The Problem with Our Food System (And What YOU Can Do About It)

What is your favorite food? Chances are that it’s something processed.  It might be corn dogs, or ice cream, or chips. You might like soda, and Gatorade, and candy.  What do you have for breakfast? Is it cereal?  Do you get most of your food at the supermarket?  Is any of your family overweight?  The answer is probably yes to most of these questions.  If it’s not, then good for you!  Unfortunately, in the past 50 years, most Americans have started eating factory-made, processed food.  Most of it shouldn’t even be called food!  To see why this has happened, let’s look back to the time of WWII.

In the forties, during WWII, people began buying low-quality, processed food.  It was cheaper, and people thought of it as part of the war effort.  That way, more money could be used for funding the war and the materials it needed.  More men could work in the factories that made ammunition, guns, and other products for the government, instead of working local farms. When their husbands and sons enlisted, or were drafted in, many women went to work in the factories too.  When they got home, they would be exhausted, and it would be quite late already.  So American women started getting quick-and-easy dinners, just-add-water pancake mixes, and other trash.  When the war ended, people had made their habits, and packaged, processed food took the permanent place of homemade foods and the ancient wisdom of health and fermentation.  Instead of mothers teaching their daughters the family recipes and techniques, that had been passed down for generations, they simply went to the store!  Unfortunately, cooking traditions were not the only thing lost during this time.  Old-fashioned medical knowledge was lost, and only a few dedicated people continued practicing herbology and natural medicine.  Over the decades before the war, scientists had made amazing new discoveries concerning microbes and bacteria that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives.  This is wonderful and incredible, but unfortunately medicine went too far.  Antibiotics have been prescribed for everything from drippy noses to pneumonia, and not only for bacterial infections, but for viral, and other things that antibiotics could do nothing against.  In short, way too much!  Pharmaceutical companies saw a way to get rich.  They became corrupt, concerned about making money, and not about healing people as they should be.  For an example, flu shots were introduced.  Because of pharmaceutical marketing, everyone believes that flu shots save them from the miseries of viruses, so people get the shots.  However, this is not the case.  Instead of helping, flu shots have made the flu problem worse.  Last year, the winter of 2012-2013, a mega-flu erupted nation-wide.  The reason is, people have gotten their shots every year for decades.  The flu strains have morphed and gotten stronger to ward off the shots, and the shots have gotten stronger to restrain the viruses.  Eventually, the anti-bodies couldn’t fight the viruses off anymore!  Then, the flu exploded.  And because the strains were so much stronger, the flu was ten times, fifty times worse than ever before.  In Los Angeles, there were twenty hospitalized cases in one week!  The flu is just one example.  Over the years, as doctors prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic, and steroid after suppressant, not only did the medicine do what it was supposed to do, it had a lot of bad side effects, because allopathic medicine only restrained the symptoms, and didn’t fix the root of the problem.

Now let’s look at the human body.  As we eat, our bodies digest our food.  Starting in the mouth with saliva and chewing, the food then goes down the esophagus to the stomach.  The stomach breaks down the food with acids and enzymes.  After finishing the process of breaking the food down into molecules, the small intestine absorbs the nutrients, then passes it on to the large intestine, which extracts water, before passing it on to the colon to be defecated.  In all of these places in a healthy body, there would be a large population of probiotics, prebiotics, and enzymes.  But when dose after dose of antibiotics are administered, they not only kill what they are supposed to, the bad bacteria, they also kill the good.  And, unfortunately, the bad pathogens come back more quickly and easily, because they are invasive.  The good probiotics take longer, so by the time they get settled, the bad ones have taken over, hence the term “pathogen overgrowth”.  When the bad guys take root, they weave their roots into the lining of the gut.  This makes little holes in the gut lining.  This is called leaky gut syndrome, and is the root of most modern health epidemics.  The reason is, the food passes into the stomach, and because of the antibiotics, the proper enzymes, proteins and acids aren’t there to break down the food.  So it goes on to the intestines, not fully broken down.  When it reaches the gut, it does two things, both bad.  First, the bad pathogens like eating the sugars and starches that are the majority of America’s diet, so they eat them, get stronger, and reproduce.  Second, the undigested food molecules go through the holes in the gut lining made by the pathogens, straight into the bloodstream.  These undigested food particles aren’t supposed to enter the blood system until later on.  This makes the anti-bodies and white blood cells attack them, because of their partially digested state, so the body doesn’t get the nutrients from the food, instead, it gets a new allergy.  Because most people ignore the seemingly minor symptoms like eczema and stomach aches, they don’t realize they are accumulating an ever increasing store of secondary allergies.  Secondary allergies are both easier to get, and easier to get to go away.  They are often things like dairy, (which is becoming way too common as an intolerance), and strawberries.  These happen because either a person eats too much of them; (this would most likely be a person with leaky gut because if the person eats a portion of the food every day or every other day then it leaches through the holes in the gut lining a lot, and the body decides it is a toxin). Or, as is often the case with dairy intolerances, the allergy comes from the fact that most people eat pasteurized dairy.  The process of pasteurization kills the nutrients and enzymes that help to break down the more complex milk sugars that are harder for the body to deal with.  If the person eats a great deal of pasteurized dairy, then their body gets an over-dose of milk sugars like lactose and glucose.  Naturally, this makes us react.  The body simply decides that it is too much, and… voilà! a new intolerance is born.

That is why I advocate for raw milk.  It is true that terrible diseases can root from raw milk, but that is the milk coming from huge dairy factories where cows stand in their own poop all day and eat GMO grain, while machines pump milk from their udders.  That kind of milk really does need to be pasteurized.  But that is not the kind of raw milk I am talking about.  The kind of milk I am talking about, is milk that comes from a local farm that you trust.  You go pick it up from the farmer, or else he comes and gives it to you, and sometimes, you watch him milk, and even try it yourself!  People will never truly be healthy until they learn the joy of eating what they have grown, or what someone near them has grown.  There is a pleasure like none other when you make dinner starting from farm-fresh scratch, and watch your family’s honest pride as they see the produce they’ve grown, the eggs from the chickens they raised, on the table.  It is a deep feeling, one those who have their food handed to them in a wrapper will never experience.  When people stop supporting humongous, corrupt corporations like Monsanto, and get back to the food they ate a century ago, then we will be healthy.  When they realize the truth in the fermentation and healing of the hundreds of years previous to our modern culture, then they will be healthy.

A truly healthy America is one who does not ignore the truth about food and health.  A truly healthy America is one who will stop sitting on the couch in front of the TV, and get up, and exercise, and raise their food with their own two hands.  A truly healthy America is one that will rise up against the injustice of corporate food factories, and think for itself, one who will go to farmers’ markets, and support local businesses.  A truly healthy America is one who realizes that allopathic medicine is for saving lives, but naturopathy is for everything small.  A truly healthy American is one who will take their lives into their own hands, largely through nutrition, and really make themselves healthier and better.  This is a truly healthy America.

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