Sitting in a land far, far away viewing the goings on of the world and the capitalist West that I once lived in, I stopped for a moment this morning and had a thought, “With diseases and cancers on the rise, and with advanced medical findings and cures being discovered every day – what the fuck is really going on with our health and wellbeing?”
The assumption would be, well in my head, that as we evolve and learn more about the world, our health and us as a species, we would understand more and have systems in place to support our health and well-being in a sustainable way, right? It would appear not so and there is a bigger game playing out right in front of our eyes. It would appear not so. Or is there a bigger game playing out right in front of our eyes?
Shocking health statistics – A wake-up call?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states in their Fact Sheet (The top 10 causes of death – January 2017) that Ischemic heart disease and stroke are the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. And chronic obstructive pulmonary disease claimed 3.2 million lives in 2015, while lung cancer (along with trachea and bronchus cancers) caused 1.7 million deaths. Diabetes killed 1.6 million people in 2015, up from less than 1 million in 2000.
The WHO, also states in their February 2017 Cancer Fact Sheet that cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is expected to rise 70%, yes that is 70%, in the next two decades!
Now that’s a holy fuck moment right there! It is interesting to also read the five leading behavioral and dietary risks from the WHO are: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.
The economics impact!
Then there is the economic impact or for some, the windfall of cancer being significant and increasing. The total annual economic cost of cancer in 2010 was estimated at approximately US$ 1.16 trillion, states Stewart BW, Wild CP, editors. World cancer report 2014. Unfortunately, these are the only ‘current’ figures I could find on the total cost of cancer yet, it’s alarming nevertheless and the figure is equivalent to the GDP of Indonesia in 2016 – 15th in the world.
So, the million or trillion-dollar question is – are our health and wellbeing marked purely on a profit and loss spreadsheet of the western corporations and governments?
Now, I am no doctor nor am I a medical professional, yet, doing some basic research and listening to the people with knowledge of our food industry, scared the shit out of me.
Our evolution as a species has clearly been affected by the industrial revolution – which may well be seen by future historians as the beginning of the downfall of our collective health and wellbeing.
Meaning, the age of processed and factory was born, our foods changed and became an industry within itself – processed foods for profit!
Waste not, want not.
Plus, we can’t forget the industrial revolution’s by-product, toxic waste – yep that good old chestnut! It’s now within us, underneath us and above us in the form of Dioxins. Doesn’t sound like such a scary word – right? Well, think again, it’s not scary, it’s fucking horrific and may be affecting us all more than we know.
Ok, back to the WHO we go for their Fact Sheet (October 2016) Dioxins and their effects on human health and this is where it all starts to make sense.
Dioxins are a group of chemically related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs). Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals. Yep in animals, which we eat a lot of, well most of us – getting alarmed?
The WHO states that more than 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish.
I love this bit, “Many national authorities have ‘programs’ in place to monitor the food supply”. Many? Why not all and why not tightly regulated? This is our source of nutrition that keeps us healthy and sustains our life!
This is the part that interests me the most and would suggest this may well be the core or starting point for what may example so many health and wellbeing issues. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and, also cause cancer – states the WHO. Which is followed up with – Due to the omnipresence of Dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not ‘expected’ to affect human health. Oh really?
The WHO also states, however, due to the highly toxic potential, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure. Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce the formation of Dioxins. Sound great right and remember this shit is slowly killing us all and they only are talking about strict controls to reduce now!
Money makes the world go around…
From what I can work out and my limited understanding is this – I assume Governments ‘regulate’ industries to protect the health and wellbeing of us, that’s you, me, our families, kids and the environment.
The industries ‘donate’ large sums of money to ensure their ‘particular’ Government and or Regulators are in power to ensure the regulations are healthy for the wellbeing of their industries. Hope that makes sense…
With the industries, governments, regulators and us all evolving rapidly and not to forget the increasingly fast pace of life these days – are we missing something in this mix? Remembering that heart disease, diabetes, auto-immune disease rates are on the rise and there is an expected 70% rise in cancer in the next one or two decades.
Healthy future for our kids…
We are what we eat and we are what we consume! Profit over people is only good for some until there are no people or environment left. We have the power to educate ourselves not just for ourselves, but also for the kids that do not know better, and for the future generations to come. We as people are only profitable when sick, not dead nor healthy. Food for thought!
We as people are only profitable when sick, not dead nor healthy. Food for thought!
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”