We, human beings are vulnerable to various types of pollution. And Food is one of the most significant things we need to survive in this world. So, if the food we consume becomes polluted then what are the chances for us to stay healthy? Food Pollution over time has become a topic of concern, so let’s have look at it.
What is Food Pollution?
Food Pollution is defined as the presence of toxic chemicals (elements or compounds) or biological contaminants which are not naturally present in food or are above their natural background level (for those chemicals which are naturally found in some foods).
What are the effects of Food Pollution?
Food Pollution can affect us by causing mild to moderate to severe food illness and it can also cause various health issues like hormonal and metabolic imbalance, and even various types of cancer. Certain pesticides present in the food can also cause Nervous System problems. Further, in few cases, highly polluted food can cause immediate food poisoning or even death. Approximately, more than 70 million cases of food-borne diseases occur alone in the U.S. every year, resulting in 5,000 deaths per year.
What are the causes of Food Pollution?
There are several causes of Food Pollution. Practically, any pollutant has the potential to pollute food just by coming in contact with it. And vegetables can get polluted by bacterial problems which can only be destroyed by processing the contaminated food at high temperatures. Let’s have a look at situations where toxic chemicals can get into the food:-
★ consumption of polluted water and/or food by fish or other animals;
★ food processing, packaging, and handling;
★ propagation and concentration of pollutants through the food chain;
★ growing of food (e.g. crops, fruits, vegetables) in polluted soils, solid wastes (e.g. mine tailings), or areas with polluted groundwater;
★ irrigation of grown food (e.g. vegetables, fruits, crops) with polluted water;
★ growing of food (e.g. crops, fruits, vegetables) in areas with polluted air;
★ agricultural treatments with pesticides, insecticides, and/or herbicides;
★ agricultural application of sewage sludge and/or polluted fertilizers (which contain ash from power plants).
Safe Food Alternative
Japan has come up with an alternative for producing safe food, according to which vegetables should be grown in factories that terminate the unpredictable effect of environmental pollution, unpredictable weather, or pests. Also, the process would be all computerized that would control various factors affecting growth. This idea of a safe food alternative was given by OZU cooperation in Tokyo. Can this be the way of future agriculture? Well, this we’ll see.
Hazards of Food Pollution are everywhere and all can be done on an individual level is; by informing ourselves and taking action.