You are what you eat
July 16 2001
“Quod me nutrit me destruit.” Latin tattooed on the stomach of Actress Angelina Jolia, “ What nourishes me destroys me.”
In the month of July when the dog days of summer kick in, most American families are out in their back patio, at the beach, or in the resort mountain, gathering around the barbecue grills to scarf down the huge amount of junk food…hot dogs, hamburgers, and drumsticks that animals were raised, processed, flavored, and packaged through the cruel and immoral practices of industrial ranching.
July is declared “Hot Dog Month” by the US meat industry and every summer Americans wash down more than 5 billion hot dogs with trillion gallons of soda.
On any given day in the US, one in four adult Americans visits a fast food restaurant like McDonald, Burger King, Taco Bells or Pizza Huts and greasy fat food has become a national dish that makes them obese, sick, and invalid in various form of diseases.
Particularly, obesity becomes normal among the young and the poor in dot-com America where one in four all Americans under the age nineteen and half of all poor black women are obese and overweight.
It was a received wisdom that Americans are perhaps most health, diet, and shape-conscious of any people in the history of the world and very sensitive to the treatment of animals. (Americans demonize Koreans often for their voracious appetite in canine food)
On the contrary, almost all Americans will be overweight within a few generations if obesity is left unchecked that causes diabetes followed by kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke.
As in an early 1900 novel “ Jungle”, Upton Sinclair described such a horrible condition in the meat packing industry in Chicago (Theodore Roosevelt, then-President, on hearing about it during his breakfast, threw sausages out of the window in the White House), the industrial ranching today for pigs, cows, and poultry farm inflicts an unimaginable and inhumane cruelties on the animals in the pursuit of profit and efficiency.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a quarter of the American population suffers a bout of food poisoning each year and about 200,000 people are sickened by a food borne disease every day.
In the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) study, 78 percent of the ground beef contained microbes, pathogenic bacterium, that are spread primarily by fecal material…that is, you are most likely to eat shit when you enjoy a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.
For many poor American consumers of the fast food, hot dogs or hamburgers are not a health hazard but a cheap, convenient and efficient intake of saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, and in corporate America, the only group that benefit from people being fat are the companies of clothes, food, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and HMO (Hospital Management Organization).
Obesity, particularly among the young and the poor, is epidemic in the inner-city communities where one of every four hamburgers are sold by McDonald’s, with the market formula that promotes gimmick of “supersizing”, Big MaC, Quarter Pounder, 42 ounce Coke with free refills, and supersize order of french fries.
It is well known that the fast food companies are targeting specifically children through playground, toys, videos, and movies, and kids always bring another customers, their parents or grandparents.
Now Burger King made contract with the school in Colorado to place an ad in the hallways and on the side of its school bus.
The junk food outlets thrive on the poor neighborhood where the indigents are in need of cheap meals for a quick bite before hurrying for their second job.
On the other hand, reports of cruelty to animals through improper livestock production and slaughter practices have reached its apex when the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) challenged McDonald’s, not so much for serving unhealthy and contaminated meat but for being party to a system of cruelty, and McDonald’s and Burger King agreed to buy meat only from suppliers who promise minimum humane treatment of livestock.
The three fast food giants, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Tricon Global Restaurants (the owner of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC) now operate about sixty thousands outlets worldwide with the enormous purchasing clout that influence heavily on the modus operandi of livestock farms, slaughterhouse, and meat packing factory.
The industrial handling of livestock in America smacks of the corporate culture in Wall Street…efficiency, centralization, uniformity, throughput, control, animal instinct on profit.
In hog farm, thousand pigs are crammed inside the barns living all day on slatted floors above piles of their own waste, discharging toxic ammonia.
According to the PETA video, workers smash pig’s head against the floor to kill them and the farm manager beat pigs to death with metal gate rods and hammers.
Until 1997, three-quarters of the cattle in America were fed with livestock waste, dead cats, and dogs, in which practice were responsible for a widespread outbreak of BSE, known as mad cow disease.
Chicken producers often withhold food from animals for days at a time to increase egg production.
Meanwhile, the United States now has the highest obesity rate of any industrialized nation in the world and obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of mortality in the US, that export its obesity along with Marlboro and Camel to the world through the companies like Philip Morris and McDonald’s, that is, globalization of fat junk food, obesity, a melange of diseases, and eventual death.
The junk food chains were always an avant-garde of American neo-colonialism in conjunction with Hollywood movies, pop songs, and blondie hair, changing the eating habit of native people, as if a bunch of Christian missionaries sneaked into the Asian and African nations on an espionage assignment in an early colonial era.
Instead of dispatching American GIs for gunship diplomacy, the US government actively engages in helping out US fast food corporations to obtain overseas franchise businesses.
As the foot-and-mouth disease in Europe is affecting the sales of hamburgers all across the continent, people around the world should seriously consider returning to their native food and, once and for all, shunning the invasion of junk food that harms and destroys the national health.
Choice is yours: you wanna be a 200-pound chubby boy or a 500-pound human gorilla that suffocates in ones own fat?
You wanna be dependent on insulin injections lifetime, end up in the CCU (Cardiac Care Unit) connected to a ganglia of life-supporting tubes, and succumb to an early death in an oversized coffin?
You decide, because stupid is what stupid does and you are what you eat.