Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Politics of Food

 
Much has been said and written about pharmaceutical companies and their tendency to fund  only research  that could fill their pockets, and make people totally dependent on their products ."The Pharmaceutical industry does not create cures, they create customers" (seen on FB). 


Food companies are not far behind. Moreover, the food industry exerts its influence to prevent publication of research that could directly affect its profits, such as serious scientific finds on ultra processed food (junk food, fast food).

I've recently read  about a biochemist at the Agriculture Faculty in Jerusalem, prof. Ephrat Oren, who tried to publish the results of a long- term research based  on rats and humans,  dealing with the effect of junk food on children's growth  (obesity and bone disorder mainly). 

It got rejected by all relevant publications. She suspected it had to do with 'politics of food', so she arranged a meeting with another scientist, prof. Robert Lustig of California university in USA,  known as an expert in 'food politics'. 

After checking her work for several weeks, he said to her - 'that's explosive material you have here'. (He was probably referring, among other things, to  her suggestions on the need to lay heavy taxes on ultra processed food, and put restrictions on ads. regarding that kind of food).

He advised her to try and rewrite the article, giving it some sort of  dry- facts 'facelift' .  She followed his advice;  the article  was accepted  and published at the end of 2020, in the prestigious 'Nature' medical journal under the subject of Bone Research.



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Politics in its various forms, is the source of much evil. Most of us people, know that, but seem to be quite helpless about it.

Parents could do a lot about ultra processed food, but they are too weak and too busy to resist buying for their kids sweet corn flakes for breakfast, pizza, hamburger for the rest of the day. And so, this kind of food stays triumphant and might definitely harm children's growth in ways we are not even aware of, until later in life.


 * - web pictures.



 

36 comments:

  1. Honestly, homemade is best. No telling what kind of fillers and what all they are doing to that highly processed food. Also I have to wonder what they are feeding the animals as well.

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    1. True. However, fast food is fast food whether prepared at home or bought at McDonald's.
      Moms can't resist the nagging of the kid and make him at home his favorites: fries, burgers,pizzas and the like.

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  2. Back when my children were growing up I thought I was doing a good job of feeding them. Now I know I could have done a lot better.

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    1. I'm sure many mothers feel like that.
      They are not to blame; there was no sufficient awareness. Nowadays, we know more about nutrition, processed food, etc..

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  3. We stopped eating so much of the 'boxed' foods when I became diabetic. If I want a flavored rice or noodle, I make it from scratch now. We eat more fruits, vegetables and salads too.

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    1. That's the right attitude!
      By teaching their children good eating habits,parents could prevent them from getting diabetics or other health issues at their age or in adulthood.

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  4. Politics seems to be everywhere.

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    1. Exactly; and it makes life tough and stressful.Even if you try to keep out of it, you still find yourself, unwillingly, in it.

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  5. Yes, Duta, I agree. Every once in a while when I am in a supermarket I realize that only a tiny percent of what is there out of all the isles is `natural` !!! Oh dear!! I think its like that with everything and is a reflection and even `warning` on how we need to navigate life with discernment. I do the same in the bookstore, how much there are books filled with well, what shall I say? to be kind, I will say, they are not nourishing to say the least!! Keeping simple, go right to the Bible section in the bookstore and the produce section in the supermarket , as well as the locally grown meats and fish as much as possible!!! Navigating the aisles with a Bible might be a good idea! Find the dates and figs and milk and milk and honey!! Well, just being giddy as I write and will leave it as that! Love and Blessings! Shabbat Shalom!❤️

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    1. Hi Shayndel. Navigating the aisles at the supermarket, ith a Bible, looking for milk , honey, dates and figs, sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid it's not practical nowadays.

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  6. PS `nourishing` is the word that I meant about the foods ( I think I wrote `natural` , but maybe `nourishing ` is better word in this case! Blessings! Thank you!)

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    1. Both words 'natural' and 'nourishing' are relevant.Thanks.
      Blessings to you too!
      Shabbath Shalom!

