What's in Your Food?

Road to Wellness

Sep 13, 2006 at 2:06 pm

It's a simple and important question: What's in the food that I'm about to put in my mouth?

In today's climate of watchdog groups, you'd think that any controversial "food additives" would have to be reported on the labels, right? Think again.

On Aug. 18, the Associated Press reported that a cocktail of viruses was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a "food additive." You, however, won't know which foods have been treated.

Why not? The viruses are intended to kill strains of the listeria monocytogenes bacterium. And while only an extremely small portion of the population ever displays illness associated with this particular bacteria — about 2,500 people each year who already are designated as having weakened immune systems — it was decided to expose all of us who consume ready-to-eat meats to the viral additive. So if you eat deli meats, sausages or similar products, you soon will be getting an unnatural exposure of viruses designed to kill bacteria with each meal.

Why is this important?

Well, we have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria in our internal and external environment. The microflora (our natural and beneficial bacteria) in our gut serves many necessary functions we can't do without, aiding everything from food digestion to protection from dangerous bacteria, viruses, fungus and other parasites to absorption of nutrients. To put it in perspective, the number of bacteria in our bodies that help us survive and thrive outnumbers our own cells by a factor of 10! Disrupting the balance of the trillions of bacterium comprising cooperative communities within our own bodies can have devastating effects on our health.

Another reason is probable mutation of bacteria in the environment. We'll be introducing unnatural quantities of bacteria-eating viruses into the water supply. The impact can't be predicted, but the outcome of bacteria adapting to the new threat is a given.

We've learned this lesson many times over the years since the overuse of antibiotics. Nature's response is to find a way to survive. It's the adaptation of the strong.

Being strong is what The Road to Wellness is all about, and it includes informed decision-making and subsequent action. It's absolutely necessary to know about your foods and to support farmers, ranchers and producers who make you healthier.

MATTHEW KAYS is a wellness-oriented holistic chiropractor in Montgomery serving people who are interested in developing higher degrees of health and well-being. Contact him via his Web site, www.advchirocincinnati.com.