Nov 10, 2017 in Research

Are We Eating to Live or Living to Eat?

With the rise of artificial food items, the question of whether human beings live to eat or eat to live is neither here nor there. In essence, while most people will align themselves to the second option; they eat to live; all human beings actually eat to die. According to Michael Pollan (1), human beings, natural omnivores, have the greatest problem in deciding on what to eat. Unlike other herbivores and carnivores whose diet is naturally outlined, human beings have to make choices between several types of food.   The situation is even worsened by the exigency of industrial and organic food.  Unlike in traditional times when food consumption was defined by culture, ethnic affiliation, and religion, current eating habits are informed by nutritionists’ advice and health condition of consumers. As a result, many people have shunned both organic and industrial food and resorted to become fruitarians and vegans. In spite of all these changes in consumption habits, the natural fruits and vegetables that people consume currently are more harmful than the industrial and organic food.

According to Michael Pollan (2), what people consume determines their relationship with the world. For this reason, vegans honour vegetables while omnivores respect both animals and herbs. Additionally, people are actually are what they consume. Therefore, the emergence of vegans and fruitarians indicates a forceful shift of humans from being omnivores to becoming herbivores. By and large, shunning of beef and related foods may be attributed to lack of time and patience to properly prepare these meals in the right manner. It is said that some jobs are so demanding that consumers of fatty foods do not have time to burn excess calories in their systems (El Ansari 2). As a result, some of them have been diagnosed with medical problems like heart attacks, hypertension, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. Due to medical recommendation or personal resolutions, they have switched to vegetable and fruits as an easy escape route. In addition, in spite of the medical and nutritional advice for people to eat more vegetables and fruits, it has been established that consuming some of the recommended vegetables is more fatal than starving (El Ansari 4). A critical examination of these fruits and vegetables reveals that they are actually harmful.

For instance, despite the fact that cassava is the third most consumed starch foods in the world, it is one of the deadliest natural foods ever grown on earth. It contains cyanide that destroys the intestines and the stomach in general, thereby resulting to death. Moreover, there are two types of indigenous cassava: sweet and bitter cassava with the bitter cassava being more deadly. Surprisingly, it is widely grown and consumed since its development to maturity is assured since even pests and animals dread it. With the increase in popularity of consuming raw food, bitter cassava will continue to kill people since the cyanide component is only reduced by proper cooking and boiling. If this recommended food type even kills animals and pests, then human beings are prone to die from it as days go by.

On the other hand, it is surprising that tomato, a household vegetable is indeed a slow poison. In fact, some people eat it raw without knowing that they are actually ingesting poison into their systems. The leaves and vines of tomato plants contain varying components of alkaloid poisons. Atropine, one form of an alkaloid poison causes stomach upsets, feelings of dizziness and headaches.  Consumption of uncooked tomato is tantamount to directly taking tomatine poison into one’s body. Although reported death cases have been on the minimum, the effects of the poison are long lasting. This is worsened by the continued consumption of raw food, especially uncooked tomatoes. On the other hand, the tea made from tomato leaves have a good proportion of the poison; therefore consumers should be careful with black tea.

Additionally, potatoes are no way safer, although they are the safest and richest sources of starch. They can either be eaten on their own or taken alongside other meals. Despite their usefulness, poor storage of potatoes is the source of their harmfulness an increase in the poison content. Potatoes should be kept in cool and dark places and whenever they are exposed to light, the solanine (poison) content increases or the whole potato turns green as a sign of poison infestation. Solanine is a poisonous element that causes severe digestive problems. In some cases, especially when it is consumed in large quantities, it may result to death of the consumer. On the other hand, when the solanine reacts with coke, it distorts the some body cells to become carcinogenic, resulting into cancerous cells.  Due to the ignorance of consumers who feel that taking coca cola drinks with chips is stylish and classy, most of them have messed up with their health in this manner. In addition, most fast foods are made from tomatoes; hence the ripple effects are widespread, with the digestive problem the most common one. On the other hand, these food items have pesticides retention capabilities and the harmful chemicals destroy the sensitive nervous system of human beings. In addition, ingesting of these pesticide elements and compounds may lead to failure of the liver; one of the most crucial organs in our body. Evidently, despite the intensive awareness campaigns for people to eat these vegetable, going the vegetables way is proving more suicidal than eating industrial food.

Moreover, it is surprising that apples, the loveliest and best looking fruits have health threatening elements. It is hyped that an apple a day a day keeps the doctor away; however this may be true if and only if the consumers steer of the seeds. Like most succulent fruits, the seeds contain cyanide causing elements known as cyanogenic glycosides. In most cases, it is difficult to isolate seeds during consumption hence many people have swallowed the deadly seeds. While appreciating the fact that one or two seeds cannot kill you, but it is good to note that most people have consumed thousands and thousands of them that are enough to kill them. As a result, it is wise to steer off these deadly fruits. This contradicts the popular call for people to eat more fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, whereas the stalks of rhubarb are known for vitamins, the leaves are full of oxalic acid salts that cause kidney failure. However, people love to eat the leaves due to their succulence and greenness while ignoring the stalks because of their purplish and unattractive color.  The oxalic acid salts are further known to trigger convulsions and eventually send people into coma (Bowman 23). However, this may not be sudden and immediate after consuming a bunch of rhubarb, but the dangers and risks are real and certain. It is good to note that oxalic acid salts are not digested; hence they are absorbed into the blood stream directly. Accumulation of this poisonous substance in the blood may prove fatal if consumption of this vegetable is not suspended. The situation is even worse when the leaves are consumed without being cooked. In such a case, the severity of the acid intensifies. Of course no one can die from a single consumption, but food consumption is habit forming and the more a person consumes, the worse the situation becomes.

All the above, food crops, including fruits and vegetables are primarily grown for human consumption. While appreciating minimal interference with nutrients of food contents by avoiding processed food, consumption of some of the natural food items is also proving to be deadly. For instance, nutritional value and content of some food items reduces throughout the processing process. This may prompt addition of some synthetic ingredients and components. As a result, people’s lives are put on the edge. It is this synthetic processing of food that pushed some people to become vegans, yet they are more susceptible to food poisoning when they eat vegetables than when they consume animal products (Michael 5). Therefore, in my assessment, it is no longer a question of either eating to live or living to eat, but bluntly about eating to die. The question is at what rate are you willing to reach your death bed; slow pace or fast rate. On the other hand, one determines the type of their death by choosing to become vegans or carnivores.

Whereas omnivores fear death by succumbing to diseases inherited from animals and animal products, the slow death of vegans is attributed to the natural poison found in vegetables and fruits. On the other hand, negative health effects from industrial and organic food are also quite fatal. Generally, while nutritionists classify some foods as poisonous or harmless, it is evident that virtually all types of foods are poisonous, irrespective of food type. For this reason, food items, including vegetables should not be profiled as either harmless or harmful since all types of food items are have both positive and negative effects. In summary, what a person consumes is their own prerogative since it has been demonstrated that what medics and dieticians recommend and portray as healthy food are some of the deadliest foods ever. As a result, people ought to make sound decisions on what they eat so that their relationship with nature becomes authentic.

Related essays