Effects of Processed foods in America
Health is wealth. Indeed, staying healthy is an asset in any person’s life. Being in and out of hospital regularly due to ailments could cost you greatly. It is for that reason that it has become necessary for every person to be very cautious on what they eat. Processed foods have been at the center of controversy with some people arguing that they are unhealthy and could cause various diseases. On the other hand some people argue that processed foods are not harmful but should be taken moderately.
This discussion takes a look at what processed foods are and what impacts they have on our bodies if any. Processed foods are edibles whose state has been altered so that they are no longer natural. The alteration is done with the main aim being to ensure that food is safe for human consumption at longer time than nature would ordinarily allow. There are various ways in which food can be processed. Some of the most common ways of processing food include refrigeration, dehydration, canning and freezing.
Food processing is also done to lengthen the shelf life of foods so that they can stay long before they expire. It is pretty obvious that natural food that has not been altered in any way contains all the nutrients and is safer for human consumption. Processed foods on the other have a large amount of vitamins, minerals and fibers removed and thus are less nutritious. Most vitamins are destroyed by heat and thus it means that most processed foods, since they undergo heating have minimal or no vitamins at all.
One of the drawbacks of processed foods is that they have reduced nutritional content in comparison to natural food. This in essence means that if you get used to eating processed on a regular basis you will miss out on the nutritious content. Almost all processed foods will contain additives that are meant to prevent the food from going bad. Other additives are meant to give the food a flavour while others enhance the texture of the food. More often than not, these additives add no value to the human body.
If anything, when taken in large amounts they can be a health hazard (Johanson, 2008). The major threat that processed foods pose is the fact that they contain preservatives that help lengthen the shelf life of these foods. (Packard, 1976) These preservatives include sulphites and nitrites. Usually these preservatives can cause adverse effects on human health. Research indicates that most manufacturers opt for low cost preservatives whose effects are quite adverse. In addition, processed foods have been found to have high amounts of calories than natural foods.
The reason for this is that processed foods are produced in large masses with the intention of satisfying customers since the foods go for low prices than natural foods. Due to the large mass production that characterizes processed foods, there is a high possibility of failed standards of hygiene. This has a great negative consequence on the end product that is taken to the market. If you take a keen notice, the recommendations of manufacturers regarding processes foods is that they should be prepared using the microwave.
This makes these foods even more harmful (Shinkokai, 1997). Processed foods have also been seen to have an effect on the economy of America. In one way, processed foods have boosted the economy of the country in that the industry that manufactures these foods contributes a large amount of taxes to the government. In addition, this industry makes high demand products and has therefore been able to expand over the years, providing employment to thousands of people and thus has helped reduce employment. This is a benefit to the economy of the United States of America.
On the other hand, due to the effects that processed foods have on the human body, people are developing health problems at an early age and therefore the workforce in the country is affected. If the labor force in the country is reduced then the economy of such a country is threatened (Johanson, 2008). While we may not fully dismiss the fact that processed foods are bad and should be avoided, we must also lay caution that when one can they should avoid them. The reason for this is because the benefits that one derives from processes are less in comparison to the harm and risks they pose.
At this point I would like to clarify that processed foods are not bad in entirety. Sometimes, food processing is important as it helps neutralize the high amounts of natural toxins which could cause harmful effects if left unaltered. A bite of processed foods once in a while does not cause any harm. However, one should avoid taking processed foods on regular intervals as it could bring adverse health effects later in life (Packard, 1976). Life is a choice. You choose what to eat and what not to eat. However, as you make a choice on the food to eat, it is important that you are well informed on the dangers of processed foods.
They may be sweet and highly affordable, but the effects could be quite adverse. The next time you pop in to a supermarket and you feel great craving for junk food, think again and remember the consequences. References Johanson, P. (2008). Processed Food. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group. Packard, V. S. (1976). Processed foods and the consumer: additives, labeling, standards, and nutrition. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Publisher. Shinkokai, N. B. (1997). Processed foods. Japan: Japan External Trade Organization.Sample Essay of Eduzaurus.com