Old MacDonald had a farm. And on that farm he had some chicks, cows and soybeans.
Sadly, Old MacDonald no longer owns his farm. He simply couldn’t compete with the mega corporations that control modern American farming. Oh, he tried… but his expenses were becoming astronomical to produce the high-quality organic livestock he raised and he simply couldn’t get the return he needed to eke out a living.
So, Old MacDonald tried soybeans. Foreseeing the potential dangers inherent to genetically modified organisms, MacDonald chose to grow his crops organically. But seeds from his neighbor’s genetically-engineered soybean fields blew over the fences and contaminated his crop. Then the conglomerate holding the patent on those GMO seeds, sued MacDonald for patent violations and bankrupted him. Finally, MacDonald had no choice but to sell the family farm that his family had owned and operated for more than 100 years.
There are thousands of former farmers across the U.S. with stories like Old MacDonald. Consequently, farming, and the food we eat, isn’t what it used to be. Back then, most of our food was supplied by family farmers who took pride in bringing high quality foods to American tables. Today, our food supply is controlled by a handful of businesses, constantly seeking new ways to cut costs and increase their profits. Too often, that quest for profit leads to an over-processed, yet less nutritious food supply.
When you shop in your local supermarket, just about every item you find on the shelves, refrigerator and freezer sections are manufactured by four or five mega-corporations. Considering how much income that generates for these monopolies, they have unimaginable resources for creating the most cutting edge marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns. A recent example is how big business is now trying to repackage high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as “corn sugar” with television ads that claims “Sugar is sugar,” implying that there is no difference in how HFCS metabolizes in the body, compared to sugar.
Table sugar has existed in Europe since it was exported from the West Indies in the 1600’s and made it’s debut in the U.S. in the late 1700’s. However, it was not until the 1970’s that we have seen an obesity epidemic in this country, which incidentally coincides with the introduction of HFCS into an astounding array of foodstuffs, from ketchup to jams to juices. Renaming and repackaging does not change that fact.
Another pitfall of our supermarket supply is the broad use of linoleic acid-based vegetable oils (soy, safflower and corn) in the preparation of the vast array of processed and prepared foods. These high omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFA) are consumed in the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) at a ratio of approximately 20 times the omega-3 fatty acids, needed to balance their effect on the body. EFA’s running rampart through our system signal the immune system to release defensive compounds (cytekines and interleukins) causing inflammation. While inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or perceived stress, when chronic it can lead to a number of serious medical conditions. Inflammation is often a precursor to disease.
According to Dr. David Kessler — surgeon general in the President Bush (Sr.) administration and author of The End of Overeating — over the past few decades, our food has been engineered to make it hyper-palatable – in other words, irresistible! Centers in our brains that are controlled by the pleasure principle (triggered by sweet, salty, fatty foods) are activated, making us want more and more, in spite of a sense that they might not be the best food choices.
The introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMO) into our food supply has been a tremendous boon to the corporations who hold the patents and who benefit from government subsidies, but the jury is still out on the long term effect of these chemically altered foods on our bodies. Jeffrey Smith, considered to be the foremost expert on the deleterious impact of GMO’s maintains that there will be human collateral damage in their wide use, including allergic reactions, reproductive disorders and the development of tumors, as they have seen in laboratory studies with animals. The most widespread use of GMO’s are in corn and soybean crops with perhaps as high as 80% of the processed and packaged items you find in the supermarket employing some kind of genetically modified organism. Some ubiquitous GMO’s that you may not be aware of: Zucchini and yellow squash, Hawaiian papayas and sugar beets. Products that include “sugar” in their ingredients can very well be using a combination of cane sugar and sugar derived from the GMO beets.
In spite of the alarming fact that we are not being protected from these special interest-driven corporations, there is a growing movement in this country: More people are seeking to make better and more-informed choices about what they eat; Individuals who are increasingly more aware of how easy it can be to be swept away by the clever packaging, convenience and competitive pricing of ready-made supermarket items, yet understand that these foods are not designed with the best interests of the consumer in mind A movement back to eating simpler, more natural, unmodified whole foods — as nature intended – that are less burdensome and toxic to the body. The more consciousness you bring to your food choices, the more you protect yourself from the perils of our modern day food supply.
©2010, 2011 Raw Fusion: Better Living Through Living Foods, Quantum Mind Press, LindaJoy Rose, Ph.D.