Real scary stories

I was appropriately lounging in the lounge room this morning, having been woken up by Emma wanting to go to the toilet, drinking my coffee and half listening to the radio when The Food Chain started. This is a programme on the World Service which, obviously, talks about food. Normally, I’ll doze off through it given I’m usually not long awake but, this morning at least, I heard the whole half hour.

The title of this morning’s programme was Do We Need to Talk About Ultra-Processed Food? and was a real eye opener.

We’re not big fans of processed food in this house. At least I thought we weren’t. I’d failed to consider such things as cheese, butter, even the pickled herring we eat, are all processed. Mind you, these aren’t so called Ultra-Processed Foods (UPFs). In fact, the programme set out four separate classes of food. The natural, the slightly processed, the processed and the UPFs.

There’s an interesting Wikipedia entry regarding them here. These type of buzz word things are generally a bit ‘out there’ and if I mention them in polite conversation, I’m told I’m part of the lunatic fringe, however, the dangers of UPFs are becoming more mainstream.

According to various reports, UPFs can increase your risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes and similar but these things are not as bad as the way producers have brainwashed people into consuming so-called food which has no nutritional value at all. And food that is laced with addiction in order to get consumers coming back for more.

These same producers buy the cheapest ingredients then add an impressive array of chemical colouring and flavour enhancers in order to make it look and taste palatable. Then the products are sold at the cheapest purchase point in order to feed their market. According to the guy interviewed on The Food Chain, if they didn’t add the chemicals, no-one would eat the food because it looks disgusting and is tasteless. I’m surprised they don’t just sell the chemicals.

Obviously, the UPF market is the poorest; the ones who can’t afford to buy the raw ingredients to make, say a pasta sauce or mashed potato. The people who claim they don’t have time to make a meal that, from scratch, takes about 20 minutes. The ones who are no longer taught to cook or think for themselves.

Now, personally, I couldn’t care less what other people eat. What I do care about is the wholesale poisoning of poor people with food that isn’t, actually, food. I can almost hear Rousseau saying “Let them eat paint!

I used to wonder why people eat fake food. I still do, however, it’s clearer now. I think that people have been eating fake food and convinced they enjoy it for so long that they no longer have an appetite for real food. They prefer their fake food. Which is really sad.

Then, as if to push me further into the mire that is modern capitalism, I heard a news report today about a study in which placentas of American women were analysed and found to contain heaps of microplastics.

There’s already a raft of evidence to suggest that babies get a good dose of microplastics from using plastic feeding bottles but this new study claims they are getting them straight from what should be, their nutritional source, from the first place they develop and grow.

Are these microplastics leading to a generation of people who will have little or no immunity to the slightest of things? A generation of weaklings, pale and pathetic, hiding from the world for fear of the slightest contamination?

And it’s not just the placenta.

More work is being carried out on breast milk as well. This important source of nutrition and infant immunity is sure to be tainted and, of course, the food producers of, say powdered milk products, will say it’s better to feed the babies from a non-microplastic producing plastic bottle – which costs a little bit more than the other type and much cheaper than glass. Which is one of those wonderful ways that capitalism works: Cause the problem, then supply a resolution to the problem and make a lot of money from it which outweighs the money made from the original problem.

It all reminds me of the evil Dr Ancel Keys and his support of the sugar industry. Back in 1972, John Yudkin knew what sugar was doing to children and adults alike. He wrote a book, Pure, White and Deadly in which he highlighted the harm done by both sugar and the food producers who used it. Despite the warning, Ancel Keys, a man in a position of power in the American food industry, slammed the book meaning Yudkin was ignored, and the American sugar industry flourished for many years. And, in fact, still is. The only difference between then and now is that we should know better.

But we don’t.

Why are people in the thrall of big corporations? Why are they convinced to eat and drink things that are, actually, slowly killing them? Who knows? Certainly not me.

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