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Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave.
As children, we were curious little sponges, soaking up everything we learn every minute of every day. As the mother of two, I can vividly recall the day each of my children spoke their first word. It was such a huge moment! If you are a parent reading this, do you remember that? Do you remember just how proud and excited you were to hear whatever that first word was? Matt’s first word was “ball.” Mia’s was “No!” Any of you who know her are probably not surprised by that! Very quickly our children learn the word “Why?” They not only learn the word, they very quicky know what it means. And they ask it incessantly! It very quickly becomes their favorite word. “But, why Mom?” “Why can’t I fly?” “Why do the clouds not fall out of the sky?” “Why can’t I run around barefoot outside in 30 degree weather.” It is non-stop. I don’t know about you, but I eventually broke down and answered my children with the one phrase I promised myself I would never use. The answer to all questions……”Because I said so!”
As children we naturally question everything and take nothing for granted. With that one phrase, “Beacuse I said so.”, we teach our children not to question, to accept the word of those who they entrust with their well being to know what is good for them. It might shut them up for a bit. It might give us a little peace and quiet until the next question comes along, but then eventually if they stop receiving real answers, they stop asking. It has happened to all of us. It has happened to us a nation of consumers who blindly accept the status quo without questioning it. It is as though, being overweight, over stressed, overtired, and illness prone, is normal!! I have news for you. IT IS NOT NORMAL!!!
We have been mislead into believing that somehow the USDA and the FDA, etc, have OUR best interest at heart. This belief is categorically untrue. Is it in our best interest to allow pink slime into our ground meat? Is it in our best interest to allow GMO foods into our food supply without regard to the impact this might have on our already fragile national health? Is it in our best interest to allow factory farms to inject antibiotics and hormones into our food? Come on! We have been placated folks because now our food is cheap! It is cheap and we can now afford to eat A LOT of it. Far more of than we need. The problem is that cheapness comes with a huge cost. We are eating too much, we are over weight yet we are malnourished. Our food does not contain the nutrients it once did because we have farmed the crap out of our soil and the minerals are gone. We are told meat causes cancer…..it’s not the meat! It is what goes into the feed given to factory farmed animals that causes cancer, not the meat itself. Properly raised meat is very nutritious.
Our children are learning that Snickers give you energy and Lucky Charms are a part of a nutritious breakfast. Commercials and Info-mercials have become our source of consumer guidance and information. Labels advertising fortified with vitamins and minerals imply something healthy, yet chances are our bodies never absorb those vitamins and minerals because the fiber, and fat that makes them bioavailable for our bodies have been stripped away. My son was taught in 6th grade that carbohydrates are good for you because they give you energy. This statement was made without any qualifiers as what is a good carb and a bad carb. We have been duped into believing that because something is edible, then our bodies must recognize it as food. Once again, this is categorically UNTRUE.
This has all happened, because we let it. It is easy to blame the big companies for supplying us with crap and labeling it food. But let’s be honest with ourselves, these companies only produce what the consumer will buy. We buy a lot of crap! We have woven our own very very sticky and addictive web. We are stuck in it and most of us are completely unaware that we have become the fly for the big conglomerate spider. So, here’s a couple of questions. What if we stop buying it? What if we all start asking questions first? What if we all took more time to understand what is in our food and make an educated decision about what to buy and what to eat? What if we take a lesson from our youngest children and take nothing for granted anymore? Ask why. Ask what. Why does a hamburger at McDonalds cost $.99 but a head of broccoli costs $1.29? What is high fructose corn syrup, monocalcium phosphate, and hydrogenated soybean oil? And why is it in my food? Why should we eat things that we can’t pronounce and we can’t indentify? Because the company that makes the “food” (aka crap) put it in there and a food company would never put something in my food that was bad for me. Surely our government agencies are policing all this and making 100% sure that if it is on a supermarket shelf, then it must do no harm……..do no harm.
So we’re stuck in this web, the good news is, the web is beginning to weaken. The news about pink slime and transfats is out and it can’t be hidden again. What else can we do? We can do ANYTHING! We are the almighty consumer around which all this nonsense revolves. We are the ones with all the power here! If we DEMAND better we WILL receive better. If we do not, if we accept what is given then we only have ourselves to blame.
So what can you do?
1. You can speak up, either with your voice or with your dollars or both.
2. You can educate yourself. Actually, you really need to start with yourself, then add your family and friends.
3. You can share this blog and any others that you follow and respect.
Let’s weave a new web. A web of our own that will ensnare the USDA, The FDA, the Monsantos and ConAgras of the world into doing our bidding. Start weaving! I’ll help!
Until next time,
~ Laura, Mom Gone Paleo