- By Ekaterina Morrissey
As life today has become much more complex to what our ancestors knew, one thing has not changed.
Despite of living in era of ‘time poverty,’ we still eat all day, every day. Everyone knows the saying “You are what you eat” but no one seems to know what to eat in today’s America. General confusion dominates people’s mind about what’s healthy and what to avoid. Should I eat the whole egg or just the egg white? Is butter bad for my cholesterol? Would eating low fat help me lose weight? Should I drink milk or red wine?
Adding to this confusion is an overwhelming load of information about nutrition. Whoever comes up with a new diet is up on the soapbox claiming his diet is the best and it really works. Weight loss pills, injections, radical surgeries and the publishing business are booming, due to people not knowing who to trust and what direction to take.
We now have football stadium size supermarkets filled with more than 50,000 items, most of which are highly processed, loaded with sugar, GMO’s, salt, and chemical preservatives, and wrapped in a shiny and colorful packages to make a sale. The inner knowing which foods to eat and which to avoid, humans once possessed, has disappeared.
People are more overweight and chronic diseases abundant than ever in human being history. So where does this snake oil come from and which ‘expert’s’ health advice do we need not to question, but avoid altogether?
1. USDA – United States Department of Agriculture. The name indicates who’s interests it is protecting. Good nutrition is straightforward and simple, but that changes when an agency, responsible for the safe food supply and dietary guidance has to also protect the interests of the food industries. It has been a roller coaster of back and forth between the USDA, politicians, and food corporations, shaping some of the most bizarre nutrition advice in the form of the ridiculous USDA food pyramid still in effect today. The fact that the government has NO budget for advertising their own health advice yet contributes funds to junk food campaigns is contradictory and screams loudly where the focus of USDA really is.
2. FDA – The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of approving and regulating prescription drugs, food, supplements and other products that can be harmful to health. I don’t believe I need to get logical here – the facts speak for themselves. The man in charge of FDA is Michael R. Taylor – a lawyer who has spent the last few decades bouncing between corporate biotech Monsanto – responsible for Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) in our food, USDA and the FDA. I don’t know about you, but just by knowing that, I don’t feel safe already. In fact, Monsanto is pushing, as we speak, to fit GMO labeled under the umbrella of “All Natural” staple which is all nonsense since there is no regulation for the meaning, and the FDA is about to approve it. And then there are those other things like: every year 2.5 million Americans become seriously ill from toxic reactions to incorrectly prescribed medications. But just when you think the FDA is there to regulate and prevent this kind of disasters of happening, you find out that they are overly focused on helping Big Pharma to maximize their profits and not really concerned for the average American’s health. So next time you see “This product have not been evaluated by the FDA” it might be a blessing.
3. A.N.D. – Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly aka ADA (American Dietetic Association). They are the nation’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Let not that fool you. No real food or healthy nutrition advise is linked to them as they solely exist due to sponsors, like Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co, Nestle, Abbott Nutrition (baby formula filled with GMO soy) manufacturers, Kellogg’s and SOYJOY to name a few. This is who goes to your kid’s schools or camps to talk ‘nutrition’ to them. The A.N.D. positions on health and nutrition are paid for, and they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.* Who can take $50,000 a year from the sugar association and say bad things about sugar? So, when they go to schools, hospitals and nursing homes to ‘promote’ health, they talk in depth about how sugar is not a threat to health in children and adults, and Coca-cola boosts your energy. Their history includes many aggressive campaigns, including putting out of business quite a few qualified professionals with Ph.D.’s in nutrition, and against anyone who promotes unbiased nutrition advice, but not a member of their academy. Clearly, you can’t be both.
4. Food Companies – When potato chips read on the package that chips provide the carbohydrate foundation needed for good health, do you believe it? Food companies are Big Business and their only existence is meant to profit! Let’s start with the fact that no one regulates the word “health” or “good for your health.” “Enriched, made from whole grain, cholesterol free, sugar free, no MSG added and all natural” are some of the healthy claims we see on packages today. Does that mean they are healthy? In the ‘extending shelf life’ process, whole grains are completely stripped from their fiber, proteins and all the natural components which are nourishing for our health. Then the food manufacturer enriches them with synthetic vitamins made in the chemical lab. Imagine you’ve had a $100 in your pocket and somebody stole them from you, but then he enriched you back with $20. I have the feeling, you’ll still feel you are missing $80, don’t you? Healthy foods don’t need to be enriched or marketed!
