Diet for a Dead or Dying Planet
The economic system known as capitalism has regularly brought America’s economy (and the world’s) to its knees. The most recent examples are the Cheney/Bush economic crash of 2008 and Big Oil’s British Petroleum/Halliburton disaster that has poisoned, possibly mortally, the previously slowly dying but still relatively fertile Gulf of Mexico, an important planetary asset that affects the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Gulf Stream, the weather patterns of Great Britain and Europe and who knows what else – probably the entire planet. Global capitalism’s most obscenely wealthy corporate executives and management teams are regularly celebrated on thefront pages of Forbes, Business,Week, the WallStreet Journal, Barrons, every investment industry newsletter and every radio and TV financial program.
While there is nothing inherently evil about making a profit while doing business,American-style capitalism has degenerated (starting soon after its inception) into the obscene “Greed is Good” and the “everybody might be able to become a millionaire” lies that were so seductively articulated and popularized by Ronald Reagan’s puppet masters and handlers in his corporate shadow government and right-wing think tanks during the 1980s Decade of Greed.
My point in bringing up the nature of dog-eat-dog, competitive “king on the hill” capitalism is to point out that the Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) who manage the powerful multinational food corporations use the same unethical business practices as their MBA colleagues who manage hedge funds and the huge number of exploitive Wall Street corporations, including Big Pharma, the gambling, pesticide, asbestos, oil and coal industries, the chemical, biological warfare and nuclear weapons industries, many of which are cavalierly endangering the lives of all of us creatures on the planet, all in the interest of profits “by any means necessary.”And we consumers, way too many of us grossly deficient in critical thinking skills, sit back and wait for the next amusing or happy news programming or the entertaining commercial or addictive sports spectacular on the TV, so we can guiltlessly forget about getting up and doing something about the impending economic or environmental crises.
Our physical, neurological and mental health is being adversely affected -probably permanently – by the profit-driven food industries, at the same time that we humans are being Madison Avenued-to-death by the commercials that try to get us to believe that every processed meal is a Happy Meal – never mind wondering what is in the edible thing we are about to ingest.
Processing food extends the shelf life of a food, but any fat or oil that is healthy for the body and brain goes rancid at room temperature in a short amount of time. Hence, in order to decrease spoilage and increase profitability, fat or oil-containing food products that have to be stored at room temperature need to have transfat-containing synthetic fats and oils added, thus making the food a potentially toxic and definitely less-nourishing one.
The same goes for vegetables and fruits that are at risk of fungal or bacterial infestations during growing, storage or transportation stages.
Synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fungicides will definitely extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, but at the same time there is a poisonous and ultimately disease-producing substance being added to the Synthetic flavour or colour enhancers are mostly non-nutritive chemical substances that have their poisonous qualities as well. These include NutraSweet, Splenda, MSG and all the synthetic dyes that are so widely added to food.
Synthetic preservatives such as nutrites (which makes the dead, gray meat in sandwich meat or hotdogs look pink and fresh) are toxic substances, added in small doses that won’t kill us quickly, but may contribute to cancers, immune deficiency disorders and a host of other maladies whose etiologies will almost invariably be labelled “of unknown origin” and thus mis-diagnosed by the vast majority of the medical profession charged with diagnosing root causes of illnesses prior to prescribing treat The giant food corporations have one mission: selling more food and beverage products to consumers. Succeeding with that mission depends on keeping consumers in the dark on certain issues such as the presence of cancer-causing chemicals found in popular food products.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is added to thousands of food and grocery products through a dozen different innocent-sounding ingredients, imbalances endocrine system function, disabling normal appetite regulation and causing consumers to keep eating more food. This chemical not only contributes to nationwide obesity, it also helps food companies boost repeat business.
MSG is routinely hidden in foods in these ingredients: yeast extract, torula yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast. Thousands of common grocery products contain one or more of these chemical taste enhancers, including nearly all ‘vegetarian’ foods such as veggie burgers (read labels to check).
The chemical sweetener as partame (NutraSweet), when exposed to warm temperatures for only a few hours, begins to break down into chemicals like formaldehyde and formic acid. Formaldehyde is a potent nerve toxin and causes damage to the eyes, brain and entire nervous system. Aspartame has been strongly linked to migraines, seizures, blurred vision and many other nervous system problems.
Plastic food packaging is a potent health hazard. Scientists now know that plastics routinely seep the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) into the food, where it is eaten by consumers. Cooking in plastic containers multiplies the level of exposure. Bisphenol is a hormone disruptor and can cause breast formation in men and severe hormonal imbalances in women. It may also encourage hormone-related cancers such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Food manufacturers actually ‘buy’ shelf space and position at grocery stores. That’s why the most profitable foods (and hence, the ones with the lowest quality ingredients) are the most visible on aisle end caps, checkout lanes and eye-level shelves throughout the store. The effect of all this is to provide in-store marketing and visibility to the very foods and beverages that promote obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other degenerative conditions now ravaging consumers around the world.
The article originally appeared in Vijayvani.com
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