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Food: The Ultimate Secret Exposed
"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." --Corinthians 3:16
Humans are the only animals on the planet who destroy the nutritional value of their food before eating it. All other animals consume food in its natural, unprocessed state, but humans actually go out of their way to render food nutritionally worthless before eating it. No wonder humans are the least healthy mammals on the planet.
The LAST person you should trust for advice on nutrition is a medical doctor. NEVER ask your medical doctor what you should and shouldn't eat to stay healthy. They have no training and no clinical experience with it.
Most of the food we eat, because it’s grown in depleted soils and is mostly GMO, has little to no nutritional value. Even if we wanted to, we could never get every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need through the foods we eat. Nutritional supplementation is therefore incredibly necessary if our bodies are to maintain a healthy state. The medical profession doesn’t want you to know the extreme importance of taking frequent doses of Vitamin C, the B complex, essential fatty acids, and other trace elements to combat the myriad of afflicting diseases we face. Since youth, we are conditioned to think medical doctors have the answers to any and all ailments, however, most diseases are commonly due to a lack of beneficial nutrients. Nutritional supplementation is one of the best ways you can take charge of your health and not depend on a doctor. Our best protection is to understand how to use nutritional supplementation.
Commercial junk is almost always laced with pesticides and oftentimes genetically modified. They fail to mention the fact that junk food has been found to make you infertile. Junk food products, particularly those containing trans-fats, can make healthy young men infertile by damaging their sperm. They also fail to mention that high-fructose corn syrup makes you ‘stupid’ through the destruction of your memory and learning capabilities, and how common food chemicals are fueling the obesity epidemic. High-fructose corn syrup has been found to contain the toxic element mercury. Toxic in all forms, two studies found that around half of tested high-fructose corn syrup samples contained mercury. What’s more, mercury was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products which contained high-fructose corn syrup as the first-or-second-highest labeled ingredient.
There is a higher prevalence of obesity in the participants with high urinary concentrations of a pesticide known as 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP). It is important to note that 2,5-DCP is one of the most widely used pesticides on the globe. There is a long list of issues resulting from pesticide exposure alone such as:
Immune system suppression
Male infertility & inhibited reproductive function
Disruption of the endocrine system
Adversely affected nervous system
Massive pollution & environmental decay
It is practically impossible to get all the nutrients (especially the minerals) necessary to prevent disease by eating food from the four basic food groups. An unfortunate consequence of the American public's faith in the four basic food groups has been a huge increase in the incidence of chronic degenerative diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. over the past 40 years.
There are 90 nutrients essential to human health. A deficiency in any one of these nutrients can lead to or cause, on average ten diseases. For example, a deficiency in copper can lead to premature gray hair, aneurism and stroke. The 90 essential nutrients fall into four broad categories: amino acids; fatty acids; vitamins; and minerals. If you eat a disciplined, well rounded diet you can get all the amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins you need. It is practically impossible to get all of the minerals you need regardless of what kind or what quantity of food you eat.
Human beings ideally get minerals by eating foods such as vegetables, fruits and grains. However, such foods are grown in soils which are massively deficient in minerals. Minerals serve as catalysts for the body's ability to use amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. Therefore, without the necessary mineral co-factors it is unlikely that we are getting the maximum benefit from these nutrients.
Monsanto has literally gotten away with murder ever since it was founded way back in 1901. Very few people actually realize the history of this company. Not many activists realize that this is the same company that was responsible, along with Dow Agrosciences, for creating Agent Orange. Created for the US military to be used during Vietnam as a ‘defoliant’ (really used for incognito chemical warfare operations which affected both allied and enemy troops), the concoction that was Agent Orange consisted of a medley of highly toxic ingredients including dioxin — a type of toxic substance considered to be one of the deadliest on the planet.
Agent Orange, from Monsanto, killed 400,000 people and led to 500,000 children born with troubling birth defects. And, in addition to those stats, 1 million were rendered disabled or at least suffer from health issues from Agent Orange exposure. This includes US soldiers.
So Monsanto, after they designed a ‘defoliant’ that was actually a deadly chemical weapon that killed, maimed, and ruined lives of innocents and US soldiers, issued a truly heart-felt statement that their Agent Orange wasn’t really that dangerous despite all of the evidence that is now accepted as fact:
“We are sympathetic with people who believe they have been injured and understand their concern to find the cause, but reliable scientific evidence indicates that Agent Orange is not the cause of serious long-term health effects.”
They settled for what amounts to chump change in order to silence the dying veterans, paying 45% of the 180 million dollar payout in order to make the veterans drop the charges. Then, of course, they eventually went on to make genetically modified crops and take over 90 plus percent of the GM seed market with their patented seeds, which India calls ‘biopiracy.’ Before that, they mass produced plastics that we now know are morphing the hormones of consumers.
But let’s also not forget that Monsanto has so many ties inside the US government that it has managed to slip into a very comfortable position. Former Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto, Michael Taylor ultimately became a major head of the FDA. Before that, Taylor conveniently worked specifically on Monsanto’s “food and drug law” practices. Specifically in regards to Monsanto’s cloned rBGH. But remember, this was before Monsanto decided to go for a more ‘blatant’ route.
Now, instead of just operating in the shadows, Monsanto is pushing a much bolder move with the Monsanto Protection Act. It not only sets a troubling precedent for Monsanto, but also for other bloated multi-national corporations that want to obtain higher authority and immunity from US courts. It’s called the Monsanto Protection Act among activists and concerned citizens who have been following the developments on the issue, and it consists of a legislative ‘rider’ inside (Farmer Assurance Provision, Sec. 735) a majority-wise unrelated Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill. You may already be aware of what this rider consists of, but in case not you will likely be blown away by the tenacity of Monsanto lobbyist goons.
If this rider passes with the bill, Monsanto would have complete immunity from federal courts when it comes to their ability to act against any new Monsanto GMO crops that are suspected to be endangering the public or the environment (or considered to be planted illegally by the USDA). We’re talking about courts literally can do nothing to Monsanto if it’s found that their newest creation may be promoting cancer, for example. Whether it’s a GMO banana or an apple, Monsanto could continue planting the food abomination all it wants under court review.
The Monsanto Protection Act would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops.
Many Americans already take mineral supplements but most do not realize that there are three different types of mineral supplements each varying greatly in their absorbability and their potential to become toxic:
These minerals are similar to the kind found in rocks and soils and are only 8% to 12% absorbable. They can build to dangerous levels, accumulating in fat, liver and brain tissue. Most tablet-form minerals such as Centrum, Theragram and One-A-Day are of this type. A metallic mineral is not organic in nature. Consequently, the body has a very difficult time absorbing it, and eliminating what it can't absorb.
These are metallic minerals which have been bound to a carrying agent (usually an amino acid or enzyme) which assists in the absorption of the mineral in the small intestine. This method, patented in the 1970's, makes metallic minerals much more absorbable (35 to 45%) and much less potentially toxic to the body.
These minerals have been processed through a plant and have undergone a biochemical transformation which makes them extremely absorbable (90% to 98%) and non toxic. Specifically, when a mineral is drawn from the soil into a plant via its roots, the process alters the mineral's bio-electric charge, changing it from positive to negative. Because the linings of our intestines carry an overall positive charge a natural magnetic gradient is created across which the mineral is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Metallic minerals, on the other hand, do not undergo this biochemical transformation and therefore remain positively charged. A positively charged metallic mineral can cause problems for the body. The body is designed to recognize and use minerals in a organic colloidal form and will automatically rid itself of any excess. By contrast, the body has more difficulty recognizing positively charged minerals. As a consequence they tend to accumulate in the body to sometimes dangerous levels. This is why metallic arsenic, for example, has been found to be 65 times more toxic than is organically bound arsenic.
Don't be fooled into buying mineral supplements that simply claim to be "colloidal." The term "colloidal" refers only to the very small particle size of the minerals used in these products. A far more important determinant of both the absorbability and safety of a mineral is whether or not the mineral is "organic" (i.e., derived from plant sources). Organic colloidal minerals are up to 20 times more absorbable and non-toxic when compared to inorganic colloidal minerals. It is a sad fact of the marketplace that many of the products being marketed as colloidal minerals are, in fact, inorganic colloidal minerals!
The use of two toxic substances – styrene and formaldehyde – is causing numerous health complications. It is no big secret that Formaldehyde is a very dangerous substance – the mere vapor content, when exposed to the atmosphere has been found to be very risky for the environment. Tthe highly carcinogenic substance is found virtually everywhere – specifically in mass produced particle board and plywood, which in most cases are found as the cheapest building resource available. The cancer-causing vapor can also be found within mortuaries, and even within hair salons. Some hair care products were found to have a ridiculous amount of them, scientists claimed, and that many of the workers within have reported headaches, vomiting, nosebleeds, and in some cases asthma attacks when working with the variety of hair care products. Aspartame (NutraSweet & Equal) an artificial sweetener, turns to formaldehyde at 87 degrees F.
Styrene too has also been found to show signs of cancerous effects: workers in manufacturing plants have a very high risk of developing styrene-inflicted cancer when working with the substance. Styrene is used in boat making, bathtubs, and conventionally in Styrofoam cups and plates as well. While the highest exposure of styrene occurs in factories, consumers should also be wary of the use of this substance to create products. Both formaldehyde and styrene have each been against the wall, but lobbyists for large chemical manufacturers continue to suppress the information from reaching the public ear. Workers exposed to high levels of styrene are at an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma, and genetic damage to white blood cells. There is evidence that styrene increases the risks of cancer of the pancreas and esophagus among exposed workers. While the workers are at a vastly higher exposure rate to both chemicals, the public is also similarly exposed to it. Consumers can also be exposed to styrene from photocopiers, tobacco smoke, and fumes of building materials.
Many of the substances knowingly cause or are linked with sterility, low birth weight, miscarriages, smaller or deformed offspring, as well as organ failure, cancer, brain tumors and Death itself, what you DON’T know about on your grocery shelves can hurt you. Further, a pattern of buried studies, fraudulent statistics and a will to reduce global population, all point to the deliberate criminal poisoning of the food and water supply.
Suffer no fools if those you show refuse to believe what is going on. Instead, research these important areas for yourself, and warn those you love about need to stop their food from being used as a Depopulation-weapon against us all. Please share this important video with everyone, so the truth about these substances can be known.
Alex expounds on the addition dangers of chemicals like Bisphenol-A, including sterility, often added to food packaging:
For 40 years we ate and drank from containers containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in producing polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Those substances are found in hundreds of products, from water bottles to compact discs and medical devices. Until recent years, the American public didn’t suspect that BPA could be harmful. BPA can leach from the materials in plastic tableware, baby cups, and the epoxy resin coatings inside cans, especially when those products are heated, releasing the harmful chemical into food and liquids we consume. BPA leaches because the ingredients used in producing polycarbonates and epoxy resins are just loosely bound enough that they break down under heat or when damaged.
A new study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that higher levels of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in people’s urine were associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver problems. People with the highest BPA levels were twice as likely to suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular problems than those with lower levels.
THE DETAILS: Found in those hard-plastic water bottles we all carry, BPA is also used in the lining of some soda, food, and baby-formula cans. The hormone-like chemical has been linked to genital abnormalities, early puberty, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fertility problems in hundreds of animal studies. This latest study examined data previously collected from 1,455 adults between 18 and 74 years old.
The jury is still out on just how much BPA exposure is safe for children and adults. The FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research continues to study BPA, and the Breast Cancer Fund is staging a “Cans Not Cancer” campaign to get BPA out of canned foods and replace it with a safer substance. Every plastic container displays a recycle code on the bottom. Those with code 3 or 7 may contain BPA; take special care to avoid putting hot liquid in these bottles and cups.
Forsaking healthy, home-cooked meals, more Americans than ever are gorging on calorie-rich, nutrient-poor snacks, sodas and sweets when the dinner bell rings. Americans have increased their energy intake of French fries, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, pizza and Mexican food as part of their meals. Total (food) energy intake has increased over the past 20 years, with shifts away from meals, to snacks and from at-home, to away-from-home. In the United States, obesity is on the rise, and we know that this is because of two things—we’re increasing our energy intake across all the age groups as well as decreasing our physical activity.
More Americans now consume a large proportion of their daily food intake via snacks rather than sit-down meals, favoring quick, easy—often non-nutritious—foods like potato chips, cookies, pizza and other high-calorie treats. The proportion of energy from restaurant/fast food has increased considerably since the late 1970s. Among 19- to 39-year-olds, away-from-home food consumption just about doubled between 1977 and 1996, with 28% of young Americans saying they had eaten out on any given day in 1996, compared to just 14% two decades previously. There are steep increases in consumption of pizza, chocolate and hamburgers, in children as well as adults.
Children are making a definite shift away from milk to sodas and sugary drinks. While 90% of 6- to 11-year-olds in the late 1970s said they had milk on a given day, just 78% could say so by the mid-1990s. At the same time, daily soda consumption rose in the same age group from 31% in the 1970s to 46% two decades later. The war between milk and soda is indicative of a shift in the U.S. diet, where nutrient-poor “junk foods” are gradually replacing healthier items such as low-fat milk, fruits and vegetables. “One is being consumed at the expense of the other,” said Dr. Ashima Kant of the City University of New York. Looking closely at data on children’s responses to the 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, she found that “energy-dense, nutrient-poor” foods now account for over 30% of American children’s daily energy intake, “with sweeteners and desserts jointly accounting for nearly 25%.” The population is changing, there’s a faster lifestyle, the mix of restaurants is different today, the availability of all types of food in all kinds of settings is much more prominent today.
On any given day in the United States about one-quarter of the adult population visits a fast food restaurant. During a relatively brief period of time, the fast food industry has helped to transform not only the American diet, but also our landscape, economy, workforce, and popular culture. The extraordinary growth of the fast food industry has been driven by fundamental changes in American society. The whole experience of buying fast food has become so routine, that it is now taken for granted, like brushing your teeth or stopping for a red light. It has become a social custom as American as a small, rectangular, hand-held frozen, and reheated apple pie. Fast food is now served at restaurants and drive-throughs, at stadiums, airports, zoos, high schools, elementary schools, and universities, on cruise ships, trains, and airplanes, at K-Marts, Wal-Marts, gas stations, and even at hospital cafeterias. In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music—combined!
In 1975, about one-third of American mothers with young children worked outside the home; today almost two-thirds of such mothers are employed. The entry of so many women into the workforce has greatly increased demand for the types of services that housewives traditionally perform: cooking, cleaning, and childcare. A generation ago, three-quarters of the money used to buy food in the United States was spent to prepare meals at home. Today about half of the money used to buy food is spent at restaurants—mainly at fast food restaurants. Fast food is heavily marketed to children and prepared by people who are barely older than children. This is an industry that both feeds and feeds off the young. In 1968, McDonald’s operated about one thousand restaurants. Today it has about 28,000 restaurants worldwide and opens almost 2,000 new ones each year.
An estimated one out of every eight workers in the United States has, at some point, been employed by McDonald’s. The company annually hires about one million people, more than any other American organization, public or private. McDonald’s is the nation’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes—and the second largest purchaser of chicken. The McDonald’s Corporation is the largest owner of retail property in the world. Indeed, the company earns the majority of its profits not from selling food but from collecting rent. McDonald’s spends more money on advertising and marketing than any other brand. As a result it has replaced Coca-Cola as the world’s most famous brand. McDonald’s operates more playgrounds than any other private entity in the United States. It is one of the nation’s largest distributors of toys. A survey of American schoolchildren found that 96% could identify Ronald McDonald. The only fictional character with a higher degree of recognition was Santa Claus. The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross. The centralized purchasing decisions of the large restaurant chains and their demand for standardized products have given a handful of corporations an unprecedented degree of power over the nation’s food supply. Moreover, the tremendous success of the fast food industry has encouraged other industries to adopt similar business methods. Almost every facet of American life has now been franchised or chained.
The key to a successful franchise can be expressed in one word: “uniformity.” Franchises and chain stores strive to offer exactly the same product or service at numerous locations. The industrialization of the restaurant kitchen has enabled the fast food chains to rely upon a low-paid and unskilled workforce. The restaurant industry is now America’s largest private employer, and it pays some of the lowest wages. The roughly 3.5 million fast food workers are by far the largest group of minimum wage earners in the United States. The only Americans who consistently earn a lower hourly wage are migrant farm workers.
A hamburger and French fries became the desired American meal in the 1950s, thanks to the promotional efforts of the fast food chains. The typical American now consumes approximately three hamburgers and four orders of French fries every week. The leading fast food chains still embrace a boundless faith in science—and, as a result, have changed not just what Americans eat, but also how their food is made. The current methods for preparing fast food are less likely to be found in cookbooks than in trade journals such as Food Technologist and Food Engineering. Most fast food is delivered to the restaurant already frozen, canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried. A fast food kitchen is merely the final stage in a vast and highly complex system of mass production. Foods that may look familiar have, in fact, been completely reformulated. What we eat has changed more in the last forty years than in the previous forty thousand. Much of the taste and aroma of American fast food is now manufactured at a series of large chemical plants off the New Jersey Turnpike. The fast food chains now stand atop a huge food-industrial complex that has gained control of American agriculture. Farmers and cattle ranchers are losing their independence, essentially becoming hired hands for the agribusiness giants or being forced off the land. Family farms are now being replaced by gigantic corporate farms with absentee owners. The United States now has more prison inmates than full-time farmers.
The fast food chains’ vast purchasing power and their demand for a uniform product have encouraged fundamental changes in how cattle are raised, slaughtered, and processed into ground beef. These changes have made meatpacking—once a highly skilled, highly paid occupation—into the most dangerous job in the United States, performed by armies of poor, transient immigrants whose injuries often go unrecorded and uncompensated. And the same meat industry practices that endanger these workers have facilitated the introduction of deadly pathogens, such as E. coli 0157:H7, into America’s hamburger meat, a food aggressively marketed to children. Again and again, efforts to prevent the sale of tainted ground beef have been thwarted by meat industry lobbyists and their allies in Congress. The federal government has the legal authority to recall a defective toaster oven or stuffed animal—but still lacks the power to recall tons of contaminated, potentially lethal meat. Fast food has been carefully designed to taste good. It’s also inexpensive and convenient. But the value meals, two-for-one deals, and free refills of soda give a distorted sense of how much fast food actually costs. The real price never appears on the menu. Hundreds of millions of people buy fast food every day without giving it much thought, unaware of the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of their purchases. They rarely consider where this food came from, how it was made, what it is doing to the community around them. They just grab their tray off the counter, find a table, take a seat, unwrap the paper, and dig in. The whole experience is transitory and soon forgotten.
In the early years of the twentieth century, hamburgers had a bad reputation. The hamburger was considered “a food for the poor,” tainted and unsafe to eat. Restaurants rarely served hamburgers; they were sold at lunch carts parked near factories, at circuses, carnivals, and state fairs. Ground beef, it was widely believed, was made from old, putrid meat heavily laced with chemical preservatives. “The hamburger habit is just about as safe,” one food critic warned, “as getting your meat out of a garbage can.”
