Conference on Social Agriculture and the Value of Food- Food and Health

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An important conference has held in Florence, Italy, in june 2014, where time, effort and expertise was dedicated solely to the value of healthy food and the importance of farmers for the human living-well as well as for the environment. This meet saw the presence of three very influential italian experts on the topic, as well as key organisations and individuals in the topic of food sovereignty.

The conference was started with the presentation of Profesor Vicenzo Longo, researcher at the Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria (Institute of Biology and Agricultural Biotecnology) from Milan. Longo gave a very educational talk about the importance of eating healthy to ensure a good quality of life.

Eating healthy such as by minimising consumption of genetically modified foods  according to Longo is important because doing otherwise can be very harmful for our bodies. Food crops tend to be modified to increase production but in the process eliminate any nutritional value from the food.

Modified foods usually loose the antioxidants that would naturally be in the fruits and vegetables we eat. These antioxidants are extremely important for our health as they fight particles such as ‘free radicals’ that cause a disease known as ‘oxidative stress’ (an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants). Studies have found a direct relation between oxidative stress and other serious diseases such as Parkinsons disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart attacks, inflammatory diseases and others.

Longo contends that this lack of nutritional elements should not just be replaced by taking supplements, as consuming artificial food can alter our endogenous antioxidant system. Instead he proposed some useful tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent disease.

Firstly is it not about the quantity of food we eat, but about the QUALITY. Furthermore there are also key foods that are high in proteins and nutrients. But particularly there are COMBINATION OF FOODS that when eaten together increase their nutritional power:

-Carrots and oil (source of vitamin E)

-Curcumin (main ingredient of Tumeric)

-Cocoa Butter

-Hazelnut and Wine

-Lemon and Green tea

He also suggests the avoidance of food additives, the consumption of local products from local farmers, and consumption of foods that are in season. Also to avoid fast foods as they have additives that cause dependence, such as chemicals that stimulate our smelling senses.

 

 

for more info about the Institute: http://www.ibba.cnr.it/

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