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What role do you think chemical preservatives, food dyes, and genetically engineered ingredients in food play in our health and fitness? For example, growing obesity rates are seemingly linked to the increased processing of food, and less consumption of pure, "real" food.

Tags: Fit, GMO, Get, Go, Green, dyes, food, preservatives

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I believe that chemicals in food absolutely contribute to the obesity epidemic in our country.  I also believe unhealthy mindsets toward food help things along too--but I worry daily about what's in the food I'm feeding my son.  I want to provide the best for him, but it's hard! I struggle with being able to afford the "best" foods--the organic fruits, the locally-raised beef/chicken, etc., and I also struggle with convincing my husband (a chemist, nonetheless!) that it's what's best.  Instead of throwing the issue in his face, I've started cooking with much less meat, and we eat many vegetarian/vegan meals now.  It's cheaper, and I'm able to get local produce that's been sustainably farmed, that fits within our budget.

Sometimes we can't as much convince others as much as walk our path, knowing why we do it, and then they follow down the road. I'm sure your husband will thank you one day, and meanwhile you can feel good knowing you're contributing to a healthier family and a healthier world. Thank you for all you do!

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I believe that preservatives and chemicals in food played a role in my getting colon cancer at age 28. It was not genetic so that pretty much leaves diet as the cause and I was a big fast food and deli meat eater. Nowadays I see a big difference in how I look and feel when I am not eating properly. If I eat carbs and sugar for even 1-2 days then I end up feeling like crap at CrossFit class AND I look bloated and my skin will break out. Fitness starts with what you eat. 

I think they play a much more major role than just obesity. Rising cancer rates (in children especially), rising behavior problems (in adults and children), etc. is all about the additives we put into our food, whether they came from a "natural" source or not. That is what people use as their excuse to eat processed food, the manufacturers trick them by saying that the ingredients come from natural sources. We need to eat more WHOLE, RAW, NUTRIENT DENSE foods in order to combat the rising cost in healthcare that we are facing in our current generation!

I don't really know for sure, but studies do show a lot of health problems being correlated with processed food.  I'm on a mission to eliminate it all and go back to basics.  Food dyes are one area that can cause loads of problems.  I replace food dyes with things like spinach, beets, and berries.

Good thinking, Krista! We got rid of most processed foods from our diets and then let our guard down on our son's birthday and got him a cake with traditional food dyes. He broke out in hives and had to be treated with Benadryl and Steroids. All over a little bit of cake! It's absurd how many problems we have created for ourselves in this country with what we allow in the food supply. Next year I'll be baking the cake from scratch and going back to all-natural dyes like you have!

This week's post at Healthy Home Magazine includes a bunch of great resources, including links to many Go Green Get Fit Bloggers and others' posts on this topic:

The chemicals that are in our food, not to mention our cleaning products, personal products an the effects are horrible. I have changed all these things in my household and it has made such a big difference. My son does not have to be medicated for add/adhd due to how I have changed his diet. I am a firm believer in whole foods and fresh foods, including organic meats, etc. It makes me shudder to think of how many bad products are out there and that our nation and government allows these things to be sold and put into our food and other products. It not only causes obesity but so many other problems.

So glad to hear about your son Sherry! Over and over again I hear how many behavioral/allergy/illness issues are resolved by changing diet and household cleansers etc. Thank you for being part of EcoMom Alliance and supporting the shift toward healthier, more sustainable living.

I think that as we buy more chemically laced foods that the negatives are mounting including increased allergies, obesity, autism etc. I really strive to buy more 'natural' foods and less with a laundry list of chemical and unpronounceable names. 

I absolutely believe that the amount of chemicals and artificial hormones and preservatives in food today adversely affect our overall health and fitness


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