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Food and You

May 24, 2011 8 comments

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Editors comment:  The worlds food supply is becoming toxic. Caveat Emptor

One of the most basic things we all have in common as human beings is the requirement for food. We all have to eat.

With that said….

A gross distortion has been laid upon us all by big government, big corporations and big food who are driven by a primary motive to maximize their profits.

This gross distortion is that the food we consume simply consists of protein, fat, carbohydrates and a handful of vitamins and minerals all carefully laid out on the side of some government label…as if every item you consume can all be compared on these simple minded characteristics.

This is a gross distortion;  a dangerous oversimplification.

Governments and global mega food conglomerates would like you to draw little or no distinction between food and health. If you don’t have rickets, you’re ok. If you do, take a pill.

If you become ill, it has nothing to do with the food you have been consuming or not consuming. What you are supposed to buy into is the idea that If the essential vitamins are listed on the package, this is all you need to guide your eating habits. This is how their medical establishment is trained. It is a gross simplification or even a nullification of common sense. It is an attempt to dump inferior quality profit maximized food on the public while passing it off as “the same thing” or “as good as” wholesome natural food.

Recent studies confirm that our food consists of not just what you are eating, but rather a culmination of everything in the food chain that went into what you are eating. The food chain cannot be dissected and compartmentalized. Everything affects everything.

It is entirely possible and even likely that entire classes of compounds exist in our food which have yet to even be identified, and yet have an impact on human health.

Most of the commercial food we consume today has been heat treated, irradiated or pasteurized to prevent contamination and yield a longer shelf life. Pasteurized orange juice for example tastes entirely different than Fresh Orange Juice. Why? What has been killed or altered during the heat treatment process that changes the taste? What important components or compounds of the food might we be killing with heat or radiation that we don’t even know exist?

While big corporations, big government and their shill agencies driven by the profit motive would like you to believe that it all boils down to a handful of essential vitamins, we are finding that food consists of millions of chemical compounds, some in minute quantities, which are beneficial or essential for good health and warding off disease.

Some of these compounds have been found to  kill cancer cells or in general prevent diseased states or protect against disease states. When these important chemical constituents go missing from the food you eat, disease states will result. Many of the pharmaceuticals prescribed for disease are merely concentrations or man made versions of these natural compounds which should be present in the food we eat, but often aren’t.

The fish you eat is a product of what it ate, where it lived, and what was or was not contained in the millions of gallons of water it filtered through it’s gills and thus concentrated into it’s own body during it’s lifetime. Importantly, it is also a product of the health and genetic composition of it’s parents. For example, it has been found an animal raised on GMO feed passes the genetic changes associated with that food consumption on to it’s offspring. This is also true of you and the food you consume.

The milk you are drinking is a product of everything that went into the cow that made the milk and the health of the animal which produces it. Thus milk containing antibiotics and other drugs from a stall raised cow would in no way be expected to be nutritionally equivalent to milk produced from healthy grazing animals, although the labels on the two products would indicate they are the same thing.

The spinach you eat is a product of what nutrients were in the soil it was grown in, the water, the fertilizer, and every other nutrient or lack of nutrient present during it’s growth.

As human consumers we have several issues to deal with regarding the modern food supply

  • -beneficial compounds which should be present in our food for good health, but aren’t
  • -harmful and toxic compounds which should not be present in our food, but are
  • -diets which contain very little of the beneficial compounds and a lot of harmful compounds

Given our limited but ever expanding knowledge about food, it is probable that we do not even know today the complete list of beneficial and harmful compounds.

We may not have yet identified all of the beneficial compounds in the food we eat, but we do know that the current mainstream food supply consists of a worrisome cadre of adulterants.

