Just recently I’ve been shocked and appalled at some people’s responses to promoting healthy eating in schools. Who would’ve thought that suggesting some chemical free alternatives could be so offensive? Or daring to raise concerns that ingredients in foods may contribute to poor focus, behaviour and therefore educational outcomes would cause angry responses?
It appears that what is common sense to me is actually a controversial topic.
Argument 1: There’s not enough scientific evidence
There IS scientific evidence to support this, but unfortunately not a lot. It is still in the very early stages of being explored and unfortunately good research requires funding. Who’s going to fund research into the link between cancer and food chemicals? Certainly not the companies who engineered the chemicals for their food production or the pharmaceutical companies who make billions of dollars out of selling cancer treatments.
I don’t need to wait for Professor science to tell me something is or isn’t safe, I can use my own brain! Synthetic chemicals that are also used in industry and that are potential carcinogens are not good for me or my kids. It’s not rocket science.
Argument 2: It sounds like a conspiracy theory
When I think of our current sceptics, I remind myself that people were once sceptics to the dangers of cigarettes. The tobacco industry did a fantastic job in covering up the fact that cigarettes caused cancer, silencing some of the early voices who dared to speak up. What was once considered a conspiracy theory was actually the truth.
We need our eyes wide open so we don’t blindly accept the messages of our media-driven popular culture. We must dare to question, to examine and assess – not to become cynical, but aware.
Argument 3: Food additives don’t affect my kids
Children can be affected in a variety of different ways not always in the stereoytypical ‘hyperactive’ ADHD way. According to Sue Dengate (Fed up with food additives) food chemicals may affect children by making them vague, withdrawn, agitated or anxious, teary or depressed, affect their ability to focus, retain information and therefore manifest themselves in learning problems.
I KNOW my kids are better off without food additives not just in the short term with their behaviour but in the long term in terms of serious illness. Some things are out of our control as parents but we can limit our exposure to questionable chemicals by choosing not to put them into our bodies.
For some good info on this: