My Interview With The FDA

 

Disclaimer : This is not a real interview unless you count the voices in my head as being the ones interviewed.

Why isn’t this even being discussed in our political debates. I have read that more than 2/3 of U.S. adults are considered overweight. By eating a more nutritious diet, many diseases related to heart diseases, strokes, diabetes, and cancer can be reduced by $71 billion a year. With rising health insurance rates, the quickest and easiest way to reduce health costs is in our food, and to be more active.

My interview with the FDA : For the first time the FDA has set a daily cap for sugar. The goal is for Americans to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories. That amounts to most people about 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, per day. That is the same as one can of Coke. Add low fat yogurt, granola, whole grain breads , ketchup, pasta sauce etc. Dr. Frank Hu, a member of the dietary guidelines committee, states there is a lot of hidden sugar in our food supply, it’s not just in sweets.

Me: Thanks for meeting me today, and congratulations on setting a limit on what our sugar intake should be.

FDA: Thanks for having me, it was a long time coming, we knew we had to do something.

Me: Let’s get right to the meat of it, what difference will it make if you set the limits of 50 grams per day but no one in the food industry changes the way they make our food.

FDA: It’s about choices and what you eat. You have to see that if you have more than the 50 grams of sugar we recommend it is not healthy for you.

Me: I take a look at my refrigerator and say I eat one Yoplait Yogurt , now with 25% less sugar, 2 pieces of wheat bread- dry, and a glass of 8 oz of cold milk, I am at 36 grams. I haven’t even left my breakfast table and I am one 8 oz glass of milk away from almost being 50 grams. What am we supposed to eat the rest of the day?

FDA: Like I said, it is all about the choices you make. By the way, milk isn’t included because it is not considered an added sugar. Lactose is considered a natural sugar.

Me: (staring at him in disbelief) Thanks for clearing that up. So I am down to 25 grams of added sugar, half way to our “limit” per day and I just finished breakfast. For dinner I have spaghetti with 3/4 cup of sauce, which has an astounding 21 grams of added sugar in spaghetti sauce. Do you not regulate these industries?

FDA: Yes we do.

Me: Then why would you allow companies that make spaghetti sauce to add so much sugar? By The way, I had a salad with my spaghetti with two teaspoons of salad dressing, another 6 grams of added sugar. It was “fat-free” also. Now I am over 50 grams and I didn’t even eat lunch.

FDA: Choices you make as a consumer affect how and what you eat. You have to stay away from processed foods.

Me: (flabbergasted) Stay away from processed foods? 80% of the grocery store is processed foods. The 20% that isn’t is priced where a lot of families can not afford them. They are forced to eat processed foods.

FDA: Is that a question ?

 

Me: According to my research the FDA :

  • Protects the public health by assuring that foods (except for meat from livestock, poultry and some egg products which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective

FDA: That is correct.

Me: I read an article where Michael Taylor, the FDA  deputy commissioner for food states: “We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food.  At a pace far faster than in previous years, companies are adding secret ingredients to everything from energy drinks to granola bars. But the more widespread concern among food-safety advocates and some federal regulators is the quickening trend of companies opting for an expedited certification process to a degree never intended when it was established 17 years ago to, in part, help businesses. A voluntary certification system has nearly replaced one that relied on a more formal, time-consuming review — where the FDA, rather than companies, made the final determination on what is safe. The result is that consumers have little way of being certain that the food products they buy won’t harm them.

“We aren’t saying we have a public health crisis,” Taylor said. “But we do have questions about whether we can do what people expect of us.”

FDA: I have not read that article nor can I comment on it at this time.

Me: Why not attack the food industry that the FDA has allowed to put so much sugar and other junk in our foods for the benefit of making a dollar instead of recommending unattainable guidelines on how much sugar we should have?

FDA: We are in the process of..   (I rudely interrupt)

Me: What can you tell me about the foods that are banned in other countries but is still allowed in the United States. Foods such as pink slime, that is used as an additive to bulk up cheap meat. Found in: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken nuggets. Health Hazards: This ‘meat’ is more likely to carry pathogens because it’s pulled from the bone. Banned in: European Union.

Genetically Engineered Foods that are modified for insect resistant but cause damages to animals and humans alike. Found in: Papayas, corn, and many other crops. Health Hazards: Animals fed GE foods have suffered intestinal and organ damage, tumors, birth defects, premature death and in some cases, sterility by the third generation. Banned in: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.

Synthetic hormones that are added to our beef and milk cattle. Health Hazards: Cancer Banned in: European Union, Japan, Australia, and China.

The poison arsenic which is added to chicken to make their veins look pinker and healthier. I don’t know about you but I would rather eat a healthy chicken instead of one given poison to give the appearance of healthy. Health Hazards: Cancer Banned in: European Union.

Ractopamine is a drug that makes its way into most pig and cattle feed. Similar stuff is commonly used in asthma medication and makes animals more muscular while reducing fat and increasing profit margins. Health Hazards: Weight gain, increased heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and tremors. Banned in: This additive has been banned in the European Union, Russia, and even China.

Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is an emulsifier – it stops flavouring from separating and floating to the surface of sports drinks. The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous chemical used in flame retardant that is considered corrosive and toxic. Health Hazards: Thyroid issues, autoimmune disease, major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, hearing loss and cancer amongst rats. Banned in: Over 100 countries.  Can I repeat that, banned in over 100 countries but still legal in the US.

Shall I continue?

FDA: I believe this interview is over. Have a good day.

