The lifecycle of cattle raised for beef is approximately 12-24 months. It can make average consumers thankful we're human.  But, when it comes to food and nutrition, most of us aren't much different than the cattle herded into the slaughterhouse.  

The herd being led to the slaughter

Perhaps we can't actually realize what we put into our bodies as a "slaughter" per se', but it could be argued as a slow progression of a similar fate.  We allow manufacturers and their clever marketers to sell us on what's healthy and what's not, what's going to make us thinner, smarter and live longer. All the while, much of what the average American consumes actually either fails to live up to such claims or promotes the opposite effect. 

We believe our FDA is watchful for harmful practices, suggestions or products to the general public.  We pretty much relinquish our control for such careful considerations because we live in a society that is federally regulated, protected and free.  We should trust such a process.  But can we?  

Who is responsible for our health?

In general, this process, our laws and food source are considered safe.  This is recognized since most households purchase food without hesitation or careful research of each manufacturer, grower or retailer.  Households like yours and mine-

Really, when is the last time you researched that can of corn you put in your grocery cart?  Should you?

In order to be absolutely sure we are getting the best nutrition, we must remain in control of what we purchase, consume and promote.  Not only is every person's body unique, but study after study suggests food allergies and sensitivities are suspected inductions of many conditions and diseases. 

So, what does this mean?  Do we actually need to know about every item we consume?  Isn't that impossible? 

Maybe.  But, there are ways to protect you and your family from the foods we love, but that may not be good for us.

How can we protect ourselves from following the herd?

First, you must stop choosing foods on a whim.  Don't let catchy marketing, ads, social media hype or discounts influence your purchases.  Plan your weekly meals and items prior to shopping in order to be prepared and less likely to make impulse purchases.  Shop online if possible to further control reactive purchases and have immediate access to online information related to unfamiliar items you select.

Don't fall for "Healthy Alternatives", "Low Fat" & "Sugar Free" marketing slogans.  Instead, read the nutrition labels.  Know exactly what is in the food you eat.  Understand that food manufacturing is like any other big business.  Much of what we consume comes from a box, bag or similar packaging.  It is manufactured, processed and packaged in a plant or warehouse.  Most packages are designed to sell the product on the basis of it's major attribute(s).  

Take this out and put that in

If a product is low in sugar, it is possibly high in fat, calories or other unhealthy filler.  If it is low in fat, it is likely high in sodium or sugar.  Low in calories is often high in sodium.  The package isn't going to say, "Low in sodium!  But, not so good on calories."  So, buyer beware. 

The manufacturers are required to inform you about the complete facts on the nutrition label that happens to be on the back in much smaller print than the name and marketing slogan on the front.  They do this because they are counting on you to not read it.  Buyer beware.  Big business be makin' big money, not just food.

Know what to buy


Despite assuming fruits and vegetables are all created and prepared equally, start to recognize those that actually have minimal health benefits or may actually be harmful when consumed in large quantities. 

For instance, canned fruits have limited nutritional value and usually include high-fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to the contribution of diabetes, insulin resistance and obesity. 

One UK study as part of research noted in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found participants eating canned and frozen fruit suffered a 17% higher risk of death.  Death!  Eating fruit!

The cans themselves, which contain bisphenol A (BPA), have been linked to harmful effects. BPA is used to prevent aluminum from passing through to the fruit within the can, but the BPA itself is getting into the fruit it's meant to protect.  The chemical has been known to affect hormones and has been linked to breast cancer, metabolic disorders among other health problems.


But don't assume the fresh varieties are risk free.  Pesticides may also make fresh fruits and vegetables a problem too.  When buying fresh fruits and vegetables it's now recommended, those that do not have removable skins like that of onions, bananas and oranges, are safest in organic varieties. 

Sadly, in the case of fruits like apples, where the skin is thought to be the most nutritious part, if you seek the benefits of some fresh foods, organic is the only, though costly, way to go!


Packaged foods should have minimal contents and additives, as noted, on the "contents" section of the nutrition label.  Any food that has numerous contents that sound more like chemicals than food should be avoided.

The foods on sale are commonly less healthy, near expiration, cheaper foods that are designed to appeal to the thrifty buyer.  Be thrifty on clothes, cleaning supplies, household products, décor, but when it comes to your body, buy good nutrition

You wouldn't fuel your car with a fuel that decreased it's longevity or value, why would you ever fuel your body with food that has the word "junk" before it?  Not all sale foods are bad, just be very cautious and read the nutrition labels of these super hot deals.  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Diet drinks, no meat alternatives and low calorie food items seem like a great alternative to junk food, high fat meats and high calorie foods.  But, be cautious of the additives that make these foods low in calories and fat.  The additives and substitutes can be harmful to thyroid function and women's endocrine system, among other things. 

High caffeine can actually have an opposite effect when consumed in high quantities.  It can produce a significant feeling of low energy as the caffeine wears off and causes you to seek high sugar snacks to increase the effect of neurotransmitters in your brain.  Soon, you can become addicted to caffeine and sugar much like someone who craves cocaine and heroin since they all stimulate the same endorphins that cause a feeling of euphoria and high.  

What are some illnesses and conditions that have been linked to food?

  • Arthritis - Red meat, milk products, high preservative foods, shellfish, soda, sugar, carbs, tomatoes, sunflower, eggs, cheese & eggplants
  • Thyroid Disorder - Broccoli, Cauliflower, cabbage and most cruciferous vegetables (contain chemicals that hamper the normal function of the thyroid gland)
  • Diabetes - Sugar sweetened foods and beverages, white bread, pasta, rice, fruit flavored yogurt, flavored coffee drinks, sweetened cereals, honey, agave, syrup
  • Autoimmune Diseases - Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, grains, dairy and red meat, processed foods, industrial seed oils, eggs, nightshade vegetables, emulsifiers, gum
  • Heart Disease - Bacon, red meat, soda, baked goods, processed meats, white rice, pasta, bread and pizza, foods high in sodium, sugar or saturated fats or refined carbs
  • Alzheimer's - Red meat, refined carbs and sugars, foods high in "AGEs" advanced glycation end products (chemicals that are found both naturally in some foods and our bodies) 

What are some illnesses and disabilities that have been linked to the use of pesticides?

Not only are foods linked to specific conditions and illnesses, but chemicals and pesticides used to "protect" our fruits and vegetables have also been linked.   The most common illnesses, disabilities and disorders that have been linked to exposure to these pesticides are: Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Autism and learning disabilities, several types of cancer such as Leukemia and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, birth defects and reproductive disfunction, diabetes, depression and anxiety.


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