DO WE REALLY KNOW WHAT WE’RE EATING?

It’s harvest season in Quebec for many farmers. But this time of year often leads all of us to ask ourselves: Do we really know what we’re eating?

Our meals provide many elements that are essential to life and good health. But unfortunately, the industrialization of food production has also brought its share of problems, such as:

Pesticides, GMOs, hormones, antibiotics

Pesticides are used to ensure good crop yields, but unfortunately they have a major impact on the environment, whether in terms of their contamination of groundwater or air or their effects on wildlife.

Genetically modified foods are allowed by law without any required identification. This means it’s hard to track them. Their effect on health varies, but their impact on agricultural diversity is undeniable.

Growth hormones are mainly used in the livestock production industry. Contrary to popular opinion, their effect on people is not that significant, given the fact that most of these hormones occur naturally and their levels are lower than those found in other products, such as soy, milk and even beer. Nevertheless, it is recommended to limit your consumption of foods with high hormone levels.

Antibiotics used preventatively or as growth agents are problematic for humans. They make some bacteria more resistant to treatment and certain infections, such as E. coli and C. difficile, harder to treat.

Given all this, what should we be eating?

The experts agree that we need to eat more vegetables and vegetable protein and reduce our intake of meat and processed foods. Give preference to quality over quantity.

The solution: Eat local and organic.

Doing so will enable you to:

  • Support local producers, which in turn supports your local economy
  • Consume health foods free of pesticides, antibiotics and other products that are harmful to your health
  • Reduce the environmental impact of your food consumption
  • Benefit from a healthy diet
  • Contribute to maintaining local and regional agricultural diversity

 

Always remember: What’s better for you is also better for the planet.

 

October’s Did You Know? will focus on fireplaces and their effect on air quality.