I read an article this morning on the site of one of my go-to medical experts that proffered a number of statistics explaining why Americans are so sick and unhealthy.
The offenders include:
- Regular consumption of unthinkable amounts of high fructose corn syrup
- Genetic engineering of ingredients in processed foods
- One third of Americans being COMPLETELY sedentary
- Hundreds of cancer-causing toxins being regularly present in our bodies
- America’s over reliance on pharmaceutical “solutions” which contain more than 70 known side effects on average and are responsible for the deaths of at least 106,000 Americans per year when taken as prescribed 1
Knowing the problems we face is great. Even better, though, is having a solution.
Here’s what one outlet concluded after reading these findings:
Our culture ‘cherishes independence’ and ‘wants to limit the intrusion of government in our personal lives,’ said Steven Woolf, director of the Center for Human Needs at Virginia Commonwealth University, the panel chairman. While those values serve us in some ways, he said, our resistance to regulation ‘may work against our ability to achieve optimal health outcomes.
I have an idea…Instead of blaming a lack of regulation, which, by the way, is notorious for causing costs to skyrocket, how about we look at the damage being caused by the regulations that are already on the books?
The “BIG 3” of The Most Unhealthy Foods
High fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods and processed wheat have been identified as the crops that are the most harmful to the health of humans.
And guess what? The government subsidizes the production of every single one of them! Our problem is not a lack of government intervention – it’s that there’s already too much of it.
Nearly all of the soybeans and corn being produced and sold in markets today are genetically modified.
And food producers are being incentivized by our own government to keep it that way.
It is well known that high fructose corn syrup and processed grains are key contributors to the epidemic of obesity and plethora of chronic diseases in this country. The verdict is still out on how genetically modified (GMO) foods react with the human body.
Or is it?
Initial lab testing on rats indicates that it may not be long before valid medical studies will warrant placing GMO foods next to high fructose corn syrup and processed grains on the list of most unhealthy foods for humans.
The 2012 study looked at the potential long-term health effects of consuming genetically modified foods and the results were startling:
- Some rats developed massive tumors that represent 25 percent of their body weight.
- Liver damage was up to 5 times higher in the GMO group than in the non-GMO group.
- Female rats that ate GMO’s had a 3 times higher risk of premature death. 2
With close to 100% of the corn being produced in America being of the GMO variety, these initial indicators should be more than enough to convince us that high fructose corn syrup and GMO foods should be eliminated from our diets at every opportunity.
Okay. So What’s The Answer, Craig?
A free market is an amazing thing. While it could be well argued that the market we currently have in America is anything but “free”, we as consumers still have more power in driving the market than we often give ourselves credit for.
As an example, when the dangers of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) finally began to seep into the American consciousness, consumer demand forced many companies to reformulate their processed foods using other types of sweeteners, or ditching sweetening agents altogether. As a result, today you can find a number of food products marked “No HFCS”.
And wouldn’t you know it? Government intervention had nothing to do with this beneficial change. 1
We don’t need to rely on the government to regulate our safety. We need to exercise the freedoms we have and take responsibility for our personal health.
We, the people, need to stand up and demand transparency from food manufacturers on our food labels so we can make informed decisions regarding what we’re putting into our bodies. We have a right to know what ingredients are being used in our foods – and whether or not it’s being genetically modified.
This may require new laws being placed on the books, but it won’t matter one iota if consumers don’t take note and start making smarter purchasing decisions.
Accurate food labels will be a necessary step in the process, regardless of whether consumer demand (my preference) or new laws bring them about.
After all, how can we make educated decisions about the foods we’re putting into our bodies if we don’t know what ingredients said food contains, or the manufacturing methods that were employed to bring it to market.
Given the information we have at our disposal, it’s disturbing that, as of now, HFCS and genetic modifications aren’t required to be shown on our food labels. But campaigns – like this one – are being organized to force food producers to identify these harmful practices.
Most importantly, we, the people, need to take greater responsibility for our health and start making better food choices.
The most powerful weapon we have in combating these practices is to curb the demand for them.
Food conglomerates are in business with the singular purpose of maximizing profits. And they have a penchant for seeking to maximize their profits unethically, while being paid by the government to do it, with little regard (seemingly) as to how their practices are inflicting serious harm on others.
Unfortunately, the majority of Americans continue to pound back some of the most unhealthy foods containing HFCS and GMO ingredients, giving these food manufacturers little reason to change their unethical practices and conduct business any differently.
However, we as consumers can force their hand by influencing the market. But it will take a widespread, concerted effort – an effort I will be leading by doing everything I can to educate others and motivate them to take control of their nutrition and personal health.
My hope is that through the efforts of those of us on the front lines of this battle we, as a nation, will soon wisen up and make natural, whole foods our nutrition of choice. When that happens these shady food corporations will have two choices: Adapt to the market or go bankrupt.
I hope that you heed these warnings and that they resonate with you every time you’re shopping for groceries. It may not be feasible for you to avoid HFCS and processed / GMO foods altogether.
Nevertheless, making sure that 90% of what’s in your cart are natural, whole foods will make a HUGE difference – a difference that will extend beyond your own personal health and well being.
It’s impact will also include: curbing the market, snuffing out unethical production methods that are known to be dangerous, and ultimately driving down the cost of whole, nutritious foods for us as consumers.
This is how we, as individuals, can enact a lasting, positive change in the health and vitality of our culture.
Before this can happen on national scale, though, people have to be educated and eyes have to be opened. The book that served as a real wakeup call for me was Nick Pineault’s Truth About Fat Burning Foods.
I consider Nick’s book to be required reading for anyone concerned about living with optimal health.
But don’t just read it. Put what you learn into action!
Knowledge without action is useless. Knowledge that leads to action is power.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi