Food as One Means to Connected Living

Some people joke about my firm stance against high fructose corn syrup and the proliferation of junk ingredients in food that accompany junk media, junk culture, and junk consciousness. These productions of deliberate unhealth, irrelevancy, and insanity are increasingly considered normal, and as a result more people consume them and reflect the junk that destroys their minds, health, and meaning of life.

It has always been clear to me that taking crude shortcuts result in compromising a system's integrity, whether that system is nutritional, mechanical, or some part of the social framework. Thus it came as no surprise to me when a recent article about high fructose corn syrup revealed that its inherent properties contribute to America's exploding rate of obesity and diabetes.

[Fructose] "appears to behave more like fat with respect to the hormones involved in body weight regulation," explains Peter Havel, associate professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis. "Fructose doesn't stimulate insulin secretion. It doesn't increase leptin production or suppress production of ghrelin. That suggests that consuming a lot of fructose, like consuming too much fat, could contribute to weight gain."

I have an infinite amount of disdain for producers (and consumers) of junk like soda, fruit juices that use high fructose corn syrup, and the entire line of junk food products that destroy people's health in exchange for corporate profits. Without exception, every one of these companies cripples any possibility of higher civilization because they cultivate human weakness through advertising and then exploit it for their own gain.

Part of the problem with capitalism is that it promotes the philosophically bankrupt idea of individualism, whereby people are said to be individuals devoid of any heritage, values, or connection to an eternal chain. This false, modern definition devalues people and encourages them to renounce their potential in order to pursue immediate material interests, such as a box of cookies, a sexy car, or some other promise of fulfillment that is completely detached from anything sensible and disconnected from their lives. Individualism also says that it's okay to use and compromise other individuals for personal benefit, so there is no moral reason not to encourage people to destroy themselves while paying for the privilege. It's not hard to see why this type of thinking is a cultural dead end.

Capitalism is individualistic, so it doesn't care about what happens in someone else's backyard. A company doesn't care if you get fat, get cancer, get poisoned by chemicals, or waste your life enslaved to stupidity. No one cares that your situation is compounded by blindness as a result of overexposure to media. Companies don't care about you and only want your money. They are completely unconcerned beyond their ability to manipulate you to become a customer.

The soda executive and cigarette executive both go home at the end of the day, pleased with their marketshares and unconcerned about the impact of their products. Why should they care what happens to others if people buy a product that makes them unhealthy?

After I studied nutrition many years ago, I came to view over 95% of the products in even the best grocery stores as harmful to me. Lately I have become even more fervently opposed to prepared foods. I recently began making my own breads, which although is more time consuming than visiting a bakery, results in superior quality and is not a mere economic transaction, but allows me to actively participate in maintaining the nutrition standards of the food I eat.

I also came to dislike prepared cuts of meat because they were just flesh in styrofoam and plastic wrap to hide the connection to the animal element. I started buying raw fish instead and learned how to clean, gut, and prepare them. Now I prepare a variety of my own cuts of meat, with a full understanding of how they are derived from the animal.

It is important to identify what is missing from the existence that we are given and to change that to reflect what we need. This is also why it is important to study our heritage and find truths that our ancestors knew -- perhaps some of them will be our truths as well.

You can overcome the lies, shame, and dishonor that resulted from the destruction of Indo-European tradition. Everything we need is within our grasp if we decide we want to awaken to reclaim what is ours.

March 13, 2003