Fat Kid Suit


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Rambling Radiation and Macro Thinking

Back from a crazy weekend in Tijuana (TJ stories coming soon!) to the sometimes myopic world I inhabit.

Just before crossing the border for a weekend of drinking in Mexico I attended one of the world’s largest natural foods conventions dubbed “Expo West.”  Hundreds of thousands of square feet in Anaheim California were covered with pretty girls hawking “natural” cosmetics, pills, chocolate, gluten-free products, beer, and even pet food.  The Expo is a place fraught with myopia and attention to the fragments and macro-elements of nutrition.  The words “whole foods” are used frequently, but few foods can actually be found in their whole form.  You will not see any bananas, tomatoes, mangoes, or spinach.  But there are lots of extracts and powders containing these “miracle” foods.

The labeling on most of the products is testament to marketing genius.  One companies Teas are labeled exclusively with the disorder or ailment you are hoping to treat–the variety of tea is found only in the small print.  Imagine walking up to a display rack full of tea packets and choosing “long life tea” or “asthma no more tea” or “stop crapping my pants tea.”  At one very reputable company’s booth I found a pill bottle simply labeled “Beautiful Legs.”  Beneath the product shelf, you guessed right, a poster of some beautiful legs.

 

Now available in a capsule.

While it was heartening to see so many companies trying to craft minimally processed foods devoid of GMOs, chemicals, crap fillers like gluten, and unneeded animal products, I could not escape the feeling that I was in the midst of so many snake oil sellers.

The fiber pushers especially confound me.  Yogurt that will make you poop?  Water containing fiber.  Pills with fiber.  People do realize that if they just eat some fruit and greens they have this whole issue covered, right?

 

This banner was in the mens room...

When I was walking around and looking at all the new stuff I couldn’t help but be impressed with all the ingenuity.  But it felt like I was in a mega store for astronauts who would need all these products because while journeying through space they wouldn’t be able to enjoy something as simple as an apple.

Or maybe these products will save us.  The web is full of speculation about radiation poisoning here on the west coast as a result of jet stream carried fallout.  The nutrition gurus are cashing in on split-cell chlorella pills and anything containing loads of iodine.  I’ve already taken all the free samples I was given at Expo West of each…

Part of the Exclusion Zone--Or the Zone of Alienation surrounding Cherynobyl


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Is it even possible to avoid Monsanto’s GMO products?

Food that is really born in laboratories...

I am going to cheat in a big way today and provide an intriguing link to another blog.  I’m doing this for three reasons:

  1. It is fucking gorgeous out and I want to go on a bike ride before work instead of writing.
  2. This is a really great article on one woman’s telling experiment.
  3. Seeing the recent news about Bio-science companies getting approval to grow rice in Kansas spliced with human genes freaked me out!

The story is about her decision to live without Monsanto for just one month.  And it was a lot more difficult than she anticipated…

“By day two of my attempt to remove Monsanto from my life, I realized I was in way over my head.”
–April Davila

Take a friend to a Farmer's Market!

But don’t worry, she also provides some spot on suggestions on exactly how we can avoid genetically modified foods too.

Please click here to read her story and enjoy.  I would really like to hear your thoughts on this topic.


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7 BILLION lab rats? And other questions about Genetically Modified Food

Life is an Experiment

I am not a scientist, although I am all for experimentation.  Fat Kid Suit is an experiment.  A very personal one that I share with anyone who is curious about the experiment we call life.

 

7 BILLION lab rats

Perhaps the grandest experiment ever conducted by humans is playing out all around us right now.  While the experiment is being conducted by humans, it is also being conducted on humans.  In fact there are only a few scientist in this picture, working for even fewer companies.  The lab rats in this experiment are the rest of us billions.

 

The All-American Farmer

Some believe Genetically Modified food is a miracle which will help feed the earth’s swelling human population.  Others think that “playing God” with our food is deviant mad science which could doom our race to extinction.  Most seem to fall somewhere in the middle and see these “foods” as both a blessing and a curse.  Regardless of how we feel about these foods, there is one undeniable fact about GMO–it is an experiment.

