Saturday, August 2, 2014

Hot Potato

"People are fed by the Food Industry, which pays no attention to health, and treated by the Health Industry, which pays no attention to food." ~~ Wendell Berry

A conversation about food, today, is the new conversation about religion or politics.  Something you can't do in mixed company, save at your peril.  Everybody has something in the domain of food that they're attached to or addicted to, something they feel they have a god-given right to eat, and notions about food and where it comes from that they are hidebound to change...even if it kills them.

The topic of food has become a huge conundrum.  It simply can't be discussed, though, without considering how integrally entwined it has become with all aspects of our lives.  After reading this post, you'll have to make your own decisions about what to eat.  But make those decisions informed ones.  That's my goal here.

There's an ever-deepening economic connection between the Food Industry, the Pharmaceutical Industry, the Medical Industry, Industrial Agriculture, the Insurance Industry, even the Financial Industry, the government and the media.  They're all owned by a handful of corporations.  Corporations whose only goals are greed, power and control worldwide.  This is Corporate America, the System.  It doesn't exist for your benefit, it doesn't exist to keep you healthy and happy, it doesn't exist to help you achieve the American dream.  It exists to profit its executives and shareholders.  Its mouthpiece is the mainstream media, whose role is to lie to the public, to obfuscate and confuse, to distract us from what's really happening with mind-numbing garbage 24/7, to make people believe they have no choice but to trust the System.  Think: Big Brother.

Whatever message the System wants to put forth, that's what you'll hear via all the media outlets: TV, radio, billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, spam emails and online ads (you even hear ads now while you wait for your cellphone number to be dialed), etc.  What you won't hear is the truth, about anything ~~ the real story, what's really happening in this country, the information you actually do need to make informed decisions about anything.  The System doesn't want you to be informed.  It wants you to be like a mushroom ~~ kept in the dark and fed bullshit.  Because if you do know the truth, the System loses.

Nearly all the food that's available now in this country is being and has been adulterated...for 30 or 40 years at least.  And it keeps getting worse.  In America, up to 95 percent of cattle routinely receive growth hormones, anabolic steroids and antibiotics, and animal feed is laced with herbicides, pesticides and insecticides.  Most beef cattle are raised in feedlots.  Commercial chicken operations and pig farms are no different.  All commercial vegetable and fruit farming relies heavily on herbicides, pesticides and insecticides, and now most, if not all, large industrial crops (corn, soybeans, sugar beets...) are genetically modified.  All of these toxins are systemic in the animal, vegetable or fruit ~~ they cannot be simply washed off.

Toxins and genetically modified organisms in commercial food are the cause of stomach, colorectal and other cancers, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular and countless other diseases, as well as lowered sperm counts and fertility rates, rising resistance to antibiotics, astonishingly high rates of food allergies, and child and adult behavioral disorders.  "You are what you eat."  What you eat is directly related to chronic illness.   Chronic illness is directly related to the need for expensive medical care and pharmaceuticals.  The ever-rising costs of medical care and drugs are directly related to the ever-rising cost of health insurance.

So who's benefiting?  Corporate America.  Think about that. 

Anything that comes from the government about what to eat or not, is disinformation, all based on corporate-sponsored research.  Any time the System tells you there's no conclusive evidence for a link between thus and such, that's disinformation.  Any time the System downplays the effects of toxins in the food supply or the environment, that's disinformation.  You simply cannot trust the System to tell you the truth.

If you don't manage your own health, if you mistakenly believe the System will provide you with healthy food, if you rely on the System to "heal" you when you get sick, you will never get ahead of the game.  And it is a game.  You have to learn how to play strategically, for your own benefit. 

This is what I think a person needs to do to stay healthy in the early 21st century ~~

