Let’s do a little time travel – back millions of years to the dawn of intelligent life on this beautiful planet. See how pristine and unspoiled the world is. Notice the untouched environment and the bountiful earth. Take a deep breath of wonderful pure, clean air as you look around you. Can you believe this beauty?
Nothing is artificial or unnatural, and the environment has the ability to sustain itself. People drink clean water from natural sources and diets consist mainly of uncultivated fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
There are no plastics, food additives or chemical sprays and no cars or factories to pollute the air. Asthma, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are unheard of because they simply don’t exist.
These modern-day chronic illnesses are the high price we pay for the conveniences of modern life.
Okay, now let’s return to the present and look at our world as though we were travelers from ancient times. Suddenly, it’s difficult to breathe. Smog filled cities choke us and our lakes are too polluted to swim in. Drinking untreated water is unthinkable. We don’t recognize the ‘foods’ which are highly refined with added colours and preservatives that many people are eating. The diet seems to consist mostly of saturated fats, salt and/or sugar with a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables.
We see people eating a large meal of fatty foods and then spending the evening in front of the television set as their children play video games on the computer. The next day, the kids are driven to school as the parents go to work which means sitting in front of the computer once again. Although people aren’t exercising much, they seem chronically tired.
Shocking, isn’t it? It leaves you wondering about the intelligence of a species that damages its own environment. There’s no doubt that out ancient ancestors would be really confused by our behavior.
Although the first environment damage likely came from hunters who burned down go rests in order to scare the animals out, we can trace the beginnings of irreversible and sustained ecological damage directly back to the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, and all the trappings that came along with it.
Since then, there’s been a race to ‘succeed ’with little thought to the damage we’re doing along the way. For centuries we got away with this short-sighted view. As long as there was still plenty of forest and farmland and the water were more or its time we did. Think about it. For roughly two million years, human beings lived essentially the same way with the same basic requirements to sustain life. In the very small space of only 250 years, we’ve undergone massive lifestyle changes in terms of what we eat, drink and do in our spare time. Yet somehow we expect that our bodies will magically adapt to all these changes.
Not without protesting! And the protest can take the form of asthma, heart disease, cancer, etc. All of these diseases are on the rise; even diseases we thought were conquered are making a chilling comeback. Think of illness as your body’s way of protesting the artificial modern lifestyle.
Culturally, you’re very different from your ancestors, the hunter-gatherers. Yet genetically
and physically, you haven’t changed. Your genetic structure, which controls every function of your body, is essentially the same as those who lived eons before you. Nourish these genes well and they’ll keep you healthy. Give these genes artificial foods or expose hen to environmental toxins and they go awry. That could mean aging faster or developing a chronic illness.
Since we eat, breathe and live in this modern environment, ingesting these toxins is inevitable. Many of these pollutants end up being stored in our bodies. I think of this buildup of contaminants as “body pollution”. Our bodies were simply never designed to metabolize and digest these modern adulterated foods and our systems struggle to detoxify such overwhelming amounts of pollutions.
Here’s how body pollution works. Once a foreign substance enters the body, it has to be detoxified and made water soluble so that it can be safely eliminated, the liver and the kidneys are the main organs responsible for detoxification while the lungs, skin and intestines also play an important role. But even with all these powerful allies on our side, our bodies simply can’t detoxify and eliminate all the chemicals we ingest. It does its best but were still left with a damaging residue.
When the main organs have more toxins than they can handle, the still active or partially deactivated chemicals are stored in the fatty tissues – possibly even in the brain and central nervous system. Slowly, these reactive and toxic compounds can be released into the bloodstream, disrupting the systems of the body and causing premature aging and disease.
So this is what we call progress! Overloading our bodies with unnatural and harmful substances. It’s a step forward all right – a step forward into premature aging and chronic illness.
While we’re well aware of the damage that pollutants can cause to the environment it terms of global warming or chemical spills, somehow we don’t make the leap in logic when it comes to our own buildup of body pollution. Most of us know that carbon monoxide emissions damage the trees and stunt their growth but rarely do we realize that all this pollution is also doing internal damage to us.
It shows in how much energy we have, in our outlook on life, in our capacity for enjoyment. It shows in terms of how well we feel and how well we actually are we’ve come to think its normal to feel exhausted after a full work day since we don’t know any other way of living.
The Air We Breathe
Thankfully, there is another way and I’m going to reveal it to you as you read on. First, I’m going to ask you to do a little research of your own. Next time you are dropping your children or grandchildren off at school, see how many kids have inhalers to help them with asthma-related breathing problems. Then think back to when you attended school and the magnitude of the problem will hit you. The level of pollution has overwhelmed children’s natural ability to fight back and deactivate the toxic overload. In certain countries, 30-40% of asthma cases and 20-30% of all respiratory diseases can be directly linked to air pollution.
The Water We Drink
For a good barometer of the quality of our current water supply, we need to look at the effect pollution is having on marine life. A dead orca whale recently found off the Washington coast appears to be the most toxic mammals ever tested (so far) with levels of polychlorinated biphenyl’s(PCB’s) so great that the assessment machines had to be reset in order to be able to measure the levels.
The sad fact is that whales in the Canadian Gulf of St. Lawrence (and in many other parts of the world) are so full of PCB’s that they qualify as toxic dumpsites under US environmental laws.
The Food We Eat
So much for our water. Now think about the food you eat and the fact that over 10,000 food chemicals and additives are currently in use in your food supply. All of these chemicals are used to make processed and packaged food look and taste better and, of course, last as long as possible on the store shelves. Many of the chemicals end up being stored in your body.
Food chemistry became an essential science as society developed and people began to move
from rural areas to the cities. Food had to be distributed over longer and longer distances before reaching the consumer so somehow it needed to be preserved.
Those lovely looking apples in your neighborhood shop were most likely grown thousands of miles away, picked while they were still green and exposed to ethylene gas so they could ripen as they were being shipped to their destination in a truck. Not only do these fruits still carry a residue of the chemical but because they were picked early, they may have little or no nutritional value by the time they reach your kitchen table.
Our modern food supply has become a mixture of chemicals and additives with the emphasis on appearance and taste as well as shelf life, rather than on the nutritional value. The food industry is being driven by people’s reliance on convenience foods that fit in with busy lifestyles. The invention of the TV dinner, fast food restaurant drive-through, pre-package ready-to-serve foods and super-sized meals have all contributed to more calories and more chemicals with fewer essential nutrients. Read full story from the publisher