a regular guy's blog on health, wellness and all things vegan

Living in Denial : Our Nation’s Health Crisis

“Let food be thy medicine.” – Hippocrates

News flash – Our healthcare system is not broken. There I said it. It’s actually in overdrive doing everything it can for us daily by placing temporary bandages over our nation’s populace. Our system attempts to stop the bleeding temporarily until such a time arrives when we regain our sanity as a people. We eat poorly as a nation and thus place our destiny in the hands of our physicians.  We use pills and medications as our real life “get out of jail free” cards.  Many of us poison ourselves with food stuffs we consume and then blame the medical community for not healing us.  Yes my friends our nation is living in denial when it comes to personal responsibility for our own health and well-being.

For clarity let’s omit the word “health” and substitute “disease” in the word healthcare. I think “Diseasecare” is more appropriate since no one is obtaining real health from taking the scores of pills and medications being prescribed by our nation’s medical community. We are undergoing numerous procedures annually to correct the effects of bad eating.  Sure some conditions and diseases need medical intervention because not every illness will cured by eating a greener, healthier diet but the vast majority of illness in America is brought on by poor diet. We seem to be caught in a disease and sickness black hole with  what appears to be no way out.

There are no shortages of television and internet health experts who have the magic pill or ultimate device to make you healthy and feel young again.  This madness is just part of the norm of everyday life now.  Instead of looking towards our farmers for our health, we have our “responsible” doctors that write us prescriptions for Viagra, Zoloft, Zocor, Lipitor, Celebrex, and Prozac.

The causes of our nations many illnesses are a mystery to our medical community. They cannot pinpoint the origins of our ailments usually,  but they sure do have the answers, medication.   Illnesses like autoimmune disease, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome as well as growths, tumors and the like are unexplainable by our healthcare establishment most of the time.  Maybe this is the cause, maybe that, but no one ever says they know. We sure do need a huge band-aid to control all of these unknowns. Seldom is diet discussed when we visit our family doctor for illness.  Simply because we exist we acquire cancer and kidney stones.  We just happen to stumble upon these various autoimmune diseases, diabetes or heart disease. Maybe the air quality is bad where you reside or possibly a chemical came in contact with you when you were a baby.  It’s a big smoke screen that makes the “Average Joe” feel helpless in securing his own fate when it comes to health. I believe the answer is simpler than our doctors lead us to believe and it’s right under our nose.  It’s our mouth and what we choose to put in it.
In 2014 our physicians have become our pushers. Seldom will you leave a doctor’s office without some form of medication.  We pride ourselves on the medical advances made here in America. Our medical establishment has become as American as apple pie to us.  But why are we the sickest nation on earth?

When we look at our cuisines and chefs, the health picture gets even grimmer.  We are instructed by likes of Paula Deen and Guy Fieri to slather everything in oil, butter and cream.  Seldom does a dish leave the kitchen that is under 1000 calories per serving. There is little or no effort to present dishes that are actually good for the human body.  Even while suffering from diabetes, Deen continued to put out book after book of her unhealthy concoctions. These chefs prey on our weaknesses for fame and fortune.  Who wouldn’t love a triple layered cake loaded with chocolate and whipped cream? It’s an easy sell and a good many celebrity chefs are willing to give you your drug of choice.  Do you enjoy ground beef? Through the miracle of food television you can visualize 100 ways to cook it and top it with everything under the sun.  Sure cardiovascular disease will soon follow but hey, that is not their responsibility.  What network wants a chef that makes a great zucchini pasta in a sun-dried tomato sauce? I mean they wouldn’t last an episode on the major networks. Healthy food is what we eat when we are on a diet for one month out of the year.

I sat aghast the other night watching an episode of a show I stumbled upon called Man vs. Food where the star shoved into his mouth a plethora of fried fatty foods that were saturated with all kinds of grease, oils and all around sickness that was enough to make Dan McDonald faint. Restaurant patrons on the show would cheer the host to consume foods that we all know are bad for his health.  What will the next television craze be? Cheering on a drug addict with a needle filled with heroine to give himself the ultimate high for our amusement? Are we all living in denial here in America? Are we truly all this stupid when it comes to food and health? I don’t believe we can all be this moronic.

