Our strongest assets are our health and our brains. Healthy bodies and healthy brains make for active and aware citizens. Poisoned bodies and poisoned brains make for a disempowered population. The food and pharmaceutical industries are two of the largest industries in the world, worth billions, of which Nestle holds over $100 billion annual revenue, PepsiCo $66 billion, and Group Danoe (Dairy products) is worth $29 billion annually. The Pharmaceutical industry had annual revenue of $390 billion in 2003 which has now risen to $1057 billion annually as of 2014! The industries are doing well. These companies hold immense power over the diets of people worldwide, and they monopolise the information and research on health. One of their biggest marketing strategies is to claim nutritional and health benefits of their products. The dairy industry spends millions to fund “research” claiming benefits of dairy. Further, groups of scientists are employed to identify any upcoming research that may cause harm to their industries (Campbell & Campbell, 2006). The largest companies have monopolised public information on nutrition, and on what medicine is ‘valid’.
These companies are making us very sick. Our current diet is not ‘natural’. In the Middle Ages, sugar was a rare luxury, and annual intake was near zero (Harari, 2014: 330), in the Western world we now each consume about 60kg of sugar a year. A century ago, we each ate around 25 kg of meat a year (Steel, 2009:5) and now we are each consuming 80-120 kg a year. The Western diet is high in sugar, fat, dairy, and meat, and significantly correlates with cancer and diabetes, as well as depression and anxiety, among many other illnesses. This is in stark contrast to Eastern cultures with a primarily plant-based diet and good health (Campbell & Campbell, 2006). Sugar dehydrates us, and gives us headaches, which we resolve by purchasing pain killers. Some sources have estimated that the cancer industry is worth $125 billion a year. With a profit margin of 42%, the pharmaceutical industry is making a lot of money off cancer, diabetes, depression, and our headaches. The world is run by money, and it is in the interests of the powerful, for you to be sick.
We are essentially paying companies to feed us food that is killing us, and then we are paying pharmaceutical companies (with ties to the food industry) to give us medicines to hide the symptoms of our poor diets. Not only are we paying and supporting these companies to weaken and slowly kill us, but we are also paying them to commit unthinkable pain and torture on animals through poor farming practices and extensive animal testing, as well as paying them to destroy our environment.
Remember, these corporations only have power because we are giving them our money.
We do not have to believe the things companies and their allies are telling us about what we need and how buying their product will help us. We can boycott the major companies and their products. If we want to be healthy, feel happy, and have brains that work, then we can change our diets. Our bodies need vegetables, fruit, and nuts to function. We can cut out processed foods, fat, and animal products, and keep our money and our health. We can go to vegetable markets and give our money to local growers and avoid the cost to the environment of importing vegetables from overseas. We can grow our own vegetables. We can eat almonds and drink water if we get headaches. The most important thing is to be aware that these companies exist, they work together, they regulate the information we have about food and medicine, and they profit billions of dollars off of us. Stay aware, question the information we are being given, think about what you’re eating and what you want to support, and empower yourself.
Campbell, T.C., & Campbell, T.M. (2006). The China Study: Startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health. Texas: Benbella.
Harari, Y.N. (2011). Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind. London: Harvill Secker.
Kenny, K. (2014). Sugar cut would hit average kiwi. Retrieved December 4, 2015, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9800045/Sugar-cut-would-hit-average-Kiwi
Luther, D. (2013). Making a killing with cancer. Retrieved 4 December 2015 from http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/making-a-killing-with-cancer-a-124-6-billion-dollar-industry-12092013
Regan, J. (2015). Not so sweet. Retrieved December 4, 2015, from http://bamboocorefitness.com/not-so-sweet-the-average-american-consumes-150-170-pounds-of-sugar-each-year/
Steel, C. (2009). Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. London: Vintage.
The Statistics Portal. (n.d). Leading 50 FMG Companies Worldwide. Retrieved December 4, 2015, from http://www.statista.com/statistics/260963/leading-fmcg-companies-worldwide-based-on-sales/
Thomas, J.P. (n.d). The Cancer Industry is too prosperous to allow a cure. Retrieved 4 December from http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/the-cancer-industry-is-too-prosperous-to-allow-a-cure/
Wellesley, L., Froggatt, A., & Happer, C. (2015). Changing Climate, changing diets. Retrieved 4 December 2015 from https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/changing-climate-changing-diets?gclid=CNTQlPDkwckCFQt_vQodGP4Olw
World Health Organisation. (n.d). Cancer mortality and morbility. Retrieved 4 December from http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/mortality_morbidity/cancer_text/en/