Historically, roasting, drying, chopping, and other methods have made food more nutritious, durable, and delicious. This helped our ancestors colonize a variety of habitats and then develop settlements and civilizations. But now we process food too much and it becomes harmful to health, doctors say.
More recently, a different type of food processing has emerged: more extensive and using new chemical and physical methods. This is called ultra-processed, and the resulting products are over-processed. They use cheap ingredients such as starch, vegetable oils and sugars, as well as colors, flavors and emulsifiers for long-term storage and flavor enhancement.
Unfortunately, these foods are bad for our health. And we are eating more of them than ever before, in part due to aggressive marketing and manufacturer lobbying. These foods cause us addiction, weight gain, metabolic syndrome, organ damage, and more. Also, over-processed foods are also harmful to the environment – most of the plastic is formed during food packaging and ends up in marine ecosystems.