During the 1950s, the rise of drive-ins and fast food restaurants in southern California helped turn the once lowly hamburger into America’s national dish. Hamburgers seemed an ideal food for small children—convenient, inexpensive, hand-held, and easy to chew. Before World War II, pork had been the most popular meat in the United States. Rising incomes, falling cattle prices, the growth of the fast food industry, and the mass appeal of the hamburger later pushed American consumption of beef higher than that of pork. By the early 1990s, beef production was responsible for almost half of the employment in American agriculture, and the annual revenues generated by beef were higher than those of any other agricultural commodity in the United States. The average American ate three hamburgers a week. More than two-thirds of those hamburgers were bought at fast food restaurants. And children between the ages of seven and thirteen ate more hamburgers than anyone else.
In January of 1993, doctors at a hospital in Seattle, Washington, noticed that an unusual number of children were being admitted with bloody diarrhea. Some were suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a previously rare disorder that causes kidney damage. Health officials soon traced the outbreak of food poisoning to undercooked hamburgers served at local Jack-in-the-Box restaurants. Tests of the hamburger patties disclosed the presence of E. coli 0157:H7. Jack-in-the-Box issued an immediate recall of the contaminated ground beef, which had been supplied by the Vons Companies, Inc. in Arcadia, California. Nevertheless more than seven hundred people in at least four states were sickened by Jack-in-the-Box hamburgers, more than two hundred people were hospitalized, and four died. Most of the victims were Children. Eight years later, approximately half a million Americans, the majority of them children, have been made ill by E. coli 0157:H7. Thousands have been hospitalized, and hundreds have died.
In the growing controversy over the toxicity and pervasiveness of a group of chemicals, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) asked the CEOs of nine major fast food corporations to disclose the use of the chemicals in their packaging. The chemicals — fluorinated telomers—can break down into perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is used to make Teflon. PFOA is toxic at low levels and is found in more than 90% of Americans. The use of the Teflon-related chemical could be widespread in the fast food industry, and in fact, initial concerns about the industry were raised by a document written by a 3-M contractor. The document advised a supermarket food sampling team to wash their hands thoroughly after eating fast food, because of concerns that the chemicals in food packaging would contaminate the samples: “Many food and snack products — microwave popcorn, fast-food (sandwiches, chicken, French fries), pizza, bakery items, beverages, candy, cookies — are packaged in wrappers treated with the chemicals of interest. Therefore, hands will be thoroughly washed after handling fast food, carryout food, or snacks.” Knowing if fast food packaging contains these chemicals will be critical information to both consumers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in making public health decisions.
The EPA has undertaken an effort to answer the question of how the Teflon-related chemical has contaminated the blood of almost every American. This review is the largest in the Agency’s history, and the stakes are high. EWG is concerned about the efforts by DuPont, 3M and other manufacturers to sharply limit the number of consumer products included in the review of potential routes of exposure and to keep the names of those products and the findings of the review secret. The chemical industry is planning more tests to better define sources of human exposure under an enforceable agreement with EPA, but unfortunately, only two food-packaging products are slated for testing. Details about the products are being claimed as confidential by the industry, and publicly available information is limited.
“We are writing you to request information that the chemical industry is unable or unwilling to provide, in the hope that your answers will give your customers knowledge of, and confidence in, the safety of your products,” EWG president Ken Cook wrote in his letters to the CEOs of Burger King, KFC, Krispy Kreme, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Subway and Wendy’s. “If you are using fluorinated chemicals in food packaging, as many companies are, we look forward to hearing your plans for eliminating their use in the future as a proactive way to protect the health of your customers and reduce contamination of the biosphere with these toxic, indestructible pollutants.”
Cellulose can provide texture to processed foods, so food companies have taken to happily using it as a replacement for such unnecessary and inconveniently expensive ingredients as flour and oil. As the 30 percent cheaper cellulose is edible and non-poisonous, the FDA has no interest for restricting its use — or, for that matter, the maximum amount of it that food companies can use in a product. It is pretty much everywhere, and even organic foods are no salvation — after all, cellulose used to be wood and can therefore be called organic, at least to an extent. But the worst thing about cellulose is not that it’s everywhere. The worst thing is that it is not food at all. Cellulose is, unlike the actual, normal food items you think you’re paying for, completely indigestible by human beings, and it has no nutritional value to speak of.
Quick, name the most healthy drink your nearest store has to offer. You said orange juice, didn’t you? It’s what everybody makes you drink when you get sick. Hell, that shit must be like medicine or something. And the labels are always about health benefits — the cartons scream “100 percent natural!”, “Not from concentrate!” and “No added sugar!” And why not believe them? When it comes to making the stuff, orange juice isn’t sausage. You take oranges, you squeeze oranges, you put the result in a carton, with or without pulp. End of story, beginning of deliciousness. But what if we told you that “freshly squeezed” juice of yours can very well be a year old, and has been subjected to stuff that would make the Re-Animator puke?
