When we cover the nutrition section in my introductory medical class, I, at times, get thrown some incredulity. Aside from explaining what is a carbohydrate and how many calories one should ingest in a day, we discuss the innumerable toxins in our life as well as issues with our produce, meat, and processed food in America. So let’s talk about the kids’ reactions to the revelation that our food is not that clean and that our watchdog agencies are watching too well.
It is indisputable that we have innumerable toxins in our life. Even the FDA and USDA will admit this. The low level scientists endeavor to research and approve over 300 chemicals for our food and home a year. They are overworked and don’t have the resources to adequately conduct the studies. This results in a lot of chemicals of possible pernicious effect getting into our lives.
But let’s back up. So when we discuss food dyes, PFCs, PFOAs, BPA, Parabens, Phthalates, rBGH, casein’s link to tumor growth, GMO’s pernicious effect on rat health, monosodium glutamate, antibiotics and growth hormones administered to our livestock, VOCs, EMF radiation, and more the kids really don’t know how to handle it.
When faced with the innumerable toxins in our life, most kids are shocked at the beginning. Then they go through the 5 stages of grief. First they don’t believe me. I recommend they look this information up on their own. I tell them to find news clips from mainstream sources as well.
I don’t make this stuff up; I’m just the messenger. A messenger who wants to bring the innumerable toxins in our life to their attention so they can make better consumer decisions as adults to avoid these toxins and mitigate their chances of acquiring cancer.
After that phase comes the cognitive dissonance stage, which is akin to denial. As young children, they have been inculcated by milk industry (“Got Milk?”), Big Food and Fast Food commercials since they were toddlers. These industries use celebrities to hawk their products because it is quite effective. Kids idolize these celebrities so they bring an air of credibility. So when someone brings to their attention that these products might have issues, they are shocked. Cognitive dissonance sets in.
Vis-à-vis the innumerable toxins in our life they posit in their head, “If the local grocery store sells these products they must be healthy.” And then it is “Why would the local grocery store knowingly sell products that contain possible deleterious ingredients?” “I have been told by TV that these products bring nutrition, health, and joy; is it possible that they have been lying to me?” It is difficult for the adult mind to grapple with these metaphysical questions, not just children but adults as well.
I think there are two different people in the world. The idealist and the cynics. The latter have typically been formed by adverse childhood events to have a weary, cynical view of the world and be untrusting of any authority figure, whether that be their own parents, adults, politicians, and companies. They think everything is bullshit.
The former group largely have had an unscathed upbringing. They see the world for what they want it to be; not necessarily for what it is. It is this group of people that suffer the greatest cognitive dissonance and denial about the innumerable toxins in our life. The cynics say “See, I knew you couldn’t trust these bastards.”
People in general have a difficult time believing that there are companies and government agencies that are NOT looking out for our best interest. It is hard for them to believe there are bad people in the world.
I try to explain to people the raison d’etre for Naturopathic Earth and Holistic Health News that innumerable toxins in our life are not there because there are satanic occultists bent on killing us or even that they powers that be have a eugenics, population control mindset. (That being said do check out the Holistic Health News episode on how Overpopulation Has Wrought So Much Destruction.)
Money, Money, Money
It’s mostly about money. Multinational conglomerates number one priority is making profits to appease the shareholders. Simple as that. If in the process, the company enhances people’s lives (think of an oven or a car) that is great, but they are only doing so if they can make profit.
So companies will get away with as much as possible vis-à-vis putting in low grade ingredients. So they use high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar in sodas and practically every packaged food; we use toxic, anxiolytic fluorescent lights in lieu of incandescent ones; we use petroleum-based food dyes instead of naturally occurring ones; we use addictive, flavor-enhancing MSGs instead of the actual natural flavor which it is mimicking; we use chemicals to mirror the smell of roses in perfumes instead of roses, etc.
To them it makes sense. All of these substitutes are cheaper than higher grade quality ingredients. And they know that once they have achieved brand loyalty, most people will stick by their product forever. That is why advertisers care about the 18-34 demographic the most; it is the most malleable age group to convince into buying your product. In short, they believe the advertiser’s bullshit. Once you reach middle age you are set into your buying habits, for good or bad, and are skeptical of advertising bullshit in general. At least if you have discernment…. That is precisely why we have the innumerable toxins in our life.
And unfortunately for us, these inferior chemicals and ingredients may wreak havoc on our health. It makes sense when you think are replacing whole natural ingredients with chemical crap. At this point, the conglomerates have so bought in to the profit-first paradigm and too much is at stake for them to admit their follies, they turn their advertising might toward dismissing claims that these innumerable toxins in our life are bad for us. They wager a slander campaign; they bribe the politicians in the name of lobbying and re-election contributions to guarantee that government won’t pass legislation to undermine their profit model, and they put sympathetic people in the watchdog agencies.
“Who Is Watching The Watch Dogs?”
Speaking of the watchdog agencies. The students will ask “Why do the FDA/USDA allow these innumerable toxins in our life? Isn’t it their job to protect us?” Valid question, I respond. HHN has a few episodes on the “Revolving Door” between the watchdog agencies and Big Business. A conflict of interest exists to be understated.
If you look at the high-level executives at the FDA/USDA, you will notice they all come from Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Medical Device, or alike. They work their way up at these conglomerates and then get a job at the watchdog agencies through political connections. While there, they approve experimental toxins and additives petitioned for by their Big Business counterparts and they obfuscate data that might undermine their endeavor. After they spend their “public duty” time working for the government, they return back to the arms of Big Business to resume their million dollar salary. The “revolving door” is insidious.
So you can see why people when you tell them of the innumerable toxins in our life put their head in the sand like ostriches. It’s a combo of things. It’s hard for them to feel like that they have been duped since they take proud on being bright individuals. It’s hard for the idealists to believe that companies would knowingly put in suspect additives in our lives. It’s very hard for them to imagine that the people in charge of protecting us are actually protecting the business interests of their sector. People feel helpless and betrayed. Thus the cognitive dissonance kicks in.
The best demonstration of this cognitive dissonance when told about the innumerable toxins in our life is their actions after being told. In 95% of cases they CONTINUE TO USE food dyes, MSGs, their cell phones, PFCs, lotions laden with parabens & perfume, et al. THEY DON’T CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR! And if you ask them why, most don’t have the wherewithal to admit they are addictive to said products or that they are weak to resist. They mostly say in chorus “Well, we are all going to die anyway.”
This logic as to why you should continue to expose yourself to the innumerable toxins in our life is specious. First of all, it exonerates evil-doing and malfeasance, but more importantly if you apply this specious logic out it makes no sense. Well, if we are all going to die anyway, why don’t we walk across a highway and drive 150 mph on the Pacific Coast Highway while drunk?
It’s too hard for most people given the denial and cognitive dissonance. So all we can do is educate people on the matter and hope that perhaps 10% of the people will alter their lifestyle. Perhaps the others will remember this information later in life, but alas most won’t. And when they get cancer or some major malady later in life they will curse God and blame others. It takes a certain person to look in the mirror and state “I brought this on myself by putting my head in the sand.” Are you going to be one of these persons?