Evolution: Shaping Up Humans

Evolution: Shaping Up Humans

Processed food has aided the evolution of Homo Sapiens: As food became easy to eat and digest, our jaws and teeth became less powerful and smaller.

The shape of our brains and even the development of language resulted partially from our eating habits in our evolutionary path.

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Processed Food in History

The need for food preservation has historically led the Ancient humans to develop techniques to process food.

From learning to control fire to grinding grains, our ancestors have been able to process food in a variety of ways.

Changes in DNA
Processed food has changed our DNA and the way we look. 

The current crop of super processed foods is altering our insulin resistance, teeth, metabolism, brain chemistry, and internal organs.

The Rise Of Processed Food

Shortages of key ingredients during war-time and the rising need to work for the middle class led to households adopting processed food as an alternative to slow-cooked, authentic home food.

Powdered milk/custard, cereals, pre-made sauces, and biscuits started dominating the dining table due to time shortage and convenience.

Added Ingredients

Processed food has earned a reputation for being high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt.

Another major concern about processed foods is the long list of complicated ingredients that are cryptic to decode, added to enhance flavor, preserve color, improve consistency, keep ingredients mixed and preserve for longer.

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RELATED IDEAS

Grass-Fed

Grass-fed does not mean that the cattle's feed is organic, or that they aren’t given hormones or antibiotics

The USDA defines that grass-fed cattle must be fed only mother's milk and forage (grass and other greens) during their lifetime, and the animals must have access to pasture during the growing season.

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An extensive study in 2018 proved that an ultra-processed diet was responsible for substantial weight gain among participants, as well as 'hunger hormones' remaining activated even after eating.

As developing countries rely on cheap, tasty food to sustain themselves, ultra-processed food consumption is inevitable. However, this practice has to be regulated or reduced because the problem of nutrition cannot be cured by sophisticated processing.

Preservatives are used in foods to extend their shelf lives. One of McDonald's Big Mac in Iceland is an example of a long-lasting processed food. It has been on display since 2009, in a glass box. Preservatives that has been discontinued by McDonald's are:

  • calcium propionate that prevents mold growth on bread.
  • sorbic acid that also inhibits mold from cheese
  • sodium benzoate, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in the Big Mac special sauce.

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