Food and Health Related Issues

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Diet for a New America, by John Robbins, discusses the effect of the food we eat on our health and even on our behavior and energy level. He started by discussing the effects linked with heart attack and strokes due to blockage of the arteries and some cancers. He also stated the adverse effects of consuming too much calcium or protein. On the other hand, he discussed how the consumption of natural foods, such as vegetables, starch, whole grains and fruits, can actually prevent diseases and improve one’s health. This is still a prevalent issue nowadays despite the many attempts to promote a healthier way of life. John Robbins then goes on to discuss the issues regarding waste in the water and on the ground. As we have learned in class, companies are still using nitrites in the meat in order to increase sales. Sodium nitrite is put on meat to keep its attractive red color by preventing oxidation. The same process takes place in our body where it will prevent oxygen from reaching the red blood cells. This can be dangerous to adults, but more specifically to babies. Therefore, it is illegal to use nitrites on fresh meat but it can still be used on packaged meats. Another health concern is the discovery of nitrates in contaminated water. Once the nitrate enters our body it can create nitrosamines which can cause cancer and it has also been shown to cause birth defects. Additionally, the nitrate can react with the hemoglobin in our body, depleting the cells of incoming oxygen and one can turn blue, this is also called the “Blue Baby Syndrome”. Agricultural fields have further increased water contamination due to the many chemicals they have been using to treat the crops. Further, the poultry industry was and still is a big health concern. Animals are being raised in very tight spaces and potent antibiotics are being used to prevent the spread of diseases, for them to stay alive long enough to be sold. The residues of these potentially toxic antibiotics stay in the...
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