What We are Trying to Do
~ February 1997 No.4 ~
More and more we all are becoming concerned about our health and general well being. Perhaps it has to do with the aging of the North American population. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the rising costs of medical treatment and hospital stays. Or maybe we simply want to take more control of our lives. We are being bombarded by the news that just about everything around us is bad for our health: the air we breathe, the water we drink, many of the foods we enjoy. The statistics on the causes of the major chronic diseases that still plague us indicate that, in spite of all the advances that have been made in the areas of medicine, we are still paying the price for our modern lifestyle.
A growing number of people believe that many foods contain more than the traditional nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Belief in the health promoting aspects of food has been handed down from generations past in various cultures around the world. Long before drugs were known, aboriginals used foods and herbs to fight infection and cure disease. But the curative properties of foods has gone beyond mere folklore. Evidence is accumulating which shows that certain foods and components of foods can have a positive impact on disease and infection.
A new term has been coined to describe these health promoting foods - functional foods. Although this term may be new, the growing number of foods that are being added to the functional food list are not. Foods such as garlic, yogurt, and olive oil and food components such as fiber, calcium and fructans have all on the functional list.
We have started this magazine to provide a source of news and information about the ever growing field of foods that have medicinal properties. We do not and will not suggest that functional foods should be a replacement for prescribed drugs or other medicinal interventions. Like many people we feel that including functional foods in our diet is a way for each of us to take more control over our own health and well being. It is natural, it can be relatively inexpensive, and we can control it.
Our first articles will explain in more detail what are functional foods and sort out the differences between functional food, nutraceutical and probiotic You will be informed of the latest scientific findings and what they mean to you and your health. We will keep you up to date on what is happening world wide. For example, there are currently many exciting developments in places like Japan, that may be on our store shelves tomorrow. We are going to try to provide information at a level that is useful and understandable.
We want Medicinal Food News to be your regular source of information about foods that are good for your health: functional foods, nutraceuticals and probiotics.
Edward R. Farnworth Ph.D.