It’s the quality of food, not the calories

In this fast-paced modern world many are resorting to the convenience of low cost ultra-processed foods. However, these types of foods have been linked to an increased risk of developing obesity, cancer, auto-immune problems and a host of other health problems. Now, new research involving a small study population, has compared the effects of eating ultra-processed foods versus unprocessed foods. When study participants were on the ultra-processed diet they ate more and put on an average of 2 pounds (0.9kg) in weight. When participants ate unprocessed food, researchers noted changes in the hormones that control appetite and hunger with increases in hormones that suppress hunger and decreases in ghrelin the ‘hunger’ hormone. The results are no surprise given Big Food’s intel in how to make products that hit the ‘bliss point’ to create food addiction and keep people buying the products. The ANH-Intl Food4Health guidelines recommend whole, unprocessed foods, rich in nutrients, that work in harmony with your body’s natural systems to promote vibrant health and help offset the effects of ultra-processed diets.

Sharp increase in colorectal cancer in under 50s

A new observational study has highlighted a steady increase in colorectal cancer rates in people under 50 and younger in the last 10 years. Of particular concern is a significant spike in cases of rectal cancers in those aged 20-29 in Denmark (18.1%) and Norway (10.6%). Significant decreases in cases of colorectal cancer were seen in those aged over 50. Researchers suggest that the rise in cancer rates is, “likely to be driven in part by the changing prevalence of risk factors, such as obesity and poor diet”. Such data demands an urgent paradigm shift in the way we think about and relate to food, and our health. It is entirely possible to move from a health system that manages disease to one that promotes disease prevention and health creation. Read more in the ANH-Intl ‘Blueprint for health system sustainability’.

Save the bees

Recent years have seen a sharp decline in the number and diversity of bees and other pollinators. Following a consultation in 2018, the European Commission has registered a European Citizen’s Initiative called ‘Save the bees! Protection of biodiversity and improvement of habitats for insects in Europe' to address the decline of pollinators in the EU. It sets strategic objectives and a set of actions to be taken by the EU and its Member States to address the decline of pollinators in the EU and contribute to global conservation efforts. It also sets the framework for an integrated approach to the problem and a more effective use of existing tools and policies. The initiative will be registered on the 27th May 2019, following which it has one year to collect one million signatures from at least 7 member states to trigger a response from the European Commission. We’ll let you know once it’s been published so you can add your voice to the calls to protect such an essential part of our food production systems and the environment.

Pesticides harm more than just insects

A recently published study revealed the very real risks posed by the use of pesticides not just to insects, but mammals also. The main suspects are neonicotinoids designed to target insects’ nervous systems. Applied to seeds, they are considered to be less toxic than traditional pesticides that require crop spraying, thereby reducing their spread. However, a growing body of research is pointing to their spread beyond field boundaries. Neonicotinoids have also been found in human foods. With new evidence of the extent of Big Ag’s corruption of the science around such pesticides being revealed daily, it begs the question of how much longer the use of such toxic chemicals can be maintained? A return to techniques that promote biodiversity and natural pest control, such as regenerative agriculture, are needed now more than ever.

5G squabbles mask serious safety risks

Could legal arguments over the use of lampposts derail the proposed installation of 5G transmitters in the UK? Mobile network operators jostling for position are threatening to take legal action to gain access to lampposts and the other tall structures needed to house the transmitters as everyone seeks to take a slice of the 5G action. However, the squabbling over real estate is entirely masking the much more serious underlying issue surrounding the total lack of safety studies and the inevitable, potential risk to human, animal and plant health from 5G. Now is the time for us all to unite, to have our voices heard as one and let corporations and governments know that the roll-out of 5G is not OK. You can add your voice by signing the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space now. Together we are stronger.