  • -Genetic modifications
  • -pollution and man made chemical compounds creeping into the food chain which may or may not be toxic
  • -chemical adulterants and additives
  • -lack of important compounds which traditional farming methods produce
  • -additives which increase profits but which are void of important chemicals and compounds

One of the most frightening aspects of the modern food supply is genetic modification. When did the public give their consent to have their food engineered by chemical companies? It has already been found that the genetic modification of food not only affects what consumes it, but also it’s offspring. With 70 percent of the food on the shelves today being genetically modified, this food is changing our DNA. It will affect your children. In what ways, no one knows yet. For further reading, see Genetically Modified Food Will Cause a Global Humanitarian Disaster.

Another frightening aspect of the adulteration of our food supply is the known toxicity of certain man made chemicals at extremely low levels. Certain toxic waste such as dioxin is toxic at levels approaching one drop in an olympic sized swimming pool and yet the food chain is absorbing billions of pounds of these chemicals every year. It is already recommended that we limit our seafood consumption due to concerns about mercury poisoning. How many millions of  man made chemicals are present in our food at very low concentrations which may still accumulate in our bodies and harm us? No one is able to tell us.Our food is not tested for these millions of man made chemicals. We make the assumption that all of these chemicals somehow just disappear and never end up in the food we eat.

It is probable that there are hundreds of thousands of chemicals in actual real food grown in the ground or killed in action as it was for thousands upon millions of years which are all required for good human health, and were all present in the diets of our healthy ancestors. It is also probable that because most of the food we consume no longer contains these compounds, that it is making us sick or more vulnerable to various disease states. Our bodies are large chemical processing plants. Our health is entirely dependent on the fuel we use to run our bodies. Our bodies have a finite capacity to deal with toxins and conversely to synthesize important compounds which should be, but aren’t in our food.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly which chemicals do which things and why you need them, that is beyond our current capability as homo sapien tards. I am writing this because I know it to be true,  even if I can’t necessarily prove it yet. Time and history will prove it for me.

The point is that the mcfood thing here in 2011 doesn’t have any of these things you need and does have everything you don’t want. It’s a bio engineered laboratory creation whose long term effect on your health is entirely unknown. It may taste good but it’s killing you.

The third generation of hamsters eating GMO food had hair growing out of their mouths. Does that help?

This is one of the primary reasons why human disease rates are set to skyrocket in the coming decades. The food doesn’t have the chemicals it should have in order for your continued health, and it has man made chemicals your body doesn’t know what to do with or how to handle; like radioactivity.

For the masses, food is becoming a toxic mcthing with a government label that indicates it has everything you need.

The dilemma for modern consumers is that the food on the shelves contain items which may range from good for you, to ok for you to mild or slightly toxic to carcinogenic to body altering or disease state producing all with identical labels. It is virtually impossible for even an informed consumer to know. Maybe those “organic” farm raised shrimp from asia were fed melamine and raised in a pond full of antibiotics to keep them alive. Do you want to eat that?

Given that most of us do not have the luxury of growing our own wholesome and nutritious food, the food you are shopping for is a shot in the dark. You’re supposed to look at two government labels and compare a twinkie to a handful of spinach grown in Fukishima or a New Zealand ranch. GMO corn is supposed to be the same thing as natural corn. A can of beans is supposed to be the same thing as beans you picked from your backyard garden. You’re supposed to equate a cloned engineered cow given enough antibiotics to keep it alive until they slaughter it to one who had a mother and grew up in the sun eating grass.

Think.

We are all on our own here.  It’s your own health we’re talking about.  The authors recommendation is to do some research on your own. Eat a wide variety of food which comes from sources as close to nature as possible. Avoid man made creations like diet sodas. Use your own common sense and endeavor to seek out healthy, wholesome food. Try growing some food yourself if you are able and if it is not prohibited by your government.

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Categories: farming, food, greed, medicine

unspinning healthcare reform and exposing the US healthcare oligarchy

February 19, 2010 11 comments

By Morose Perish
2/19/2010
EarthBlog News©
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Editors note: An oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) (oligocracy) is a form of government in which power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society.

Healthcare in America today is delivered by an exclusive club. This exclusive club consists of providers, hospitals, insurers and big pharma. Big pharma funds the FDA which acts as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Over 3,300 lobbyists have descended on Washington to to throw money at politicians for votes specifically on “healthcare reform”, thus ensuring the interests and profits of the healthcare oligarchy are upheld.

