Everywhere we turn today we are bombarded with news about the current health care crisis in the United States. We are inundated with the negative aspects of our medical system on TV, the radio and newspapers. In Michael Moore’s docudrama “Sicko” our health care system is portrayed as a beast worse than the antichrist. Now I’ll be the first to admit that there are problems with our medical system. Let me highlight a couple. The US hospital system is ranked 37th in the world by the World Health Organization (WHO). More than half of the prescription drugs consumed in the world are consumed in the US. Hospitals are the third leading cause of death in the US.
With these and other facts taken into consideration I believe that we as individuals have the ability and the responsibility to correct the true crisis in America today which is self induced illness caused by the foods (I use the term loosely) we eat. We have turned over responsibility for our health to the doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and food manufacturers who are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We have followed them blindly into the abyss that is the health care crisis today. The good news is that there is a way out of the abyss, read on.
Let’s begin where the food begins. In the Garden of Eden God gave us fruit to eat which grew on trees and took nutrients from the dirt which God made us. Today, thanks to pollution, chemical fertilization, pesticides and poor crop rotation the dirt has been depleted of their nutrients. As a mater of fact the soil in the United States only has 15% of the nutrients it had in 1948. Farmers fertilize the crops with high nitrogen man made fertilizers that produce big beautiful plants, fruits and vegetables that have little if any nutritional value. For example a woman could get her daily requirement of vitamin A by eating two peaches in 1951, today she would have to eat 53.
Moving right along, let’s talk about harvest. Prior to the industrial revolution there where farms spread all across our nation and most everyone consumed fresh fruits and vegetables that where grown locally. Today there are fewer farms and the majority of fruits and vegetables are shipped great distances to be sold. This is the reason that farmers green harvest their crops, ensuring they don’t bruise during the shipping process. It also reduces the nutrients that make it into the food. Tomatoes are a good example; they are picked green so and when they arrive at the market they are sprayed with gas to turn them red. Tomatoes get no nutrients until the final stage of ripening.
Next stop: the supermarket. Some of the crops make it to the market without further depletion of their nutrients but many go through a processing plant where they are further stripped of nutrients. They are cooked, canned, frozen, salted, preserved
Then between the farm and the supermarket the little bit of nutritional value that the crops had are cooked or processed out of them to make them more convenient for us to prepare and eat.
That covers what has been taken out of our food let’s talk about what has been added to our food. Chemicals like MSG monosodium glutamate whose only function is to increase the sensitivity of our taste buds with the side effect of causing our pancreas to inject large quantities of insulin into our system simulating a sugar high that ends an hour later causing us to feel hungry again hence the old saying about being hungry an hour later after eating Chinese food. Then there are nitrites and nitrates, preservatives like BHT, all things that our bodies do not need and would normally get rid of but in today’s society we consume so much of the artificial and so little of the natural that our bodies stop working the way God designed them to work and we become ill and turn to the medical system for help.
Let me begin this subject by saying that if you ever see me laying on the road after being hit by a car please call an ambulance and have them take me to the emergency room. The US has the best trauma care in the world and I have a degree in Emergency Medical Technology so I know from first hand experence from both sides of the screening room. The weakness in the medical system comes in the area of wellness. We do not really have a health care system, we have a sick care system. My wife had to go to the ER a couple of years ago because of dehydration. When the nurse checking her in she asked if she was taking any prescription drugs and got prepared to type the onslaught, my wife told him no and he did a double take then told her that that was unusual. Four years ago I was 45 years old and taking Nexum for acid reflux and Celabrex for arthritis and I thought I was pretty healthy. What I have discovered is that I was pretty average and living in a box with a lot of other people. A box in which people believed that as you age you would get sick and need to have drugs prescribed by doctors to keep you functioning. I saw a commercial the other day that exemplifies that box. It was a commercial for Nexum and the guy said “When I take Nexum I can eat the food I love.” The food I love was killing me and taking Nexum just masked the effect it did not remove it. Today like my wife I take no prescription drugs and have not taken any for over two years.
The health care industry needs to stop focusing on cures and start focusing on prevention.
Richard L Carlan