“I have a foreboding of an America in my grandchildren’s time when acquired immune deficiency will not be just a disease of a minority, as it appeared to be in the 1980s, and not just a condition caused by a retrovirus. It will have slowly overtaken society. Through our grand experiment in living within the confines of technology and capitalism, we will have been exposed for too long to a mélange of assaults on our bodies—billions and billions of assaults on our billions of cells—nuclear testing fallout, toxic chemicals, processed food, legal and illegal drug side-effects, in addition to the psychological stress involved in just trying to survive in a predatory economic system. At some point, the chronically ill will outnumber the healthy, then a strain of a common pathogen will come along that is just a little more virulent than others. It will begin to kill the chronically ill at a frightening rate. With their majority, they will force the young and healthy to quarantine, to essentially stop living with the same prosperity and freedoms their elders enjoyed in their youth. Oblivious to the resentment this will cause, this terrified majority will also insist that the shrinking minority of the young and healthy continue to provide them with the goods and services they need.

This mad, lemming-like rush toward the cliff will be aided and abetted by the media, already long ago stripped of any substantive content and attuned to the lowest common denominator, replete with celebrations of ignorance and credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition.

No one representing the public interest will be able to even grasp the issues. The people will have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority. Clutching their crystals and nervously consulting their horoscopes, aping the slogans bleated out by the media, their critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what is true, they will slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”  

– the time traveling ghost of Carl Sagan

(For those who might not understand the intent here, I suppose I have to write a disclaimer. This passage is mashup and emulation of Carl Sagan’s writing in Demon Haunted World. See the link above for the source of inspiration.)

Review and Excerpt: Robert H. Lustig, Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine (Harper Collins, 2021), p. 1 (metabolic + diabolical = metabolical)

In his book Metabolical, Dr. Robert Lustig accuses the food industry of having created a public health catastrophe in recent decades. He claims that the food industry is just like a dealer of illegal drugs. The food industry has sold dangerous and addictive processed foods that have created a population now suffering from high levels of chronic diseases and early death. His advice is to reject processed foods and focus on two simple goals: eating foods which are good for the liver and foods which are good for developing healthy intestinal bacteria. Protect the liver and the gut. This is his simple principle for restoring public health, but he makes it clear that change will not be easy. There are enormous financial interests backing the status quo.

On the first page of his book he writes:

“We occasionally hear about E. coli in hamburger meat, Salmonella in eggs, Listeria in spinach, or even melamine in infant formula. A recall is announced, and the matter is forgotten. So our food is safe, right? But what if it acts more like a slow poison, like cigarettes—one won’t kill you, but ten thousand consumed over ten years might? Unlike Salmonella, you won’t be feeling the effects immediately. But eventually, you will feel it everywhere—in your heart, muscles, bladder, brain, and especially your wallet. What if this consumable poison is laced with additives that toy with your brain’s reward center, leading to addiction and needing ever more of it? Kind of like the pusher in the schoolyard who offers you your first toke for free, and then he has got you. And the bigger and the more chronic the dose, the quicker you die.

Let’s take it a step further: what if this poison doesn’t just kill you chronically, but sets you up to be susceptible to acute illness—say, a viral pandemic—that could kill you even quicker? What if the USDA and FDA are aware that this slow consumable poison is sold in grocery stores nationwide, and they allow it to be promoted heavily? What if the entire world is exposed to the same toxic and addictive consumable poison, and has now started to get sick, too?

And finally, what if this slow consumable poison looks like everything else in the store? How do you protect yourself?

This is not a Stephen King novel. It is real life, and it is happening now. This consumable poison is called processed food.”