advertising with little regulation in this regard, especially when it comes to food. A clear message of what is or is not beneficial to our health does not reach the bulk of society, and great confusion reigns, making that even those less beneficial products for our health appear to be a great remedy for the lack of energy, for obtaining calcium or proteins, for our digestive system to operate better, or even to increase our body´s natural defenses. European legislation has a great void in this respect, which makes it impossible for common people to decipher the actual content of food, regardless the time spent reading the label. Even scientific studies are increasingly conditioned by the interests of those who subsidizes them, focusing on the positive characteristics that the frequent consumption of a food may have, evading the damage it may cause under other perspectives.
In the meanwhile, the governments’ expenses on health increase every year, as well as the number of people who suffer cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and many other diseases related to lifestyle habits. It’s not about stop enjoying such an important aspect of our lives like food, but to have the knowledge of doing it the smart way.
Vice President SHA