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Posts Tagged ‘obesity’

I’m not sure what the hell is going on in this country but I’m starting to get pissed off.  Well, I’ve been pissed off.  I’m starting to get pissed off enough to do something.  Or at least try.  I think that’s the problem with this place.  We the people have the ability and numbers to make a difference but none of us, aside from Michael Moore, feel empowered enough to do so.  For example, I just found out last night that I can actually go and speak with my state senator face to face, or call him on the phone.  I’ve never thought I was allowed to do that.

You know I watch movies like Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives and I get so irritated and outraged and even scared about what’s happening to America that I just can’t believe what I’m seeing.  I think everybody in America should watch Food Inc, but most of the people who really need to see it won’t ever pick it up.  We are numb to our political environment and how it’s slowly poisoning us.  I’m not the person who needs to be informed about our food supply, yet I’m the only type of person that goes to see these informative documentaries.  I already know they’re contaminating everything we eat.

Did you know that in most countries in Europe GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) aren’t legal?  You can’t scientifically engineer corn and sell it to the masses.  You can’t feed it to cows so that you don’t have to make sure they have grass to eat.  You can’t make a chicken grow 5 – 10 times the normal rate, and size.  You can’t strip natural cane juice out of every thing in the supermarket and replace it with high fructose corn syrup.  But in the USA, you have to read the label of every damn thing you buy to make sure that it doesn’t contain something that one day might give you cancer.  But the labels aren’t even truthful.  Trans fat, for example, is the worst fat out there.  McDonald’s even brags about not using the crap.  But the FDA doesn’t necessarily make manufacturers put it on the label if it’s below 0.5 grams per serving.  That’s right, it will say ZERO but still be there.  The only way to avoid it is to not buy anything with partially hydrogenated fats in it.

The other day my husband posted a link on Facebook talking about GMO’s.  Evidently the government doesn’t think that needs to be on a label either, even though most of us, even the perceived non-concerned people, are scared of them.

And once you get past the actual ingredients in the food itself (most of which you can’t even pronounce) you see a little blurb that says, “BHT added for freshness.”  What is that?  I don’t pretend to be a scientist but it’s some sort of antioxidant that keeps foods fresh, among other things.  The problem is that its safety to our health is still being debated.  I had a friend in Arkansas years ago who told me she won’t buy anything with BHT in it.  I hadn’t even heard of the stuff at that time.  You can basically find it in almost any non-organic boxed food you find on the shelves.  I haven’t been checking the organic boxes though, so maybe I need to.

Companies like Monsanto are taking over are food sources.  Something about farmers being forced to use specific seeds….  Seems a little wonky to me.  And supposedly there has been more biotech crops approved in the last few weeks that we should all be concerned about.

Anyone with open eyes can see that something is awry in this country.  Look at the skyrocketing levels of Diabetes.  According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes and 79 million have prediabetes.  That’s a lot of freaking people.  They also say that the cost of diabetes in 2007 was $174 million.  I guess we can all debate the cause of diabetes, and there is likely more than one culprit, but I’d be willing to bet that a good deal of it can be attributed to the crap we are feeding ourselves.  How many millions of people eat McDonald’s food every day?  What about Burger King?  Wendy’s?  KFC?  Taco Bell?  Jack in the Box?  Sonic?  I could go on.  This food is not made to nourish your body.  It’s made to fill you up momentarily and then leave you wanting more.  Did nobody watch Supersize Me?  We are training our children to be addicted to junk food – something that one day just might kill them.  If I were a parent I wouldn’t want that on my conscience.  But that’s just the problem isn’t it?  We don’t think about it.  And when our kids die of obesity or cancer or some other yet to be known result of the shit in our food system we won’t point the finger at ourselves; we’ll find somebody else to blame.

It makes me really sad when I see an 8 year old kid walking down the street that weighs more than me.  Children should NOT be obese.  How can we set a child up to fail so early in life?  How do we not draw a connection with what we put in our bodies to what happens afterward?  Cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease – these things shouldn’t be such a big problem in our country.  But they are.  And I think it’s directly linked to our food.

