A LOT of pompous, tub thumping goes down as far as climate change issues go. Climate does change. We contribute by living here. Protecting ourselves in so far as we can is an obvious, serious ambition.
Diet change also attracts a similar band of uninformed nutritional illiterates, usually cheered on by anonymous vested industry fat boys.
Manifestly what we have been eating for the last 20 years or so has changed our bodies. We are fatter. We are less healthy. Or you can spin it another way and say we live longer and that introduces us to new health stresses.
Either way it is relatively modern event, defined by an industrialisation of food production and an increasingly global uniformity in what is available to eat.
Even in France they do not necessarily eat French food anymore but they do eat french fries. The boundaries have been torn up.
The first layer for prime public consumer concern in such a commercial free for all bunfight is food security. The bigger the society the bigger the risk to which evidences BSE, foot and mouth, e-coli, horse meat sold as beef which is the most compelling proof that the food industry in Europe is totally out of control.
The second layer of concern is what eating these foods on a regular basis is doing to our health. Transparently the rise of food allergies is not unconnected. We reach that point where we are lacto intolerant, where we are histamine sensitive, where we have gluten reactions because we have been eating so much of these things. And as we get older, we will become more sensitive not less.
Worryingly, a new report in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, part of the British Medical Journal group, highlights another dimension altogether, namely scientific concerns as to how synthetic everyday chemicals are leaching into the diet from packaging.
As with many food/health issues, it is the drip drip long term effects that are the concern. Some of these chemicals like toxic formaldehyde and other plastics are regulated but have never been tested in the long term. You are the guinea pig. Or you may pass the effects down your genes to your children.
Formaldehyde is used in fizzy drink bottles. Other commonly found chemicals in packaging that are thought to disrupt hormone production are bisphenol A, tributyltin, triclosan, and phthalates. In total 400 chemicals may be/could be implicated.
“Whereas the science for some of these substances is being debated and policy-makers struggle to satisfy the needs of stakeholders, consumers remain exposed to these chemicals daily, mostly unknowingly,” says the report.
There is more here. The very caution in that quote rings loud alarm bells.