CHOLESTEROL, DIABETES, OBESITY AND THE SOIL

An increasing number of people are being affected by illnesses such as cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes as well as depression and anxiety. The scariest part about all this is that being diagnosed with any or all of these maladies is considered a normal thing nowadays. The epidemic has become so rampant that many of us expect to be diagnosed by the age of 40. Can you imagine that we actually expect it? Any fortunate person who is not diagnosed with these modern diseases is asked to explain how they have managed to escape them. This means the whole system has become rotten. The big question is what is causing all this havoc?

When an aging population is awaiting the onset of certain diet-related diseases, it is vital that we investigate the food chain to find out where the problem lies so we are able to rectify it and restore health before we are faced with a catastrophic result to our own failings.

Experts in the health sector parrot to us that it is our lifestyles. Yes, to some degree this is true. But I also consider this to be equal to blaming the victim. Myself, I used to blame the pharmaceutical giants in the past, accusing them of making a killing and in most cases literally. The way I see it, these medicines treat the symptoms but do not cure the illness. keeping the patients hooked on the drugs is their main aim. But pharmaceuticals are only part of the game or part of the food chain. The real culprits according to Daphne Miller, the author of a book, Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground Up (William Morrow & Company, 2016) are the agrochemical industries.

The Health of the Soil
She believes that these health epidemics are a by-product of industrial farming. If we change our farming method back to traditional farming, i.e. zero use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides on crops, then this would in return improve our health. When we use these poisonous chemicals to spray crops, this is damaging the soil. And “Today, from India to Indiana, huge swaths of land are unfarmable because fertilizers made from fossil fuels have so destroyed the soil.” The soil is an ecosystem and the worms and insects play an important role in enriching the soil. Our health is interrelated with the health of the soil.

Actually, these chemical fertilizers and pesticides come with labels warning us of the dangers to health unless we wear protective gear when spraying it on the crops. I can say from personal experience that direct exposure to chemical fertilizers can damage the skin just like bleach does. When we spray these chemicals on the plants and then eat those plants, would it not damage our bodies? We know for a fact that soil is being destroyed by the extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, how can we expect our foods to remain healthy and nutritious? Evidently, “nutrient-dense food could not come from nutrient-deficient soil.”

The book is an ideal starting point for understanding the basics of how the agrochemical industry is depriving the masses of good health and increasing poverty among farmers. It shows how those farmers who have returned to traditional farming methods have found it a more lucrative venture. Daphne has written some really insightful chapters like how those living in the cities can get involved in gardening and growing their own vegetables as well as explaining why ‘fresh milk’ is good for health. No doubt growing our own nutritional food is the healthiest option.

The truth is not all of us are choosing the healthiest options. Modern lifestyles have changed our food habits and we are consuming more meat than ever before. This is due to industrial farming. But, in there, hidden from public sights, practices are carried out that are harmful to public health. Daphne writes about how “cows fed protein from other animals would go mad ….and that mad cow disease is caused by prions— viruslike particles transmitted to cows when they are given commercial feed fortified with ground-up nervous tissue from other animals.” Sadly, consumers are paying with their health for these harmful practices. After reading this, I suddenly lost my appetite for beef steaks.

Traditionally, cattle grazed in the pastures. Nowadays, the cattle are kept indoors and fed grains, which is not their natural diet. This is damaging the health of the cattle. Evidently, methods used in industrial farming are damaging to human health and the rotten system needs to be defenestrated. Any use of agrochemicals in industrial farming should be declared as a crime against humanity.

Animals play an important part in enriching the soil while they graze in the pastures. What we do not often realise is how significant that is to human health, because the health of the soil affects human health. The soil’s ecosystem is exactly the same as the human biosystem, “a similar range for normal pH (6.0 to 7.5) as the human body.” As Daphne says every mineral and vitamin that is a building block in our own bodies is derived from the soil. In other words, we are not simply nourished by the soil, we are of the soil.

The Health Blame Game
The important question is where does the blame lie for our health problems? The most simplistic answer in my view is both, us and our local planning bodies. I blame local councils for allowing/creating ‘food deserts’ in urban areas. Food deserts can be defined as places where “you have to go twice as far from your house to get a piece of lettuce than a bag of chips.” These are the same areas with “the lowest life expectancy and the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.” Cheap unhealthy food from the take-away is creating a lot of business for the pharmaceutical industry and is a big burden on the NHS.

It also means we are partially to blame for our health problems. The reason is we forget a fundamental principle when it comes to food. This principle is related to the way our bodies were originally created by Allah. Lest we forget, we are intelligent beings and our real power, our real strength is our brain and not brawn. So it makes sense that when we are young our digestive system is strong because we lack the necessary knowledge and experience. When we get old, our bodies change and our digestive system changes too. After the age of 30, the body begins to store fats. We need to adapt. As we gain knowledge and experience we should make wiser decisions and change our food habits.

Strong

Weak

At a young age

Digestive System

Knowledge and Experience

At old age

Knowledge and Experience

Digestive System

What this means is we need to be flexible in our approach and change our habits as we get older. Although we should never eat junk foods at any age, however, as we reach a mature age, we should avoid unhealthy foods at all times, if we want to escape from any of the modern illnesses. We obviously need to educate ourselves about the needs of the body and how those needs change with age.

The End of Moderation
Personally speaking, one of the best statements I read in her book is the following; “to be healthy, you have to love the place where you live.” For me, this means to make the necessary changes in your surroundings, in your neighbourhood. It means to help turn your neighbourhood into one of the healthiest areas, to grow your own healthy vegetables. Then we can enjoy “a positive environment.”

Our problem is we have come to rely totally on industrial farming and the big retailers for our foods. There is no moderation left in our lives at the moment. To rebalance, we must spend some of our precious time and energies getting our hands dirty and grow our own little orchards. No matter how small that garden is, we need to start growing our own foods. We need to bring back moderation in our lives. As Daphne says, “urban farming offers preventive medicine for people of all ages, it is especially valuable for older adults. Gardeners over fifty were less likely to fall, be depressed, or develop dementia than nongardeners.”

I sometimes wonder, with so many campaign wars being launched on a regular basis by the governments, e.g. war on drugs, war on poverty. When will they launch, in the media, the war to tell the truth about the dangers posed to our health by the agrochemical industry? Probably never! That is why it is necessary that we as individuals change our eating habits and start to take control of the foods we eat. Our health demands foods that come from healthy soil. Our bodies are resilient and have huge potential for healing. We just need to stop feeding ourselves nutrient-deficient foods, so that we can start our journey towards restoring the mind.

You can read more about the harm of processed foods, in the following article:
HOW FOODS ARE DESTROYING HEALTH

 

 

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