The Addicting of America

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Once upon a time I drank a fifth and a half of vodka every night, smoked through three packs of menthol light cigarettes every day, and wrestled with addiction to crack and powder cocaine, bingeing, cravings, fearsome mood swings, a trigger temper and waxing and waning waist sizes.

Mainstream experts peg people like me as having an addictive personality. They recommend a nice anti-depressant to perk me up and perhaps some Ritalin to rein in my jumpy mind with a mood moderator to back the spike of the Ritalin. They prescribe Atenolol to calm my transient oddball heartbeat, a little Trazadone to get me to sleep and oh, years of therapy wouldn’t hurt either.

Not once did anyone ever consider how the foods I ate as a youngster and adult may have affected me on the deepest level of my body, mind, heart and soul.

How did we ever make it to this place in time if we, as humans, need all those drugs and counseling to make it through our lives? Did the vital peoples over the march of time have some secret to their longevity, spirituality, contentment, and beauty that we’re missing today?

You bet they did.

These “primitive” people understood the rhythm of nature and wisdom of the traditional foods they needed to not only survive, but thrive. Food is energy and life gives life. They knew it and their way of living and their countenance proved it out over millennia.

Often we begin to set our society up for addiction and illness later in life by the foods we eat—the worst offender being white sugar. It often leads to “the bigger kick” of cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol without the user necessarily knowing why. Aspartame and the 15,000 chemicals in the foods we consume on any given day begin to wreak havoc on our endocrine systems. These chemicals are added to foods with the explicit intent of making the consumer unable to stop wanting, drinking or eating them. Foods without proper nutrients or with certain additives shut off the appestat and create bingeing.

There is money to be made off of a chronically sick society. In 2000, Americans spent around 21 billion dollars on OTC meds and 145 billion dollars on prescription meds. We’re certainly not getting healthier as we come up on 2010, so these numbers are likely significantly higher. The pharmaceutical companies are laughing all the way to the bank and many of them are under the same parent company as fast food makers.

Americans spent roughly six billion dollars on fast food in the ’70s; today, we’re spending close to 150 billion dollars. McDonald’s alone spends around two million dollars a year on advertising. Their goal is to increase their sales by 20 percent every year. I’d say they’re doing a great job of hitting that goal by all the folks waddling around. The Coca-Cola Company is one of the biggest polluters of water in the world. Let’s not fail to mention what their products do to the pancreases and appestats of all the people they have convinced to buy their products by their slick advertising propaganda. They’ve saturated the adult market and are fond of targeting children. To this wellness professional the impact is clear, but many experts just don’t buy that what we eat has that much of an effect on our bodies.

Francis M. Pottenger wrote a book called Pottenger’s Cats. He carefully documented over a period of forty to fifty years what happened to cats as he fed one group raw, wholesome foods felines ought to eat vs. canned milk, dry food and other highly processed foods. By the second generation, the teeth in those cats and their bone structures began to change. They were skittish and with the next generation, the defects were even more profound. They began to sit in the corners of their pens, their coats were dull and they couldn’t land on their feet as their properly fed “study buddies” did.  By the fourth or fifth generation, the junk food cats had died out.

Our children are coming up on the second and third generation of being brought up on fast food, laden with sugar and additives. Of course, we’re not cats but the implications are chilling.

Type 2 Diabetes was once reserved for adults in their late forties, hence Adult Onset Diabetes. Now it’s showing up in six year olds with the new improved name of Type 2 Diabetes. By the year 2010, estimates are that 43 percent of children born in that year will be diabetic. The impact on our medical system will likely break it, never mind how well these junk food junkie kids will fare emotionally. The levels of addiction to food or other poisons of choice will also increase significantly.

And what is the allopathic or naturopathic answer? Find a drug or herb to curb the symptoms of chronic disease that are directly related to what is going into our mouths. These medications or herbs merely treat symptoms brought on by ingesting foods that have no nutritional value whatsoever and, in fact, add to the slow demise of our increasingly sick society.

What keeps kids off sugar and adults off pills and alcohol is learning to eat foods the way we did thousands of years ago, which is not, interestingly enough, low fat, high carb.  How much have we evolved over 10,000 years?  Not one iota, yet we’re putting “foods” in these wonderful mechanisms called our bodies that can’t be utilized or coped with. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price ought to be required reading for anyone in the health/fitness/wellness industry. If you haven’t read it, I would challenge you to do so. The evidence is hard to refute, just by the photos alone. The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, M.D. as well as Beating the Food Giants by Paul A. Stitt are also very convincing reads.

A single farming family ruins 4000 to 7000 acres of productive land every forty years by mono-cropping and using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It takes millions of years for Mother Nature to generate the three feet of rich topsoil that will sustain crop growth.  Al Gore admirably has brought to world attention the sorry state of our planet. What continues to be missing in all that rhetoric is how important it is to get our people well so they may enjoy the greening of our world.

The annual application of billions of tons of pesticides, herbicides, and other farming chemicals, billions of dollars spent on OTC/prescription medications and eating foods “made more functional” clearly isn’t the answer. If it were, 300,000 people wouldn’t be dying every single year from preventable diseases. When we sustainably farm and consume foods (indeed products) in the manner our Creator intended the circle of life will be complete. Our planet will heal and so will our people. Only then we will enjoy the vitality that is our birthright.

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