  • Stay away from all meats, including seafood.  The oceans are polluted now and even fish is being factory farmed.
  • Eat as much organic food as possible.
  • Make your own, whatever it is, so you have control over the ingredients.  In other words, stay away from buying ready made food unless you know exactly where it came from; make things from scratch.
  • Stay away from sodas entirely.  All sodas consist of high fructose corn syrup and carbonated water.  Diet sodas are the worst because they contain carcinogenic aspartame.  Energy drinks can be lethal, with the addition of very high levels of caffeine.
  • Use organic cane sugar or honey or maple syrup to sweeten foods.  NEVER use sugar substitutes, they are known killers.  And agave syrup, a recent introduction to the realm of sweeteners:  it's worse than high fructose corn syrup.
  • Stay away from all fast food.  It's not even food.
  • Read labels.  If food has stuff in it you can't pronounce, stay away from it.
  • Refuse to watch television.  If food has to be advertised, stay away from it.  Do not ask your doctor about drugs advertised on TV or in magazines.
  • Refuse to read mass media magazines.  Far more pages in every issue are devoted to advertising drugs and non-foods than to magazine content.
  • Refuse to be the mindless consumer the System wants you to be.
  • Know what's in the food you buy.  Become an informed shopper.  Be vigilant.
  • Practice self care.  If you have a problem, investigate.  If it's something within your power to resolve without having to go to the doctor, then do so.  Empower yourself.
  • Research herbal and homeopathic remedies instead of relying on pharmaceuticals. Refuse to take drugs unless you absolutely have to.  Think about the potential for adverse reactions to drugs and the possibly lethal combinations of drugs that many people take.
  • Look into alternative healing modalities when you have a problem ~~ chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.
  • Refuse to take your doctor's word for everything.  Doctors know a lot less than people give them credit for.  Become an advocate for your own health care.
  • Listen to your body.  Do the research.  Think for yourself. 

In closing, I want to say that I am no saint when it comes to eating.  I've been all over the map in my adult life with weight gain and loss, diets, and different eating lifestyles (vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic).  From here on out I will be a lacto/ovo vegetarian, meaning I eat dairy products and eggs.  I'll never eat meat again, this I can say with certainty.  I have other reasons to not eat animals, besides toxicity.  Over the last few years, as I've gotten farther away from eating "bad" foods, my body has become vastly more sensitive.  So that when I do ingest something nasty, my body will react with an allergic response, as it did with achy joints recently following white sugar consumption.

Healthy eating is a journey, not a destination.  It's never too late to begin.


ileneharris said...

Interesting and informative. Certainly food for thought. Pardon the punning...

jenclair said...

Deciding what to eat has become so difficult. I can't enjoy foods that I used to love because I know they are bad for you (but if given the opportunity, I will indulge in fried green tomatoes). Reading labels takes a lot of time, and even then, I end up putting so much back on the shelf. Unless you have your organic garden or easy access to local organic farmers (we do have a great farmers' market)--it often feels like a losing battle. Last year we did great with our garden, but this year not so much.

I read and research on this topic frequently, not just for personal health reasons, but because I find it fascinating.

I posted this on my book blog not long ago: a great Ted Talk about what is really making us sick.

Birdie said...

Yes it's a minefield of misinformation: the food industry and the governments stance on it. It's the same but different here in the UK - we don't have to contend with drug adverts for one thing. But the advice is the same, and people's eating habits are everywhere self evident.

Unlike you I choose to eat meat - though only organic, free range / grass fed. And i know where it comes from as its all local. I eat no sugar, no processed foods of any kinds, no grains and no pulses.

Experimenting has shown me clearly I do not function well on a vegetarian or vegan diet, but since eating a ,broadly speaking, ancestral style diet my weight has evened out, my migraines have all but gone and my digestive system is now completely healthy - it had never been, before hand. Plus my blood sugar is now completely stable. It was a revelation when I changed the way I eat.

I sympathise with the sensitivity - I've found now that it doesn't take much sugar to trigger a migraine!

MegWeaves said...

Here, there still is a general consensus about what's healthy, the best being growing as much veg and fruits as you can yourself, but now I find I don't trust any labels or researches. One of the harder things is the NZ govt, from both sides, so far has refused to put country of origin on products; it'd be so easy if we just mimicked Australia in this respect. The added concern for us is imports and TPPA. I need a stiff drink now, Connie.

Nina Fenner said...

Completely agree with all this, I know I eat too much sugar and not enough organic produce, but I do grow a lot of stuff, and cook with raw materials. I am always shocked by how much processed food other people eat, so I must be doing something right. I had stomach pains a few years ago and after lots of tests the doctors said here, take these pills..(for the rest of my life?!) , so I went away and did tons of research and tried cutting out stuff and I now control the pain and discomfort with good eating, no more pills thanks. Yes, we are all so horrifically ignorant and unaware of how our food is produced (and everything else that we have in our lives too, such as clothing, building materials, cleaning products..I'll stop now!)

Corrine at said...

"Listen to your body. Do the research. Think for yourself. " Yup. Although I do eat pasture raised local farm meat and wild caught fish. The rest, I agree, the cycle is vicious and so connected from one link to the next. One way to know our food is bad is that our animal companions are getting human illnesses....their dog/cat food is as contaminated as everything "prepared" we can eat. Homeopathy and herbs, top of the list and for my dogs too. xox