Health & Wellness: The New Buzz Phrase or Pipedream?

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How easy is it to achieve balance (spiritual, emotional, physical) and to attain ‘health and wellness’? If it is so easy, why aren’t more people healthy and well? Why aren’t they happy? More content with their lives? Taking less pharmaceuticals? The U.S. has soaring obesity rates, cardiovascular diseases (CAD, arteriosclerosis, etc), diabetes (and that western catch-all term ‘pre-diabetic syndrome’, which is just early stage diabetes), high cholesterol, etc. The list seems endless. So if achieving this balance (aka ‘health and wellness’) is so easy, then why is the U.S. the unhealthiest (and most un-well and unhappy) nation on the globe?

One good reason: damned good marketing by advertisers, hired by less-than-ethical food manufacturers. When I say ‘food manufacturers’, I refer to the companies that spit out processed food products and have the nerve to call them food. I’m talking about companies that think little or nothing of the inhumane treatment of animals that are no more than a commodity to be sold, chopped up, and [over-] consumed by the human population.

Not to mention the plethora of chemicals and drugs used to plump them up, grow them faster [like they’re plants], produce more milk, etc. Then there are all the chemicals and preservatives [like BHA, BHT] added to ‘food products’ to make them edible, palatable, and last forever on your shelf. They pile in other additives (allergens, endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, etc.) like MSG (aka ‘natural flavors’ on many labels), known for nasty side effects and allergic reactions. The finished product (which is not food, by any stretch of the imagination) is something that no longer resembles what once came from the land (if any of it came from there at all). I wonder how much of what’s in a box of, say, Hamburger Helper, actually comes from the land (trees, soil, edible plants [veggies, herbs, spices], animals, etc). And how long ago?

But I digress…

And the commercials that bombard our daily lives! Since tobacco and alcohol, two of America’s other vices, can no longer advertise on television (and other places), they are replaced by a montage of food commercials, designed to entice you to buy and eat, and eat, and eat, and eat… In one half hour sitcom, you’ll see about 7-8 commercials in each break – and the majority of those commercials are for those companies that spit out processed food products and want you to buy them in amounts only hoarders would (and do). And that’s what we’ve become: a nation of food hoarders (think Sam’s Club, Costco, etc.). Buy as much as you can at the cheapest prices (mind you, food quality goes down when prices go down) and store it away in your cupboard for some end-of-world rainy day, since the shelf-life of these ‘food products’ is probably longer than the half-life of plutonium (I don’t know this for sure but Twinkies have a 44-year shelf life, so think about it. And unlike fine wine, these foods don’t get better with age)…

To be continued…


One thought on “Health & Wellness: The New Buzz Phrase or Pipedream?

  1. I am an average american who is sometimes unhappy and admits to indulging in cheaper and unhealthy foods. I feel like I go to so many fast food places/ restaurants because it is so easily accessible and it just makes my life easier to stop and get some coffee and breakfast rather than getting up early, waking up, enjoying my morning and eating a good and healthy breakfast. I am at a point in my life where I want to make a positive change and I feel like all these things are constantly being thrown in my face to make life “Easier”….. but what is easier makes me lazy, more unhealthy and ultimately unhappy because i am so used to everything being so easily obtained that I am constantly looking for something more. I don’t wake up in time to make my own breakfast because I know that I can stop somewhere on the way to work and get something to drink/eat while I am commuting to my job. Reading this post just made me think that maybe rushing around isn’t worth it, that I need to get up and enjoy my morning, make my own damn food instead of going out and buying something and then I wouldn’t be such an unhappy person throughout my day, because instead of having someone else do something for me, I am doing it myself. Anyway thanks for making me think and unintentionally making me realize a lot of things about myself that maybe I already knew but just now put into perspective.

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