Nitrogen gas is used in food preservation post harvest because it prevents oxydation – like the ‘pinking’ or browning of the cut areas of Romaine lettuce. Because it’s considered an ‘inert’ gas, it is generally assumed to be harmless. This tendency to play down the hazards of nitrogen-induced oxygen deficiency therefore increases the risk of over-exposure and over-saturation. When the percentage of nitrogen rises beyond 78% of atmospheric gas we normally breathe, the following changes are observed in the human body:
- 81% Adverse but unnoticeable physiological effects.
- 84% Increased pulse and breathing rate, impaired thinking and attention, reduced coordination.
- 86% Abnormal fatigue upon exertion, emotional upset, faulty coordination, poor judgment.
- 88.5% Very poor judgment and coordination, impaired respiration that may cause permanent heart damage, nausea, and vomiting.
- 90% Inability to move, loss of consciousness, convulsions, death
Furthermore, post-harvest nitrogen application to fresh produce combined with sulfur pre-harvest application, can complicate the oxygen-depleted environment which occurs in the small intestine during exercise with the production of hydrogen sulfide. Industrial use of nitrogen gas is the more immediately hazardous due to the incidence of death from asphyxiation, however intake of nitrogen-saturated fruits and vegetables that have absorbed excess levels (under sealed plastic, for example) may also be symptomatic.
The oxygen naturally present in food is an important element in healthy digestion and immune system wellness. More research needs to be done. What happens to the body when we eat food that has absorbed varying degrees of preservative gas above and beyond levels normally present in the atmosphere? What chemical changes that occur in fresh fruits and vegetables under pressurized exposure? Also what are the effects of the anaerobic environment created by nitrogen gas, does food rot and molder in the gut… can digestion default to putrification increasing toxicity? If we do not investigate and monitor the levels of nitrogen gas fumigation in the food industry (including certified organically grown food) our immune system, already under duress from environmental poisons, may pay the price.
While nitrogen gas cannot be detected by our sense of smell or taste, sulfur dioxide is immediately noticeable. If you’re familiar with the smell of sulfur dioxide and it’s various derivatives in wine, you may have noticed the characteristic odor on fresh fruits and vegetables in recent weeks. The industry is not insensitive to the fact that customers have been complaining, and have invented a sulfur compound that allows levels of the preservative to be used at maximum levels without detection. Recently, several studies have shown that the SO2 derivatives may induce chromosomal aberrations in cultured human blood lymphocytes in vitro. The DNA-damaging effects of sulfur dioxide (SO2) derivatives may affect the cells of various organs (brain, lung, heart, liver, stomach, spleen, thymus, mone marrow and kidney) in mammalian cells. Furthermore, have you have noticed more sniffles and respiratory tract ailments? Not to mention “the alchemy of sensations is the source of pleasure”.
To improve your capacity to feel good in the meantime – optimize cellular oxygen-absorption and pH balance in the deep organs. Body’Fit Life offers a unique warm-up cool down to radically increase absorption of oxygen by making all the tissues of the body metabolically active during exercise, not only the muscles as is usually the case. It’s explained in detail here how to rev up oxygen reserves with unprecedented sustainability in respect to time, space, and comfort.