28 August, 2004
SOME OBSERVATIONS ON "ENRICHED" FOOD
In today's modern supermarket, it is very difficult to avoid packaged
foods that are labeled as being "enriched." Indeed, just
about the only sure way to avoid such adulterated food products
is to purchase just fresh fruits and produce. To be fair, modern
food processing has made a significant contribution to the wide
dissemination of foods to populations that would otherwise have
a great deal of difficulty in feeding themselves. However, as the
evidence presented below will demonstrate, "enriched"
foods are not only very depleted foods, they may well make significant
toxic contributions to many of the people who eat them on a regular
basis. A link at the end of this newsletter to a video clip will
provide the most graphic evidence of this assertion.
WHEN "ENRICHED," BEWARE
The nutrient content in food today can be highly variable. Modern
food processing, which can involve canning, freezing, and/or the
addition of multiple chemical substances that preserve food, uniformly
leads to a final food product that is often severely lacking in
vitamin, mineral, and other nutrient content. Such food processing,
however, is critical in the delivery of food products to an ever-growing
world population. Even if enough fresh foods were harvested on a
daily basis to meet the world's daily needs, there exists no practical
delivery system to get such foods distributed before they spoil
and became inedible.
Bearing in mind the above inherent limitations found in modern
food processing, it should be obvious that any additional manipulations
of different food products that further deplete nutrient content
would be highly undesirable. Nevertheless, some of the most common
foods eaten regularly throughout the United States and the rest
of the world have been subjected to additional measures that reduce
their nutritive value to very minimal levels. These foods are not
only eaten regularly, they are eaten in a very high volume. This
is very significant because the body has only so much appetite and
hunger over a given 24-hour period. When depleted food is routinely
ingested to satisfy one's normal hunger, vitamin, mineral, and other
nutrient depletions and imbalances are sure to eventually ensue.
Proper supplementation can counteract these inevitable imbalances
and depletions, but it cannot completely compensate for eating food
of poor nutrient quality in the first place.
The premier depleted food today is flour. The grains used to produce
white, refined flour have literally had the vast majority of its
nutrient value deliberately stripped out of it. However, the food
industry does not waste these stripped nutrients. Wheat germ and
other nutrients deliberately removed from grains are utilized in
helping to produce many of the wide variety of supplements available
to us today. If you find yourself becoming a bit upset that such
grains do not simply remain unstripped, you are certainly not alone.
The term "enriched" is especially misleading when looking
at the final product. Such a term readily invokes the impression
and visceral response that any food that is deliberately enriched
must truly be an especially good food to eat. In fact, so much is
taken out of the grain products in the first place that the subsequent
addition of some vitamins and minerals to those products barely
mitigates their loss when they were initially removed from the grain.
To use an analogy, if a robber takes the last ten dollars out of
your wallet, you've definitely been acutely and totally depleted
of your immediate financial resources. However, if that robber became
suddenly sympathetic to your acute financial deficit and decided
to return to you one dollar, it is not likely that you would consider
yourself "enriched." Rather, you would just consider yourself
a little bit less massively depleted of your money. And so it is
with grains and modern food processing. Enrichment really only means
slightly less massively depleted.
THE IRONY OF FOOD ENRICHMENT
What could be worse than depleting food and then "enriching"
that food in the manner noted above? One thing that makes it much
worse is when at least one of the added nutrients is really a non-nutrient,
toxic additive. The iron that is added to many of our foods today
is, in fact, a metallic form of iron. When you click on the link
at the end of this newsletter, you will be able to see for yourself
that METALLIC IRON FILINGS can be pulled out of a popular breakfast
cereal with a strong magnet! Such iron filings have also been pulled
out of a number of other "enriched" or "iron-fortified"
foods. Iron, like any other nutrient, must be in a food-form, bioavailable
state to be useful to the body. When it is not, it not only does
little or no good, it can have its own direct toxicity. It defies
all logic and common sense to think that grinding shavings off of
a bar of iron onto your food, analogous to shredding cheese onto
your Italian food, could be anything less than toxic. Yet that appears
to be exactly the form of iron that is routinely added to many of
the "enriched" food products that we eat today.
THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM
Enriched white flour is used in very many different packaged foods.
Nearly all conventionally prepared pastas, other flours, crackers,
breads, foods with crusts, cereals, and many far less obvious white
flour-containing foods have iron fortification. The only definitive
way presently available that I know of to avoid this metallic iron
infliction is to grind your own flour from unmolested grains, or
buy organically produced foods. At least at the present, organic
foods are seldom subjected to the addition of more vitamins, minerals,
and nutrients. A few are, however, and you do need to become a diligent
label reader. Buying organic also has the added benefit of avoiding
the high fluoride content found in so many grain products fertilized
with the traditional NPK, or nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizer.
Remember, the most common fluoridation agent, hydrofluosilicic acid,
is a by-product of the fertilizer industry. Little wonder, then,
that traditional fertilizers can also add so much fluoride to the
crops being fertilized. And if you think that fluoride in any dosage
is good for you, you should consider scientifically researching
this issue for yourself rather than just listening to opinions and
Dr. Weston Price was able to show that refined white flour, in
concert with refined sugar, was able to facilitate the emergence
of a wide variety of medical diseases in the natives initially exposed
to these foods. Furthermore, Dr. Price was also able to link the
appearance of birth defects in only the first generation of children
born to mothers who started eating white flour and refined sugar.
His findings are elegantly presented in his book, Nutrition and
Consuming a healthy variety of foods is not as easy a task as it
may seem. Even eating nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables does
not assure optimal nutrition, as many farm soils have become enormously
depleted of many of the minerals and other nutrients that are normally
present in soils that have not been repeatedly farmed over and over
without attention to proper techniques of soil nutrient regeneration.
Also, eating a healthy diet becomes an almost impossible task to
achieve when there is a regular intake of processed, "enriched"
foods. Essential nutrient levels in the body will progressively
decline over time, and the appearance of multiple degenerative medical
diseases will be facilitated. Finally, such "enriched"
foods can have additives that are toxic rather than beneficial,
although they are advertised as nutritive. Metallic iron filings
as supplemental iron is but one glaring example. A visual demonstration
of this fact can be seen by clicking on the following link:
http://tomlevymd.com/ and then
clicking on "Video Clips" in the blue column on the left.
Price, W. (1989) Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. New
Canaan, CT: Keats Publishing, Inc.
Copyright © 2002 by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D.
All Rights Reserved