Chemicals in the food chain

Think of the food chain as a system of givers and takers.

Everyone else in the food chain, including us, are consumers. Consumers can be split into categories – you’ll know which one you are. First up are primary consumers, herbivores that eat only plants. Next come secondary consumers, who are carnivorous and eat the herbivores. They are followed by tertiary consumers, who eat other carnivores. We can’t forget omnivores, who eat both animals and plants. Humans are naturally omnivorous, but some of us tend towards the carnivorous side of the menu while others prefer the herbivore road.

The tertiary consumers sit at the top of the food chain, and while this might look a pretty safe place to be, when it comes to the problem of chemicals in food they suffer the consequences of all the chemicals taken in by everything they eat, that their food eats, and that their food’s food eats – you get the idea? You can see where this is going...

Chemicals and toxins increase with every step of the food chain, because they bio-accumulate. The consumers nearer the top of the pyramid are exposed to everything their food has already absorbed and stored in their tissue.

Evolution is slower than revolution – since the Green Revolution our biology hasn’t been able to keep pace with the threats that are presented to our body every day. But it’s not too late to do something about it. One of the best and easiest things you can do things you can do is to eat organic food. It contains no harmful chemicals, and because it has been grown or farmed in a traditional way with nourished soil, it’s packed with nutrients.

Organics benefit both your body and your world, reducing the amount of toxins you’re ingesting while supporting the farmers, growers, makers and bakers that follow organic principles and work in a sustainable way.

Organics are important no matter where in the food chain you sit and moving to organic food and products is one small step that can have huge benefits to everyone and everything, right down to the smallest living things, your microbiome. (ISABEL PASCH)

Isabel Pasch is the owner of Bread & Butter Bakery & Cafe and author of the blog

Find her bakery at and read more about the health effects, nutrition, benefits, and politics of food on

You can also find out more on facebook and instagram. Search for @breadandbutterbakeryandcafe and @breadpolitics.com_NZ