Sunday, April 13, 2014
Everyone in the USA has heard of the FDA. For those that haven't heard of it, it is a federal agency better known as the Food and Drug Association. Like most other governmental agencies, the FDA is populated by a large number of people from myriad backgrounds. At its inception, I can believe that this agency was focused on helping and advocating for the general populace. I can believe that in its time this agency has done a lot to set standards that have improved the health and eating habits of many. Unfortunately, I can see what worked, even a few decades ago, is not viable in our current world.
Big corporations have learned how to purchase their own rules while also lobbying for legislature to create loopholes. I am not anticapitalist, but I am in favor of full disclosure of any information pertaining to the food I eat. When I read about GMO's, time-bomb foods, addictive additives, nutrient stripping, it does give me pause. All of those cheap foods are created using methods that make them empty. Yes, they are cheap by themselves, but one must still purchase all of the singular nutrients that were stripped out of the foods during processing. Are those foods really cheaper when you have to purchase all of the components separately?
The minimum standards set forth previously, while good as a stepping stone, have become a benchmark for measuring health. The minimum standards were set as a means to measure for everyone to know what was necessary to just get by in life. These standards are far below what is necessary for most people to live well or even to thrive or be active. That's right, there are minimum standards and then there are healthy standards. Unfortunately, healthy -- or maximum -- standards are not so easily quantified and we, as a society, are lazy.
Everything is based on calories and singular components. Why are we so focused on calories? We are starving ourselves of nutrients by worrying about the number of calories we eat. This calorie counting is only exacerbated by the fact that our foods have been processed down to the singular components listed as necessary by the FDA and then laden with sugar, salt, and artificial fat devoid of any nutritional content just to make those foods palatable.
I think about these points and realize that FDA approval no longer means, "Safe for consumption." Instead it means "According to these corporate sponsored studies, we are assuming this untested food is safe." I read about ingredients that are banned in other countries across the globe. I read about these same ingredients require warning labels in California. How can something be considered toxic in England or California but be safe according to the FDA. I despise over-legislation and rules for the sake of rules; but something tells me that the FDA is not going away any time soon. It would be wonderful if big business was removed from the equation. Let them pay for the studies by putting money into a lump account that funds all studies for the FDA, this way it becomes a true double blind study.
The more I read and learn, the more I just want to live on a farm and grow my own food.