Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27th, 2011 - Day 18 of 60

I honestly don't want to open a can of worms.  I don't like to foment discord in the ranks.  But what I like to do is ask questions.  I like to make people consider alternatives.  I want to get people to ask, "Why?"  We are a people who seem to love to follow someone with a good idea. We like to abdicate our own personal authority and give it to others.  It is so much easier. I mean, if it works for them, then why not?  I was brought up in an age that demanded we question authority.  We needed to examine the motives of people.  We needed to think it was alright to check the veracity of individuals.

The reason I do that is because my journey, even though it sprung from the fertile soil of radical change in the 60's and 70's, had many twists and turns.  While I was always the sympathetic liberal, a mixture of adult influences and my own nature led me down various roads.  I did this, mainly, because I really felt there was little guile in my own life.  And, until we actually learn lessons empirically, we have no other choice than to trust those around us for input.  Meaning, if you know in your heart you deal honestly with people and strive for their good, you assume everyone is like that.  But, as we learn by experience, we find things are never quite as easy as we imagine.  You don't know a fire is hot until you burn your hand.  You may believe you know it is hot, but until the flame touches your skin, you don't.  Once you do, you never forget it, do you? 

I don't want to go into a biography as that really isn't the point here.  But, again, one must write what they know.  Suffice it to say that I went through a massive loss of trust in my early life in all the main sectors of our culture (teachers and education, religious figures, adults, government and other authority figures, military, institutions, etc.).  Each catalyzing event peeled away a layer of blind trust in those institutions we are told from our youth are sound and trustworthy.  Each revelation and experience caused some distress, but that distress later gave way to a joyful understanding that this thing called "experience" really does work.  Each scar left later became a memento of a lesson learned.

This is not a post designed to challenge anyone's personal belief systems.  We are all free to make up our minds on our own.  My question is mainly, "How did you arrive at this belief system?"  Was your belief in a particular subject formed by experience?  Did it come into being by intellectual inquiry?  Did you establish your ideas based on the influence of others (teachers, adults, clergy, etc.)?  Peer pressure, advertising, authority, the state, your own mind: all have a role.

All this drivel to come to this:  How did your ideas, beliefs and practices regarding food come into being?  Now, I understand that food is a very personal, culture-driven and downright mystical thing.  Have you ever sat down and really wondered about why you eat what you eat?  Have you given consideration to the possibility that your food choices and not only wrong, but damned wrong?  When you put something into your mouth, do you ever question the need for it?  When you walk around a store, do you wonder how they come to offer the items you see on the shelves?

These are the sorts of things I wonder.  I wonder this because we all know something is terribly, terribly wrong with our world regarding food.  As an American I know that things are beyond insane when it comes to food.  We are in the midst of some of the most difficult economic times in our nation's and world's history.  Political revolution has sprung up all over the planet.  Things are difficult in many ways.  The good side of these things, if there can be such a thing, is that it gets people talking.  We give our opinion on all these subjects.  We may feel we have little control over these events, but we openly and candidly and passionately discuss them.  Still, when it comes to the very thing we have the most control over, putting things into our bodies, we balk.  We talk about what we like and what we shouldn't do, but we really don't discuss food policy.  We don't ask why things are even allowed to be sold.  We don't wonder how some things can even be called "food".  I liken this to the discussion of marijuana legalization.  Everyone has an opinion on one side or the other, and that is fine.  But I don't often hear people say that alcohol should be made a drug in the same category.  I don't hear many people saying that cigarettes should be given the same classification as marijuana.  It is documented proof that alcohol is killer of great proportions.  More people die due to alcohol in two weeks than we lost in the attacks of 9/11.  No outrage is offered.  For tobacco it is worse: every two and a half days.  Yet the government still allows the sale of tobacco.  If we really looked at how food and food choices influenced disease and death, where would that number fall?  It may be even higher than tobacco if obesity, heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and other potentially food-influenced issues were counted.  Where is the outrage?  Where is the outrage that it is hard to afford quality organic produce, yet farmers get subsidies to grow "food" to make ethanol?
In the end, not asking questions can lead to dire consequences, be they war and death or poor food choices and sickness.  Thinking is still allowed.  We all need to do it.  Think, wonder, ask, ponder, investigate and research.  One way to do all this better is to keep on with the Reboot!  Nothing will clear your head any better than that.  Nothing will give you the experience you need to understand that maybe we've been sold a bill of goods.

More on this later.

I am 30% through the 60 days.

Weight:  154.1 lbs.

Food: Fruit/Veg Smoothie With Hemp Seed
Just did four again today, so only one picture.

Bonus Photo:
Picked this A.M. 1 in my smoothie.


  1. Another thought-provoking post, one which stirred up, for me, more thoughts than I have time to expand on at the moment.

    One train of thought I will follow briefly is that yes, where is the outrage about alcohol? We hear in the media over and over that it's "healthy" to have a drink or two a day (every day! I myself would be a bit if a drunkard on two drinks each and every night but that's another story) when really, its health benefits are largely due to its blood-thinning effects, which is "healthy" for people who are sludging their blood with their diets, I guess, but why not stop the sludging?

    I have seen one person close to me die as a direct result of alcohol abuse and it was the ugliest death I've ever seen. I think I've had maybe 6 drinks in the three years since, it struck me that hard.

    And now I am watching this same person's brother on this same road with its inevitable end, and as if that weren't enough for one family, he recently cremated his 3-yo son who killed himself after a long struggle with alcohol and drug addiction.

    Sorry, this is getting long and self-righteous but I contrast all of this with my monthly book club meetings where everyone is drinking wine (which is fine, not a problem) and giving me puzzled looks about why I choose not to and actually trying to convince me to (flashbacks to college frat parties?), although with the middle-aged twist of, "It's good for your heart! Healthy!"

    These paradoxes bother me, simmer underneath my day-to-day life and then you ask where the outrage is and it all bubbles forth...

  2. Oops!! Typo! His son was 30, not 3!!

  3. Actually if you look at history there has been a great deal of outrage over alcohol abuse in the not too distant past and most of us have learned that prohibition did not work out so well. The real answer is personal responsibility, not government control. Sadly, in todays day and age discussions on personal responsibility have been looked on badly and those who openly speak out against government control being offered up as the answer to any given woe, are often intellectually bullied or even driven right out of their career, depending on what field they work in. Luckily all that is beginning to change. People are waking up to the necessity of those discussion over the last couple of years and finding their voices. And right along side of that lovely change, we still have the benefits of the understanding and compassion of things that have arisen such as Alcoholics Anonymous, those few really good charities, etc.