Ever wonder why every carton of natural, healthy, 100 percent, not-from-concentrate orange juice manages to taste exactly the same, yet ever so slightly different depending on the brand, despite containing no additives or preservatives whatsoever?
The process indeed starts with the oranges being squeezed, but that’s the first and last normal step in the process. The juice is then immediately sealed in giant holding tanks and all the oxygen is removed. That allows the liquid to keep without spoiling for up to a year. That’s why they can distribute it year-round, even when oranges aren’t in season. Thanks to science, we can enjoy screwdrivers from Christmas to the 4th-of-July.
There is just one downside to the process (from the manufacturers’ point of view, that is) — it removes all the taste from the liquid. So, now they’re stuck with vats of extremely vintage watery fruit muck that tastes of paper and little else. What’s a poor giant beverage company to do? Why, they re-flavor that shit with a carefully constructed mix of chemicals called a flavor pack, which are manufactured by the same fragrance companies that formulate CK One and other perfumes. Then they bottle the orange scented paper water and sell it to you. And, thanks to a loophole in regulations, they often don’t even bother mentioning the flavor pack chemicals in the list of ingredients. Hear that low moan from the kitchen? That’s the Minute Maid you bought yesterday. It knows you know.
Any restaurant that serves hamburger goes out of its way to reassure you how pure and natural it is. Restaurant chains like McDonald’s (“All our burgers are made from 100 percent beef, supplied by farms accredited by nationally recognized farm assurance schemes”) and Taco Bell (“Like all U.S. beef, our 100 percent premium beef is USDA inspected, then passes our 20 quality checkpoints”) happily vouch for the authenticity of their animal bits. Their testaments to the healthiness and fullness of their meat read out like they were talking about filet mignon.
And aside from the rare E.coli outbreak, the meat is clean. It’s how they get it clean that’s unsettling.
Ammonia. You know, the harsh chemical they use in fertilizers and oven cleaners? It kills E.coli really well. So, they invented a process where they pass the hamburger through a pipe where it is doused in ammonia gas. And you probably never heard about it, other than those times that batches of meat stink of ammonia so bad that the buyer returns it. The ammonia process is an invention of a single company called Beef Products Inc., which originally developed it as a way to use the absolute cheapest parts of the animal, instead of that silly “prime cuts” stuff the competitors were offering (and the restaurant chains swear we’re still getting). Consequently, Beef Products Inc. has pretty much cornered the burger patty market in the U.S. to the point that 70 percent of all burger patties out there are made by them.
Even with your freshly gained knowledge that there may or may not be some cellulose in the cake mix, it’s pretty impossible not to start salivating at the thought. This is largely because of the berries themselves. What’s better — they’re so very, very healthy that it’s almost wrong for them to taste so good. Everything is better with blueberries — that’s why they put them in so many foods. Now that we think of it, there sure seems to be a lot of blueberries in a lot of products. You’d think we’d see more blueberry fields around …
The number of blueberries you’ve eaten within the last year, that have actually come from such a field, is likely pretty close to zero. Studies of products that supposedly contain blueberries indicate that many of them didn’t originate in nature. All those chewy and juicy bits of berry are completely artificial, made with different combinations of corn syrup and a little chemist’s lab worth of food colorings and other chemicals with a whole bunch of numbers and letters in their names. They do a good job of faking it — you need a chemist’s lab of your own to be able to call their bullshit. You can sort of tell them from the ingredient lists, if you know what to look for, although manufacturers tend to camouflage them under other terms like blueberry flakes or blueberry crunchlets.
There are a number of major differences between the real thing and the Abomination Blueberry: The fake blueberries have the advantages of a longer shelf life and, of course, being cheaper to produce. But they have absolutely none of the health benefits and nutrients of the real thing. This, of course, doesn’t stop the manufacturers from riding the Blueberry Health Train all the way to the bank, sticking pictures of fresh berries and other misleading cues all over the product packaging.
Now, here’s some good news: The law does require the manufacturers to put the whole artificial thing out there for the customers. The bad news, however, is that they have gotten around this, too.
Buying “free-range” eggs is one of the easiest ways to feel good as a consumer — they are at least as readily available as “normal,” mass produced eggs from those horrible giant chicken prisons Big Egg maintains. They even cost about the same. There’s literally no reason not to buy free range even though, now that we think about it, we’re not actually sure what that means. But the animals must live in pretty good conditions. In fact, let’s buy our meat and poultry free-range, too!
According to law, the definition of “free-range” is that chickens raised for their meat “have access to the outside.” OK … so that’s not quite as free as we assumed, and it appears to only apply to chickens raised for their meat. But at least they still have some freedom, what with the outside and all that.
