Sugar, Sugar everywhere
I am a Chinese Canadian. I berate the Western diet almost daily. No wonder you guys have the highest health cost in the world. You feed yourself garbage! Things I wouldn’t even feed my dogs.
Case in point. I made breakfast for myself this morning. As per my habit, on weekends I make a nutrient porridge. It is a famous Chinese dish made from millet, goji berry, pumpkin seeds, red beans, mung beans, black rice and lotus seeds. Sweetened with natural honey we bought from a neighbour it is an amazing treat. I immediately felt satisfied and hydrated. I have all the energy needed to face the day. Bliss in my stomach.
Then I caught a glimpse of a tray of cookies on the kitchen counter. Something crunchy could be nice, I thought to myself. These are store bought cookies we were going to bring to a potluck. I should do some quality control just in case.
Long story short I could not even finish half a cookie. I had to throw it into the organic recycling bin. The only thing I can taste is refined sugar. It is so sweet that my throat hurts. I had to drink lots of water to get the stinging feeling out of my throat and eat some berries to clear my palate. Even so, the horrible aftertaste stayed with me a long time. I looked more closely at the ingredients label. Nothing but sugar, fat and more sugar with a bunch of artificial flavouring.
We almost never buy these “garbage” but millions of similar garbage cookies are consumed each and every day. In school cafeterias; on playgrounds; in local convenience stores; in hospital canteens; on many kitchen counters; in millions of homes and daycare centres. Heck! girl guides will even ring your door bell and bring them to you.
“One or two cookies will do no harm.” Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I wish I was. Let us look at the garbage cookies from a systematic viewpoint. 1) We enslave third world countries to bring us more sugar than we can consume. 2) We put enormous amount of sugar in everything so we can make the entire population addicted to it. 3) As a result we make 1 in 10 people diabetic and million of people sick because of weak immune system. 4) We start to invest in big drug companies. 5) Repeat steps 1 through 4.
This is not a recipe for sugar cookies. It is a recipe for the demise of a sustainable western capitalist civilization!!! If a communist did this we’d hang him and his entire family and start a nationwide witch-hunt!!! So who gave them the right to feed us garbage? Sorry to break it to ya. We did. We gave them permission by paying for garbage cookies everyday.
I came from the other side of the planet. China before globalization was a land based on natural ways of living. We had sugar as a treat. I always remember grandma telling me to only sprinkle red sugar (like brown sugar but less refined) on my rice porridge because “it will taste sweeter on my tongue.” We had candies only at New Year’s or if someone got married. I would save those handful of candies for months sometimes they would melt in my pockets. If I aced a math competition mom would give me one White Rabbit Milk candy. I got one small square of Vanilla flavoured chocolate for every essay writing prize I bring home.
Back in the 1980’s China couldn’t get sugar easily. We had to buy them from tropical countries at a high price. We didn’t have the military power to annex places like Cuban or Dominican Republic and force them to plant cane. As a result, entire generations of Chinese are trained to value natural sugar as a treat, not indulge and over-consume refined sugar like people in the west. In this way China was saved from the sugar disaster. Nature works in mysterious ways.
As we evolve toward Human 2.0 we must looked at everything from a systematic viewpoint. Even something as small as a single cookie. This is the only way to make sense of everything around us. Step 1) Be observant and ask questions; Step 2) Find answers and look for teachers; Step 3) Take action and vote with your actions; Step 4) Repeat steps 1 through 3.
Your world is a great library. Touch the books. Don’t just walk on by. – Zen
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While I agree with you Zen, your rant – unfortunately- will fall on deaf ears. Too many people have already stated this obvious fact to the point that it is almost unanimously ignored. Unless you’re preaching to the already converted.
Not to use a pun, but this is a case where you will attract more flies with sugar.
Are cookies sweet? Yes.
Are cookies delicious? Yes!
Is moderation smart? Absolutely!!
Are we going bet going to convince people to reduce their sugar intake? Almost impossible.
The reason is it’s everywhere. In sauce, soup, bread, pasta, … everywhere. You simply can’t guilt trip, or berate, people into changing their palates. That’s why some nutritionists have targeted children with health awareness, or their parents about it.
Even then it tends to fall on deaf ears. I’m not saying you should stop trying, just that it won’t be the way you get people to change. The sad truth is most people don’t change until legislation demands they do. Speaking to the people doesn’t tend to work anymore because the people are far to busy to care. I know first hand how hard it is to get parents to feed their kids healthy meals because in the end it takes preparing and eating whole foods to get sugar and other flavour enhancements out of our diet and that simply takes too long.
Put the issue to politicians in a venue that puts them on the spot. (And how easy do you think they make that?)
I love your post and follow its message myself with my own body as well as my families. But changing the view of others, especially from the standpoint of yet another ‘outsider’ berating the ugly, western culture yet again, simply won’t do anything but raw raw the already converted and be ignored by everyone else.
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Thanks for your viewpoints on my rant. My main point is “Everything is Connected.” I want people to think about how we got here and how we get out of this jam, not simply to berate without a solution. Western Colonization is actually hurting their own citizens. Sugar, Diamonds, Slaves, Opium, Tea, Petroleum, Silk, Rubber… Take any commodity that the colonizers “pillaged” from the “uncivilized” world and look at what it is doing to the Western civilization. The observer will see the commodity does more harm than good. Too much of a good thing is no good, especially if it is ill-begotten. Call it Karma, call it the golden rule, call it providence. I call it the Universal Law. “Drink water and think of the source.” Ancient Chinese Proverb.Thanks again.