So what’s going on here?  Why are the statistics so poor here in America when it comes to our health and wellness?  If we are to believe the medical and pharmaceutical industries, we have the most advanced healthcare system in the world. I am not sure if it’s the most advanced but I know we dump a lot of money into it annually. Surely we should be the healthiest nation on earth. Our motto is  to eat to your stomach’s content because we have medications for everything and anything.  Does our medical community promote health or just delay the inevitable for most Americans? Is our food system toxic and creating a huge medical burden on our nation?  I would say so.

There is only so much blue number 2, yellow number 5 and 6, red 40, msg, gluten, high fructose corn syrup, sodium nitrate and hydrogenated fats that we can consume before we all have serious health issues.

Since all of our foods are laced with this substances, we are getting a healthy dose of these toxic additives daily. These are not natural foods for humans.

So what is our government’s role in solving this exponentially growing problem?  Well unfortunately this is America and everyman is out for himself. It’s up to you to figure out the total amounts of these toxic food additives you’re consuming daily, weekly and yearly. Try to figure those numbers out while taking care of your 2.3 children, working 50 hours a week and managing your home. Impossible. So what can we do? We can either do something crazy like becoming a raw vegan and just simply scrap our food system all together or keep the status quo. How about a diet predominantly high in organic fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.  Is that more doable? It is better than slowly watching your family descend into a life of illness over time.

We should make the change now because the food system isn’t going to get better anytime soon, that I can promise you. These additives and chemicals in my opinion are a large part of why we are ill and why we are seeing doctors at an alarming rate.  Change might come, but it will be extremely slow and might take a lifetime before real progress happens.  The big corporations  still push for more advancements in all the wrong directions.  With DuPont and Monsanto pushing for GMO’s and more altered crops, we will have a long fight ahead. Corporate farming with toxic Round-Up pesticide usage isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

What other alternatives do we have to get out of this downward spiral? Personal responsibility is the answer. Time to take the blinders off. We need to take our own health and the well-being of our families seriously. Why would anyone think that food manufactured and boxed for an eternity is something you want to put in your body? I am positive the majority of Americans don’t think these foods are good for them. We are leading fast paced lives that make it difficult to prioritize the foods we consume daily. I get it. We are a grab and go society and obviously we are paying the price with our health. Ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and ice cream slathered in fudge are readily available at the drop of a hat at our local fast food eateries. We call this treating ourselves after a long hard week. Treating ourselves to cardiovascular disease and cancer?

We have to stop living in denial today. Not a year from now or 5 years from now but today. We know proper human food is not produced in a factory. Our star-studded chefs have let us all down with recipes that deserve two thumbs down when it comes to health. I am pretty sure Ronald McDonald came along a lot later than man’s first steps on this earth.  Our species survived relatively well prior to the invention of the Big Mac, so I have to figure that fast foods are not necessary for our survival. So let’s get them off our plates permanently. Over 99% of nutritionists state that we should NEVER consume fast food products. Not once a week or twice a week but NEVER. That speaks volumes.

When I talk to people about health I find they generally all know the correct answers. We aren’t stupid. We just don’t want to display our weaknesses to these foods to others. There is an element of shame we feel when we consume these harmful foods. We all know a bagel and cream cheese is not a meal of health, but we justify it because we cannot get off the addictive sugars and additives that are placed in these foods. Companies knowingly addict us. They understand what they are doing.

These multibillion dollar food manufacturers have labs, not kitchens that test the proper levels of substances meant to addict us. They have chemists who put just the right amount of msg, salts, artificial sweeteners and other additives in our foods to give us just the right high.

I think we all saw these type of tactics played out in the cigarette industry years ago with nicotine. After much denial there was no doubt the companies were using this substance to hook us on their particular brand.  Although I have to say, Joe Camel alone could convince anyone to try smoking.

So my feeling is that no, we are not as dumb = as we might seem to the rest of the world. We are pretty bright people. Our problem is that we are hooked, period. Because of this we love hearing “research” telling us coffee is ok, eat your cereals soaked in cows milk. There are plenty of “studies” willing to keep promoting the consumption of artery clogging beef products as well as cancer and osteoporosis causing milk products. Some of the most disease forming foods are still being heavily promoted by even our government. These are big money industries with big money lobbyists. Business in Washington comes way before the health here in America. Until we get real with ourselves and say enough is enough, we will continue down this road of medications and procedures to alleviate the damage from the sickening foods we are eating.

Sometimes I think being a predominantly raw vegan isn’t such a hard choice when we remove the blinders and realize the cards are stacked against us if we continue down the path of a SAD diet. Think about it America, it really isn’t such a hard decision.

 

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