Words have power, and “free range” in its original sense means unfenced and unrestrained. That makes it a powerful phrase that, no matter how smart we are, conjures subconscious images of freedom. But the reality is there are absolutely no regulations whatsoever for the use of the term “free-range” on anything other than chickens raised for their meat. The industry knows this full well and happily makes us consume the free range myth, even though in reality a free-range hen lives in pretty much the same prison as a battery cage hen — except its whole life takes place in the prison shower, rather than a cell.
Awareness of the free range myth is slowly increasing, but although a manufacturer that has been pushing his luck a bit too much does get jailed every once in a while, that doesn’t do much to the overall phenomenon. In fact, Europe is set to ban egg production in cage systems come 2012. Guess what the replacement is going to be?
E. coli 0157:H7 is a mutated version of a bacterium found abundantly in the human digestive system. Most E. coli bacteria help us digest food, synthesize vitamins, and guard against dangerous organisms. E. coli 0157:H7, on the other hand, can release a powerful toxin—called a verotoxin or a Shiga toxin—that attacks the lining of the intestine. Some people who are infected with E. coli 0157:H7 do not become ill. Others suffer mild diarrhea. In most cases, severe abdominal cramps are followed by watery, then bloody, diarrhea that subsides within a week or so. Sometimes vomiting and a low-grade fever accompany the diarrhea. In about 4% of reported E. coli 0157:H7 cases, the Shiga toxins entered the bloodstream, causing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to kidney failure, anemia, internal bleeding, and the destruction of vital organs. The Shiga toxins can cause seizures, neurological damage, and strokes. About 5% of the children who develop HUS are killed by it. Those who survive are often left with permanent disabilities, such as blindness or brain damage. Children under the age of five, the elderly, and people with impaired immune systems are the most likely to suffer from illnesses caused by E. coli 0157:H7. The pathogen is now the leading cause of kidney failure among children in the United States.
Antibiotics have proven ineffective in treating illnesses caused by E. coli 0157:H7. Indeed the use of antibiotics may make such illnesses worse by killing off the pathogen and prompting a sudden release of its Shiga toxins. E. coli 0157:H7 is an extraordinarily hearty microbe that is easy to transmit. E. coli 0157:H7 is resistant to acid, salt, and chlorine. It can live in fresh water or seawater. It can live on kitchen countertops for days and in moist environments for weeks. It can withstand freezing. It can survive heat up to 160º F. To be infected by most food-borne pathogens, such as Salmonella, you have to consume a fairly large dose—at least a million organisms. An infection with E. coli 0157:H7 can be caused by as few as five organisms. A tiny uncooked particle of hamburger meat can contain enough of the pathogen to kill you. The heartiness and minute infectious dose of E. coli 0157:H7 allow the pathogen to be spread in many ways. People have been infected by drinking contaminated water, by swimming in a contaminated lake, by playing at a contaminated water park, by crawling on a contaminated carpet. The most common cause of foodborne outbreaks has been the consumption of undercooked ground beef. But E. coli 0157:H7 outbreaks have also been caused by contaminated bean sprouts, salad greens, cantaloupe, salami, raw milk, and unpasteurized apple cider. All of those foods most likely had come in contact with cattle manure, though the feces of deer, dogs, horses, and flies may also spread the pathogen.
Person-to-person transmission has been responsible for a significant proportion of E. coli 0157:H7 illnesses. E. coli 0157:H7 is shed in the stool, and people infected with it, even those showing no outward sign of illness, can easily spread it through poor hygiene. Person-to-person transmission is most likely to occur among family members, at day care centers, and at senior citizen homes. On average, an infected person remains contagious for about two weeks, though in some cases E. coli 0157:H7 has been found in stool samples two to four months after an initial illness. For people with life-threatening E. coli 0157:H7 infections, the medical profession has little to offer, other than giving them fluids, blood transfusions, and dialysis. On top of that, they would be exposed to hospital-borne, antibiotic-resistant strains of organisms just by being in the hospital. From the Natural Healing realm, colloidal silver can be given orally and the administration of activated charcoal powder mixed in water. Colloidal silver will kill E. coli 0157:H7, but not the probiotic or “friendly” bacteria in the intestines; the activated charcoal will absorb the Shiga toxins. Homeopathic remedies will help neutralize the effects of the toxicity. There is no toxic level of either and no one has ever overdosed on either activated charcoal or colloidal silver.
Some herds of American cattle may have been infected with E. coli 0157:H7 decades ago. But the recent changes in how cattle are raised, slaughtered, and processed have created an ideal means for the pathogen to spread. The problem begins in today’s vast feedlots. A government health official compared the sanitary conditions in a modern feedlot to those in a crowded European city during the Middle Ages, when people dumped their chamber pots out the window, raw sewage ran in the streets, and epidemics raged. The cattle now packed into feedlots get little exercise and live amid pools of manure. We know we shouldn’t eat dirty food and dirty water, but we still think we can give animals dirty food and dirty water. Feedlots have become an extremely efficient mechanism for “recirculating the manure,” which is unfortunate, since E. coli 0157:H7 can replicate in cattle troughs and survive in manure for up to ninety days.