You know, I’m really sick and tired of going to the grocery store and not being able to afford the organic food and being too scared to buy the non-organic food.  And even when I do buy the organic food I have to check the country of origin because most of what I see comes from Mexico.  Not that I have anything against Mexico, I don’t, but I hear they have no regulations or very slack regulations when it comes to food production.  How do I know that banana is really safe for me to eat?  Is it really organic or did Dole just stick a cute little “Organic” sticker on it?  I shouldn’t have to be leery of anything in a Kellogg’s box.  I should be able to buy a box of crackers without scouring the label for hydrogenated fats and potentially poisonous preservatives.  I should be able to buy a single organic bell pepper for less than what Joe Schmo down the street is paying to get a super value meal.

I got married recently.  Not that we are going to have some kiddos right away or anything, unless the government succeeds at stripping the funding from Planned Parenthood of course.  Did you hear about Planned Parenthood?  The Grand Ole Party thinks they aren’t necessary.  Not only will they NOT let us have universal health care (which should be a basic human right) they don’t want the people who help all the women without health insurance – like me – to be able to help anymore.  A lot of people in, dare I say, God’s country see Planned Parenthood as a death camp for unborn children.  While yes, they help women in trouble deal with the problem in that way if they see fit, but they do a lot more.  Birth control is vital.  Annual check ups and pap smears are pretty damn important too.  If I get a urinary tract infection, guess where I’m going to go?  That’s right, Planned Parenthood.  It’s the only place a job seeking, loan burdened college student like myself can afford to get health care.  But the Republicans think it’s unnecessary.  I’d say that if they are looking for some extra cash perhaps they can address the outbreak of diabetes in this country – that might put $174 million back in their pocket.  If you disagree with them please go to this page and sign the letter to urge congress to pull their heads out of their asses.

So what happens when one day my husband and I have children?  What will I feed them?  I couldn’t live with myself if I gave them the crap that everyone is feeding their kids right now.  I joke about wanting my kids to be born in another country, but I’m not so sure that’s really a joke anymore.  I want my kids to grow up feeling safe about eating an apple or spinach.  I don’t want them to have to check the country of origin on every banana or tomato.  I don’t want them to be exposed to this fast food nation that cares more about its bottom line than the health and well-being of all those contributing to it.  I don’t have all the answers or even half of the facts.  But I am going to start finding them and start bitching to somebody that can hopefully start doing something more than sit on their ass and let everything go to the dogs.  I encourage you to do the same.

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Just because you’re 5’2″ and weigh 300 lbs does not mean you are entitled to sit in the priority seating area on the bus; that section is for elderly and disabled citizens.  Being lazy and lacking self control does not afford you special privileges.  Good god people.  Lower the fork, get off the couch, and get some exercise.  You don’t need to look like Barbie but you shouldn’t be triple your recommended body weight either.  Take some pride in yourself.

Now I realize some people have actual medical reasons for being overweight, and that’s an entirely different story so don’t count me as being a total bitch because of what I said here.  I think America has a severe food addiction problem that we are ever so obliging in sweeping under the rug.  Lets focus on the alcoholics and drug addicts while half of America eats themselves to death.  Great idea.

Addendum:

If you’re reading this and think I’m only seeing half the picture and speaking entirely out of line, well, you are more than welcome to your own opinion. I can’t obviously express all of my sentiments about food issues in a short blog posting. I’m well aware how many factors affect people’s weight and eating habits, including psychological and environmental. In my mind, aside from the vast array of various issues pertaining to this subject, people’s lack of control with food, or use of it to aid their psychological state, is a real problem in America (and perhaps other countries).  I commonly refer to the over eating that goes on in this country as the Fat American Syndrome.  Portions typically served in American restaurants clearly speak this notion for me; they are way too large.  While children are starving in Africa you can, on most major highways in the south, get a 72oz steak for free if you can eat it all.  So not only are we slowly poisoning ourselves with massive quantities of food, but we are depriving children from any nourishment at all.  I also have several years of personal experience witnessing food addiction so don’t judge me too harshly if you feel I don’t know what I’m talking about because I’m obviously not somebody this blog posting would pertain to.

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