Wednesday, March 23, 2011

O, my gosh - it goes on and on .....

The subject currently on every body's lips (and hips) is "obesity". What an absolutely horrid word - degrading, disdainful, demeaning. I'm old enough to remember when people used such words as "homely", "natural", "chubby", "generously endowed", "well proportioned" and so on. I can even recall a Doctor back then trying to tell me, without offending me, that I was a "little overweight". And in among hundreds of other doctors and specialists that I've visited during the years in between, I've been called a lot of names, and "obese" is among those words. I do not like the word, in fact I loathe it. And I will not admit to being "obese" - I am a "fully-rounded" woman!

Blame is being piled on parents of beautifully formed and healthy children; they're being told their children are "obese" and they've got to do something about it - immediately! Just look at the media and the government pushing the idea of "food police" to check on children's lunch boxes; just look at parents being threatened with "abuse" if they don't feed their children food that the so-called experts (and the government departments involved) demand they eat; putting children onto crash diets and extreme exercise regimes (all costing a lot of money to parents of course), and on it goes. 

Not to mention the emotional trauma all this leads to.

Blame, blame, blame, and parents are taking upon themselves all sorts of guilt trips.

Yet I come back to the same argument I've been promoting for the past twenty years or more. Maybe it's NOT the food or the quantity of food that we're eating - maybe it's what's IN the food that we're eating.

On two separate occasions on recent telivison here, one a replay of the "Cook and the Chef" on the ABC which is a very entertaining, and informative and enjoyable show showing cooking tips and hints, with easy-medium-hard recipes, and the second "The Food Investigators" on SBS, this very subject was raised. And it justified what I've been saying (and what others of my kind have been saying) for decades.

For instance. Bread. Bread that is baked today no longer resembles the bread of "yesterday" - and I'm talking about 20-30-40 years ago. The ingredients are different - the quantities of salt and sugar are different - the additives are different; the food colourings and chemicals are different. You're beginning to see where I'm coming from?

Now we come to the nitty-gritty. Most of the grains that make up breads are genetically modified. OK, we're being told over and over again that there's nothing wrong with genetically modified foods (and in fact they're "good" for us - haaa). No one knows for sure. And no one will know for sure until at least another two generations. Because if we have food such as bread which is made to "look" fresh without being so, then something is happening and we're being drawn into the trap of believing something that is not true nor good for us.

What I mean by this is simple. We used to buy bread that if it became stale, we'd be aware of it. If it became mouldy, we'd be aware of it. If it started to "smell, we'd be aware of it. It usually went out to the chooks in the back yard, long before it even got to the mouldy stage. But today? Because of being genetically modified, it no longer goes stale, it no longer smells, it no longer goes mouldy. And anyone in the health and nutrition profession will tell you that eating bread that is mouldy is putting toxins into the body, which are not only harmful but deadly. Yet because we can't "see" or "smell" that the bread of going "off", we eat it merrily thinking that it is good for us! We're being "conned".

Oh yes another thing. We're told now that we shouldn't "freeze" bread. We should store it in a wooden (for preference) or plastic bread bin. Sounds like my Grandma talking!

The other items which were referred to in the Cook and the Chef were dairy products. Again, it is was pointed out that many of the natural ingredients of milk (and subsequently in cream, cheese and yoghurt) were removed from the milk, only to be replaced by additives, chemicals and colourings. So if the cows are eating grass in fields of genetically modified grasses, then who knows what's actually going into or happening to the milk. Oh, yes, another thing. Years ago, dairy farmers always washed their milking machines in an iodine wash - it acted as an antiseptic and cleanser, and would you believe it, because it then fitted over the cow's teats at milking time, that iodine found itself in the milk. And that was good for us! So what now? The farmers wash the milking machines with flouride, which means no more iodine. Now the government says, the farmer has to add iodine to the milk he's producing from his cows. Take something out, add something else, and then reconstitute food stuffs to suit the current "thought" of the day.

And a simple question. How do insects, birds and wildlife know they're in a genetically modified field, before travelling int into another which the farmer (or his neighbour) has done everything to maintain as genetically free. Do insects and birds and wildlife read little notices telling them - "Beware - this is a genetically modified field (or paddock) - tread carefully! And who translates for them?

This is a serious problem. And I believe it has a bearing on the so-called "obesity" epidemic. Every morsel of food that we eat has been tampered with. Even, if we plant seeds ourselves, we don't know what contaminants have been fed into the soil in our backyard, and we don't know whether the seeds have come from genetically modified parents or not.

A lot of serious and intelligent discussion is required, by ordinary everyday people.

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