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The Terrible Tangle of Food, Health, and the Economy, and How to Break Free
I’m going through an interesting shift right now that I want to share with you because I am coming out of an industrial orientation with this subject and into lifeliness.
I have had a lifelong struggle with overweight with this body. I was born chubby and just got more plump as a child, eating the standard industrial food of the time. My mother didn’t know how to cook at all, and my father cooked what he enjoyed eating. My father was overweight and my mother gained weight and I gained weight.
This alternated with trying various weight loss diets of all sorts, which resulted in losing some weight but did nothing to re-orient me to a different way of eating or a new understanding about food, so I would just go back to eating whatever I wanted to eat and gain the weight back, plus more. This is the cycle for millions of people in the world today, particularly women.
It seems that in our modern industrial culture, food is considered something to be enjoyed rather than something that nourishes our body.
The industrial food system wants you to buy their industrial food products, including chips and cookies and candies and sodas and fast food. This is all based on two things:
1. profit for industrial businesses and
2. an earlier scientific view that thought all bodies need are calories and all calories are the same.
In that earlier scientific view it didn’t matter if those calories came from kale or a candy bar, a calorie was a calorie and because all foods are simply calories, all foods are the same. From this viewpoint we could all live happily on industrial potato chips and soda and we would all be fine. Indeed, industrial food products contain plenty of calories and not much nutrition.
Well, our bodies might be alive on calories alone, but not for long, and not in very good condition. We then learned that we need nutrition offered by various foods. When we didn’t eat that nutrition, our bodies became ill and needed medical attention, and when we do eat the nutrition, our bodies grow correctly and maintain themselves with good health.
The underlying problem here with food is that we live in an industrial world that is designed around the economy. The statistics for success in our modern industrial world are things like Gross Domestic Product and Consumer Spending (officially known as Personal Consumption Expenditures or PCE). And so a good indicator for our country is more products produced and more products sold. That includes food products.
If our goal as a nation is to increase production and spending, then the ideal is to produce food products and medical products, all of which need to be purchased by consumers. So it just makes sense economically to produce inferior food products that result in poor health that result in needing to purchase medical products and services.
I’m not saying this is a conspiracy here. But it is the current industrial economic system that we have today.
So here I am with a body that is 65 years old.
I have been eating a food system most of my life that is designed around bolstering the economy and not my health. But wait, I have been doing a lot of things to try to eat in a healthy way. I don’t eat fast food, I stopped eating packaged foods with additives decades ago, I’ve been eating organic food for years, but that wasn’t enough.
For the past twenty years, my body has been officially overweight and diabetic. My highest weight was 300 pounds and my blood sugar without insulin was more than 300.
And what I was given for this by the industrial medical system was low-carb diet and drugs. The low-carb diet did not control my blood sugar, in fact, it just became worse and worse until I was labeled a “brittle diabetic.” My primary provider doctor sent me to an endocrinologist last year who wanted to up my insulin to get my blood sugar down to normal. This meant switching to a higher potency insulin so I could take 100+ units of insulin every day in a 50-unit syringe. I declined.
The cost of insulin is about $300 for 10ml vial.
Fortunately, I qualified for Affordable Care Act health insurance, and have had assistance paying for my healthcare and drugs. But now that I am 65, I no longer qualify for that and am forced into the Medicare program, which is not so affordable. Right now I am going through having to reorganize my entire healthcare funding. As far as I can tell, I will now have to pay six times what I was paying before just for basic insurance. And I have no choice. The government takes the premium out of my social security automatically.
Here’s the point.
I have been obtaining three vials of insulin through my insurance for about $30 a month co-pay. The retail price of those three vials is $950. $950 per month.
Fortunately, I was finally given a diet that is actually reducing my blood sugar. Larry is also taking insulin and on this diet he has now gotten his blood sugar to normal and has reduced his insulin by about 10%. My blood sugar finally dipped into normal range last week after twenty years of struggle with it. Larry’s blood sugar is now in normal range and he is reducing his insulin dose almost daily. Both Larry and I are on our way to getting off our insulin entirely. We are both losing weight.
This is a result of our changing our orientation to being good living organisms instead of good consumers. We’re eating actual plants and animals instead of plants and animals processed into food products. We are changing our actions to improve our health instead of buying drugs and medical services. In this regard we are being very poor industrial consumers. We’re not going along with the industrial system. But we are getting healthier and happier and more productive and aligned with all Life.
This is a big change for us because we are now eating food I prepare at home three meals a day. We do buy condiments and plain yogurt, but we’re not eating the “random food” we used to eat “for fun.” We’re not eating out several times a week. We’re not munching on our friend’s garlic fries while we talk with her. We just prepare and eat our fruits and vegetables and grains and beans. We love eating them and our weight and blood sugar is just going down, down, down.
This for me is just such a dramatic example of how industrialism impacts our quality of life as human beings and how a situation can be improved by reorientation to Life.
I had to share it with you.