Our diet undergoes changes based on time periods, economic changes as well as inventions that come about in the course of time. When we compare what we consume today to what our forefathers did, a lot of differences are visible. Which is the best era to follow regarding nutritional value and why?
1000 years ago – Before the invention of most of the chemicals that we see today and the coming of factory farms, people relied on hand-farmed produce. Farmers would till the land and provide whole foods such as potatoes and corn which would get cooked as they were which preserved their nutritional value. Animals got reared on large farms where they could go about their normal activities such as playing in the dirt. Farmers would collect products such as eggs and milk from the animals, providing the society with high-quality produce. The meat found in markets was of high-quality as animals were fattened up healthily before getting slaughtered. The population ate a healthy balanced diet, and the occurrence of lifestyle diseases amongst them was not typical.
100 years ago – As from the 1930s, changes began to occur in our food. The natural farming procedures that had got developed over thousands of years got shunned as people moved to pursue scientific methods. This change is the cause of the many lifestyle diseases that we see today. People embraced the eating of processed foods which had gotten grown through the use of chemicals and fertilizers. Fresh produce became harder to come by as farms industrialized and started refrigerating their products. The changes in farming also led to the development of the fast food industry which allowed people to gorge unhealthy foods at a rapid rate. Studies conducted show that people born as from the 1960s have a higher prevalence of lifestyle diseases as compared to those who were born earlier. With the inferior quality products coming from the farms, people got less nutritional value, and their immune systems became weak.
Nowadays – The rising cases of obesity amongst children in the 21st century have led to a lot of efforts getting put into what we are eating. Lifestyle diseases have become much more prevalent than in the previous era, calling for immediate action to lower the numbers. People are now advocating for farming processes to be sustainable and for the produce grown to be healthy. With people embracing fresh fruits and vegetables that get sustainably produced, it seems that we will soon head towards the diet that existed one thousand years ago. Health practitioners are educating people on the need to eat a balanced diet, and people are moving towards the consumption of whole foods. Processed food products such as crisps, processed meats such as hot dogs and other fast foods are getting shunned by the day. In time, we hope that our food stores will get packed with nutritional products that get grown organically. Sustainably grown foods have more nutritional value than scientifically produced foods, and they do not predispose us to lifestyle diseases. It is high time we headed back into the past for dietary advice.