The Evolution of Food Production and its Role in the 21st Century Mental Ill-Health Crisis

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm, Hall 1

The human body is both remarkable and extraordinary, with healing abilities like no other entity known to mankind. Arguably Mother Nature provides all we need for a healthy body; however, the dramatic change in food manufacturing in favour of mass food production, profit and shelf-life has compromised this.

The habitual consumption of refined foods and sugars is reaping havoc with our physical and mental health, and while many of us recognize unhealthy foods are bad for our bodies, the effects on brain function are often over-looked.

This is especially relevant for children who are arguably the most vulnerable in relation to the Western or SAD (Standard American Diet); they are rewarded and over-exposed to processed and refined foods, saturated fats, elevated intakes of sodium, sugar, artificial additives, preservatives and chemicals during critical periods of brain development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) publicly announced that we are in the midst of a global epidemic of non-communicable diseases and furthermore that the premature development of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia (now referred to as Type 3 diabetes) and stroke are by and large preventable. How, you may pause to ask? Quite simply, nutrition.

Epigenetic research has also provided evidence that specific foods including polyunsaturated fatty acids, folate, vitamin B12, polyphenols, selenium, and certain fruits and vegetables containing natural antioxidants have protective, inhibitory and reversible effects on disease.

This places humans in an empowered position as agents of their own change based on their decisions, actions and lifestyle choices.