Stated briefly, here's what has happened:
1) In 1855 German chemist Baron Justus von Leibig published a paper theorizing that the only minerals that plants needed were nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This concept was then aggressively marketed to farmers. By the end of his life von Leibig had changed his mind. But by then chemical fertilizers had killed most of the necessary microorganisms in the topsoil.
2) The chemicalization of our foods essentially started in 1912 when the FDA was subverted and manipulated by commercial interests after the removal of Dr. Harvey W. Wiley - who had the temerity to try and prevent Coca-Cola from ever reaching the market.
Since that time an enormous quantity of highly toxic chemical food additives, preservatives, pesticides, fungicides, dyes and packaging chemicals have been added to our food to the point where food no longer fits its own dictionary definition:
food n. 1. Material, usually of plant or animal origin, that contains or consists of essential body nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to produce energy, stimulate growth, and maintain life.
There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals added to our American food supply today. As an example, take a look at the listed ingredients of Subway products which are heavily advertized as a healthy alternative to burger fast food:
Chicken type flavor, artificial colors FD&C red 40 lake, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 2 lake, red 40, blue 1 lake, blue 1, blue 2, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, thiamin mononitrate, hydrogenated vegetable shortening, acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, azodicarbonamide, potassium iodate, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, high fructose corn syrup, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium benzoate as a preservative, Polysorbate 80, sodium tripolyphosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, thiamin hydrochloride, sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, sodium diacetate, silicon dioxide etc. etc.
Chemical food additives are not natural nutrition for humans or their pets. Human bodies were not designed to ingest or assimilate these chemicals and they don't know what to do with them and they respond to them as the toxins that they are and they become sick, either quickly or slowly. If you give a person a tiny amount of a poison every day, it may take a long while but eventually he will get very sick.
Chemically altered foods and those grown in soils depleted of minerals and enzymes are no longer being recognized or digested properly and they create problems in the body that make it impossible for the body to heal itself and get well. People have been eating so many dead and enzyme-lacking foods for so long that their bodies are also no longer capable of producing the enzymes that they need.
Some of these additives are chemicals that are deliberately engineered in order to get you to get addicted to the specific food that contains them and to make you eat more. It's no accident the US obesity stats are as high as they are. Genetically modified (GM) food is widely available in the USA but in Europe consumer resistance has led to a refusal by the main supermarkets to stock GM products.
Modern food has been ruined with chemical shelf-life preservatives and the way that the food is artificially fed and other synthetic additives at the expense of the enzymes. The normal enzymes that the pancreas produces, most of which are supposed to be used internally, end up getting used up trying to digest these enzyme-lacking genetically-modified processed "foods".
These same fake foods are then "enriched" with a synthetic vitamin spray (see 6 ) below). And so our bodies are suffering from severe undernourishment and malnutrition and thus weakened they easily become sick. People can also become allergic to or intolerant of certain everyday foods such as wheat or milk and since 60-70% of the immune system is actually in the lining of the intestines, this also weakens them.
For a better understanding on why what has happened to enzymes is so crucial, see the Enzymes articles in the Body Info section.
3) The chemicalization and resultant toxicity of our environment from such things as Isopropyl Alcohol products (hair sprays, shampoos, facial and skin products) some plastics, acetates, dry-cleaning fluids, chlorines from pools and showers, formaldehyde from new construction, hydrocarbons, food dyes, fluoride, perfumes and fragrances all contribute to putting so much strain on bodies that they get sick and can also become unable to respond to even correct nutritional treatments.
4) Heavy metals such as mercury in fillings and root canals as well as cadmium from traffic fumes, lead paints, hair dyes etc. also further weaken the body.
5) When you get sick you are then given medications that frequently create serious side effects because when you suppress the body's warning systems it is forced to create more symptoms. At least 250 of the more common medications also contribute to making it extremely hard for a body to heal itself. This is because they bypass the autonomic nervous system and give the body new symptoms that it is now even more unable to recover from due to also not being given enough proper nourishment in food to do so.
6) Many people in order to try and minimize the effects of the above take vitamins and minerals obtained from their local health store completely unaware that 95% of these vitamins and minerals are now supplied by the same pharmaceutical companies who have created many of these problems. They are no longer the nutritional supplements they once were but are, more accurately, "nutraceuticals" which are synthetic fractional chemical isolates of real vitamins and are really only safer drugs.
People tend to assume that Vitamin C from one brand is pretty much the same as Vitamin C from another brand and in many cases, they're right since the Vitamin C came from the same original supplier. But what most people don't realize is that these vitamins and minerals are not true and complete vitamins and minerals as would be supplied by good organically-grown whole foods but are in fact chemical synthetics made from such things as coal tar, petroleum products, animal by-products, waste and fecal matter, ground rocks, stones, shells and metal.
And not only do they not supply the benefits of the real vitamins and minerals but they can actually be harmful to you when taken over time. Especially in the mega doses so often recommended. Real vitamins only require very minute doses to be effective.
In a nutshell, what is going on is that we are being continuously slowly poisoned by our toxic food and our toxic environment to the point where our bodies simply cannot handle it and we eventually become chronically ill. The lack of enzymes in our food overtaxes the body's own enzyme production process and causes its eventual breakdown. Then we get treated with toxic medications or vitamin synthetics which make us even more ill. If we are unfortunate enough to end up in a hospital, we get more toxic food and medications and frequently pick up diseases that we didn't have before (see the Medical Statistics section). It's a vicious cycle but one that we don't have to put up with.