 

What happened to having a "Control Group?"

My Questions

 

The new Russian Roulette

How is it right that foods (and packaged foods containing GMO ingredients) which have been genetically altered by scientist are not labeled as such?

Since when do our inalienable rights not include the need for our permission to be experimented on?

When Monsanto tries to shut down farms that have been pollinated with their patented Genetically Engineered “Round-Up Ready” seed, why isn’t the law squarely on the side of the farmer?

 

Don’t humans have an animal right to grow their own food and reuse their seed?

Why aren’t the farmers successfully suing Monsanto for crop degradation, contamination, and for unlawfully interfering with the very circle of life?

Why is the new untouchable human interest goal to feed as many humans as we can squeeze onto this rotating orb?  I’ll answer that with another question, “Would you rather have 7 billion customers, or 9 billion?”

Why do we continue to support these corporations and the politicians who support them?  We give them their authority. It isn’t the other way around, no matter how powerful that illusion may be.

If no proof is needed to bring to market, what proof is needed to take off the market?

I can’t prove or disprove anything with a post like this. My intention is simple provocation.  I wanted to share some of my questions and frustration about this topic, in hopes that in some small way it will get others talking about it too.  If nothing else, we should be demanding that we are given a choice, and that companies be required to disclose  the presence of genetic engineering.

If only we had this kind of honest disclosure...

And while there is a ton of documentation to refute any claims made by scientists and doctors that GMO’s may be dangerous to our health, it doesn’t require speculation on our part to understand the misinformation game that is always played when there is this kind of money on the table.

Here is one of many simple statements made by legitimate sources:

On May 19th 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called on “Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM (genetically modified) foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.” (1) They called for a moratorium on GM foods, long-term independent studies, and labeling. AAEM’s position paper stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. They conclude, “There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation,” as defined by recognized scientific criteria. “The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.”

And finally a video I particularly enjoyed that I think sheds light on the big picture regarding GMO’s…



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Back On The Wild Wagon Ride Into Uncertainty

 

What Surprised Me About THE GREAT HEALTH DEBATE
Kevin Gianni

The Great Health Debate hosted by Kevin Gianni was more enlightening than I anticipated.

The “debate” didn’t really follow a debate format. It was actually a series of  interviews with various nutritional heavies.  While there were some interesting ideas presented, I can’t say it necessarily taught me a lot in regards to nutrition.

In fact the “experts” conflicting data was in many ways more confusing than clarifying…

But in an odd way, listening to so many gurus and so much info in one concentrated week freed me! I now see this diet world and all its associated conflict for what is–further evidence that life is unknowable and full of seeming contradiction. It seems that many want to hear stated something that can’t be–unassailable truth. It just doesn’t exist for diet, or anything else.

That realization–more like something I forgot again–was the extra push I needed to crawl back in the red Radio Flyer I tumbled out of a year ago, and really start living again. Whether you are hurrying by mirrors denying the degree of ill health you are in, self medicating your unhappiness with booze and pills, or even denying the sometimes scary awareness of just how uncertain all things are–denial is a powerful thing.

My Favorite Part Of The Debate

I especially enjoyed the perspectives shared on the evening David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis were interviewed by Kevin Gianni.

A quick note: I think these two interviews illustrate what a shame it is that the debate wasn’t a true verbal exchange between the participants.  Much is lost when there isn’t a direct interchange, and I believe Kevin is not only an awesome interviewer but also an excellent moderator more than capable of keeping the discussions, and even arguments, on track.

Wolfe

Why I especially enjoyed Wolfe and Vitalis had less to do with their nutritional insights than their incredible openness and general take on life. Both refused  to talk about people, food, and nutrition in a simplified reductionist light; a path they both admit to once being on.

Vitalis

 

Both men–regardless of how you feel about their advice–strike me as individuals who find things out for themselves, and then share their experience more than their opinions.

As I said in yesterdays post RE opinions, this experential approach to life, which is less about judgement and knowing than direct experience appeals to me. Coming to any table vested in winning an argument means you are not really their to share info or listen to what others have to say.

