An open space for global conversation
In the late 1990s, my husband, my self and my in-laws attended one of our monthly Historical Madison County Society meetings, during which we were given a viewing of an old film shot around the county courthouse in the 1930s. What has remained stuck in my memory was this astonishing fact - there were nothing but lean and thin people present. Of course, there have been throughout history, some people who were "gravitationally challenged" - King Henry the VIII or "Chubby" of the Little Rascals.
However, something happened after the 1930s; that was already becoming clearly evident, in the 1990s. I think I have found at least a couple of the "major" suspects - High Fructose Corn Syrup; and the trade group "Center for Consumer Freedom". High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) was not introduced into the American food supply until the 1970s. Coincidentally, about the same time that partially hydrogenated oils were also "added". These rapid changes to the overall content of processed foods have led to the epidemic levels of obesity, and the highest rates of disease along with the lowest life expectancy of any industrialized nation. This is NOT a coincidence.
Becoming a well-informed consumer is certainly the "first step" in personal responsibility, as publicly promoted by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), founded in 1996 - those "friends" of every disease vulnerable American consumer (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kellogg and Kraft are some of the known entities) Their website says many of the companies - food companies and restaurant chains - supporting the lobbying and media campaigns of the CCF prefer to maintain their anonymity - Why ? - their website states that they are apprehensive that vegetarians and health activists might threaten their privacy and safety. I would suspect that they are MORE apprehensive that their profits might be at stake.
I have inherited genes that are particularly vulnerable to excess sugar in my blood stream. So, although I've had an interest in nutrition since the 1970s, I am in a "getting serious" mode now, thanks to threats of pharmaceutical interventions for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. What I see with my own eyes, so many overweight people out there, is both scary and sad. Last fall, my activist heart (born in the late 1960s but dormant for many years since) was re-awakened by the Occupy Movement. Thanks to Occupy, and other collective efforts to educate the populace - I have now learned, and I can't go back to not knowing. What has been happening, while we, the people, gave the elected government politicians a free reign, is not pretty. Large multi-national corporations are in control, not only of the law itself and the economy overall; but even in such places as the Dept of Agriculture and their funding resources, as well as both national and state food policies.
"YES, WE CAN DO IT" - we can change the nature of the human diet to be nutritious and wholesome again; and this is something that every man, woman and child can easily and inexpensively chose to make contributions toward and participate in.
There is HOPE. We, the people, are collectively sharing information, through more "alternative" channels than ever before and over which, we have individual discernment. We are "finding" one another - our real friends who care about our genuine quality of Life - and we are supporting and encouraging one another to just say "No !", to some of the most biologically addictive substances yet devised, which coincidentally ? boost the profit margins simultaneously for Big Agriculture, Big Food and Big Pharma. Now, I'm not trying to suggest that there is an intentional conspiracy among these 3 globally-influential entities; but the actions of each of these are supporting the revenues of the others.
Not only is there a growing and impregnable collective, of nutritionally-conscious individuals that can't be infiltrated by any external entity; but we have "heroes & heroines" willing to put themselves "out there" on the front lines; and they are not going to be silenced, until we succeed in taking back the health of the people of this country, and encourage similar activities in all other countries that have been similarly damaged by a profit-driven, market oriented approach by multi-national corporations, to the global food supply. We, the people of the planet, will not fail; because our very lives, and even more especially a "good quality" of Life, utterly depends upon our success. One who is sick cannot enjoy living, in the fullest sense of that concept; and is unable to contribute fully, to the evolving of a "next - better" human society - for disease captures fully the human attention; and does not let us go, until we die.
Here are a few names and links, just some of my own personal "heroes & heroines" -
Dr Mark Hyman - pioneering nutritional approaches to wellness and spearheading a "Take Back Our Health" movement - in our schools, for our communities, in our workplaces and our places of worship, for our democracy, through our media and from a "sickness-oriented" medical perspective.
Michael F Jacobson, PhD of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and sponsors of "Eat Real, America !" on Food Day, this 2012 year on Oct 24th; as well as the long-time editor of Nutrition Action Healthletter and a dedicated activist, at the political level.
Whole Living Magazine for encouraging healthier lifestyles and for their yearly Action Plan.
Geneen Roth for her retreats and workshops to heal eating disorders; and her books- including "Women Food and God" and "When Food Is Love".
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, and Ocean Robbins, founder of YES (Youth for Environmental Sanity) and author of Choices for Our Future - and their co-founded organization - The Food Revolution Network.
May WE all be well,
May WE all be happy,
May WE all be free of suffering,
May WE all be at peace.
Yes, WE can do it !!