'You are what you eat',
some people say. I don't quite agree with that. I eat fish but I'm not
a fish. I'm a penguin. Anyway, you get the general idea I'm sure. And
if you eat rubbishy food, you can't really expect to grow up strong and
healthy. But if you eat good-quality food, you've a good chance of doing
so. That's just commonsense really.
So how do know what food is good-quality? Unfortunately
a lot of food that looks good really isn't good because it contains pollution.
Pollution from what?
This is all to do with how people make food: growing it on the farm, processing
it in factories, storing it and making it ready for you to eat.
Here's what happens:
farmers spray poisonous chemicals on their crops to kill off pests
Many of these poisons remain in small
quantities in the food you eat. Some people believe that this may
cause cancer and other illnesses. The poisons also pollute both water
and air and can kill lots of animals by accident. They also kill a lot
by accident every year.
farmers grow genetically engineered crops (see my guide
about this). Some people regard GE crops as a form of pollution because
once it's released, nothing can bring it back again. You can clean up
oil spills but you can't clean up genetics spills. Genes are part of
life and make living copies of themselves, sometimes millions of them.
But, to be fair, there's no evidence that GE foods are toxic or dangerous
because people have been eating them without problem since the 1990s
animals make lots of pollution from their waste. Some of this gets into
water supplies and, because animals like cows belch
(whoops sorry- rude word!) a lot of gas called methane, they can actually
add to global warming. Methane is a very strong greenhouse
gas, much stronger than CO2
and aeroplanes used by people to move food and drink around make a lot
of smoke and gas (like CO2 and nitrogen oxides) pollution
of what you eat and drink gets messed around with in big factories to
make what is called 'processed
Often things are put into food to make it look good but which might
be harmful to people: additives,
colour and other yukky stuff. Some
food like meat often gets contaminated with nasty bugs called bacteria
which can make people very sick or kill them.
things that you drink -- you know, things like soda -- are really
just flavoured water. Every drink you gulp down comes in a can
bottles which you then throw away meaning waste and more transport.
Sugary drinks make you fat and spoil your teeth. Some of the flavourings
and sugar substitutes may be harmful. Nobody really knows for sure.
worry though. You and your friends and parents really can help
to cut this pollution. I've got some great ideas for you at the end
of my guide.
and stuff from factories, cars and trucks Pollution
you can and can't see
are humans always fighting and killing each other?