What Now?

Immediately following the interviews with both David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis I felt inspired to begin yet again on my very personal journey toward healthful eating.  I also felt empowered to do this in small ways, to do it without labels, and without subscribing to any particular guru’s unique approach.

For me that has meant being blatantly honest about which foods I know intuitively after 37 years on the planet do nothing for me nutritionally and in some cases cause harm to my organism.

At my current very low level of personal health and well-being it is clear to me the following  foods have to be eliminated from my diet:

  • All commercial dairy products and all cow dairy regardless of its source.
  • All gluten, all processed grains in any form other than whole, and very little if any of those.
  • Refined sugar in its myriad disguises.
  • Factory farmed anything.
  • Artificial anything.
  • Genetically Modified produce grown with pesticides.
  • Coffee.  Probably the most difficult to give up on this list, but a food that I have a long negative history with.
  • All foods cooked or fried in oil.
  • Added salt.

 

What Does That Leave TO Eat?

A lot actually.  The issue in some ways may actually be less about what to eat, than where to eat it, and where it came from?

During the debate there was a ton of discussion about what humans did or didn’t eat 10,000 years ago.  Most of this was centered around whether humans did, and whether we currently should, eat meat.  This being the primary item debated struck me as strange and limiting.

 

When 'To Eat or Not To Eat?' was the food question of the day...

While Kevin Gianni was extremely fair with all  participants, not once did I hear him try and sway the debates, it was obvious that the debates were the brainchild of a non meat eater, because every question was eventually reduced to one, “should we or shouldn’t we eat meat?”  Not an irrelevant question, and definitely juicy with controversy, but still a question that invariably limited the scope and depth of a discussion about health.

Who Should We Really Be Arguing With?

I can’t help but feel, and here I am proffering my opinion, which I am trying to do less of, that a true debate about health in our time would center much more on the merits of industrialized food VS non-industrial local sources of food.

Healthy meat VS unhealthy.  Healthy vegetables VS unhealthy.  Yes there will always be room to debate percentages and quantities of macro-nutrients.  There will always be a philosophical debate about  killing or using animals for food. But the carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and fruitarians are all in the same boat when it comes to the industrialization of our food to the point that it barely resembles food. Have you walked through a modern supermarket lately?  It is frightening.

"cheese" puffs and pepsi

AISLE 9 - Corn Syrup - Aspartame - Phosphoric Acid

Look back at my hit list of foods I want to eliminate from my life.  It is essentially a  list of industrial food.

For me to avoid the foods on that list, it would be difficult to eat in most restaurants, and impossible to eat in many.  For me to source quality fruit, vegetables, eggs, whole grains and meat (if I choose to eat meat again in the future) would require finding a source other than the giant corporate markets.

 

 

 

Mono-crop agriculture and factory farms are the same thing.  A very bad response to ever growing numbers of humans who aren’t prepared psychologically, politically, and technologically to feed the next generation.   Mad Science and greed have taken only 40-50 years to bring us humans down to a frightening level of disease and ill health. Obviously there are healthy people who eat meat.  Obviously there are healthy people who eat no meat.  To argue otherwise is asinine.

 

While we argue (in an arguably entertaining fashion) about how much if any of our diets should come from animals, the state of all of our food is worsening.  Our options are lessening.  Our inherent right to grow food and share it with each other is being stripped away; perhaps irreversibly.

Maybe “You are what you eat” has less to do with which kingdom it came from than whether or not what you eat–plant or animal–was healthy before you ate it?

Will we start arguing with the companies and governments who are ruining our food supply?  Can we channel some of  the energy we use debating food philosophy and branded versions of health into effective change both in our back yards and through legislation?  Because somewhere in our current debate is a form of denial about the real elephant in the room.  And that can’t be healthy.

Either way, thanks Kevin Gianni for doing something!  You obviously worked extremely hard on this project, and in my own way, I benefited greatly from it. The last several days I have taken some concrete steps to better my health, which I will be sharing soon.

Cheers!