Different species of plants and animals have evolved for millions of years on the planet providing mutual sustenance and life to each other. The very waste air we breathe out is fresh air for plants and the oxygen plants breathe out as waste is our breath of life. Plants provide our food too. Such food that comes from life, consumed in its raw form or with natural processing such as drying, fermenting, pickling and cooking may be regarded as natural food.
With advancement of science, over the past few centuries humans have also learned to produce synthetic food and food additives. Such synthetic foods do not occur in nature but may be produced through a combination of elements or by modifying natural foods through chemical or other extreme processes not common in nature.
Basic wisdom would indicate that foods that have been consumed for hundreds and thousands of years are far more likely to be safer and beneficial for life rather than synthetic foods that may have harmful affects over the short or long term. It is human ego, stupidity and greed that has made humans overlook this harm from time to time. Ego comes in when a scientist believes that he has outsmarted nature in creating a food that is superior and greed comes in when a company markets such food for profit with claims that have not been substantiated with long term use. Human stupidity plays a role when a person readily believes modern science food fact as compared to wisdom about a food that has been handed down by civilization for centuries. During the seventies when reports began to appear that eggs are harmful because of cholesterol, this author discarded such reports in favor of the wisdom in the family that an egg a day is good food. Now with time the doctors too appear to have admitted that. The same has been the view of this author with butter, clarified or otherwise. Similarly, this author has never touched margarine in preference to butter even though it is cheaper, simply because it is a trans-fat. There have been times in this author’s life when he was financially hard up but at such times he has preferred to do with out an expensive food rather than go for a cheap synthetic alternative.
One common synthetic food is Trans or hydrogenated fats. It makes food taste yummy but it is not natural. It is produced by a chemical hydrogenation of natural edible oil. For years its harmful affects on human health have been pointed out in various forums but its use has continued. Fortunately the food and drug administration in US has woken up now and initiated steps that will lead to the elimination of this artery clogging food. Undoubtedly this step will in time lead to its ban worldwide.
Sometime back while exploring the possibility of biscuits that may be used as a relief food, this author explored the various biscuits available in India. One brand known popularly as Parle glucose biscuits are produced at affordable rates and it is widely consumed all over India. The company has been providing a great service to the nation by providing a good biscuit at prices affordable by even the poor. However, Examining this biscuit, this author suggested to the company to research if a healthier alternative may also be produced by changing the ingredients slightly - a Parle H biscuit besides the Parle G they already produce. The parle H biscuit could then be utilised for relief operations, school mid-day supplement or just by others who were looking for healthier albeit somewhat more expensive alternative. One suggestion was the addition of other natural ingredients to broaden the nutritional profile of this biscuit and the other was the replacement of synthetic ingredients such as Trans fats by natural ones. The concerned company has not bothered to acknowledge. However, eventually if Trans fats are banned this company would have to begin making the required modifications. That older post is here http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2013/07/biscuits-for-relief-ofr-biscuit.html
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