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How is health and ethical shopping linked?

Friday, March 01, 2019

I've been thinking a lot about health and diet this week. Now I’ve never been a health expert, or interested in health, well I was once a personal trainer and studied nutrition - so maybe I do have an interest in health. But more recently living ethically has been more important to me than health aside from obviously wanting to be healthy - which is probably something we all want.

I’ve always been quite sure my shop has nothing to do with health, it has always been about sourcing ethical products, which in turn has lead me down my own path of following a vegan diet - which evidently also has many health benefits.

But actually I’m starting to feel health does has a role to play in the ethical consumer market place, and this is why…..

Firstly once you begin your journey down an ethical path you start to ask questions about your food, now what ever it was that got you to thinking ethically, (palm oil, veganism, the plastic problem, organic food.) One of the first things we all do is ASK questions.

And one of these questions is “what is in my food?” “What am I buying” And we start to become a bit more aware, the thing with convenience shopping is, the idea is around grab and consume, get stuff as fast as possible and consume it a fast as possible, the packaging it came in, is a long distant memory and not our problem anymore as it fills up landfill.

But once you start on the path to ethicial consumerism you start to wonder and ask questions, and your eyes become opened.

So I just looked into a few ingredients in a loaf of bread.

  • DATEM E472e It is considered safe by the Food Authorities, but a study in 2002, on rats, showed “heart muscle fibrosis and adrenal overgrowth and In high doses, this agent acts as a muscle toxin by inhibiting the production of malic acid, which could cause paralysis and maybe death."
  • E471 - Synthetic fats, produced from glycerol and natural fatty acids - sometimes from a pig.
  • Absorbic acid - vit c - Studies over the last several years have demonstrated that people who take high doses of ascorbic acid actually put themselves at risk for a number of health challenges.
Why is this stuff even in our bread?

So next I looked into other products that could be harmful in food and the list was worrying, I could probably go on all day about the dangers and toxins put into our food. 

  1. TBHQ Found in things like snack crackers, noodles, and fast and frozen foods. It’s allowed to be used in the highest concentrations in frozen fish products.....Also found in paint. Research has linked TBHQ and BHA to numerous possible health problems. Increased the incidence of tumors in rats. Cases of vision disturbances have been reported when humans consume TBHQ. Found TBHQ to cause liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis in laboratory animals.
  2. Sodium acid pyrophosphate,  has been shown to harm your immune system.
  3. Sodium stearoyl lactylate - there is a lack of data available on human carcinogenicity, toxicity, mutagenicity, teratogenicity, and developmental toxicity. However, it may cause a slight skin irritation and, at elevated temperatures, direct contact with this product can cause thermal burns. The food additive can cause slight irritation in the respiratory tract.
This is stuff that is being put in our foods! 

Then there is the case of medication - I know a couple of people who at the moment are going through a lot of medical chronic conditions, and watching them get more and more ill, while they are pumped with more and more drugs - is disturbing, the more I think about it the more I feel medicine is what is killing us.

Many drugs and supplement coatings contain potentially harmful plasticizing chemicals of which is said scientists don't yet know what the health risks are, but pregnant women might want to exercise caution.

Why are we giving these ill people toxic substances? or anyone for that matter?

Now I’m not going to suggest we stop taking medication, because I’m not an expert, but all I want to point out is the people I know who are on long term medication, seem to become more and more ill- yet we are supposed to be taking the medication to feel better. But what if it’s actually killing us?

Just take paracetamol an easy to access drug - Paracetamol rose to prominence during the 1960s in the wake of fears that aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen could cause gastric bleeding, ulcers and other serious side-effects. Yet - “Paracetamol can actually be a very dangerous drug,” says Dr John Dickson, who retired from general practice in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, last year. “It can cause kidney and liver problems, and causes as much gastrointestinal bleeding as the NSAIDs.”

It’s actually quite scary that, for years, decades even we have put our hands into big food corp and big pharma (two of the largest industries in the world) almost trusting them with our health and yet as it turns out they have been putting highly toxic and completely unnessacary ingredients into these products.

And that is not ethical.

So health is in fact linked to ethics! 



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