I’d like you to take a minute and think about the people in your life – friends, family, colleagues.
Now think about how many of them are battling health issues.
Currently, in my immediate family I can list Dementia, Leukaemia, Parkinson’s Disease and Endometriosis.
And that’s just in my immediate family.
It’s not that we’re a family of disease-ridden bad blood, but rather that ill health is really that prevalent.
disease is skyrocketing
According to the WHO, the number of cancer deaths rose by 35% in the period 1985-1997 and global cancer rates are expected to increase 50% by 2020.
And it’s not just the big C, autism rates in the US have increased by an astounding 74% in the last four years.
Neurological diseases such as Alzheimers and PD are also on the rise. A 2007 study determined that nearly 1 out of every 1,000 people in the US has MS (a 50% increase since 1982) and 67 out of every 1,000 elderly Americans has Alzheimers.
I could go on. The stats for diabetes, strokes, heart disease and even celiac disease tell the same story.
The scariest thing to me is that few people actually question why we are rapidly becoming a terminally ill world.
When disease started rearing its ugly, painful head in our family, I remember saying to my brother in exasperation: “It feels like everyone is falling apart!”
He replied: “Well that’s what just happens as you get older.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. That’s just what happens?! REALLY?
Thankfully for the human race, he’s wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way.
But to determine the solution, we have to address the cause.
In my opinion, there are a number of culprits to blame for our declining health.
1. Food. Or rather the lack of it.
The majority of the developed world is regularly eating stuff that I hesitate to even call food. Highly processed garbage that is specifically formulated by food companies (who, needless to say, prioritise profits over your health) to sit on the shelf for longer, withstand lengthy journeys to the food store and trigger an addictive response in your body that keeps you coming back for more.
They achieve this by manipulating the sugar content, pumping it full of additives/preservatives/artificial flavourings (MSG, high fructose corn syrup and aspartame to name a few) and using the cheapest ingredients possible.
Bottom line: most people are not eating nourishing food and if we don’t feed our bodies the correct nutrients how can we expect them to build an immune system capable of fighting off disease?
Food is an issue in so many ways. Not only are we not eating enough good quality, real food but the produce that is available is usually subjected to a heavy dose of pesticides before it even gets to the table.
When Parkinson’s Disease first began appearing in the 1980s, scientists were able to directly connect the disease with exposure to herbicides. More recently Monsanto’s Roundup has been linked to PD and other associated neurological conditions. In fact, even low level pesticide exposure can lessen your cognitive abilities…scared yet? I know I am.
If you want to avoid pesticides, you’re best shunning the so-called ‘dirty dozen‘ and buying these organic if you can. The ones to watch are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines, grapes, sweet bell pepper, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collard greens.
3. Other Environmental Toxins
Let’s talk about cosmetics – one of the largest, but least regulated, industries out there.
Every day women, and men, slather themselves with a combination of the following: perfumes, aftershaves, soaps, lotions, make-up, deodourant, shampoo…and more.
That’s a pretty heavy toxic soup.
Many of those products contain phthalates – chemicals known to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system – and/or parabens which have been found in breast cancer tumours.
so what do we do?
There are many more issues that I’ve not covered here for lack of space – reliance on prescription drugs, the (in my opinion) complete corruption of the FDA, the role of the media in promoting unhealthy ‘bad science’ that says we should shun butter in favour of margarine (ugh, trans fats galore!) – it’s a topic that is pretty vast and my goal here was just to open the door for further reflection.
I get frustrated when people like my brother shrug their shoulders and accept that disease is just the way things are. It can’t be normal to watch the people you love suffer and deteriorate and I refuse to accept it as the status quo.
We have more power than we realise and it’s worth fighting back. Buy organic, stop buying cosmetics you don’t need, eat well. These are all things we can do and things we can encourage others to do.
This weekend is the March Against Monsanto – a series of rallies across the country drawing together everyone who’s sick and tired of having their food supply monkeyed around with without their consent.
I’m going, are you?
Weigh in: is there disease in your family? are you worried about the high prevalence of disease? do you buy organic?
This post was also shared at Party Wave Wednesday