Modern Food vs. Real Food: Comparing processed and genetically modified foods to natural and sustainable food manufacturing methods.

by Dr. David Minkoff February 22, 2022 7 min read

Athletic woman doing stretches to warm up for exercise next to a lake.

The following is adapted from The Search for the Perfect Protein, chapter 3.

Between 2.5 million and ten thousand years ago, Paleo-lithic Era man obtained much of their protein from game, fish, and eggs. At that time, animals roamed free and pollution wasn't a concern, so the overall nutritional health of humans was at a high level. If we still ate food like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did, there would be no need for protein or vitamin or mineral supplementation.

Things changed about ten thousand years ago at the dawn of the Neolithic Era, when humans settled into communities, began farming, and domesticated animals. In our modern-day era, they are fed GMO corn and soybeans that are laced with toxic herbicides like Roundup. These modern methods have caused plants, animals, and much of the soil to become highly polluted over time and ultimately created the problem we face today: a lack of clean protein sources.

The steak we eat most likely comes from cows that ate genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) and glyphosate-saturated corn. High-end steakhouses often tout "corn-fed beef" as a delicacy, as if corn is the cow's natural food! Not only that, but they were probably given artificial hormones to fatten them up before slaughter and antibiotics throughout their entire lives. The meat is then processed, placed on Styrofoam pads, and wrapped in cellophane. These packaging practices significantly increase the levels of toxic chemicals (like phthalates) contained in the food. It's a formidable challenge today to obtain clean, healthy food, but it's equally as challenging to find food that isn't packaged in toxic materials.


We don't just need to be cautious about how our food is packaged─we also need to take into consideration how our food is prepared. Personally, I like the taste of charbroiled meat, but the burning produces carcinogens. A million years ago, people cooked over fires and burned their meat all the time, but they also weren't exposed to other chemicals. In today's world with its plethora of harmful substances, gobbling a hunk of charred meat carves another notch on the poor nutrition wall─and there are only so many notches until the body breaks down.


"cage-free" vs. true pasture-raised chickens

It's nearly impossible to go to most grocery stores today and find non-polluted protein sources. The "mass-manufacturing" of chicken, fish, milk, eggs and other foods focuses on quick, convenient, low-cost production.

When left to their own devices, chickens wander freely and eat grubs and worms, but modern-day poultry breeders raise them in a controlled environment. Nearly every modern commercial egg farm keeps chickens in small cages. Lights stay on for long hours so the birds believe it's daytime, encouraging them to produce the maximum amount of eggs possible; farmers feed them grain meal, and they never roam free or see the outside world.

Some companies claim to sell pastured eggs, but they stretch that term to its limits. They keep the chickens in a barn with a small door─the birds don't go outside because they can't find the door or get through it, but the eggs are still labeled as "pastured." Now, there are companies that adhere to sound production processes and make genuinely healthy products, but the sad fact is that a high percentage of the food packaged in modern countries is polluted.


Chart of Glyphosate amounts in common American foods.

There is good news in the midst of this problem: change is coming. However, there is also some bad news: the change is very slow and faces powerful foes. The American population is becoming more informed regarding food production practices, and they're beginning to use their dollars to vote for cleaner food. Some people choose to be vegan or vegetarian and avoid meat altogether, but that does nothing to solve the external problem.

Big Agriculture and Big Pharma have an enormous influence on the government. The current head of the U. S. Department of Agriculture is a former Monsanto executive. (If you're familiar with the name, you know it's one of the most powerful chemical companies in the world.) I find it interesting that while former President Barack Obama spoke openly about healthy food and a healthy lifestyle, he appointed a chemical executive to lead our country's agricultural efforts.

If you watch a grocery check-out line for an hour and see what people are buying, it's no wonder we're sick. Soda, chemicalized and glyphosate-laden cereals, fast food, frozen meals, contaminated meats, and everything in plastic is producing a race of suboptimal people.

The only way to put a wrench in the works is to simply stop buying polluted foods. I believe people can and will change if they care about their health and are determined enough to make a difference.


During my pediatric residency in 1978 at the University of California Hospital in San Diego, the renowned and respected department chairman, Dr. William Nyhan M. D. made rounds with us once a week. I remember we visited a little fifteen-month-old one day, and he said, "When we're done with rounds today, each of you should come back and examine this child. You'll probably never see another one like him in your career. He has autism."

According to him, the incidence of autism at the time was roughly one in 150,000he told us that a busy pediatrician over a forty-year career would never see that many patientsindicating that the odds of encountering an autistic child were extremely rare.

