Thursday, March 02, 2006

What are we doing?

So here I am, doing my morning surf, and listening to CBC and it is an article about cancer. Now , the chances of getting cancer is 1 in 2. 50% . That is either me or my husband and two of my kids. That is my mother, who had breast cancer diagnosed three years ago, and is fine now. For the moment. That is my mother in law. Breast cancer 30+ years ago. That is my paternal grandmother. Breast cancer. That was Rick and Robbie. And Haifa, and Marilyn, and Liz S. Who else? And what is causing all of this? Nobody really knows. The best guess is that it is all of the crap that we eat and breath. The chemicals that are put in our food to keep them "fresh". The shit that "off gases" from the cheap building materials that go into today's houses, and mini home. I went to an "open house" for one of these locally built "Maple Leaf Homes" It is basically a modular mini home. House lego. You chose the pieces and they assemble the bricks on your property. Looked nice and clean, but I could smell the chemicals and I had a headache after 5 minutes. And these things are being marketed to young families. Look at the ingredients list on lots of "foods" in the grocery store. After a few that we know and can pronounce, there are many that are there to give whatever it is a shelf life of 18 months or more.What else are they doing? I would love to buy everything organic, but my grocery bill would rise to $1000 per month. I kid you not. I can't afford it. The money isn't there. So what do I do?

In North America, a chemical is considered innocent until proven guilty. Why are the food giants trying to kill us slowly? Oh, right. The same reason that the US is in Iraq. Money.

There are days that I dream of being omnipotent. I make my self large, look down on the world, and start squishing the greedy bastards that put money above life, humanity, morality. I squish them like mosquito's with my thumb.


Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Oh, damn, and I had written such a brilliant comment and Blogger had to go and eat it...I'll never reconstruct it again but here goes the basics.

I agree with you to a point Jackie about the need to dial down contamination of the food supply and our living environment. Don't get me started on the abuse of antibiotics in the food chain.

However, there's a lot more to the story than that and I think it's important to look at all sides of it. One of the reasons we see higher rates of cancer is that more of us are living long enough to develop the disease. A lot of the people who in previous generations would have died of infectious diseases are living long lives now thanks to the development of antibiotics. Another example is the reduction of maternal mortality rates which have declined precipitously over the last century. Those women who in my grandmother's time would have died in childbirth now live long enough to develop breast cancer. Oddly enough, one of the reasons cited (among many many factors) is a food additive -- the addition of Vitamen D to commerically processed milk is credited with a reduction in rickets which prior the 1920s was responsible for many girls/young women not developing properly formed pelvises.

I guess I just want to add that there's another side to the story -- no corporate giant made me medically obese. The connection between obesity and increased mortality in women from cancer is pretty well documented. Yet, as a society we become less and less active every year and fatter and fatter. I read the other day that in the United States (and I doubt we are that much farther behind), the kids are the first generation that can honestly not expect to have longer life spans than their parent's generation. Why? Obesity and all its attendant means of death. As a society, we are literally digging our graves and those of our children with the television remote and a knife and fork.

For those of you who don't know me, that is not a "fatty bashing" statement. It's a statement of fact from a woman who is medically classified as obese.

Liz said...

money is a great servant and a horrible master. who said that? not sure but it really is true.
even homegrown organic ain't organic if your neighbours aren't

ErLeCa said...

This is all food for thought. I myself am upset with the additives in food. I try to read labels carefully, but sometimes I just don't have the time or the patience for it. I will say that since I became vegetarian and my life started becoming more active, I've been feeling the best I've ever felt. I think the problem with cancer and obesity is a mixture of added chemicals and lifestyle.

jackie said...

Kate, I had never heard of the cancer-obesity link. I wonder if part of the link is because of the type of foods that people who are obese tend to eat. I don't know what your day to day diet is like, but I sometimes keep an eye on other people's carts while I am shopping in the grocery store. (yeah,yeah, I'm nosey that way) A lot of large people have a lot of crap in their carts. Pop, chips, processed foods, instant this that and the other thing. I know that all obese people are not that way because of food choices only, but a lot of them are. Skinny people eat crap too. I admit to buying coke and chips. But my one bag of Miss Vikki's jalepino chip shared among the 6 of us every two weeks can hardly compare to the dozen bags that some people take home. Maybe they were going to a party. I don't know.
Chemicals and pestisides are stored in fat. Think tests done on artic animals. I am not a scientist and no one can say for sure yet what the causes of cancer are. I do my best, grow some of our foods (as organically as I can), buy half an organic cow every fall ( it's actually quite a bit cheaper),and avoid foods that are processed to death. But my mom pretty much did the same.

One last word on fat. I always thought that it was a bit strange that people sued McDonalds and the like because eating there made them fat. I worked at rotten ronnies more than 20 years ago. Even back then there were "nutritional information" cards that were behind the counter should a customer ask about something silly like "how many calories are in a big mac, fries, and large pop" A sign on the "menu" stated that the information was avaliable. Cigarettes come with more warning labels than ever, and people still smoke. And now want to sue tobacco companies because they get sick. Duhh. Not to mention having the host of a private party be liable for their guests liquor consumption, should said guest get in an accident. I would like people to start taking responsibility for their own actions and choices. Just say, yeah, I fucked up and I shall pay the penality.

How did we come to this?

Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Well, in our house, the weight is about lack of activity. We're ALL too sedentary and that's where I'm trying to fix it.

Cancer-obesity link -- thought to possibly account for 25-30 percent of several cancers: colon, post menopausal breast, endometrial, kidney and esophagus, as well as gallbladder and pancreas to a lesser extent. For the "women" cancers, it's thought to be associated with higher estrogen levels in heavier women (fat produces estrogen), leading to increased growth in estrogen responsive tumours. Additionally, if I didn't need any more incentive to knock some of the beef off, breast cancer is detected later in heavier women than in lean women for obvious reasons. Women with the weight more heavily focussed on the abdomen are at higher risk than woman with fat deposits concentrated on the hips.

Bottom line for me - just no more excuses. Time to get things under control here in Marysville. Thanks for your post today. As I told Liz, you motivated me to get my fat ass onto that exercise bike!!!

Liz said...

We could all use a little more activity, a little less stress and a whole lot more leafy greens in this house!
And realistically, I should hope we can achieve that without losing it completely