The first artificial sweetener, saccharin, was discovered by a chemist who was studying coal tar. This discovery marked a new era in synthetic food chemistry that introduced a large-scale addition of synthetic compounds to our diet. In industrialized countries like the United Kingdom, people ingest as much as 17.6 pounds (8 kilos) of food additives per year. What is this doing to our bodies?
Ultra-processed foods — including microwave meals, cereals, snacks, and takeout — have been linked to health issues including obesity, cancer, and dementia. Discussions about obesity often blame individuals, but these foods are hard to avoid. Compounding factors such as poverty and genetic predispositions add up to a very serious problem.