All the brouhaha over Mayor Bloomberg’s banning super-sized drinks in NYC–an idiotic concept from the get-go, both the drinks and the ban–reminds me of the 1950s when I was a child and cigarettes were advertised all over the television, even by doctors saying how this or that brand was better for you. My generation looks back on that and thinks how sad it was so many people became addicted to tobacco from which they suffered debilitating illnesses and even death. Many people don’t know that the tobacco companies gave soldiers in World War II free cigarettes which was thought to be humanitarian, but later recognized to be just a brilliant way to addict a whole generation. My spouse who was in the Air Guard during VietNam remembers that drill sargaents would say, “If you have ’em, smoke ’em,” at periodic breaks, but if you didn’t smoke they would have to do field stripping, i.e., pick up the litter. That sort of attitude turned a lot of young men into smokers. Nowadays even smokers will admit that cigarettes are bad for you.
My hope is that the young people of today will look back and shake their heads over the misinformation, the out-right lies and abuse, that created a generation who will die in large numbers of totally preventable illnesses directly related to HFSC, overly refined foodstuffs, and the dangerous proliferation of so-called fast food that is 90% junk, and the idea that we need to be eating most of our waking hours.
This Father’s Day weekend I’m thinking about my dad born in the early 1920s who is lean and very fit, always has been, and has primarily eaten the diet of his ancestors, American farmers since colonial times, with foods like saturated fats and lots of meat, with little sugar. No surprise, the obesity rate was constant for generations. In the 1960s the USDA influenced largely by agri-business, with congress hugely funded by lobbies from those industries, began promoting lower fat, higher grains and sugars, which have turned us into the fattest people on earth.
Dad’s generation were the smokers, he struggled with quitting himself, my father-in-law died of lung cancer after decades of smoking picked up in the war years. Now the baby-boomers and Generation X are victims of sugar-starch-artificial sweeteners and an eat-constantly mindset that didn’t exist before.
Let’s hope that the message gets out about all these poisonous foods and habits so that our grandchildren will not suffer from the same unnecessary health problems brought to us via ignorance and greed.
Yours about learning from generation to generation,
Nan aka Sugarbaby