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10 Corporations control almost everything you buy... I have wanted to see this for the longest time

Stashed in: Awesome, Nutrition!, Consumer Trends, Retail, IntarWeb Memes, Most Important Stash Ever, Food, That's not food., Illusion of Choice, Corporate Control

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There's an interesting diet that says you can eat anything that does not contain any brands in this chart.

The "no processed foods" diet.

By the way, there is also an illusion of choice in our processed media:

Thanks Adam, I suspected as much... re the media companies. Regarding the diet, that is just perfect - goes to show that the 'value' these companies are creating as the process these foods is $ value rather than nutrional value - but then again, they are there to serve the stock market, not the farmers market. I wonder how tight the correlations are between those company profits and healthcare costs - I suspect a strong correlation at the macro-level, but wondering at the micro-level if certain foods (or better yet, certain processing or additives) can be correlated against certain diseases.

That is very insightful: "they are there to serve the stock market, not the farmers market."

I would wager that increased healthcare costs correlate highly with processed foods.

I vaguely remember hearing a connection between processed sweeteners in particular and diseases.

Will stash some links about that if I run into them again.

Weston Price documented that correlation extensively throughout the world back in the day before these companies got really good at it:

"In 1939, he published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,[7] detailing his global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures. The book concludes that aspects of a modern Western diet (particularly flour, sugar, and modern processed vegetable fats) cause nutritional deficiencies that are a cause of many dental issues and health problems. The dental issues he observed include the proper development of the facial structure (to avoid overcrowding of the teeth) in addition to dental caries."

Wow, so it's been known for two generations that processed sweeteners cause disease.

Amazing that the sweetener industry is still thriving instead of being regulated like a drug.

By the way, it's also interesting that processed cleaners (Tide, Clorox, etc.) might also have significant health ramifications.

I've noticed an increased trend toward natural cleaning products such as...

I always wondered what 'clean' actually meant. If I was the manufacturer of Lysol or Clorox, I would be saying that clean means devoid of any lifeforms, hence if I were to use the product on a kitchen counter for example, it would 'kill all known germs'. However, would I be prepared to spray that in my mouth? Probably not. I did watch that episode of Shark Tank and saw the founder of Better Life spray his product into his mouth and was suitably impressed.

The human body is actually a carefully honed ecosystem ( with its own immunological response system (made up of our own cells and cells we host) that is able to handle a surprisingly large number of pathogens. Recent studies have shown that as we rid our environment of some of these bacterial allies, our resistance also falls. (

Going back to the business ecosystem above, our health is not really their prime concern, being able to market a product to us and generate revenue is their primary objective. But here's the rub - we may as consumers try to reject their products, but as shareholders in their operations, through our pension funds and portfolio investments, we are asking them to make more money. So they don't really have a choice. Same goes for child labor, workers rights, minimum wage - we consumer-shareholder-investors are sending a message to our supplier-investments that profit is the answer.

I went onto Expedia the other day to try and book a economy ticket to Utopia but they couldn't find the destination. So I am still here...

The consumer-shareholder-investor industrial complex is a scary one, because you're right that its feedback loops don't necessarily care what the societal impact will be if the other benefits are tangible.

I was impressed when the Better Life founder sprayed his product in his mouth, too.

But you make a good point about cleaners: You can't make something "clean" without making something else "dirty" unless there's a true symbiosis like how waste from humans is food for plants and vice versa.

You can't buy single tickets to paradise; they only come in pairs.

I just stashed this terrific NYTimes piece by Michael Pollan that talks in part about how processed foods are affecting our healthy gut flora and ruining our immune systems.

I like my diet like I like my women -- fresh, local, and in small portions.

Michael Pollen 7 food rules:

Pollan says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in seven words: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."

Probably the first two words are most important. "Eat food" means to eat real food -- vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and, yes, fish and meat -- and to avoid what Pollan calls "edible food-like substances."

Here's how:

  1. Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. "When you pick up that box of portable yogurt tubes, or eat something with 15 ingredients you can't pronounce, ask yourself, "What are those things doing there?" Pollan says.
  2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.
  3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. Real food tends to be on the outer edge of the store near the loading docks, where it can be replaced with fresh foods when it goes bad.
  4. Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot. "There are exceptions -- honey -- but as a rule, things like Twinkies that never go bad aren't food," Pollan says.
  5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. "Always leave the table a little hungry," Pollan says. "Many cultures have rules that you stop eating before you are full. In Japan, they say eat until you are four-fifths full. Islamic culture has a similar rule, and in German culture they say, 'Tie off the sack before it's full.'"
  6. Families traditionally ate together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition. Enjoy meals with the people you love. "Remember when eating between meals felt wrong?" Pollan asks.
  7. Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline. In the U.S., 20% of food is eaten in the car.

Thank you for that link, Chris!

This is one of the things I love best about living in Vancouver. We eat almost entirely local, organic food, and it's more affordable than processed foods in the US. So Adam, what do I have to do to get you to move here? We have kittehs!

U.S. citizens are allowed to live in Vancouver? Or would I have to become a Canadian citizen?

I did it, and still a US citizen. There are ways........

How long are you legally allowed to stay there? Or do you have to regularly return to the US?

It took about two years to get permanent resident status, so now I'm basically a citizen, just can't vote. I can stay here forevers. Just might.

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