      Delete
  7. "Sweet corn flakes for breakfast, pizza, hamburger for the rest of the day" sounds appalling. Perhaos because I grew up before fast food outlets started, and because everyone I knew was kosher anyhow, it is hard to believe that families live off junk food. Don't people eat fruit, vegetables and salads any more?

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    1. People in general do eat fruit, veggies and salads, but on a much smaller scale, and in addition to the processed food which seems to be the main menu.

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  8. There is a lot of processed foods out there and a lot of obese kids. I think they probably go hand and hand together and then add in technology that has kids glued to the screen instead of outside playing. It doesn't bode well. I know I was amazed when I was typing medical reports of people young in their 50's with a long list of diagnoses and a long list of medications and in nursing homes. Got to think their diet had something to do with it.

    betty

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    1. Regarding your last sentence, I would sadly say that diet has a lot to do with the things seen by you both in daily life and in the medical reports you've typed.

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  9. Politics in the everything these days and a problem is that children do like junk food well most of them do.

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    1. Yes, children do like junk food; that's a fact. However, I believe that they can be "reeducated" to see the that it's not good for them, not now and not in the long run.

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  10. We have to selective about foods that we consume.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Duta.

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    1. Agree. It requires some effort, as it's not always possible depending on where you live, your age, prices, and other circumstances.

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  11. You are right that politics permeates every aspect of society and one has to be a skeptic every day. If we could claim one virtue in life, (and I doubt that we could!) it would be regarding food. We shop almost daily, buy fresh, only what we need, and eat everything we buy. We waste hardly anything. I am appalled when I see shoppers with an entire basked filled with processed food. Not only is it unhealthy it is exorbitantly expensive. Sadly, the people with the boxes of prepared foods are often accompanied by obese children who are probably already on a pathway to a life filled with health problems.

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    1. In my country, agriculture is not exactly at the top of the agenda, so we import a lot of food, especially fruit (grapes from South Africa,i.e). This has an impact on both price and freshness.
      Markets are also definitely not what they used to be.

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for your very kind comment. It has made my day.

      Delete
  13. Great post. Yes we are utterly manipulated in the name of profit for the few. It's quite scary if you think about it. It effects billions of people adversely. People are getting more aware but there is a long way to go. In some countries its worse then in others I have read somewhere that a bread in the US and NZ as well causes more bowel problems as a bread bought in Europe because of the ingredients used.

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    1. Thank you.
      Yes, 'manipulation' is the key word, and although there's much awareness nowadays, still "there is a long way to go". As for bread, I've even heard stories of addictive ingredients included in the dough.

      Delete
  14. there is a great deal of food insecurity in the US (and other places, I know) but I see no reason for it in a place of abundance. It increased tremendously in the past year but of course for some, the food they do get is not at all healthy. It's a worldwide dilemma.

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    1. Abundance is good; healthy abundance is even better.
      Anyway, the research of the israeli biochemist regards children, and a lot can be done about their nutrition, so that unlike their parents and grandparents they would not need appointments with the doctor.

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  15. Politics everywhere. i attended a school banquet once. The person in charge told me I should have received the top award, but it was all poliics and she hoped I understood, since I had won the award several years in a row. That's when I learned the value of awards and the definition of politics.

    We are all being manipulated by some entity in charge. Television commercials are ridiculous, and I am inclined to think people are followers.

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    1. You've got your real lesson on politics quite early, at that school banquet.
      Sadly,politics is present in every walk of life and it gets worse from decade to decade.

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  16. unfortunately nowadays this junk food taste so good... And kids love it...

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    1. That's correct. Both adults and kids are addicted to this kind of food. It's hard for adults to change their eating habits, but they must make an effort with regards to their children.

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  17. Politics runs through every aspect of our lives.

    Eating whole fresh foods should always be encouraged.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Hi Jan,
      You're right about both - politics and whole fresh food. Your blog contains great info on healthy food, and attracts many readers interested in that kind of information.

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  18. I think the basic, good foods fed to us when were were kids (those of my generation, anyway) will always be steps...miles.... ahead of all the processed, "fast" foods around these days...that weren't around when I was a kid.

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    1. ן think so too, but times change, and so do eating habits.Parents have to be on the alert if they wish to raise healthy kids.

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