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Foods that looked nutritious, delicious and appetizing are actually processed ones.  From a distance it is delectable and up close, mouth watering.  It can be summed up in just one word—yummy.  Food chains around the world almost became a charming haven for connoisseur that in no time, it also became instant multi million commercial fronts.  Newspapers have a specific section on food and there are magazines that devote entire coverage on food alone.  I have no bone of contention about it.  As a matter of fact, I was also on a food trip once in a while and if my budget allows it, more often than not.

The reason why I chose to discuss this seeming trivia of modern day humanity is because of its inherent role in the increasing deterioration of health among its practitioners.  No, not those in charge of processing food but those at the other end, those consuming the enchanting aroma and tasty cuisine.

When one eats processed food, the body loses its principal role—that of processing food.  Extend that procedure for a long time, our body becomes inured and would rather accept its fate as repository of something completed already.  If we extend the argument to something mechanical, it may sound like this:  why the need for technicians where there is nothing for them to work on.  They will just be additional personnel, some kind of an overhead expense and a potential group that may cause trouble.  As they say, an idle mind is the devil’s playground.

Going back to processed food.  When it passes through the body, our innards go into a frenzy of automatic processing too.  It recognizes that a processed stuff needs no further procedure and so our body relaxes.  There will be a lot of route in our system where the process will have to skip a lot rendering other internal organs working overtime at the expense of other organs which are forced to slow down.  This is something unwholesome and may telegraph confusion in our digestive system.  Our stomach—used to bring into several acids and juices will no longer perform as it were.  Our pancreas, usually on a silent mode will now have to take the center stage.  So on and so forth.  The result, the body’s internal organs function in a baffled way, confounded at the way it received nutrients and loads.

There were studies pointing at the way man’s teeth are designed also per evolutionary condition.  Accordingly, it is devised to munch fruits and vegetables only.  Hence, there are some back to basic movement among food connoisseurs lately reviving vegetable craze (as in being vegetarian) and fruit consumption.

The point here is this.  To maintain health, man should never deprive its internal organs its principal mandate of processing food.  Therefore, one should not allow himself to eat processed food if it intends to be healthy all throughout.  To do otherwise means to invite ailments or to grow weak and become sickly.

I remember during my first year as head of the prison reception center, a newly retired Federal prison chaplain visited me.  He said that his kidneys collapsed already and that he was exploring the possibility of seeking donation from prisoners for one kidney to extend his life and make life less miserable.  Persons with collapsed kidneys must regularly, that is on weekly basis, must have to undergo dialysis session.  “Why Reverend, what happened to your kidneys, I mean, how did those beans collapsed?  Have you had an accident?”  I asked.

“My dear Sir, I was a federal chaplain for two decades in the State Penitentiary and I was very busy with my tasks that meal times were even spent in conferences.  I have to literally survive and content myself eating hamburgers during lunch time.  And it was not once, it became a routine.  You know how hamburgers are, it is processed, a lot of salt, chemicals, etc.”  replied the man of the cloth.

“You mean Reverend, you attribute your kidney ailment from those tasty hamburgers?”

“Well, those were the immediate diagnosis coming from my doctor.  Anything processed is bad to one’s health according to my physician.  I thought for a while that a hamburger fill has enough nutrition to gas up my day.” 

“Ok, Reverend, I will go to the security wing and ask if some of my wards will heed your request.”

(A month later, I was informed that a prisoner volunteered to donate one of his kidneys to the retired prison chaplain and the next that I heard was that, the good chaplain repaired in his home province and continued with his ministry.  The prisoner who volunteered one of his kidneys after a period was released.  I just don’t know if they were still communicating but from where I was, both lived a normal life after the medical procedure.)

I was reminded of my dear sister.  She had kidney trouble too.  The ailment virtually made her chair bound and could not flex her legs.  She contracted the ailment from the therapeutic procedure she underwent when she was radiated for cervical cancer.  Accordingly, her kidneys were injured as a result of the radiation procedure.  But of course, I would also attribute the kidney trouble from the food she was fond of.

My sister loves good food.  She has this fixation over a pack of chicharon (fluffy fries from pork skin) and on her way home from office she would drop by her favorite nook to treat herself with a heap of the newly cooked crispy snack.  My suspicion is that the pork skin was the culprit in damaging her kidneys more than the radiation.  For me, if its radiation, how come only the kidneys were affected when there were more sensitive organs and tissues around which are even more vulnerable to cobalt exposure.  It is the processed food she would spoil herself that ruined her comfort, sent her to pain and challenged her health more than anything else.  I am also guilty of this predisposition but the cost of the snack is quite prohibitive that I could only pamper myself if I am liquid for the day.

These are only a glimpse and there were lots of notable cases I could draw from relatives and friends whose internal organs including their nervous system that would be racked by consuming processed rations.

I realize that eating raw vegetables, fruits, green and leafy ones and some high protein nuts are not only beneficial and wholesome but also components to keep one fit, strong and hale.  It really is painful to ignore processed food.  It is tempting and very alluring.  I hated the view that processed foods are that unsafe.  But I am just a mere victim of analysis and in my study; and I wish I am wrong, that a healthy body depends largely from what we bring into our system.



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