Far from their natural habitat, the cattle in feedlots become more prone to all sorts of illnesses. And what they are being fed often contributes to the spread of disease. The rise in grain prices has encouraged the feeding of less expensive materials to cattle, especially substances with a high protein content that accelerate growth. About 75% of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes—the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle—until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters. The FDA banned such practices after evidence from Great Britain suggested that they were responsible for a widespread outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. Nevertheless, current FDA regulations allow dead pigs, dead horses, and dead poultry to be rendered into cattle feed. The regulations not only allow cattle to be fed dead poultry, they allow poultry to be fed dead cattle. Americans who spent more than six months in the United Kingdom during the 1980s are now forbidden to donate blood, in order to prevent the spread of BSE’s human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But cattle blood is still put into the feed given to American cattle. Cattle are ruminants; they’re designed to eat grass and, maybe, grain. They have four stomachs for a reason—to eat products that have high cellulose content. They are not designed to eat other animals.
The waste products from poultry plants, including the sawdust and old newspapers used as litter, are also being fed to cattle. In Arkansas alone, about 3 million pounds of chicken manure were fed to cattle in 1994. Chicken manure may contain dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, parasites such as tapeworms and Giardia lamblia, antibiotic residues, arsenic, and heavy metals. The pathogens from infected cattle are spread not only in feedlots, but also at slaughterhouses and hamburger grinders. The slaughterhouse tasks, most likely to contaminate meat, are the removal of an animal’s hide and the removal of its digestive system. The hides are now pulled off by machine; if a hide has been inadequately cleaned, chunks of dirt and manure may fall from it onto the meat.
Stomachs and intestines are still pulled out of cattle by hand; if the job is not performed carefully, the contents of the digestive system may spill everywhere. The increases speed of today’s production lines makes the task much more difficult. A single worker at a “gut table” may eviscerate sixty cattle an hour. Performing the job properly takes a fair amount of skill. A former “gutter” said that it took him six months to learn how to pull out the stomach and tie off the intestines without spillage. At best, he could gut two hundred consecutive cattle without spilling anything. Inexperienced gutters spill manure far more often. The average hourly spillage rate at the gut table has run as high as 20%, with stomach contents splattering one out of five carcasses. The consequences of a single error are quickly multiplied as hundreds of carcasses quickly move down the line. Knives are supposed to be cleaned and disinfected every few minutes, something that workers in a hurry tend to overlook. A contaminated knife spreads germs to everything it touches. The overworked, often illiterate workers, in the nation’s slaughterhouses do not always understand the importance of good hygiene. They sometimes forget that this meat will eventually be eaten. They drop meat on the floor and then place it right back on the conveyer belt. They cook bite-sized pieces in their sterilizers, as snacks, thereby rendering the sterilizers ineffective. They are directly exposed to a wide variety of pathogens in the meat, become infected, and inadvertently spread disease.
A recent USDA study found that during the winter about 1% of the cattle at feedlots carry E. coli 0157:H7 in their gut. The proportion rises to as much as 50% during the summer. Even if you assume that only 1% are infected, that means three or four cattle bearing the microbe are eviscerated at a large slaughterhouse every hour. The odds of widespread contamination are raised exponentially when the meat is processed into ground beef. A generation ago, local butchers and wholesalers made hamburger meat out of leftover scraps. Ground beef was distributed locally, and was often made from cattle slaughtered locally. Today large slaughterhouses and grinders dominate the nationwide production of ground beef. A modern processing plant can produce 800,000 pounds of hamburger a day, meat that will be shipped throughout the United States. A single animal infected with E. coli 0157:H7 can contaminate 32,000 pounds of ground beef. To make matters worse, the animals used to make about one-quarter of the nation’s ground beef—worn- out dairy cattle—are the animals most likely to be diseased and riddled with antibiotic residues. The stresses of industrial milk production make them even unhealthier than cattle in a large feedlot. Dairy cattle can live as long s forty years, but are often slaughtered at the age of four, when their milk output starts to decline. McDonald’s relies heavily on dairy cattle for its hamburger supplies, since the animals are relatively inexpensive, yield low-fat meat, and enable the chain to boast that all its beef is raised in the United States. The days when hamburger meat was ground in the back of the butcher shop, out of scraps from one or two sides of beef, are long gone.
The huge admixture of animals in most American ground beef plants has played a crucial role in spreading E. coli 0157:H7. A single fast food hamburger now contains meat form dozens or even hundreds of different cattle. The USDA does not inform the public when contaminated meat is recalled from fast food restaurants. Between 1996 and 1999, the USDA didn’t tell the public about more than one-third of the Class I recalls, cases in which consumers faced a serious and potentially lethal threat. The USDA now informs the public about every Class I recall, but will not reveal exactly where contaminated meat is being sold (unless it is being distributed under a brand name at a retail store).