We’re Not All on the Same Page

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By Ken Whitman, president of Peter Gillham’s Natural Vitality and the publisher of Organic Connections magazine
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A growing portion of the population gets it. They are trying to live healthier lives. They are eating a healthier diet—less quantity and more nutrition—as well as exercising and cutting back on sweet treats.

Needless to say, that’s good. But at the same time, there are others who are proactively making it harder for people to achieve a better level of health.

More pesticides are being used now than ever before. The supposed wonder pesticides aren’t doing their job and the chemical companies’ answer is to mix up more potent cocktails of poison to do the job.

Do these pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides simply vanish or do they find their way into the food we eat? If you’ve ever wondered, there’s an excellent searchable database at www.whatsonmyfood.org, where you can look up what carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and reproductive toxicants are present in your favorite foods.

If that isn’t enough of a toxic burden, livestock are being dosed with nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics per year (not to mention artificial hormones), and the regulatory doors are wide open to allow genetically modified biotech inventions and untested nanotechnology into our food supply with who knows what long-term consequences.

So it’s a good time to be in the natural products industry. The health food store is a safe haven from our toxic world. 

What perhaps is most important is that the health food store is based on a model of health and wellness. Most people agree that you (or at least your body) are what you eat. Ingesting food made with nontoxic and organic ingredients simply makes sense.

On the other hand, the conventional supermarket is based on cheap food and plenty of it. Big Agriculture and Big Food companies are not in the health food business. They are in the quantity business. The more processed the food is, the more money there is to be made. The fact that obesity, diabetes, allergies, and other serious health issues routinely result from consuming this industrial product is not something of major concern to these corporate players. Those byproducts are dealt with by Big Pharma and Big Healthcare, and you know how profitable those sectors are.

The “logic” of this system is escaping more and more people and they are, quite correctly, turning to natural products and the health food store.

It’s pretty clear that we’re not all on the same page. In fact, it’s becoming evident that we’re talking about different books altogether.

So, the good news in all this is that the natural products industry and the ethical rationale it represents is where our society is heading. We are indeed in the right place at the right time.

Ken Whitman is president of Peter Gillham’s Natural Vitality and the publisher of Organic Connections magazine.

posted 12/18/2010

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