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mazingerz88's avatar

How do human bodies survive consumption of chemicals via processed food?

Asked by mazingerz88 (28458points) November 3rd, 2022 from iPhone

Would a human who consumed less processed foods be healthier in his octogenarian years?

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9 Answers

RocketGuy's avatar

Depends on the processing. Deep frying = not so good. Regular processing (cooking in the kitchen) = pretty good. Canning = loss of vitamins due to heating, and maybe too much salt. Soylent Green = questionable.

janbb's avatar

Look at all the crap – sometimes literally – that dogs eat and manage to live.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Acids in the stomach and intestines break the chemicals into useful nutrients and send the rest out as waste.

Entropy's avatar

The body has a multilayer ‘defense in depth’ strategy for dealing with toxins and contaminants. You filter out some as you chew and spit out things that don’t taste good. Acid renders alot of them useless. Kidneys and liver filter contaminants and toxins out that reach the bloodstream. You can go even deeper with all of that.

The crusade against processed food—- I’ve heard different things. I’ve definitely seen some presentations that make the case that processed foods have long term deleterious effects on our hearts in particular, even leaving aside those that are high in cholesterol or have other issues. But I’ve also heard some doctors say that there’s a substantial amount of fear-mongering in that. Not that it’s GOOD for you, but that these folks overstate the bad. I don’t know what to believe.

RocketGuy's avatar

My buddy wrote the book: Relax and Enjoy Your Food, where he advocated eating a varied diet of mostly plant-based ingredients. No need for them to be organically grown. Dr. Bruce Ames (biochemist, cancer researcher) advocates similarly. Better to eat a varied diet of normally grown food (with trace amounts of pesticide, etc.)* than hold out for smaller quantities and varieties of certified pesticide-free food. Organic food sometimes has higher levels of naturally occurring pesticides anyway, depending on how the plant was bred.
*dose makes the poison.

JLeslie's avatar

Everything is a chemical.

As far as chemicals that can cause illness, in small amounts our bodies can deal with most toxins; we filter them out, or neutralize them in some way.

I think Whole Foods (unprocessed foods) are better for us, but a little bit of processed foods here and there probably don’t have much negative effect.

Pesticides I think of like radiation. One X-ray and you’re probably ok. Getting a CT body scan every year, you’re probably going to get cancer eventually.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Humans have impressive coping mechanisms to deal with this. On the flip side, Humans can be killed overnight if natural food is allowed to go bad or is not properly cooked or washed. Food poisoning is no joke.

RocketGuy's avatar

Yep, that’s why lunch meat with preservatives would be better than lunch meat without, if you didn’t have proper refrigeration.

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