I’m an extremely resentful pizza eater, on my way to becoming an extremely resentful addicted pizza eater. My recent out of control habit, spurred on by the economic downturn, has me eating a lot of one-buck pizza. I have had more pizza in the past month than I have had in 25 years of living in New York City. My current budgetary constraints coerced my nutritional downgrade. I am sure my body will run like a finely oiled machine after feeding on these voluptuous bread slices smothered with tomato sauce and topped with cheese for any extended length of time. This fast food binge ends now!
A new day, same week: After fasting most of the day and finding myself very hungry, I stopped by my favorite new hot spot. Yes, it’s the one-buck pizza place, and yes I am here again after swearing that I would avoid feasting on bread, cheese and tomato sauce. I was really hungry, so I switched up my meal a tad—two, one-buck pizzas, an overcooked jerk chicken leg, yams and green beans—each item costing only a dollar. Wow, what a bargain—all that for five-bucks! Would you believe I was still hungry? It’s all about proper calories, but that’s another story. If I ever come back here just shoot me so I will have a quick death, rather than a slow, creeping, death-by-garbage-consumption.
The next day I strolled by my favorite cheap eats. What the hell, I can eat a slice or two and not feel too guilty because I am on my way to the gym. The little corner proliferators of unhealthiness was crazy busy, and out of pizza. So I walked uptown two blocks to a competitor that had slices for ninety-nine cents! There was a line down its block that looked like a soup line in a homeless shelter. It was horrible: a single file of dumpy, plumpy, mostly ethnic people waiting for their pizza fix. As I inched my way toward the counter to trade my measly one-dollar bill for a cheese baked slice, I kept chanting, this is the last time I am ever doing this again, and I meant it. Two days later I was back lusting after the triangular cut bread, layered with tomato sauce, and topped with cheese. WHY, why, why!
We are what we eat. We have a choice to avoid those products that are detrimental to our well-being and to seek out what is good for us. Thank God we have choices, but are our choices free from control?
I can understand that a slice of pizza not only provides a quick bite for the overworked and on the move American, it’s also inexpensive and it fits a tight budget. But is there something more complex at work? Perhaps the answer is hidden in that crusty, villainous slice. Is it possible that the ingredients are cleverly formulated to addict, like the nicotine in cigarettes?
Neal Barnard, the author of Breaking the Food Seduction and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, says that meat, cheese, chocolate, and sugar contain chemical compounds that stimulate the brain’s secretion of opiate-like, “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine, which drive our cravings for them. http://www.miamiherald.com/living/health/story/1276869.html
Alan Goldhamer, D.C., co-author of The Pleasure Trap and director of TrueNorth Health Center in Santa Rosa, California, agrees, “A large percentage of the population is vulnerable to the effects of this hyper-stimulation [from foods that trigger dopamine production], and they get caught up in an addictive cycle.”
Is that all that crusty bread with tomato sauce and gooey cheese got—a few little opiates? Okay, so maybe that’s what has me hooked. I can beat this though. I rarely indulged in cheese before.
As intriguing as it sounds to step up your dopamine levels by selecting certain foods, there is more than meets the eye.
In Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Robert Kenner’s Food Inc. www.foodincmovie.com, both book and film give hard evidence of corporate manipulation of our food; essentially, we eat what corporate America wants us to eat.
And there is a lot of corn or corn derivatives in our diet. It’s flowing from every orifice that this butchered planet can yield. Why? Mass production came into demand, corporate America complied, and farmers were able to continue to work, live and play. While the market wasn’t that big on tortilla’s, corn on the cob, or cornbread, it was big on corn cereal and corn chips. At the same time, Coca-Cola was working overtime to get the world addicted to their caffeinated corn juice. Mountainous stockpiles grew, and the government subsidized corn production. Big business had a field day with the inexpensive product and we the people received an infusion of corn byproducts.
