The true implications of our unsustainable farming practices and the removal of a whole plant species from our medication and food supply chains are revealing themselves. Astronomical rates of inflammation-based conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer have decimated and caused unnecessary suffering for humanity. Rates of gastrointestinal issues continue to climb including diagnoses of IBS/IBD, leaky gut syndrome, GERD/ reflux issues, and more. The rates of autism in our children are worsening and are now estimated at 1 in every 54 births. Why is this happening, and how has this happened to us, the greatest country on Earth? It all comes down to multiple factors, but one main cause: our lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at these factors.
Commercial Farming Practices
Our farming practices are continuing to decimate the Earth’s ability to heal and replenish itself. Experts project that only 70 more years of sustainable crop production remain if we continue the same type of cultivation. Our food cultivation practices are set to feed the most people with the maximum amount of profits. Plants have been genetically modified (GMO) to resist disease and insects without thought to the implications on its nutritional value and on our health. Levels of essential fatty acids and other nutrients in our food are decreasing at alarming rates. On top of that, the government continues to approve and license pesticides and other chemicals for use on crops while continuing to subsidize soil stripping farming practices. These chemicals and heavy metals are absorbed into the plant (while contaminating the soil) and then are eaten by us or by animals (which we consume products from). We are only just beginning to understand the effects of this widespread poisoning of our food and planet.
SAD (Standard American Diet) and the American Lifestyle
Today’s society lives a fast-paced life with few stops allowed to “smell the roses.” As such, fast food has become a modern staple in our everyday lifestyle as the demands on our time only continue to increase. The demands from employment, family commitments, and our consumerism-based society allow little time for cooking. Many young people have not learned basic nutrition facts or cooking skills as home economics are no longer being taught. This forces many to reach for the convenience of fast food which is highly processed, laden with cholesterol and calories, and has little nutritional value. The fast food industry is booming, and it seems as if a McDonald’s restaurant is located on every street corner.
The U.S. Medical and Pharmaceutical Industries
The pharmaceutical industry in the United States holds us and our medical community hostage to its control and demands. We have become accustomed to “fixing” our health problems with a pill rather than curing the actual issue. This has led to the belief that we should “take a pill” for everything when this is actually not the case. Experts estimate that 90% of the chronic diseases we face in Western medicine are not helped with modern medicine, and 80% of the money we spend on pharmaceutical drugs is to treat some form of chronic illness. Read that again: 90% of chronic diseases are not helped with modern medications, and 80% of the money spent on pharmaceutical drugs is for these conditions! It is further estimated that 3 out of 4 of these people will then go on to die from an illness that could have been prevented. Western medicine is focused on managing disease symptoms, not preventing or curing the cause of the disease itself. We cannot successfully treat this epidemic by managing disease symptoms. Our focus on symptom management is contrary to medicine’s goal of preventing disease and prolonging life. Mainstream medicine used to be coined “heroic medicine” because it was used as a last resort when natural diet and herbal recourses failed. It has now evolved into a money-making monster chewing up and spitting out lucrative chronic disease Band-Aids and marginally-effective chemotherapy poisons. Plant-based medications are difficult to patent and therefore are not attractive to the pharmaceutical industry due to a lack of profitability. This absence of profitability has been behind our lack of research into plant-based, holistic healing. It is also behind the lack of industry support for proven, alternative medicine treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, functional medicine practice, and more.
With a pill to cover up symptoms rather than the inconvenience of changing our lifestyle and how we eat, we are now reaping what we have sown. Other countries are seeing similar problems as they follow this same SAD dietary trend.
Federal Prohibition of Cannabis and Hemp
The implications of the removal of a whole plant species from our medication and food supply chains by federal prohibition are revealing themselves. Our government continues to uphold the “opinion” that the cannabis plant has no medicinal value and should be federally illegal to have, use, or cultivate. This opinion is not supported by any of the scientific evidence that is now available. This ongoing refusal by government and mainstream medical authority groups only strengthens the idea that they are “being willfully ignorant or have something to lose” upon this admission. We have made some progress within Congress with the House voting to allow some industry concessions, but the Senate support continues to be an obstacle. Unfortunately, cannabis legalization has become a hotspot political issue and caught between the partisan fight for control in Congress. The Senate banking committee has held up one popular banking act aimed to help reduce the risk of a cash-only industry and increase the safety for everyday Americans seeking health relief. The recent lifting of prohibition for hemp cultivation in the United States is an exciting development and will hopefully help fill some of the nutritional gaps from within our meat production industry.
The total numbers of people suffering from inflammatory based and preventable health conditions are unacceptable and should sound as an alarm to those who have not yet seen the writing on the wall. Rapid change in the way we do things is necessary. We must learn to face these challenges head-on with the grit and determination for change that our forefathers were famous for. The same determination and grit that led to a revolution in freedom from tyranny over 200 years ago. Our adversary today is alarmingly different but no less conquerable.