The impact of refinement and food processing is a nutritionally poor diet.
Changes in our food habits took place over history, more so in the past 100 years. Processing has now become wide spread. It’s a sign of changing times and economic prosperity as Americans look for more and more foods that are quick and easy, and minimize the needs for home cooking. Many traditional and time tried balanced and health food habits were lost. Organ meats have taken a back seat to muscle meats that are relatively lower in several minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids. After the domestication of wild animals, changes have occurred through breading and feeding. Commercialization of a limited range of stocks results in limitations in diversity, quantity, and quality of fats in animal foods. This implies a reduction in the essential fats and the possible increase in saturated fats.
The way the American food industry is set up, all foods undergo more processing than foods in other parts of the world, which strips the nutrients and dissociates food from its natural state. The dependence on canned and preserved foods is high, which results in nutritionally inferior foods.
For example, canned tomatoes and tomato puree will not contain as many phytonutrients and vitamin C as a regular, fresh tomato.
Processing brings about changes in the fat, mineral, and vitamin content of foods as well introducing into our food supply many substances foreign to our human body chemistry. Shortsighted farming methods deplete soils of minerals, decreasing the mineral content of the foods grown in these soils. The entire process ranging from cultivation, transport, storage, and processing can a heavy nutritional toll on the vitamin and mineral content of the agricultural products.
As Americans, we should rely on canned and processed foods once in a while, not all the time. It’s important to eat a diet rich in natural, organic foods that are free from any type of processing or refinement. This ensures that we obtain the maximum nutritional value from food.
Remember, processing is good for the profit margins of the food industry, but is not necessarily the best choice for the food consumer. Processed food is generally higher in sodium, lower in vitamins and minerals and protein. These foods are also higher in fat and carbohydrates, and may contain preservatives and other chemicals that add to the shelf life of food, but not necessarily its nutritional value.