It is no secret that toxins in our air and water and over-ingesting in refined foods adversely affect our health, but there are many other substances, foods, and practices that are now being brought to the forefront because they give us pain, digestive difficulties, and/or adversely affect our health in many ways. Here are some of those substances and their adverse effects.
Gluten: In his article “Why Is Wheat Gluten Disorder on the Rise?” Joseph Mercola tells us that gluten intolerance is a condition where gluten found in foods cannot be properly assimilated. He explains that it is “a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The undigested protein triggers the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine, causing diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain.”
Mercola says that this rise in gluten intolerance is likely due to dramatic diet changes that have occurred since the ’50s. (1) Gluten can also be created as we prepare foods, such as when we mash potatoes.
Even though gluten is found in other foods, wheat seems to be the main food-product giving us problems. I remember years ago being told that the problem with wheat today, say compared to what the ancient Egyptians grew, is that it has been so genetically modified that not only are its components now altered, but its growth has also become stunted.
Wheat originally grew much taller and was able to reach high up in the sky and open itself up to large amounts of sunlight. This tall growth also allowed for more insects and bees that pollinate to find space to do so, while at the same time the tall stems blowing in the wind knocked off insect pests. This is one of the reasons many people are now switching to ancient grains, such as quinoa, which have been less modified from their original structure.
Meat and Animal Products:
The meat-vegetarian divide has existed for a long time. People choose to become vegetarians (or vegans) for many different reasons, including health, spiritual motivations, animal-rights concerns, to benefit the Planet, or to uphold ethical principles.
That is not to say that meat eaters are not concerned with some of the same issues as are vegetarians or vegans; they may just be approaching the issues in a different way. Some meat products have been proven to be filled with hormones and synthetic enhancers, and the same has been revealed about dairy, produce, and grain products―although this is now changing.
Regardless of which side of the camp you sit on, it is important to remember that our return to wholeness advocates that love, compassion, and understanding trump any attitudes of judgment or the demeaning or criticizing of others for their habits or values—even if we believe our values endorse more spiritual or ethical principles.
Genetically Modified Organisms:
GMOs are foods or crops that have been manipulated in laboratories to develop supposedly better attributes, such as increased yields, better nutritional content, and more resistance to bacteria and insects. They exist in all areas of our food groups. Experts disagree over the impact they have on our health, so it is advisable to err on the side of caution and aim to consume foods in their most original and natural form.
Many also believe that GMOs negatively impact our natural ecological system as the tampering of seeds, plants, and nature-driven farming processes affect pollinators―all of which in turn affect our future and that of the Planet. Vandana Shiva, a scientist and philosopher, tells us in an interview with Bill Moyers that a huge socioeconomic problem has occurred in India because there is a controlled monopoly in rice-seed sales for the everyday farmer to the extent that all the seeds they have access to have been severely manipulated and the farmers themselves have no control over this (2).
We are also now genetically engineering crops so that they are tolerant of herbicides. In the past few years soybeans have been modified to withstand glyphosate, the component of a popular herbicide that kills the weeds but allows the surrounding plants to survive. Although this is a helpful for the farmers and their crop yields, it is a double-whammy against our health and the environment: the product is genetically modified and the herbicide gets into our soil.
It is now understood that the amount of mercury in our bodies is rising, and it is not just from old fillings and eating fish. The National Research Council of the National Academies has found that the highest concentration of mercury comes from “coal combustion, waste incineration, chlor-alkali plants, and metal processing … and [is] easily volatized to the atmosphere, where it is distributed on a global scale.” Too much mercury in our systems can have negative effects on our nervous systems, kidneys, and lungs. (3)
The common tap water that most of us drink in Canada and the U.S. is fluoridated to protect the health of our teeth, but there is widespread disagreement about its effectiveness. In an interview entitled “Warning: This Daily Habit Is Damaging Your Bones, Brain, Kidneys, and Thyroid,”
Paul Connett says that studies show the teeth of children who drink fluoridated water are no healthier than those who do not, and that fluoride is harmful. He also tells us that Europeans do not fluoridate their water and in most cases their teeth are healthier than North Americans. Connett recommends drinking filtered water whenever possible and suggests that we brush our teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. (4)
Our bodies all respond differently to the toxins in our air and water as well as to all of the 20th century additions, processing, and modifications to what we put on or into our bodies. Even so, one way or another they still play a major role in many of our health issues. Therefore we must be judicious in examining and questioning what is now considered the norm as well as new products or processes being promoted to us―especially by those making profit from them. And as we continue to raise our vibrations our body’s energetic patterning changes and it will more strongly reject unhealthy, non-pure substances becoming even less tolerant of toxins, and low-energy, modified, processed, and sugar and hormone-ridden foods.
Rosemary McCarthy, October 2016
(This article is based on and an expansion to the section “Substances / Practices / Choices that Negatively Affect our Bodies” from chapter 8).
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(1) Joseph Mercola, “Why Is Wheat Gluten Disorder on the Rise?,” July 23, 2009, http:// articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/23/Why-is-Wheat-Gluten-Disorderon-the-Rise.aspx.
(2) Vandana Shiva, “The Problem with Genetically Modified Seeds,” Moyers & Company, PBS, July 13, 2012, http://billmoyers.com/segment/vandana-shiva-on-the-problem-with-genetically-modified-seeds/.
(3) National Research Council, Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United States (Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2010), 97–101.
(4) Paul Connett, “Warning: This Daily Habit is Damaging Your Bones, Brain, Kidneys, and Thyroid,” interview by Joseph Mercola, July 1, 2010, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/01/paul-connett-interview.aspx.