Most of the man-made compounds cannot biodegrade and are progressively building up in the atmosphere and on the earth. They are contaminating our natural life system, and are also making us sick. As Patrick Holford, a renowned nutritionist says, ‘we are vertically ill’, upright, but not feeling great. A build up of all these toxins over years could eventually cause illness such as cancer, arthritis, obesity, and asthma. It is essential that we aim to eliminate our contribution to the creation of these toxic compounds. With a bit of active consumerism, this can be done in two ways: buying local in-season organic produce, and avoiding additives and preservatives contaminating our food.
We need to start at the birth of our food. Directly or indirectly, all food comes from the soil. The soil where our food is grown needs to be healthy, free of herbicides, pesticides and fungicides, rich in nutrients, and a space where biodiversity is present. Most organic farming methods fall in this category and there are many different ways to source organic food beyond the refrigerated Woolworths shelf. Don’t be afraid of un-certified organic produce. It is expensive to certify a farm and we need to support the smaller organic farmers that are attempting the change. Organic farms are an interesting visit, a field of weeds and crops and bugs all over the place protecting and caring for each other. Have a go at planting your own veggies in your garden. Start small, prepare good healthy soil and you will reap abundant rewards.
To avoid all the long-life preservatives and get in as much nutrients as possible, we need to buy produce locally and in season. This produce will not have been kept in electricity-guzzling fridges for months and will not have travelled thousands of kilometres. However, it will have the nutrients that our body requires for that specific time of the year.
Products that are pre-made, pre-packed, or processed often have a long list of artificial additives including colourants, stabilizers, flavour enhancers and preservatives. Here is a list of the most common and most important to avoid. The side effects differ from person to person and are mostly present if consumed in large amounts and over a long period of time.
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG or E621) – flavour enhancer used in most salty foods, crisps, soya sauce, stock, snacks, fast food. Known to cause headaches, nausea, digestive pain and obesity.
- Aspartame and Acesulfame-K (E951, E950) – artificial sweeteners used in most sugar free drinks, cookies, chewing gum, crisps. Could cause migraines, epilepsy, nerve disfunction, and multiple sclerosis.
- Sulphur Dioxide (E220) – a preservative used in dried fruit, bacon, meats. Could cause allergies, asthma and headaches.
- Sodium Benzoate (E211) – a preservative used in most fruit juices. Known to cause a tight chest, skin rashes, scratchy throat.
- Tartrazine and Sunset Yellow (E102, E110) – a colour used in drinks, custard, dairy products, condiments and sweets. Could induce asthma and allergies, linked to hyperactivity.
- Hydrogenated Fats – when solid fats are artificially produced by heating liquid oils in the presence of hydrogen. Used in chocolate, margarine, cakes, biscuits, peanut butter. Linked to heart disease, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer.
Introduce the changes into your life slowly, start to read the ingredients of the products currently in your home. Investigate alternative ways to buy organic produce, and start digging! It is a decision that we all have the choice to make.
Source: Life in Balance
Sustainable living is all about taking a holistic approach to healthier living that is in balance with Nature. Small changes can make a big difference over time. Take a few seconds to think about your every day actions and see if there is a more eco-friendly way of being (often there is little or no inconvenience involved with choosing the greener option). Supporting local, organic producers sometimes costs a little more but the health- and environmental benefits are definitely worth it. Water is at the core of good health; buy a suitable water filter to purify (remove chlorine, etc.) municipal and borehole water. Bottled water is not as safe as many imagine and the environmental costs are shocking. Recycle grey water and harvest rainwater; both these actions will save you money, water and protect the environment from overflowing sewage works and stormwater runoff. Rain water harvested from your rooftop and stored in water tanks must be filtered if you intend drinking it (bacteria and dust may be present on your roof and gutters). Rain water is excellent for irrigating an organic vegetable patch as it is generally pure compared to municipal and ground water (municipal water usually contains chlorine which is toxic to plants and groundwater can be contaminated with elements and compounds toxic to plants). Vegetable leftovers can be used for a worm farm; the worms convert the vegetable matter into high quality compost (and you prevent extra trash landing up in the landfill).
Water Rhapsody supplies and installs high quality water systems; contact us for a free quote.