As the mass production of our bastardized agriculture grew, the slaughtering of animals for mass consumption grew. It became factory-like, without care for the livestock or what passes through them—E. coli, antibiotics, hormones, corn, and more corn—all of which ultimately land on our plate.
Most of our processed foods are polluted with some form of corn. Perhaps the number of sweet corn derivatives: corn starch, corn flour, corn gluten, fructose, glucose, glucosamine, and others that are hiding in that slice of pizza (combined with cheese opiates) is like the carrot dangling in front of the rabbit.
But it doesn’t stop there. Corn has infiltrated other foods, and non-consumable products—Johnson & Johnson Baby Powders Baby Magic Cornstarch Baby Powder, Desitin Baby Powder Cornstarch, Gerber Diaper Rash Ointment with Oatmeal Soothers, Duracell Procell Batteries, Eveready Batteries, Gyne-Lotrimin, Febreze deodorizing Spray, Kingsford Charcoal, Sheetrock brand wallboard, Tinactin Antifungal Foot Powder, USG ceiling panels, and Vagisil Feminine Powder—to name a few. I stand corrected: we eat and use what corporate America wants us to.
The corporate gods have learned to create so many products out of a single one. Perhaps they are designing products for people to consume so they will become obese and die early and then the powers that be can rotate in a new batch of people with lower IQ’s, to play the part of helpless, docile consumers. A new figure says 67% of Americans are overweight or obese. Is there a plot for the rotation of the human species…swap out one generation for another, easily-corruptible one?
The coercion is simple: push the subsidized corn products like Coke, Big Mac, or any other processed foods, down the throats of budgetary-conscious society. We know full well the power of marketing: Coca-Cola started advertising their cocaine- and caffeine-laced corn juice in the 1890s; the Campbell’s Soup Kids were created in 1904 to help sell soup loaded with preservatives; Phillip Morris started encouraging people to poison themselves with toxin-packed cigarettes in 1909; and Ronald McDonald’s clownish antics began in 1963, with 1.4 billion spent worldwide on advertising.
Big business has been working for decades to find what captivates an audience. Advertising billions are spent to entice potential consumers to buy products or services through a variety of media: television, radio, cinema, magazines, newspapers, video games, carrier bags, billboards, mailers, Internet marketing, and digital signage. As 1910 rolled to a finish, $600 million was spent on advertising by big business, representing 4% of the national income. The 2007 advertising expenditures are estimated at over $150 billion in the United States, and $385 billion worldwide, the latter to exceed $450 billion by 2010. A lot of moola to mind fuck us, isn’t it?
But isn’t it a Wonderful World After All? With corn genetically modified to produce high yields, our meat sources modified from herbivorous to grain-eating to save time and gain more mass? Suffice to say we are being transmuted by this venture. Remember, evolution is a slow process. It would seem we are just another link in the evolutionary chain, but I don’t believe it is a natural, healthy evolvement. We are being manipulated to stay hungry and consume more food, by self-involved, detached players.
I contemplated the cheesy pie situation for a few weeks and realized that we are helplessly and unconsciously playing a part in a plan to destroy the human race. How might we be doing that by eating a slice of pizza? Are we not helping the small business owner? Surely democracy, with their subsidies on “corn” must be hard at work keeping that commodity affordable, thus, they must be playing a part in helping the business owner operate and create a market for the low-budget-minded American.
So I ask again, is there a plot to manipulate the human species? Is there a force that is coercing us into docile users of commodity? I must be going off the deep end suggesting there are masterminds pulling the strings, creating a society of consumers for their financial gain. Am I just being paranoid?
There is certainly a master plan at work, and it doesn’t involve our well-being. The collusion between the corporatists is strong. Now, I am not suggesting they are sitting around a table plotting mind control like evil villains, but what I am suggesting is that they, all corporate entities, have a common goal—profits, and we are their consumers, a person or thing that consumes. The business brotherhood is prospering and we are giving them a boost as we sink slowly into the mud. We sure ain’t following a healthy, a spiritual, or a God given plan.