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Global diets becoming more unhealthy as factory food imperialism expands internationally


Global dietary choices

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(NaturalNews) A study published in The Lancet Global Health that focused on global dietary health yielded some unsettling findings, building the case that diets around the world are worsening instead of improving.

The study outlined what are considered healthy foods -- whole grains, fruits, vegetables, polyunsaturated fat, plant omega-3s, fish, legumes, milk and dietary fiber -- and compared them to unfavorable dietary patterns in which people consumed the likes of processed meats, trans-fats and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Overall, the results concluded that depending on resources, some people were eating healthier, while a majority were still turning to processed, unfavorable foods.

According to the study, "by 2020, nearly 75% of all deaths and 60% of all disability-adjusted life years will be attributable to [non-communicable diseases] and most of the key causes of these conditions are dietary or strongly diet-related."

Commodity traders eyed as large reason behind faltering dietary habits

Many experts say unhealthier dietary patterns can be traced to food supply and distribution issues.

For example, a good part of the problem concerning the decline in healthy eating is that much of our food supply and distribution depends on the four big commodity traders known collectively as the ABCD companies: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill, and Dreyfus (Louis Dreyfus).

They are considered to be the dominant grain traders of the world and key players in the agri-food system, responsible for many diverse companies, agricultural activities, storage and shipments.

For example, Cargill supplies Kraft, Unilever, Nestle and General Mills.

None of these mega-corporations has good global health in mind

We are seeing unprecedented health issues in the US today, many of which are related to digestive health. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are probably just the tip of the iceberg. While the medical system wants to blame these conditions on genetics or food allergies, the truth is far simpler: our food has become contaminated and toxic, thanks to the chemical industry and the fact that the above-mentioned commodity traders are often aligned with them.

In fact, many of them are working with chemical and seed companies in order to provide farmers with technology packages and other benefits; Cargill has worked with Monsanto while ADM has worked with Novartis -- now Syngenta.

It's no secret that glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) such as the residues found in Roundup, are doused on wheat to achieve earlier harvesting. The practice is under scrutiny in many parts of the world, with much discussion about banning it in some areas.

Commercial GBHs are more acutely toxic than glyphosate itself. For example, the amount of Roundup -- containing glyphosate and the surfactant polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA) -- required to kill rats is about one-third the amount of glyphosate alone.

The acute toxicity of glyphosate products to humans was first publicized by physicians in Japan who studied suicide attempts, noting that nine cases were fatal. Symptoms in that instance included intestinal pain, vomiting, excess fluid in the lungs and red blood cell destruction. They believed that Roundup's toxicity was at hand in this matter.

Sadly, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuses to admit dangers of glyphosate products, citing a lack of studies concerning its role in harming health. The EPA maintains that glyphosate's mode of action is "not known at this time," while also ignoring the surfactants and adjuvants that are also found in Roundup.

Chemicals that harm the foods we eat could "induce pathologies" over time

Fortunately, researchers have been able to isolate the effects of glyphosate, Roundup and POEA -- each studied on their own, as individual compounds entities -- determining that POEA is the most toxic. Of course, this finding is not to say that glyphosate is safe. It simply shows that all chemicals combined (as is the case in Roundup's ingredients) act together in ways that are harmful, ultimately compounding health issues.

In the journal, Toxicology, experts note that "pesticide formulations should be studied as mixtures for toxic effects. The multiple combined effects could induce pathologies on a long term."

It's evident, and has been for a long time, that toxins in popular pesticides are destroying food and in turn, overall health. It's no wonder then, that the world's dietary patterns have been found to be less than healthy; between poor dietary choices, varying income levels that dictate access to quality food, harmful pesticides used on crops, and of course, big commodity traders that have ties with the likes of Monsanto and other mega-companies, it makes sense that we're on a very unhealthy track.

Sources used for this article include:

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.thelancet.com[PDF]

http://www.oxfam.org[PDF]

http://www.mindfully.org

http://www.foodrenegade.com

http://healthimpactnews.com

http://www.gmoseralini.org[PDF]

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