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The Effects of Food Preservation

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So, since I had a request from one reader (who I admit is my Mom, but who could deny their Mom?) for more information about the effects of food preservation methods on the life energy of food, I will assume she represents the masses of my readers who are just to shy to ask! So here you have it! Once again, this information comes largely from Anne-Marie Colbin's "Food and Healing."

Speaking generally, of course, food that is freshly picked (or killed) is going to deliver the highest energy vibration. But, it is not likely that most of us have access to food that is going from field to plate, and preservation is a necessity. Preservation, by definition, aims to keep a food's freshness and nutrient quality alive as long as possible. Some methods are better than others, and while usually the vitality of a food will decrease the longer it's preserved, and usually the vitamin and mineral quality will also be reduced, in some cases food will become more nutrient dense!

Cold Storage
  • hardier vegetables are affected minimally
  • some of the more fragile food nutrients (eg: Vit C) will break down in warehouse storage
  • if the cold storage is outdoors or in a cold cellar or porch where there is air circulation, the energy field will be less affected
  • Refrigeration (which is an insulated and closed box with an electrical current) will have more impact on the life quality and taste
Drying
  • water soluble vitamins are lost between 10-20%
  • carbohydrates generally become more dense (think of raisins vs grapes)
  • sugar turns to starch (corn to cornmeal)
  • method of drying will impact - eg: sun-drying will have more energetic quality than tunnel, spray, or drum-dried foods
Salting
  • preserves by inhibiting the proliferation of bacteria, usually used for meat and fish
  • in conjunction with drying, it will increase nutrient density
  • in conjunction with immersion in brine, it will decrease nutrient density
  • can be harmful for those who need to reduce their sodium intake, and in North America, this is almost everybody
Pickling or Fermenting
  • popular foods include wine, bread, cheese, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut
  • microorganisms alter the food by increasing the lactic acid content; this changes the taste and smell, making them stronger, and sometimes sour tasting
  • some loss of vitamins and minerals, overall the influence of fermentation is positive for our health
  • easy to digest (which is why many cultures will pair pickles or sauerkraut with sausages or processed meats)
  • nutritional values (especially B vitamins) are enhanced
  • some have antibacterial properties so can help enhance immunity
  • some provide probiotics, also enhancing digestion and immunity
Smoking
  • usually used for meats and fish, in conjunction with drying
  • preservation occurs through antioxidants and bactericides in the wood smoke, however often accompanied by small quantities of other compounds that may be toxic or carcinogenic
Freezing
  • water content turns to ice
  • this process and the storage and thawing cause a loss of 20-25% of nutrients in fruits and vegetables (so really 75-80% are maintained so that is not sooooo bad)
  • HOWEVER, here is a new perspective on freezing: when you free water in plastic bottle, what happens? The bottle bursts. The same thing happens with the cells of fruits and vegetables when the water in them is frozen. This explains why frozen fruits and vegetables are mushy when thawed. And, since form is related to function, it has to be considered that the cellular destruction will cause a loss in the food's vitality.
Canning
  • before food is canned it is first heated to at least 240 degrees, then sealed; as the food cools, it forms a vacuum to keep out oxygen and bacteria
  • lowers nutrient content significantly
  • lack of oxygen creates a "dead" food from an energy perspective; if you're not physically active or doing an activity regularly that helps to increase oxygen uptake to compensate, eating canned foods regularly will lower your energy levels dramatically; pay attention the next time you eat canned foods, especially to your mental alertness
Chemical Preservatives/Additives
  • This the most negatively impacting methods of preservation
  • the list of chemicals used is long: dyes, bleaches, emulsifiers, antioxidant, preservatives, flavours, buffers, sprays, acidifiers, alkalizers, deoderants, moisteners, drying agents, gases, extenders, thickeners, disinfectants, defoliants, fungicides, neutralizers, sweeteners, anticaking agents, antifoaming agents, conditioners, curers, hydrolizers, hydrogenators, maturers, fortifiers....
  • with this long list of additives, each food contains only miniscule amounts but over the course of a week, month, year, decade a person's intake grows substantially, and leads to a "subclinical poisoning"; the use of food chemicals has been linked conclusively to many diseases from allergies, to autism, to cancer, blurry vision, aching backs, hyperactivity, obesity...
  • chemical preservatives act in a variety of ways, but generally they will block access to oxygen and microorganisms, which in effect blocks the life processes of foods
  • rats fed synthetic diets may do ok, but become infertile (how can you support new life on food that the life energy has been blocked?)
Irradiation
  • cesium-137 (a nuclear waste by-product of the manufacture of nuclear bombs) is used to irradiate food
  • the food will not ripen or sprout and some bacteria will be killed, therefore the food will not spoil
  • however microorganisms can develop resistance to radiation (superbugs)
  • creates free radicals (contributes to aging, and cancer)
  • may affect fertility
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