Saturday, April 13, 2013

Some Food For Thought

I know, the title is not at all original, but the questions I have this week are almost entirely about food. With one exception, that would take us back to the whole question of cruelty free cosmetics. The reason that some of our formerly good, natural, cruelty free companies have started animal testing is for the Chinese market. China requires all cosmetics to be tested on animals before it can be sold there. I'm not sure what is happening with the EU since they recently started a law saying that they will not allow the sale of any animal tested products. But my question is this-China requires all cosmetics to be tested on animals? Weren't they the ones caught in recent years selling the US products containing toxic ingredients such as lead and melamine? They sold us dog treats and toothpaste, and children's makes no sense to me!!!!

Now some questions to ponder regarding food and nutrition:

1. Cool Whip frosting? It is now for sale at your local grocery store...why? Do they think we are not getting enough chemicals and hydrogenated oils in our diets? Are we really that lazy? I used to eat Cool Whip, but when I became vain about scratch cooking, and learned how much better real whipped cream tastes, I never touched the chemical stuff again. It's not that hard...forget it, it's like buying a gallon of iced tea at the grocery store. Yes, we as a country are that lazy.

2. Can we stop with the cooking shows and food commercials that simply show us beautiful women having food orgasms? I have eaten really good food, prepared by professional chefs, including my stepson, and had some really delicious things. I have eaten those boxed cereals, and enjoyed them. I have never had an orgasmic experience because of any food I have ever eaten. And after eating food I enjoy too much, I am usually too wasted for any other kind of orgasm. Sorry. TMI.

3. My husband used to work for an  ECG (evil corporate giant.) The one that makes an evil chemical frequently used by  farmers to kill weeds. That stuff costs money. So do hormones and antibiotics. So do pesticides that are used to kill bugs that harm crops. So riddle me this; why do organic fruits and meats cost so much more? The farmers who graze their cattle on grass save tons of money, not only on grains that make the cows sick so that they need those antibiotics so they can be healthy enough to sell. Why can't they pass those savings off to the consumer? Is it the "hip" factor of organic, grass fed meat? That kind of beef (if you are a flesh eater) is so much healthier for us; what if the savings on the cost of production were passed on to consumers? Would more people NOT be coming down with antibiotic resistant bacteria and save the country a ton of money on medical care? Bringing down the cost of foods that cost less to produce would be a win/win for the whole country. Why can't the movement for local, organic food be logically sold?

4. This one comes from a quote  that was not from me, and I'm not sure where it started, but it is so provably true: "The pharmaceutical industry does not create cures, it creates customers. For forty + years we've been told that getting our LDL cholesterol numbers down is the a sure way to prevent heart disease. There is evidence out there that the science used to support this hypothesis is improper and incomplete. A gentleman named Ancel Keys, back in the early 20th century studied a bunch of countries that ate a high saturated fat diet, but he discarded fifteen countries that didn't support his hypothesis, thus skewing his results. Travel forward a few decades (this is only a blog, not a scientific journal, so I'll let you find the deeper info on your own,) and the pharmaceutical industry learns that statins can bring down the LDL numbers. They have suggested that EVERYONE can benefit from taking these drugs, and have even proposed giving them to children to prevent the LDL cholesterol numbers from ever getting high. But there are dangerous side effects to these drugs; even the commercials for them tell you that "if you have muscle weakness or pain, call your doctor immediately." Well, by the time you get those effects, some of the damage has been done. They won't tell you that. Another thing we've all noticed is the younger and younger memory problems in folks...statins also contribute to this. Yes, those statins the big pharma are trying to sell our ten year olds will cause brain problems that lead to muscle pain and weakness (fibromyalgia, anyone!) and poor memory. Cholesterol aids brain function. We know this, and our foods are not providing a healthy enough way to get this vital compound. And drugs we are marketed aggressively harm these functions. I guess my question would be why we just buy the marketing of drug companies and figure they side effects won't apply to us?

My husband and I recently attended a nutrition seminar in which the vast majority of what we've been told about food was challenged. If you'd like to get an idea what we were taught there, check out for lots of documentation and information. We saw videos, got websites to check out, in short, the ideas were well supported. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't question some of them. But one thing that the teacher emphasized is that "...we have gotten very good at keeping sick people alive longer." The questions he told us to ask ourselves were these" 1. How do you feel? 2. How's your performance? If one can't answer those questions optimally, in his opinion, those are signs that a change needs to be made. Perhaps some of those ideas could be the diet changes that he suggested in the seminar. But we are living much longer than we once did, with a low quality of life in many cases. So the question I would ask myself is, "How long do I want to live?" The only answer I can come up with is as long as I feel good, can take care of myself and enjoy life. My friends and I joke all the time about how it sucks to get old, but we are all exponentially better off than fifty-five year olds were when we were kids. We are all more active, and have some aches and pains, but mostly all still have our own teeth, and can do much more than we thought we would be doing now. If this continues, lets go on. If we wind up in the next twenty years or so spending our days going from doctor to doctor, counting pills from the dozens of drugs that keep us alive, and more drugs to fight the side effects of the other drugs we take...then no, thank you  very much. Life is for fun, love, adventure. When the medicines I take prevent me from enjoying that adventure anymore, just let it be over. Please!!! 


rene said...

I went on one of the cholesterol lowering meds for three months about two years ago. The first month, no problems. Half way through the second month, raging insomnia set in. My mind raced. I had extremely morbid thoughts. I didn't sleep. At all. After three days of maybe two hours a night of very fitful sleep, I caved in and took an Ambien. Normally, half of one of these will knock me out and I seldom use them at all. I still didn't sleep. A week into this madness my thoughts were increasingly morose and I was exhibiting the usual symptoms of memory sleep deprivation like memory loss, irritability and appetite loss. Insomnia is not one of the long list of side effects listed for this medication but then I turned to the web. Dozens and dozens of hits came up for the sleep issues as well as the horribly dark and dreadful thoughs I was having. Then I stumbled upon a medical research paper that did indeed link insomnia to this statin, it found that those who suffer from this raging insomnia early on in their drug course go on to have irreversible neuropathy later on! I called my physician. She agreed I should stop taking them. It took another two weeks for my sleep to slowly come back and for my mental state to return to normal. We need a sheath of myelin around the nerves in our brains. This reports suggests that the statins don't just prevent plaque from forming in our arteries, it likely eats away at the myelin in our brains. Statins are freaking poison.

Deegje said...

Well, in answer to your question about why organic food is more expensive, it gets lengthy and complicated. But some of the reasons are as follows: higher costs for increased labor, the need for crop rotation thus the inability to grow as much of a profitable crop, higher costs associated with the actual growing, less of a demand for organic crops, subsidies for organic crops.
As far as drugs go...a drug that may be very bad for one might be a lifesaver for another! I think that a patient has the right to be completely informed about the medication before taking it. I also think that that patient has the responsibility to seek that information themselves. Does your doctor tell you everything? Do you read the monographs that come with the medication? Do you talk with the pharmacist before you take the medication? Do you Google it for information? I think, in America especially, it is a case of buyer beware. The drug companies are not altruistic! As a consumer you have a responsibility to yourself to gather as much information about the medication as you can. And, you have the responsibility to discuss and report those findings to your doctor. I refuse to take Ambien and antidepressants because of reported side effects, and certain side effects I experienced with those drugs. My doctor is well aware of my thoughts.He also shares anecdotal information with me when prescribing something.

Buck Wheeler said...

Great article, and thanks for the shout out!!!