Over the past 40 years, the cost of healthcare in America has risen at an annual rate of approximately 12 percent. This is the root of the healthcare crisis in America. $100 dollars spent on healthcare 40 years ago increasing at an annual rate of 12 percent costs $9,300 dollars today. During this same 40 year period, $100 dollars in average income has increased to about $220.

The simple fact is that the cost of healthcare has risen at a greatly exaggerated rate relative to the cost of everything else. The rate of increase has been so dramatic relative to income that the costs are now an impossible burden on society.

Two thirds of all personal bankruptcies in America today are due to illness requiring major medical treatment. 78% of those people had medical insurance.

Over the past several decades, Americans have been paying more, getting less, and the enormous profits generated by Americans paying more and getting less have lined the pockets of but a few. Furthermore, there is an economic incentive to overtreat by prescribing unnecessary drugs, ordering expensive tests, and undergoing ineffective treatments. This has the effect of increasing patient costs and unnecessarily increasing risks to patients from side effects of drugs, tests and procedures that were ordered not out of necessity, but out of greed from our elitist providers. Enormously profitable cholesterol lowering drugs have been pushed upon the population by big pharma for decades under the auspices of preventative treatment. Now decades later, we find that not only are the drugs ineffective, they substantially increase the risk of death and disease from other causes. This is not medicine. It’s legalized drug pushing to maximize corporate profits at the expense of their trusting victims. A tragic error? Statistically improbable when we look at the volume of so called preventative drugs pushed on the population in the past several decades which were later pulled from the market because they killed or injured healthy people.

In my city, the CEO of the hospital drives a Rolls Royce. We recently saw an orthopedic specialist to give an opinion by reading an xray. We gave him the CD, he loaded it into his computer, and he spent a total of 10 minutes with us. The cost? $600. That’s $3,600 an hour for giving opinions.  The point is that the healthcare system in America as it stands today is enriching a few at the expense of the many, and at the expense of the sick.  This is not healthcare, it’s racketeering and profiteering from illness and injury. Capitalism? No. Powerful special interest cartels, yes. The only thing that has been capitalized on is the inherent willingness of sick people and their families to spend everything they have and go into debt to save themselves. The healthcare system in America today has many, if not all of the attributes of organized crime.

Furthermore, when analyzed on a price performance basis, although the costs have skyrocketed relative to everything else, the average life expectancy of Americans has gone down, and quality of life studies show that Americans are less healthy overall today and on a declining trend. The system has become impossibly unaffordable, and at the same time delivered a lower quality product as measured by longevity and quality of life. The system, collectively, as a whole, has become a wealth confiscation mechanism, siphoning off the wealth of the citizens and depositing it with a small group of elitist oligarchs.

In recent years, we have seen the development of a phenomenon called “medical tourism” where the costs of treatment in foreign countries is so much lower relative to the US, that US citizens are traveling to places such as India, staying in a five star hotel, receiving first rate treatment for major medical procedures, and then returning to the US still for far less than the cost of the medical treatment or procedure here in the US.  How is this possible?

Clearly something is systemically wrong with the US healthcare system.

Today one in ten of the adult population in America have diabetes and take on the average six different expensive drugs as a result. One in 100 children have autism. Studies have shown that the highest cause of death in America is being admitted to the healthcare system. The list goes on and on but plotted as price vs performance, it can be easily argued that Americans are paying more and getting less, that the system is not competitive, and it is siphoning off the wealth of the citizens at an unsustainable rate.

Why?

To answer that question, we need to ask the question, what mechanism is in place to contain healthcare costs balanced against the demand side of people willing to pay whatever they have to pay to save, cure or treat themselves.

In a free market, with competition, one would expect healthcare costs to rise only at the baseline rate of inflation. Healthcare however is not a free market. There are 4 distinct groups, each having enormous lobbies in Washington, and there is effectively no competition because barriers to entry have been erected.

