Before the Bubble
Humans have spent the vast portion of their time on earth as hunter-gatherers, not as farmers and especially not as industrialists. That’s why it is important to learn about our food legacy of hunting and gathering prior to the complete transformation our food supply over the last 100 years. We may have overrun our natural evolutionary speed of adaptation to food.
We now base our agrarian and industrial food strategy on corn, wheat and soybeans. These are the capital intensive crops that power lower food costs for us, and attract massive government subsidies each year. We feed these subsidized cheap crops to ourselves, our pets, our food animals, and are now seeking ways to fuel our cars with them. Capital intensive crops benefit greatly from money and economy of scale; costs go down. This strategy, however, has been accompanied by dramatic increase in chronic diseases like heart disease, vascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
We can either wait for more study of this, or to evolve over time and catch up with the massive change in food, or we can modify what we eat now to align our natural body mechanics and our hunter-gatherer past with today’s realities. Action now makes common sense.
If we rely on evolving to suit our new foods, there will be a lot of death and shortened lives as a result. That’s why the better choice is to see if we can “hunt and gather” good food now, in our present situation, from the huge variety of food available at the neighborhood supermarket.
Popping the Food Bubble will help you go “afield” to hunt and gather food that works for you. The foods you choose to eat can be the most powerful healing and health strategy you can adopt. That is, if you know what you are eating and why you should eat it.
The Food Bubble
To thrive in today’s world, we must realize that we are entering a period in human history that will eventually be called the Food Bubble.
We’ve recently experienced several “Bubbles”: the Housing Bubble, the Dot.Com Bubble, the various Wall Street Trading Bubbles. Each Bubble is a lesson in greed and profit followed by human suffering, sometimes widespread and drastic. Clever individuals make fortunes by getting out early, while the general public pays dearly for years after.
The Housing Bubble, which is perhaps still bursting now, created havoc from greed in the mortgage market at the hands of industry and government. Unfortunately, we are now counting on the same industry and government that produced the Bubble to work together to fix it.
We have also had a Tobacco Bubble in which a few tobacco companies made a lot of money marketing tobacco while denying the myriad health problems their product inflicted. Although tobacco companies were prosecuted, smoking was initially and continually made socially acceptable by industry and government efforts. Industry advertised smoking as sexy, and government delayed recognition of tobacco’s health threats for decades. Tobacco was finally directly linked to disease, but the Tobacco Bubble had a directly lethal aspect for years before then and will remain for years.
What does the future hold? Many signs show we are now building pressure toward a Food Bubble. It hasn’t happened yet, but the signs are everywhere. It started slowly at the beginning of the last century with the introduction of corn flake cereal in 1909 and Crisco in 1911, grain-based foods aimed at mass markets. Technology was at work again, this time by cheapening our food supply. Our government is busy aiding and abetting this for political reasons, not health concerns.
One hundred years on, we are now well into the pre-crash suffering phase of the Food Bubble. In the 1970s and 80s, cheap, plentiful, processed and manufactured food took over U.S. markets and those of many other countries. This cheap food began being marketed as modern, convenient, safe and tasty, and was aided by massive subsidies from rich governments.
This new model was based on cheap and readily available grains consumed as never before in human evolution. But as with the Housing and Tobacco Bubbles, some people get rich while others suffer. Food companies and chemical companies profit enormously from a greedy rush for the cheapest food in the world. Fortunes are made in the food industry by lowering price and increasing volume sold. At the same time, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and various mental disorders grow unabated at an alarming pace. So, like the food industry, the disease-treatment industry (AKA health care) is booming as health deteriorates from eating cheaper, less-healthy food. And yes, Wall Street is in on the act by financing these initiatives to cheapen food.
Massive food advertising today praises supermarket and fast foods, but also includes the demonizing of historically excellent and healthy human foods, such as animal protein, fruit sugar, saturated animal fats and even salt. Private interests exploit the government to assure the medical credibility of false information about food. Again, a classic Bubble strategy is at work.
It’s a matter of time until the public rises up against this offence, forces government to abandon its denial, and the Food Bubble comes crashing down by force, as all Bubbles have before it.
Are You a “Food Bubble” Yourself?
How are you going to sidestep the negative impacts of the Food Bubble? Are you already suffering its effects?
The supreme irony of the Food Bubble is that not only are sales and profit rates inflating, but your own body may be inflating as well. One trip to France will convince you that today’s U.S. citizens are showing signs of being inflatable. Obesity is the hallmark of U.S. tourists, when compared to, say, French or Japanese touring crowds. Alarmingly young American children show that this trend is not explainable by the usual excuses like stress, age, disease or genetics.
