Brain Chemistry Problems Archives

Our food is driving us crazy.

[ Brain Chemistry Problems Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!
 
        

Our food is driving us crazy.

Posted by thessa on June 08, 2003 at 02:56:25:

http://www.thecrazymakers.com/food_facts.shtml

Is It Nature, Nurture, or Nutrition?

The question about what causes violence, lowered test scores, or other signs of mental / emotional disturbance is being bandied around between experts who try to find a tangible association between abnormal behaviors and a causative agent. Is it poor parenting? Easy availability of weapons? TV and movie violence? Drug abuse? Peer pressure or peer ridicule? It seems that experts are looking for simplistic answers - but they are searching in the wrong direction.

The fundamental questions to be asked - and answered - are, "Are their brains being fed? Are we providing our children with the building blocks of a healthy brain? If we feed our children a natural, whole-food diet, will they be able to think clearly? Will they feel contented and sociable? Can we change society by changing the food supply?"

These questions are not trite. Can such a simple thing as food wield a positive influence on cognition and behavior? Or conversely, can pseudo-food destroy a brain and wreak havoc with a mind? Can our food drive us crazy?

consider these "food facts":
Over $750 million is spent annually on vending machine sales alone, bringing huge dollars into schools. Nearly $6 billion are spent by U.S. elementary and high schools on foods served at school. Top vending machine sellers are soft drinks, coffee, juice and juice drinks, candy, chips, pretzels, cookies, and even French fries.
Many of our most popular baby foods contain high levels of organophosphate insecticide residues that are toxic to the neurological and endocrinological systems. Nine out of ten children under the age of five are exposed to thirteen different neurotoxic insecticides in their baby foods.
Infant formulas lack the fatty acid DHA, a deficiency which can alter not only neuron development but development of the retina as well. The amino acid profile in infant formulas leaves the brain deficient in tryptophan, a deficiency that leads to aggressive behaviors and sleep disorders in children. Soy based infant formulas have been linked to changes in the function of the sex glands, the central nervous system, the thyroid, and may lead to behavioral problems in adolescence. A daily supply of soy-based formula provides as much estrogen as is found in several birth control pills, and yet research is not being done on the endocrinological or neurological effects of supra-physiological doses of estrogen during the formative period in a child's life.
Millions of metric tons of MSG are routinely added to foods marketed to children and adults. Although it is illegal to put MSG in infant foods, food additives that contain glutamate are added, bypassing federal regulations. MSG is categorized as an excitotoxin, a chemical that over-stimulates brain cells and may cause their premature death.
The average American consumes over two hundred pounds of sugar and artificial sweeteners per year, or over twenty teaspoons per day. Most popular cereals contain more sugar, ounce for ounce, than soft drinks. Thousands of adverse reactions to aspartame have been reported, including depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of the sense of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, and memory loss.
Packaged entrees marketed to children contain from six to eight different forms of sodium, and many of these entrees contain over 1000 mg of sodium per container, along with forty to sixty grams of sugar. These entrees are packed as a school lunch.
The typical teenage boy drinks over fifty ounces of soft drinks per day. Teenage girls drink over forty-five ounces of soft drinks per day. Soft drink companies sell over nine billion servings per day, and are reaching for an even bigger share of the beverage market.
Our milk supply is becoming increasingly contaminated with hormones that wield a powerful influence on our own hormones. Little to no research has been done on how these hormones affect the endocrine system in young, growing bodies. Genetic testing is now underway to boost the estrogen content in milk even higher.

What Are We To Do About It?
This is the big question. We already know that our food culture is destroying our brains. We instinctually know it. We feel it. We feel a little guilty when we pull up to the drive-through and order dinner for the family. The question is easy to ask. The answer is painfully difficult, isn't it?

But once we come to the decision that we need to feed our brains, that we want to encourage good dietary habits in our children so they will be smart and well-adjusted, it isn't so difficult, after all. Nature has provided a virtual cornucopia of flavor and color, vibrant foods that enrich our brains, foods that stimulate our imaginations and our reason. We can choose from over one hundred vegetables and over thirty fruits on the American market shelves to fuel our bodies with vitamins and minerals. We can choose avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and real butter, all rich in essential fatty acids. We can choose from a variety of both vegetarian and animal proteins to provide essential amino acids.

Instead of cramming our days with activities (TV and computer or work) that crowd out kitchen time, we can spend time with our children in the kitchen. While we're teaching them how to chop, wash, create, blend, and feast, we can talk. We can make mealtimes a time rich in flavor and tradition instead of a rushed affair before we race out the door for yet another meaningless activity.

Nature plays a part. Nurture plays a part. But in the face of bad nutrition, nature and nurture are shackled. Our food is, quite literally, driving us crazy.



Re: Our food is driving us crazy.

Posted by Steve on June 08, 2003 at 07:54:50:

In Reply to: Our food is driving us crazy. posted by thessa on June 08, 2003 at 02:56:25:

thessa, Best we can do is try ( not harp )to encourage friends and family to eat correctly, by setting a good example..Steve

Follow Ups:


Re: Our food is driving us crazy.

Posted by ktj on June 08, 2003 at 11:50:48:

In Reply to: Our food is driving us crazy. posted by thessa on June 08, 2003 at 02:56:25:

Thanks, thessa.

Follow Ups:


Re: Our food is driving us crazy. (Archive in brain chemistry.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 09, 2003 at 06:35:58:

In Reply to: Our food is driving us crazy. posted by thessa on June 08, 2003 at 02:56:25:

Thanks, Thessa.

This fact has been documented for more than 30 years and still it is practically ignored by the profession. See the brain chemistry archives for some of the references.

Follow the money!

Namaste`

Walt

Follow Ups:


[ Brain Chemistry Problems Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!