  • providers (represented by the AMA and ADA)
  • big pharma (funded and represented by the FDA, lobbied by Hill & Knowlton and tens of other powerful lobbying firms)
  • medical insurers (represented by “America’s Health Insurance Plans” and other lobbies)
  • hospitals (represented by “American Hospital Association reps” “the Federation of American Hospitals” and others)

In other words, this is not a free market. There are 4 distinct cartels, each with powerful lobbies, and competition outside of those four groups is effectively banned.

Given a monopolistic supply curve and an inelastic demand curve, the cartel can effectively charge whatever price they want without reducing demand. They can charge up to the point where the society is unable to pay. This system has reached that point and then some.

As a result of this, any sort of “reform” can be guaranteed one thing. Each of these 4 lobbies will pay money to lawmakers to ensure their interests are upheld. Interestingly, those interests all involve maximizing their own profitability. If the providers, big pharma, insurers, and treatment centers are all maximizing their profitability, the flip side of that is that they are delivering decreased price performance…ie a higher cost and lower quality care. Their maximizing of profits ensures a declining standard of care and ever increasing costs. Interestingly, this lines up exactly with what can be documented using the historical data.

Where does that leave us?

It leaves us with a broken healthcare system. It is a broken system because the system itself after 40 years of annual double digit cost increases now collectively requires more money than is available to feed it.

It is not going to be fixed because of corruption. The lobbies will ensure that every vote on any kind of reform is paid for in advance. In come cases, the lobbies are even writing the reform and the lawmakers are just rubber stamping it without even reading it. It doesn’t matter because it’s all been purchased. The votes have been purchased and the wording in the reform has been purchased. The corporate media is running interference by trying to paint it as a left vs right political issue. It isn’t. It’s the criminal corruption of an entire industry who effectively bribes Washington to get what they want.

So what about the future of healthcare in America?

In an introspective look, I wrote that the only thing you can be sure of regarding healthcare reform is that you will pay more and get less. The lobbies will ensure that as they endeavor to maximize their profitability. One would expect to see the total size of the four groups decrease, but for prices to continue to rise. It will be a dysfunctional system with shortages of care, high prices, and a good percentage of the people going bankrupt as an unfortunate result of getting sick and entering into it.

Edit:Add Footnotes

Life Expectancy Declines for American Women
By Larry West
Life expectancy for American women is declining for the first time since the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918, according to study [pdf] published today [April 22, 2008] by the Harvard School of Public Health and reported in the Washington Post.
Address

Life Expectancy Worsening or Stagnating for Large Segment of the U.S. Population
Monday, April 21, 2008
Boston, MA — Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of Washington found that 4% of the male population and 19% of the female population experienced either decline or stagnation in mortality beginning in the 1980s.
Address

Anemia drug doubles stroke risk, study finds
Marilynn Marchione, Associated Press
Saturday, October 31, 2009
A new study raises fresh safety concerns about widely used anemia medicines, finding that the drug Aranesp nearly doubled the risk of stroke in people with diabetes and chronic kidney problems who are not yet sick enough to need dialysis.
Address

Cholesterol-lowering drugs increase risk of diabetes, study finds
17 February 2010
By Lyndsay Moss
USING drugs to lower cholesterol increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, research in Scotland suggests. An analysis of 13 studies involving the drugs, known as statins, found that they increased the chances of someone developing diabetes by 9 per cent.
Address

Child cases of diabetes set to double, says study
Number of under-fives with type 1 diabetes will be twice figure it was four years ago by 2020
Alexandra Topping
UK Guardian
Thursday 28 May 2009
The number of cases of insulin-dependent diabetes among children under five is expected to double in the next 11 years, according to experts. If present trends continue, by 2020 the number of children with type 1 diabetes will be twice the number it was four years ago.
Address

U.S. diabetes rate doubles in 10 years
By CDC
Oct 31, 2008
Address

Dozens of Pfizer and Merck Research Studies Faked
In the largest research fraud in medical history, Dr. Scott Reuben, a former member of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s speakers’ bureau, is pleading guilty to faking dozens of research studies published in medical journals.
Address