Some of the biggest Bubble makers are visible even now: McDonald’s and Monsanto. McDonald’s hasn’t even noticed the current monstrous recession. Monsanto’s stock chart looks suspiciously like a Bubble already. They make fertilizer for grains, insecticides for grain crops, and genetically modified and patented soybeans.
Clever folks are already benefiting from upswings in demand for cheaper food. An uninformed public is getting fatter and sicker. The news media rarely if ever reports on the food industry’s greed. You have to find this information yourself.
What’s the Big Deal?
Aren’t we much better off now? Stop into any McDonald’s or supermarket and you can buy a vast variety of food mostly ready to eat. And aren’t we healthier too? We’ve cut way back on cholesterol and saturated fats. We eat less meat, eggs and drink less milk. Everybody we know has eaten this way for years. With all these great advances, just look at us.
Yes, look at us:
• We comprise the fattest nation in the world.
• The U.S. incidence of obesity and diabetes is climbing so fast that our children are predicted to live a shorter lifespan than we do.
• Infertility is at an all-time high.
• The top three complaints to doctors are fatigue, depression, or unexplainable anxiety.
• We have three times the heart disease of the Philippines or Costa Rica, two countries that don’t share our market structure for food. They also consume much more animal protein, saturated fat (e.g., coconut oil), salt and fruit sugar than we do. Unlike Americans, they have not been taught that these are “bad” foods.
What About Science?
Independent scientists, those scientists who do not work for industry or the government, are almost impossible to find. Gilbert Ling, PhD, and Raymond Peat, PhD, for example, have brought some sanity to finding true nutritional research. They aren’t rich, but they are still with us. No credible scientist has ever said that corn, soy and wheat can replace good old-fashioned food. Ray Peat has written about this for over 35 years. We don’t hear his voice, though. We are so used to listening to talking heads on TV that we do not bring a critical ear to what we hear every day. Remember that American media is a mouthpiece for industry (where the money is), not for you.
That’s sad because the more traditionally correct science is enlightening: It shows that we have dramatically lowered our metabolism as a nation by eating mostly corn, soy and wheat. Put simply, we are no longer burning our food efficiently. For many people, this equates to weight gain, but for many others it also means fatigue, emotional ups and downs, poor memory, attention deficit disorder, constipation, bloating, water retention, insomnia and much more. Without the financial backing to research these findings, and as long as huge industrial/governmental resources are distributed to ignore facts in service to profit, most of us will only wake up when the Food Bubble finally bursts. This will be too late.
What Should We Do?
We can’t turn the clock back to before the Food Bubble. We can, however, use today’s tools to do better. We would like to invite you to try this as a serious effort for yourself in three ways:
1. Learn about effective nutrition from high-quality, high-integrity science, not from science funded by companies manipulating the Food Bubble. Quality science does not produce the answer first, then the science to back it up. The sequence is the opposite: Do the science; then discover the answer. This makes it very hard for large companies to fund science because reliable profit planning cannot be done when no one knows where the answers may be found in the end. Will any of the effort pay off? That can’t be known until the effort is expended to find out. This fits science, but not business. Fortunately, some of us have spent years of effort piecing together high-quality, classic science with practical daily eating. Consider the Popping the Food Bubble your initiation into effective nutrition based on sound science and the human legacy. Make it your business to manage your own health.
2. Start assessing your own situation more carefully. Take charge of your own health care, and let our disease treatment industry do their work only if you should ever fail or give up. Don’t expect people who make money off your sickness to help you avoid getting sick. Your health is up to you, your body is the most powerful healer you have, and it takes your diligent efforts to allow your body to work to your advantage. Feed your body good food to take care of your health. Silver bullets only worked for the Lone Ranger.
3. Add the Internet to your arsenal of learning tools. Modern life allows you to hunt and gather information that is invaluable, but perhaps not very well funded, and therefore not on television and radio or in the newspaper. It may just be on the Internet. Speaking of hunting and gathering, we can carefully hunt and gather food from the Internet as well: Small local farms often have websites. With Popping the Food Bubble, you’ll learn how to support and buy from people who grow and sell food directly through the Internet and your local farmer’s market, not from large companies who can afford to bring you food from heaven knows where.
Turn your body loose from history and today’s restraints of the Food Bubble. Start by adopting the principles from Popping the Food Bubble as part of your nutritional life. Learn to identify true human food. It will be your guide to better food, abundant food, affordable food, and food that will sustain your body for the long and productive life you deserve.