These are some general thoughts that grew from my personal experience and studies.
Most recently a long time woman friend needed my support for her chemotherapy treatments. Around the time of her diagnosis, my former work colleagues got together for a meal. We try to do this every quarter.
One woman is a breast cancer survivor and one has heart disease. It was sad to hear about other people we worked who also had breast cancer. Another woman colleague had passed away suddenly. The subject was cancer and it was the first time our group of five women had talked about cancer and diet. I listened for a while to opinions and ideas.
The conversation around food as the cause of cancer is a circular proposition, in the way that one diet over another is touted as the “Best” in endless blogs, television shows and websites, with health professionals of all ranks and beliefs placing an emphasis on their healthy diet. Having read many articles and “science” recommendations from the many sides of the food culture, there are more contradictions than consensus about what to eat or not to eat. The information is confusing.
After writing about slow food for the past seven years, I believe that food can make you sick or well. When people have too much or too little food and poor diet, the consequences become all too apparent. One example of too little food and poor nutrition is that it is a well known fact that the lack of proper nutrition in the early years of a child’s life causes impaired growth and brain development. The American epidemic of obesity, a living example in of how too much food and poor nutrition, raises the rate of diabetes in the United States as a commonplace disease in the population in children and adults.
As I listened to my friends, I shared a more global idea about cancer and its causes. “It’s environmentally caused and not just by food.”
Chemical agents from insecticides to industrial air pollution are destroying our environment. The chemicals are in our water, air and food supply. Radiation from above ground nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s and 1970s released radiation that is in the bodies of anyone alive in that era according to Dr. Helen Caldicott, Australian Physician and anti-nuclear activist. (Information from an interview I heard with Dr. Caldicott.) Most recently there was the Fukushima Nuclear disaster in 2011 of Japan to factor into the world wide effects on the environment.
While the international community bands together to set goals to reduce harmful chemical and nuclear agents, including nuclear arms from use, American leadership denies the existence of climate change and pursues a backward path of raiding our national parks for mineral, oil, timber and gas exploration rather than support new technologies of wind and solar.
In a complete reversal of the peoples’ will to move to more efficient and safer forms of energy production, the leadership is on a path of destroying the environmental protection laws that are in place and the governmental agency of the United States, The Environmental Protection Agency, that was established to protect the peoples’ health. As the ultimate slap to the American environmental movement, the removal of the American support and cooperation for a cleaner environment from the international agreement has far reaching economic and health consequences.
Cancer statistics: “Cancer has a major impact on society in the United States and across the world.”
In 2016, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 595,690 people will die from the disease.” ~ Cancer.gov.
What can I do? I make it a practice to be informed and to write my representatives on issues that I care about. An email or a phone call to simply say what I support is all that is needed. Adding in a thank you for the work that the representative does gives me a chance to say something positive.
“We are all in this together.” ~ Red Green Show CBC TV
Remember that you are the will of the people.
Have a peaceful day.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.