Today, the autism rate is roughly one in every forty children. [6] Unfortunately, it's not genetic, it's not an accident, and it's not getting betterI believe this is a real epidemic. If this trend continues, in twenty-five years millions of the population will be on disability, and many more children will have special needs due to the dire effect of our food and toxic environment. The main purpose of this book is to educate you about protein and discuss PerfectAmino, but its secondary purpose is to give you a wake-up call. You must be careful with your lifestyle, and make wise choices regarding what you eat, and what you allow yourself to be exposed to.

Our bodies don't know what to do with the combinations of chemicals and substances in the environment that have never before been seen in human history. Thirty years ago, 25 percent of our children didn't have asthma. Now, in the first year of a child's life, they are injected with twenty-six different vaccines, many of which are laced with formaldehyde, aluminum, mercury, and dead animal parts. The mercury level in some of these vaccines is fifty thousand times greater than what is legally acceptable in drinking water, and they are often given to babies on the day of their birth! [7, 8]


Most flu shots contain the deadly neurotoxin thimerosal as a vaccine preservative. Thimerosal is made with 50 percent mercury and each adult dose contains 50 micrograms in a solution concentration of 1:10,000, or the equivalent of fifty thousand parts per billion (ppb) of mercury.

How much mercury is really in a flu shot - graph

The health of our children is being devastated by cancer, ADD, autism, diabetes, and obesity. Pregnant mothers who haven't taken care of themselves are riddled with environmental poisons and the fetus becomes a dumping ground for toxins─this results in many children coming into the world at a disadvantage.


We clearly see the impact of toxicity in modern-day schools, where food-allergic kids are segregated to peanut or dairy-free tables; we see it on flights that no longer serve peanuts because someone on board may be allergic. Tomatoes and other plants are genetically modified so they look pretty, last long, and are pesticide-tolerant, but the end result is food containing peanut genes or fish DNA─components that should never have been part of the foods makeup.

Genetically modifying foods also affects their taste. When you compare an organic, vine-ripened tomato to the "usual" one available in the grocery store, the organic one has a beautiful natural color and delicious flavor; whereas the modified one is faded red and tastes like sour cardboard!


There is a host of cure-all diets out there that are all the rage in fitness circles, dietician forums, and magazines. However, nearly every one of these diets lacks adequate amounts of protein.

The Vegan Hallelujah diet, for example, consists entirely of vegetables, with very low amounts of protein; the same goes for the Gerson and China Study diets. Even the Standard American Diet (SAD) is often deficient in essential amino acids. These particular diets might be good for you in some respects since they're high in phytonutrients and fiber, but I've measured the blood amino acid levels in many patients who have been on those diets, and their levels are almost always lacking. They'll also feel tired and lose lean body mass due to lack of sufficient protein. Please refer to the charts for more information.


To make your nutritional life much less complicated, skip the fad diets, and follow a Paleo-type food pattern that includes organic fruits and vegetables; grass-fed, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free meats; wild-caught fish; pastured, whole eggs, tree nuts, and seeds. And if you desire it, you can also eat organic butter and whole cream.

If weight loss is your goal, decreasing the amount of fruits and starchy vegetables is usually effective─this can help you achieve your ideal weight. Healthy oils like olive, avocado, coconut, butter, lard, or duck fat can be used liberally, but trans fats should be avoided. Most people can "cheat" on up to three meals per week, but we ask them to avoid gluten and processed foods as much as possible─if it comes in a box or a package and has unrecognizable ingredients, don't eat it. When people first start a nutritional program, I recommend that people don't consume any grains, legumes, nightshade vegetables, or alcohol for the first six weeks. After following this protocol, many report a decrease in bloating, heartburn, and gas, and an improvement in energy, so they decide to continue eating this way, with the exception of special occasions.

Now that you understand the external factors that contribute to the protein problem─a lack of clean protein sources, toxins in our food, and misinformation surrounding popular diets─well move on to the internal factors that can inhibit protein digestion and absorption.

Want to learn more? Click HERE to get your copy of Dr. Minkoff's book, "The Search for the Perfect Protein" today!



  1. Nedleman, Michael, Autism prevalence now 1in 40 U. S. kids, study estimates, cnn. com, November 26, 2018, https: //www. cnn. com/2018/11/26/health/autism-prevalence-study/index.
  2. Geier, David A. , Kern, Janet K. , Hooker, Brian S. , King, Paul G. , Sykes, Lisa K. , Geier, Mark R. , Thimerosal-Containing Hepatitis B Vaccination and the Risk for Diagnosed Specific Delays in Development in the United States: A Case-Control Study in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, North American Journal of Medical Sciences, October 6, 2014, https: //www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215490/
  3. Kirby, David, Help the Environment, Get a Flu Shot, huffingtonpost. com, December 18, 2006, https: //www. huffingtonpost. com/david-kirby/help-the-environment-get-_b_ 36604. html

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.