Tuesday, October 2, 2012


To start with the absolute necessity of life, namely the air we breathe, it is contaminated with the exhaust fumes of road traffic, the invisibly tiny particles that fly off tires and nestle in our lungs, the residues of aircraft fuel descending from the sky, plus the poisonous fumes of countless industrial procedures belching out of factory chimneys or from the neighborhood dry-cleaning establishment. Water, another basic essential of life, is just as bad, contaminated with chlorine and fluoride and with the residues of a wide variety of drugs, which resist all existing purification techniques (except distillation). Industrial and agricultural run-off contaminates rivers and lakes.

The latest addition to environmental pollution is electrosmog, the invisible but constantly thickening electromagnetic fields surrounding us everywhere. Indoors they are produced by TV sets, refrigerators, computers, microwave ovens and cellular phones. By interfering with the natural electromagnetic fields of the human body, they have a harmful impact on health. Outdoors radio masts serving cellular phones are causing serious concern: clusters of diseases, mainly cancer, have been found in the vicinity of newly erected masts. (see Chapter 5, pg.28, pp.3)

Over to food. Here toxicity starts in the soil and in the plants that grow in it. Highly poisonous pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other chemicals used in commercial agriculture, often till the day of harvesting, leave residues on the plants that become our food. Many of these poisons are systemic, meaning that they permeate the produce and cannot be removed by washing. Unless we eat only organically grown foods, our daily intake is richly laced with a cocktail of agrochemicals, whose cumulative effect has never been tested. And as if all this were not bad enough, in the course of food processing vast numbers of chemical additives are introduced, many of which are unsafe—and worse.

Their purpose is to extend shelf life, almost indefinitely; to make the product look more attractive, and to substitute artificial flavors for the missing natural ones. Food cosmetics, as they are ironically called, solely serve the profit-centered interests of the manufacturers and have nothing to do with healthy nutrition. On the contrary. But the dangers of food additives should not blind us to the fact that the first major culprit of the average modern diet is salt (sodium), the very substance that is hardest to avoid. Despite official warnings against its overuse, salt consumption in the Western world is alarmingly high, causing the body to retain water in the cells, leading to edema. Salt also puts an unreasonable burden on the kidneys, raises blood pressure, deadens the taste buds so that more and more is needed to produce an effect, and interferes with the digestive process. Salt, as we shall see later, also plays a dangerous role in the cellular process leading to cancer.

Since meat is a valued staple item of the modern diet, it may sound surprising that excess animal proteins behave as toxins in the body. But the fact is that the human organism with its long intestinal tract is not designed to cope with a diet high in animal proteins. (By contrast the intestinal tract of carnivores, such as lions and other big cats, is short, hence the waste products of the digested meat are quickly eliminated.) The ideal diet for humans should be predominantly plant-based, with a minimum of animal protein. Today the opposite applies.

Yet as we go through life, we become less able to digest animal proteins, so that its poorly digested, incompletely broken down parts linger on in the body as toxins. The animal fats contained in almost all meat, poultry and dairy produce are also inadequately digested as the body ages and its enzymes no longer function efficiently. Last but not least, food animals are raised on unhealthy food, treated with hormones, antibiotics and synthetic growth promoters. Whatever they are forced to consume remains in the meat, eggs and milk products that finally land on our tables, adding to the already heavy toxic load we are unwittingly carrying.

The body attempts to get rid of all these harmful substances to protect itself. Unfortunately in addition to the massive burden of toxins it needs to deal with, it is also up against the problem of deficiency.