Me: Wait, I have more. Color additives such as red 40 and yellow 5 are artificially created from coal tar and petroleum. Research has shown that bland coloured food is far less appealing to customers, so companies pump food full of this stuff. Found in: Pretty much everything we eat, from candy to macaroni and cheese. Health Hazards: Brain cancer, nerve-cell deterioration, and hyperactivity in children. Banned in: Much of the European Union.

Olestra. This fat substitute has been known to cause anal leakage and reduce the amount of vitamins found in the human body. Found in: Fat-free chips Health Hazards: Oily anal leakage and vitamin depletion Banned in: UK and Canada, amongst many others.

Antibiotics are commonly used on US farms to promote animal growth and combat the unnatural and squalid conditions of their pens. Around 80% of all antibiotic use in the US is in cows, salmon and other animals. Found in: Meat Health Hazards: The overuse of antibiotics may be linked to an increase in drug-resistant bacteria that make people sick. Banned in: European Union, Australia and New Zealand.

Where are you going? Don’t the citizens of the United States deserve better food?

 

I really don’t have any good songs to go with this so..

Mr. Jaws by Dickie Goodman – I remember listening to this on 8 track. It’s funny how some things stick with you. It had the Streak and Camp Grenada on it. Think it was a K-Tel or something. 

Interview by Carly Simon – 

Questions by Jack Johnson – 

Complicated Questions by Finger Eleven – 

 

The Heart

I am the heart. I provide life to the rest of the body. I pump oxygen and blood to and from other organs. You can not survive without me. I am the wellspring of life. Everything you do comes from me.

I am going on strike.

Yes, you read that correctly. I am tired of how you treat me.  I will no longer be helping out your kidneys or right foot. I am thinking about not helping your brain either. You don’t seem to use it much when it comes to me anyway. I saw you last night watching The Biggest Loser while you were eating popcorn and M&M’s and washing it down with a can of Coke.

I break for you. I feel your hurt and your pain. I feel your depression. I feel your frustrations. I feel your joy, your excitement. I feel the rush of endorphins when you exercise. I feel your longing, your wanting to belong. Everything that you do and feel, I feel.

My main enemy is your brain. It is often said that the mind is the devil’s playground. How many times have you not got me pumping harder because your mind said you couldn’t do this or that? Your mind says stop but I can go on. Give me a chance to prove that to you. How many times have I begged you “please stop eating this food, it is making me work harder, it is clogging my highways to take care of the rest of your body” but do you listen? No, because your brain says I will take a double order of fried, greasy food because it will make me feel better. Lies. All lies. The brain is like the devil. It doesn’t care about you and neither does he. Most of the time I think they are planning their attacks on me together.

Most any one can tell you that you don’t need your brain to survive. Look at the decisions you make every day. Some really good ones and some really bad ones. The only thing we have in common is if you don’t use us, we can’t help you. Okay, so you do need the brain to survive. I mean if not, we would all be walking off cliffs or in front of cars all the time. That would put an end to me as well. However, the brain can’t work without me. I only wish I could tell your brain to take better care of you, and therefore me.

Did you know that in the NIV Bible the word heart is used 570 times in the Old and New Testament? I am the fourth most common word behind father, God and Lord, not in that order. Why do you think that is? I would not exist without God. You would not exist without God. I am a uniquely created internal organ made so that you can have physical life. You are a uniquely created person.

If you walk away from things that make me work better you will die. If you walk away from God, you will die and spend an eternity with our enemy, the devil. If you eat right, sleep well, exercise, take care of me, I can make your life here on earth all that it is meant to be. I determine your actions and reflect whether Jesus is at the center of your life. If you give your life to Jesus, He can make your life here on earth all that He meant for it to be. If you put Jesus at the center of your life, you can have a life of abundance, a life of joy, no matter what your circumstances are.

The good news is that it is not too late. You can fix all the damage that has been done to me by your past actions. I can be renewed. You can take away years of neglect by turning around and doing what is right. Take care of me so I can take care of you. You can’t do it alone though. You need Jesus. Ask Him to continually renew me. Ask Him to help you take that first step. Each step after that will get easier. Let Him hold your hand as you start a new, healthier you, and me.

Where am I in your life today? Are you struggling to make me healthy? Are you making the right choices when it comes to food, drink, exercise and sleep to make me work better?

If not, ask yourself this question, where is Jesus in your life today? Are you struggling with sin, with bad habits? Ask Jesus to come into me today. Let Him help us become healthy, physically and spiritually. Ask Jesus to renew me, your heart, and commit that He will remain at the center of me, your heart.

You have only one me, the heart. You have only one body. There is only one God. Align all three of us and ask God into your heart, into your mind, into your life.

Here’s My Heart by Casting Crowns – 

Open The Eyes Of My Heart by Paul Baloche – 

Feel It In Your Heart by Abandon – 

Where My Heart Goes by Colton Dixon – 

Heart On Fire by Dan Bremnes – 

The Heart Of The Father by Brad and Rebekah – 

My Brain Says No But My Heart Says Yes by FM Static – 

Here’s My Heart by Crowder – 

Busted Heart by For King and Country – 

Your Heart by Casey J – 

Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey – 

How Could I Withhold My Heart by The Glorious Unseen – 

Wtih Every Beat Of My Broken Heart by Hawk Nelson – 

Search My Heart by Hillsong United – 

Strength Of My Heart by Rend Collective – 

My Heart Cries Out by Rush Of Fools – 

Jump Start My Heart by Satellites & Sirens – 

Change This Heart by Sidewalk Prophets –