Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Shop ‘Til You Drop

"You shop, we drop."  This is the slogan on Tesco’s vans and lorries (trucks).  It means that you do the shopping and they’ll deliver it to you.  However, this is a distortion of the old saying “Shop ‘til you drop” which means that you’re supposed to shop until you drop out of exhaustion, not that you drop off your packages to your house and then go along merrily full of energy.  Or even, shop ‘till you have a heart attack after seeing the bills and fall on your knees and collapse, might be considered a likely interpretation.  The van in the photo is more akin to the original meaning than what Tesco would have you believe.

This article is not about Tesco in particular though but about shopping in supermarkets in general.  Shop ‘til you drop takes on a whole new meaning looking at it from the perspective that what you’re likely to buy in a supermarket will cause you to drop out of the picture with a serious illness or even to drop dead in an untimely manner.  You may not believe me at first, but what I’ll explain here is that supermarkets are a system that is guaranteed to make you sick.

You are what you eat is another well known quip that is relevant here.  What you can buy in a supermarket that will become part of your body, part of you, takes form with three major categories:-

1.      food and drink that you ingest through your mouth;
2.     medications and supplements taken in various ways but mostly orally; and
3.     so-called beauty products and cleaning products that mostly get absorbed through the skin or by breathing.

Basically, the game plan is first you buy food which makes you sick.  You then need supplements and prescriptions to try to get healthy again.  In the meantime, you’re sold on a fake image of beauty and cleanliness and buy products that are full of chemicals to cover up, clean and groom but which also contribute to aging and deterioration.

Food and Drink

There’s no set diet for the average supermarket shopper and I couldn’t possibly review all 45,000 or so products sold in these mega stores.  For the record, in 1970 there were only about 7,800 items in the average supermarket in the US and 17,000 items in 1993, so you can see that the numbers have really shot up recently.  However, I’m not sure what these figures relate to because of the fact that supermarkets carry so much more today than they used to.  For example, there are countless numbers of types of prescriptions that may be on offer especially since the supermarket pharmacy will order in anything they don’t have on the shelf.  Of course, there are lots of household and fashion items too which is a relatively new supermarket shopping experience.

Besides the number of products skyrocketing, so have the number of chemicals in the products.  According to Felicity Lawrence in her book entitled, Not on the Label, What really goes into the food on your plate, there are from 300 to 500 chemicals in the bodies of most people who eat a Western diet which are likely to be endocrine disrupting substances.  She also points out that the market has been distorted in favour of the cheapest and unhealthiest products.  I discussed this in my article called What is Food? A Brief Legal Perspective by showing that the law caters to the lowest common denominator and does not protect the nutritional viability of food and drink.

As explained by Joanna Blythman in Shopped, the Shocking Power of British Supermarkets, supermarkets are only concerned with the cosmetic appearance of food which includes making sure the food does not rot (which means the less life in it, the better) and that it doesn’t cause immediate illness when consumed.  There are rules and regulations to ensure that products do not contain certain substances, of course, but only to the end that a medical condition cannot be blamed on the food stuff with evidence of a direct causal link.

There are some ingredients that show up in products throughout a supermarket.  Cheap, subsidised highly processed ingredients are jumbled about to make variations on a theme.  The main ones are wheat, sugar, salt, corn, and fats.  Wheat and sugar are controversial at the best of times and I’ve written two articles on why this is so: Sugar and Digestion, and Why No Sugar or Starch?  Salt is an important nutrient, but the processed type is very harmful to health.  The same goes for fats.  Most people now know that trans fats are harmful and there are many other processed fats out there that have varying negative effects on health.

I’d like to zoom in on one food category only, milk products.  Milk in supermarkets is truly deformed.  If you could see what it looks like on a molecular level as compared to raw milk, it would look like it’s been in a battlefield.  Since I published this article, I came across photographs that at least show the absence of life forms. The ones I share below show the rich texture of raw milk, in the first photograph compared to the sickly looking one of ultra-pasteurized homogenized milk magnified 4,200 times.  To see the rest, please go to an article on the Weston A Price Foundation website called Microphotography of Raw and Processed MilkThey definitely don't look like the same product!  One looks heavenly, the other looks like crap.  I'll let you decide which is which.

All milk products in the supermarket are processed, even Duchy Originals (Prince Charles’ organic non-homogenised milk).  All the milk is pasteurised and packaged in plastic.

The milk products are about 99% made from pasteurised milk with only a few cheeses in some supermarkets that are made from unpasteurised milk.

Pasteurising milk destroys the beneficial bacteria acidophilus, the Vitamins C, B12 and B6 and the digestive enzyme required to break down the protein in the milk.”

Caffeine and Alcohol
I won’t go into a sermon about these two poisons to the body but they are worth a mention.  There are big isles with lots of choices on how to artificially stimulate one with caffeinated products from teas and coffees to lots of chocolate concoctions.  The fact that many people are allergic to caffeine is not well known.

And then there is shelf after shelf of various types of alcoholic beverages free for anyone over the age of 18 to purchase.  I know lots of people don’t drink and many that do, do so very responsibly, but supermarkets make so much so accessible.  Meanwhile, alcohol causes a lot of problems.

§  In 2010, there were 160,181 prescription items for drugs for the treatment of alcohol dependency prescribed in primary care settings or NHS hospitals and dispensed in the community.
§  In 2010, 290 prescription items per 100,000 population were dispensed for alcohol dependency in England.

Of course, lots of crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol, but that is not directly related to the health theme of this article so I won’t dwell on it.

Medications and Supplements

You should get all the nutrition your body needs from the food you eat, but will find this impossible if you shop solely in supermarkets, even if you only go for the healthy options, which most folk don’t do.  Even stuff from the farm shops may not be up to scratch.  An expert recently claimed that food today is 80% less nutritious than what our grandparents ate.  That’s some claim!  So is it any wonder that people are finding more and more excuses to pop pills in an effort to feel good?

Then of course, there is the medical profession which is largely comprised of drug pushers.  I know it’s really hard at present and apologies to the ones who manage not to do this.  But for the most part, if you have a health issue, whether it is mental or physical, whether a small issue like an ear infection or a large one like having cancer, off you will go from the doctor with a piece of paper prescribing a chemical concoction called a medication (not drug – that word’s politically incorrect now).
I’d also like to mention that the same companies are involved in making food and drink products as those making medications and supplements, Nestlé being one of the biggest ones.  The medications and supplements are often included in food products.  Good examples are the formulas fed directly into the stomach, including ones for various conditions such as diabetes.  This just goes to show that these corporations (what I call the B’org of Food) view food and medicine as one!  What about you?

Beauty Products

Finally, here’s a brief word about the home care and personal care products on offer in supermarkets. They all contain loads of chemicals, including carcinogenic ones.  Many of them have formaldehyde in them, including soaps, shampoos and air fresheners.  A quick glance at any label will confirm this.  These chemicals are likely to get into your body by breathing them in and/or soaking in through the skin.

The advertising for these products is relentless with air-brushed manikin-like models telling us “we’re worth it”.  The day my worth is as little as a bottle of hair dye is the day I’ve been assimilated.  Not likely now.  HaHa.  That’s all for now.

By the way, staying healthy is not really that difficult even in today’s toxic world.  Just shop for Real Food and avoid products with chemicals you can’t pronounce.