Senate Turns Down Drug  Reimportation
Mark Crane
December 15, 2009 — The US Senate today turned down a bipartisan amendment to allow the purchase and importation of prescription drugs from other countries.
Address


Widely-used diabetes drugs can cause heart disease and death, warn experts

A diabetes drug used by tens of thousands of Britons increases the risk of heart disease and death, according to a new report.
Address

Medical problems were behind two-thirds of personal bankruptcies in 2007. And that was before the economic crisis.
By Andrew Leonard
Friday, Jun 5, 2009
Salon
Americans filed for bankruptcy at a rate of 6,020 per day in May, reports Credit Slip’s Bob Lawless. That’s the first time the 6,000-per-day mark has been broken since the passing of the 2005 bankruptcy law, which made it hard for Americans to seek relief from their debts. In related bankruptcy news, the results of a study to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine show that “medical problems contributed to nearly two-thirds (62.1 percent) of all bankruptcies in 2007.” More strikingly — “between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of all bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6 percent.” (Found via Mark Thoma. The authors of the study cite their findings as yet more evidence that the healthcare system in the United States is broken.
Address

78 Percent Of Bankruptcy Filers Burdened By Healthcare Expenses Had Health Insurance
In an update to their landmark 2001 study on medical bankruptcy, researchers at Harvard University have concluded that medical debt contributed to 62 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies in 2007 — 78 percent of bankruptcy filers burdened by healthcare expenses had health insurance but “still were overwhelmed by their medical debt“:
Address

Six Lobbyists Per Lawmaker Work on Health Overhaul
By Jonathan D. Salant and Lizzie O’Leary
Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) — If there is any doubt that President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul U.S. health care is the hottest topic in Congress, just ask the 3,300 lobbyists who have lined up to work on the issue. That’s six lobbyists for each of the 535 members of the House and Senate, according to Senate records, and three times the number of people registered to lobby on defense. More than 1,500 organizations have health-care lobbyists, and about three more are signing up each day. Every one of the 10 biggest lobbying firms by revenue is involved in an effort that could affect 17 percent of the U.S. economy. These groups spent $263.4 million on lobbying during the first six months of 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group, more than any other industry. They spent $241.4 million during the same period of 2008. Drugmakers alone spent $134.5 million, 64 percent more than the next biggest spenders, oil and gas companies.
Address

Modern Health Care System is the Leading Cause of Death
Doctors are in fact the LEADING cause of death in this country. Not heart disease, not cancer–doctors. In all fairness, doctors themselves are not to blame for all of this. The entire modern health care system, however, is to blame for allowing, even promoting, so many unnecessary procedures, drugs and mishaps.
Address

How Big Pharma is Infiltrating Your Child’s School
by Steve Gaylord
F ebruary 25, 2010
This subject is definitely alarming…
School Based Health Centers: How Big Pharma Is Infiltrating Your Child’s School
Address

Despite outcry, Anthem Blue Cross to go ahead with big rate hike
By Michael B. Farrell
San Francisco – Anthem Blue Cross, the health insurer that plans to boost rates by as much as 39 percent in California this year, has become a lightning rod in the national debate over healthcare reform
Address
Statins: The side effects ‘are worse than feared’
By Jenny Hope
Last updated at 10:02 AM on 21st May 2010
The side effects of statins can be far worse than previously thought, a study suggests. For the first time, the level of harm posed by the cholesterol-lowering drugs has been quantified by researchers. They found some users are much more likely to suffer liver dysfunction, acute kidney failure, cataracts and muscle damage known as myopathy. For some patients, the risk is eight times higher than among those not taking statins. Overall, the risk of myopathy – which may be irreversible – is six  times higher for men on statins and three times higher for women.
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Tags: Healthcare,  Health Care, medical insurance, unaffordable, lobbyist, lobbying, reform, oligarchy, bankruptcy, illness, major medical, medical tourism, failure