5. Your Doctor (unless holistic) – Medicine in America is a profit-driven business and your doctor is the pharmaceutical salesman. What was meant to promote healing is now relying on pro-business model on the expense of the American people. Nobody in the medical field is talking about prevention. Doctors give more prescriptions and less guidance on how to prevent disease and create a long term health. In fact, American doctors do not study nutrition in medical college at all. Today it’s all about paying your monthly health insurance, which is nothing but a prepaid medical expense. How does this promote health? The American doctor’s formula comes down to: “Live your life how you want, eat what you want; when you get sick I’ll give you a pill that will make it all go away; if that pill doesn’t work, I’ll give you a different one, or a few together; if this doesn’t work, we’ll perform a quick surgery, remove the problem and you’ll be as good as new.” What kind of system is this? A true failure based on this fact: The US spent $2.8 trillion in 2013 on healthcare. Cuba spent 96% less than the US. The life expectancy is 78 in the US vice 79 in Cuba. You do the math.
6. The Media – Ever watched “Dr. Oz Show” and wondered where his weight loss supplements or Garcinia cambogia advice really comes from? Just walk to any vitamin shop and you’d know which his endorsements are… you are about to see many bottles with his face on them. If I remember correctly, Oprah Winfrey anointed him “America’s doctor” back in 2004. With that said, let’s not forget another ‘doctor’ Oprah established as a brand – Dr. Phil. Seemingly innocent and humble at first sight, once you start digging and looking at his website, you will find out where his bottomless money comes from and that his formula is not very different than Dr. Oz’s – the obsession of America today – weight-loss and how to keep it off. On the other hand, Oprah is still battling her weight despite all those great doctors who have the ‘weight-loss miracle cure’ she established. It is a known fact that most of the TV show stars don’t even write their own script for the show but have it handed to them with what to talk about this week, which is preaching what the sponsor of the week tells them to preach. Taking seriously articles with health advice from unreliable reporting is actually plain dangerous. Big Pharma or a Food Company advertisement on the page or site should be viewed as huge red flag for the resources and scientifically backed facts of the health advice promoted in the article.
7. Your Mother – Unless your mother grew up in a different continent or a third world country, chances are she grew up in the era of the invention of the vending machine, drive-throughs, the boom of plastic containers, chemistry, convenient ‘everything’ and vaccines, and has been brain-washed to believe that fat, eggs and meat are bad for you, while blindly trusting the Food Companies, her doctor and the Government, that they care for her health. So, as much as your mother has your best interest in mind, I’d be a detective and verify with a trustworthy source, when it comes to her giving a health advice.
8. Celebrities – Have you ever seen a disclaimer during or after a commercial of Mc Donald’s meal or Pepsi saying that Lebron James and Beyonce don’t eat and drink the product they endorse? It is far from reality that any of the athletes who’ve been in junk food commercials could ever make it to the Olympics if they ate their endorsement. I am also positive that Beyonce doesn’t get her skin glow from drinking Pepsi. In fact, one thing comes to mind when I think Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and your skin, and that is acne. Magazines show beautiful models and celebrities on their pages exposing their thoughts on life style and health, which is extremely inflaming for all type of audiences, because it makes people obsessed with measuring up to media driven images. None of it is reality. All those models, singers and actresses roll out of bed looking far different than the way they look on the magazine pages. But no one tells you that they’ve worked many hours with the best hair and makeup artists, and the cellulite is being air brushed, and the extra fat from the legs, erased.
Imagine your favorite grand or great-grand mother came back to life and you took her grocery shopping in the modern supermarket. She would not recognize any of the foods in the isles. I also very much doubt she would be adventurous to try any of them. Their generation was perhaps the last to instinctively know what and when to eat, here in America, and since they have not been exposed to the massive brainwashing grind of the last 60 years, they know better. We can un-train ourselves to gain back again this valuable ability by rejecting foods with commercials, learning to cook simple meals with simple ingredients and listen to the messages our body sends to us. Remember, animals don’t read nutrition books; they just know what to eat that’s best for them. We were all born with the same ability.