Truths about processed food


Eating to survive was once the goal. Today industry provides us with food in abundance, but it often changes its original form.

In the past, food was processed industrially in order to preserve it for times of shortage and to make it accessible to more people. Meanwhile, the global food giants are aiming to throw more and more products on the market, to stimulate ever greater consumption and to drive up profits. People who are checking the net for something like want to enjoy it with food and drinks.

Farmers are now using artificial fertilizers and pesticides, especially in the United States, where soy and corn cultivation was subsidized and thus led to overproduction. They also became more resourceful in making cheap fats, sugar, and other ingredients from soy and corn.


Harvest fuel the food boom

Corn and soybean oils were hydrogenated, which changed their structure, making them more versatile. But this creates trans fats, which are now known to be dangerous because they increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. These newly produced vegetable oils were initially thought to be healthier than animal fats, and the advertising used the reference to agriculture to give them and other products made from field crops a “natural” image.


Fructose-glucose: A controversial sweetener

The new versatile, abundant, and cheap additives are proving to be a benefit to the industry – and a potential health disaster. Sugar, originally made from sugar cane, was once a luxury good. When Europeans colonized the Caribbean, production increased, but it wasn’t until the 19th and 20th centuries that sugar became widely available when it could be obtained from sugar beet and other sources.


Corn, a new cheaper grain from the USA, turned out to be particularly successful. In the 1970s, the fructose-glucose syrup was developed. Today it is found in thousands of foods and beverages and is increasingly associated with health problems, although its proponents claim that its chemical structure is identical to that of other forms of sugar. The fact is, most of us eat way too many sweet things today. Sweeteners that are added in some form to anything from sauces to pizza and “healthy” flavored water are hard to escape. But sugar in any form is mostly empty calories. If consumed in excess, it leads to weight gain without offering any benefits.