Chemical Consumerism

chemical consumerismAn expanding medical establishment is faced with a generally healthy population in the West so medical consumerism is on the increase. Medicine is an increasing part of our economy, with many normal processes such as childhood excitability, puberty, ageing or menopause are becoming medicalised and subject to treatment by pharmaceutical drugs being a normal ‘over the counter’ purchase in our shopping.

Medical consumerism, like ordinary consumerism, is designed to be unsatisfying. Doctors and many consumers are locked within a fantasy that everyone has something wrong with them that can be ‘cured’ by medical means, treating trivial complaints with fancy procedures. This is partly based on the medical successes of the 1930’s and 40’s and has led to inflated expectations that are basically unfulfillable. The ‘silver bullet’ approach to modern disease is an anachronism (see ‘the-power-of-immunity‘).

However pharmaceutical companies are quick on the uptake and always on the lookout for profit. They have already bought in to the consumer led craze for pill popping and convenience chemicals and surgery. They have a vested interest in developing expensive synthetic products or processes for us to buy, over easily found and more natural treatments, especially if they are ‘free’.

Any supermarket now stocks a whole range of medical treatments for a variety of minor afflictions. It is an interesting experience to view how many products on sale in a supermarket are of chemical origin. Think back even only ten years and there were far fewer products of synthetic origin. Every synthetic drug or chemical has side effects and these are contributing to the development of toxic overload in our bodies that stress our immune systems and prepare us for serious illness. And the ‘cures’ for these dis-eases? They come from the same pharmaceutical industries. It’s just like the glazier who sent his young son out smashing windows.

For example most non-organically farmed animals are routinely treated with antibiotics. A high-yielding cow might be killed off after three lactations, whereas in a less intensive farming practice she might still be in her prime. The quality of life these ‘cow units on a production line’ can actually be tasted in the foodstuffs they supply. Try it yourself – get some fresh organic milk and some farmed milk and just taste the difference!

The drive to cut corners and costs in food mass production means antibiotics are used routinely on animals and crops are often covered in pesticides. Research presented by the Soil Association shows a 60% increase in Tylosin given to pigs in their feed, creating resistance to front-line antibiotics given to humans. Similarly with Enroflaxin routinely put in the drinking water of farmed chickens.

Nicarbazin is another chemical shown to cause birth defects and hormonal imbalance in animals. It is used in chicken feed and levels up to 20 times the legally permitted level have been found in about 10% of chicken livers.

Total farm antibiotic use has increased by 11% in 3 years when it was supposed to fall. Most farm animals in UK are still given antibiotics in feed on a daily basis. In Britain over 3 times the weight of antibiotics is fed to each pig compared with Denmark.

Unheard of chemical exist in our foodstuffs: Acrylamide is a toxin linked to cancer and nerve damage that is present in many foods in Britain – cakes, chips, crisps, biscuits and bread, in amounts that may cause long-term damage.

Iprodione is a suspected carcinogen and suspected groundwater contaminant and hormone disrupter that is in food including carrots.

Aldicarb is used on potatoes and described by the World Health Organisation as ‘highly toxic’. Around 25,000 tons of pesticide is applied to UK
crops every year. Almost half of UK fruit and vegetables contain pesticide residues.

The most dangerous, such as organophosphates, have been linked with cancer, foetal abnormalities, chronic fatigue syndrome in some children and Parkinson’s disease.

Many of these manufactured, synthetic chemicals fail to break down and actually accumulate in organic life forms. For example organochlorines such as those found in solvents, propellants, coolants and many forms of packaging (including food) are concentrating in the food chain. These chemicals accumulate in life forms such as plankton.

As a result fish have been found with 159,000 times greater concentration of some organochlorines than are found in the water they inhabit. Accumulation of these poisons have been found at 3 billion times the background rate in polar bears.

Inuit Indians living far from traditional industry have been found with phenomenal amounts of chlorine derivatives in their body tissues. These organochlorines are passed to their children during pregnancy and in mother’s milk.

When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in US carried out a random survey of the average diet of American children.They found 66 known carcinogens (cancer causing substances) in an average child’s diet. In amongst all those toxins we consume are some really dangerous ones. Lots of chemicals are used in our homes, in food production and agriculture. Current testing procedures can only detect about 40% of known chemicals and only a hundredth of the foods you will find on a supermarket shelf in the UK have been tested for chemicals.

Our manufacturing industries produce much de-natured food, grown on increasingly de-mineralised soils. Important minerals in the soil of many farms are depleted and are replaced by chemically engineered growth aids. This leads to low mineral levels in non-organic foods.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…

Medical Methodology

alternative v complementary medicineAlthough orthodox medicine is slowly letting in complementary therapies, there are still important, but alternative ways, of looking at modern disease that are  incompatible with existing scientific medical models in medicine.

Right now we are stuck between two worlds. In one, the world of medical science tells us that such and such is not proven and therefore not a valid treatment. In the other world of alternative medical models, many things are possible and although they are not proven by medical science – they often work. Mixing medical science with alternative philosophies,  for example Chinese medicine or acupuncture, makes any research difficult. Due to the complexity of Chinese herbal mixtures and the different philosophy of Chinese medicine, tests for the compatibility of orthodox Western treatments with Chinese medicine are only just beginning.

For example, researching the effects of chemical drugs in a ‘Western way’ on the Chinese population involves double-blind testing, with a test group receiving a placebo. This method of testing doesn’t work because Chinese people will naturally search out all possible treatments for a cure, including their local herbalist and this invalidates the research.

Practitioners claim that double-blind testing is not easily conducted on many aspects of Chinese medicine. Giving one group of patients a placebo is morally questionable because the Chinese medical philosophy values treatment of the sick over scientific detachment.

They ask if any medical practitioner can be justified in giving a sick patient a bogus treatment. China is behind the West in state-of-the-art chemical drug therapy but their philosophy of medicine is one that has stood the test of time more than any other, and one that values natural sources of medicine over synthetic. It is also a philosophy that treats the person rather than the illness. Eastern medical systems such as Ayurvedic or Tibetan medicine hold similar difficulties for the methodologies of western reductionism.

Little medical research exists on simultaneous, multiple treatments at levels tuned to the individual patient because it is impossible to test the validity and reliability of these using current medical scientific research methodology.

Despite the extremely rigorous testing of controlled drugs, once they are approved, doctors can prescribe them for any purpose they deem fit. This unapproved use of the drug is known as ‘off label’ use, and it happens frequently. Estimates show that as much as 60% of drugs prescribed by doctors in the US, a staggering billion prescriptions a year are for off label uses. This means that highly potent drugs are being dispensed with no more proof for their efficacy than exists for an alternative remedy.

wizcov800optIn a world going toxic, you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to protect your very being, increase your immunity to modern disease and limit harm to our planet. With WildFood Wizard you enter a place of nutrition, of living lightly on the earth and enjoying radiant health. By bringing more of nature’s healing gifts into your life you will find a quiet joy, feelings of belonging, links with natural seasons and cycles – and nature wants you back.

We all know time is running out for our culture on planet earth. You can help by taking a step into a healthy relationship with the natural world around you. Start the journey back to nature with WildFood Wizard, available in hardback, paperback and for the Kindle. Just click the cover image to find out more…